This is the gallery for the winners of the fanfic awards to show off their fics, and their banners!

Moderators: Itzstacie, Forum Moderators

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England


Post by WR » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:41 am

Winner - Round 14


Winner - Round 11





Winner - Round 10

IMG] ... onvfic.jpg[/IMG]



Winner - Round 9


Red Shift
A new Roswell Fanfic by WR

Disclaimer: Characters and plot lines that appeared in the series, the books, and the concept of Roswell are not mine. Belong to Melinda Metz, UPN, etc, etc.

Category: Predominately M&L - but the others are involved. CC

Rating: MATURE - ADULT (eventually)

Author's note: A big thank you to Jen and Jeannine who have been invaluable with their assistance with this story. As normal, regular Friday updates, time permitting.

Summary: Sort of a Future Fic. This story picks up after Departure. Five years have passed since Tess left and not everything is getting back to normal. Can any of the gang pick up the pieces of their lives, or are they doomed to forever suffer from Tess's betrayal?

Banner courtesy of Borders InSaNiTy


August, 2006

Margaret Pearson had been a nurse for only five years now, but she firmly believed that she was a good one. That she was one of the best. Having qualified at the top of her class, it was inevitable that she would find employment at such a prestigious hospital as the very exclusive St James Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. St James employed only the very best personnel, utilized the best equipment and naturally, charged the best prices. That is, the best for the bank accounts of the board members.

Margaret loved her job, she truly did. And she couldn’t believe how lucky she was to be working in the children’s ward. She felt blessed. She felt especially blessed when she saw the excited look on the face of a child who had been declared fit to go home. While she did feel a little aggrieved by the knowledge that these children were receiving treatment and care that many others simply could not afford, someone had to work in places like these, so why not her? Especially as she did her part by donating a portion of her salary to children’s charities and helped out whenever she could, for free, at the Sister’s of Mercy Charitable Hospital in the less affluent side of town.

Margaret was also only too aware of the fact that money did not guarantee immunity to ones mortality. There were those poor, dear children who did not make it; who could not be cured of the leukemia, or who would not recover from the devastating trauma caused by a road accident and therefore, would not get to go home. Margaret, or Maggie to her friends, was as upset over losing those unfortunate children as their families were. Maggie was one who easily formed bonds of friendship with the children in her care. Bonds that perhaps she shouldn’t have allowed to form, but she was only human. So bonds, she formed. Like the one that she formed with little Anna Lee.

Anna had come in with a broken leg from a nasty fall on her bicycle and had to have her leg placed in traction before they could put a cast on and send her home. Plus, she had a mild concussion that had worried the doctors and so needed observation. The sweet, seven year old girl had been at the hospital for only a week, but Maggie had fallen in love with the brave little child. And today it was time for her to go home. It was Anna who had demanded that Maggie push her wheelchair down to the entrance, Anna who insisted that it was Maggie who lifted her into her father’s car. Maggie could not help the tears as she waved goodbye to the little girl when her father drove her down the long lane through the trees, on her way home. As the car turned the corner, she released a soft sigh, smiled, wiped away the tears and turned back inside.

“Your turn to see to Sleeping Beauty,” the head nurse shook her head as Maggie returned to her station on the children’s ward.

* * *

The rubber soles of her white shoes squeaked on the polished floor as Maggie pushed her small trolley along the corridor to the small room at the end. She knocked three times and opened the door, pushing the trolley into the room before her.

“Good afternoon, Alison,” Maggie smiled at the young blonde teenager lying prostrate on the hospital bed. “And how are we this fine summer’s day?”

Every hospital had its problem patient. The one that none of the nurses wanted to deal with. The one that every nurse wanted to get away from as soon as possible and stay away. Usually, that one was a middle-aged male who thought that he was God’s gift to women and could not keep his hands to himself; the one who believed that a nurse’s duties extended to more… personal needs. On the children’s ward, it was usually the spoiled brat who threatened you with ‘Daddy’ if things did not go their way.

Alison was St James’ problem patient. Not for anything she did, said or threatened. No, it was because Alison was politely defined as being in a coma. It was a strange coma. Brain dead, was how the doctor described her. Her vital signs, her pulse and her breathing were all good. As long as the body was fed, it lived. But apart from small neurological triggers that sent signals to the body’s organs to keep the host alive, it was as if Alison had been born with no mind.

She had never been given a last name, because no one was ever able to ascertain her parents. It had been a lawyer who had delivered the baby to the hospital with instructions to look after the child until she either awoke from her coma, or finally passed away. He was, he claimed, acting on behalf of the child’s parents. The hospital received regular payment from a fund set up at a local bank, who had assured the hospital that there were adequate provisions to sustain the child’s life for decades. Every six weeks, the hospital had to forward the reports and current conditions of the child’s status whereupon they would receive payment for the next six weeks.

Alison had been named by the social worker who had tried without success to get a court ruling, forcing the lawyer in charge of the fund to divulge the parent’s identities. As the lawyer had pointed out, if the child was already receiving the best care and attention that money could buy, imposing no burden upon the taxpayer, what possible benefit could be gained by revealing the parents of the poor, unfortunate child.

Maggie felt sorry for the poor girl. She never received any visitors, although she knew for a fact that the lawyer appeared twice a year to check that the child was, in fact, still alive. As far as she knew, the only person who ever spoke to Alison was herself. She never looked upon this task as a burden and had often traded other duties she did find annoying for the opportunity to be with Alison.

The other nurses did not like dealing with the girl. Knowing that she had no mind at all, they were all ‘freaked’ by the idea of being alone in the room with… ‘it’. Maggie, however, always referred to her by name and still had hope that she would one day recover and go on to lead a normal life. Maggie liked it when it was her turn to treat her.

“I’m glad to hear that you’re doing so well,” Maggie answered the girl’s silence. She always talked to Alison, remembering how, in her training, she was taught to talk to people in comas. “It’s a shame you can’t be outside. The sun is shining, and the temperatures up in the high nineties already. You just be thankful that you have air conditioning in here.”

The first thing that Maggie did was to throw away the flowers that she had brought with her on her last visit, and clean out the vase. After filling it with clean water, she placed a new bouquet into it, standing on the bedside cabinet next to her.

“I know they’re only from me,” she whispered. “But we can pretend that your boyfriend sent them, okay?”

Maggie stood up and grinned.

“Why Alison. Are you blushing?”

Of course, she wasn’t.

Maggie’s next task was to change over the plastic IV bags that were strapped to her various points in her arm.

“I expect we’ll need to move these, soon,” Maggie checked the feed that had been attached to one of her veins. Small red blotches indicated the previous few places, not yet fully healed that had been used before. After the drips, Maggie dealt with the bags that took away Alison’s waste products. Not her favorite task, but essential nevertheless.

“We’ll soon have you up and about,” Maggie smiled back at the girl as she filled a bowl with luke-warm water at the sink in the corner. Having finished with the medical checks, it was time to turn to her hygiene needs. “One of these days you’ll wake up, and then you can go out there and find some guy to bowl over. And you’ll do all the things you’ve not been able to. Like dance, and party, and make out with an amazing guy in the back seat of an expensive car. Oh, that reminds me.” Maggie looked around with a slight tint to her cheeks. “Next time, I’ll give you the talk. You know. THE talk.”

Maggie pulled the sheet back, and opened up the girl’s night dress and removed it, careful to maintain the young girl’s modesty with some towels, in case one of the orderlies came in, even though Alison would know nothing about it. After all, she was fourteen years old and already blossoming into a young woman. A very attractive young woman.

“And not a moment too soon, I shouldn’t wonder,” Maggie giggled.

“After your bath,” Maggie smiled. “I’ll trim your hair.”

Maggie ran her fingers through her long blonde locks.

“It’s getting a bit long.”

She pulled it out of the way.

“Blonde hair,” she smiled as she peeled one of her eyelids back. “Are they blue… or green eyes? Green. Long legs. A killer body in the making. Yup.” Maggie smiled. “You are going to be some heart breaker.”

I hope, she added silently.

Maggie soon finished the mundane tasks that everyone else hated doing.

“I wonder why it is that you can’t live a normal life?” Maggie started to dress Alison in a clean nightdress, careful to avoid knocking the pipes and tubes that helped keep her alive. “I mean, no one’s ever found any valid medical reason for your condition. I assume that you were a normal delivery when you were born. Apparently, you arrived here within hours of your birth but there’s no mention of any problems. You didn’t fall sick or anything. You weren’t dropped on your head.”

Maggie started to change her sheets, rolling the girl first one way and then the other as she pushed and pulled the old bottom sheet away and the new one into position.

“Maybe your mother was less than ideal. Maybe she smoke too much, or drank. Maybe she did drugs or something.”

With her bed remade, Maggie started to manipulate and massage Alison’s legs, her back and her arms so that she wouldn’t develop bedsores.

“There’s got to be a reason for you to be like this.” She looked up and smiled. “Perhaps you really are a sleeping beauty, and you’re just waiting for your prince to come and give you your waking kiss. I wonder if your mom had a spinning wheel.”

Her final act was to drape a sheet over her body.

Maggie leaned over Alison, bringing her mouth close to her ear.

“I was speaking to a friend of mine over the weekend,” Maggie whispered with a hint of conspiracy, even though she knew that no one, not even Alison could hear her. “She was training at the same time as me. Anyway, she found a job at a big private clinic down over in Atlanta. She works in pediatrics, too. And do you know what she had to tell me? She said that they had a child in a coma just like you.” Maggie stood back up. “A young man. The same age, though he was born a few months before you. Same condition as you. And get this. Their fees are being paid through some hotshot lawyer, just like yours. And no one ever visits him either. Isn’t that funny? I mean, what’s the likelihood of their being another case identical to you?” Maggie paused and looked down at Alison. “Wouldn’t it be awful if he was supposed to be your Prince Charming?”

Maggie made a few last minute checks, making sure that all the tubes, pipes and sensors were correctly attached to the correct places. Mistakes were not tolerated with this patient.

“I wonder what could have caused that?” Maggie frowned. “I mean, I know how certain drugs can have strange effects on an unborn fetus. Maybe that’s what it is. Maybe your moms were all some kind of volunteers for some big pharmaceutical company’s drug trials.” Her eyes widened. “Oh my god!”

Maggie’s hand flew to her mouth.

“That ‘is’ it, isn’t it? It all makes sense. Your moms were both… hard up for cash. So they volunteered to try this… I don’t know. Anti-sickness drug or something. And this is the side effects. To keep everyone quiet, the company is paying for your treatment.”

Maggie continued to work, her eyes filled with sympathy.

“Well, no mater how you got here, it’s not your fault.”

Maggie checked the paper roll in the monitor’s bay to record the body’s life signs over the next twenty-four hour period.

“Still,” she sighed. “I hope you wake up soon, before you miss too much more of your childhood.”

Maggie placed a soft kiss on Alison’s forehead and turned to the door, her feet squeaking in the silence, save for the steady hum of the machinery and the susurrus from the ventilator.

“Goodnight,” she whispered, as she looked through the gap before she closed it. “Sweet dreams.”

Inside the room, Alison continued her assisted breathing, having registered absolutely nothing of the one sided conversation.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:43 pm, edited 134 times in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 1

Post by WR » Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:22 pm

Hi everyone.

Thnk you all so much for welcoming me back to the fold. As you can see, I wasn't idle. It's kind of funny how this story came into being. I had a couple of storylines that I explored, but they all seemed to dry up with no real plot coming out of it.

I even wrote to a couple of friends and bounced ideas and questions off them. My muse had gone on vacation.

So, I dipped into the fanfic world and read a few stories, trying to find something new. And then it hit me. My muse returned just as I asked 'What would happen if...' and before I knew, this story was half written.

It is a little different from my normal storylines, which will become clear later, so I needed another beta reader to help me with certain things. So I know how you are all going to react. At least, I HOPE I know how you areall going to react.

Thank you all so very much for your feedback. :) I hope you will continue to support me as I take you on an extraordinary adventure.

othocfan4ever - Thank you. Hope you continue to love it. :)

mareli - No M&L yet, but then, the Prologue has to set something up, right? And I HAVE got another chapter of my Holidays story. Just waiting for my beta for that story to see it.

BlueStar - Who says either of the two mentioned relate to Max or Liz? :wink: But yes, it is creepy. See my note to Mareli regarding my Holiday story.

Ellie - Well, most people tend not to understand me :wink: The trick is to go with the flow and file everything away for a rainy day. LOL

tequathisy - Intriuging, huh? he he he. I know whats going to happen! :wink:

taressa05 - Excellently confusing, huh?

kittens - Nope. No Christmas miracles involved. :wink: Actually, thinking about it... hmmm... it might turn out that ther will be an Xmas chapter.

smokie - Thank you. All is well, thank you. I hope the same for you. I was tempted to place her in Tennessee, but it didn't fit. :wink: As to your questions... all you have asked (so far) do get answered well before the end this time.

frenchkiss70 - Lost already? And technically, NOT the first chapter. :wink:

BehrObsession - Thank you :) Hmmm.. interesting that it wasn't my intention to 'confuse' people with the Prologue. LOL It just happened. :wink:

jbcna - Well, I hope you will stay tuned longer than the next chapter. :) This is going somewhere pretty cool.

icequeen - I hoe the next few chapters will remain as interesting. LOL. You're from FL, huh? Some interesting chapters coming up for you.

dreamerfiend - Very strange. And... she was born like that. :wink: LOL

Jen11Star - Well, if you read every friday, and leave feedback, we will have a ball! :) If you waited till it was finished, you will have missed the best part! My week long cliffhangers!

BelevnDreamsToo - Anyone would think you have the inside Scoops! :wink:

roswellluver - You might well be surprised with what I do. :wink: To my knowledge, NO ONE has ever done what I do.

mezz - Thank you. BTW. Green eyes, not blue. Check again. :wink:

Behrsgirl77 - Thank you for de-lurking for me. Hope I can keep you interested. :)

kay_b - Hmmmm... Lets see. Alison is a fourteen year old in 2006. That means she was born in 1992? Our podsters were what? 11, 12, then?
I hope Alison is not a daughter to one of them. LOL

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Thank you :) Ah, the bankroll. No one asked about that yet. As I said, all gets revealed soon. But I'm guessing people are more interested in someone else than they are Alison. :wink:

Timelord31 - I hope you like where I go.:)

Sali203 - Hmmm... I wonder what would happen if it turns out that Alison had nothing to do with our pod squad? :wink:

roswck - Well, stick around cause it's a hell of a ride! :wink:

aurorasky - Intriuging, huh? he he he. I know whats going to happen! :wink: :wink:

polar vixen - Not for me it's not. ;) If I could have found a way to raise questions earlier that the first part... oh wait. Someone already asked a question about the title ;) Ta Dah! I hope I can keep everyone interested. :)

RealisticDreamer - Yup. I'm back. Thank you. :)

Evans3 - Just noticed you were from Georgia. He he he. Near Atlanta? Can you pop in and check how my 'prince' is doing? LOL

SpiderGirl - If I say that this is NOT a candy themed story, a) will you will be interested, and b) does that answere your question about Alison?

LovinGuerin2much - Ah. If you haven't read my other stories then you will find that they are mainly M&L centric, although I do feature the others heavily. While you're waiting between parts, check out some of my stories at But I hope you stick around.

AJK001 - Hiya. Still got that seatbelt? :wink:

alienmom - well, I certainly hope hat I can make your Fridays again. :)

Roswelllostcause - I am sure that if ever the Pod Squad find their way to the East Coast, they will help these kids. Assuming they find out about them. :wink:

youre my dreamgirl - But if they are from pods... why put them in a hospital... where they can be tested? :wink:

I hope I didn't miss anyone. There were quite a few to go through! :):):)

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 1

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
And if we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me
Would we?
Could we?

September 2006

Even though it had been a few years since Maria had worked at the Crashdown Café, she still knew how to make an excellent Galaxy Sub. She was humming as she put the finishing touches to three of them. Leaving two on small plates and sealing the other one in foil wrap that she had pulled out from the drawer so that it would not go stale. The front door banged shut.

"Home," Michael's voice called from the living room.

"Hope you left your filthy overalls at work," she called back.

"Course I did," Michael was smirking as he walked into the kitchen. He held his hands up into the air. "Washed my hands, too."

"That's good," Maria placed the two sandwiches on the table. She turned to the refrigerator and pulled out two bottles of Snapple. "'Cause lunch is ready."

Maria and Michael had dated throughout high school, becoming every bit as close as Max and Liz had once been. After Michael's declaration of love, by staying behind, voluntarily, the couple had become inseparable. As inseparable as the so-called Max from the future had claimed that he and his Liz had been in 'their' timeline - a luxury not afforded to the two he left behind in the fallout of his successful mission.

Not even a blatant attempt by one of Maria's past boyfriends, Billy from band camp, who had come hoping to seduce Maria with the lure of a music contract in New York had dented her trusting and loving relationship with Michael. He had finally shown that he had learned well the lessons that Max had tried to teach him in regards to dating, back in the days when Max knew how to treat his love. Then, out of the blue - for everyone had assumed that they would never alter their status quo - two years after their graduation from High School, Michael had proposed to Maria.

The kind of relationship that Max and Liz once shared was not the only thing that Michael had inherited. Six weeks after Tess, or A.T. as the six now chose to call it, Max had called on Michael after another conversation with Liz had gone bad. Max had told Michael that he now knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it had been his inept and woeful leadership skills that had caused their calamitous deaths so many decades before, and the ruination of their current lives. Max informed Michael that he should now consider himself the leader. Max felt that he was not fit to lead them any more. But then, what was there to lead them against?

"Coming up for one year, huh?" Michael grinned after swallowing another mouthful of his lunch.

"I know," Maria laughed. "Who'd a thunk it?

"That morning five years ago, when we all came crawling home from the ruins of the Pod Chamber," Michael's eyes went distant. "You know, I never thought that things would ever have come to this."

"I know what you mean," Maria sighed. "I mean, Tess won, didn't she? And that day she took off, bound for Antar with the Granolith and Max's son, she took Max and Liz's love for each other with her."

"She tore a hole in our lives, the size of Texas," Michael nodded. "The thing that had me worried was the reaction to all that noise. I mean, how come no FBI agents came into town? Why didn't the military surround the place?"

"Max said that Brody's devices didn't even pick up a thing," Maria shrugged. "But that was a good thing, right?"

"Right," Michael nodded. "And in the meantime, the world continued to turn and life went on."

"For us," Maria smiled, reaching out a hand to Michael. "I mean, we were never involved with all that... I mean, we were peripheral. We found our happiness. So for us... it was easy."

"For the other's though..." Michael fell silent. "I mean... Max and Liz, they were so hurt by what they had done to each other. So many betrayals. Kyle's life just seemed to go on hold, you know? And Isabel. Well... Poor Iz."

"Was Isabel okay about not being asked to organize our party?"

"She's cool," Michael nodded. "She's got a few things on her mind right now. I doubt she'd even notice if we did it ourselves."

"Well, it's just..." Maria sighed. "Even with all her problems at the time, she organized such a wonderful wedding for us."

"She did a good job," Michael agreed.

"It's a good thing we're still on good terms with the Parkers," Maria looked around the kitchen. "It would have been a nightmare to try and prepare everything here. And using the Crashdown instead of this small, first floor apartment to hold it in..."

"It's not like we're going to have a horde of guests," Michael shook his head. "You, me, your Mom, Jim, Kyle, the Parkers, the Evans... Liz."

"Do you think Max is going to be alright?" Michael frowned. "I mean, with Liz..."

"He'll have to deal, Michael," Maria nodded. "It's not like he'll come anyway."

"I hope he does," he sighed. "I was sort of hoping that they might actually talk to each other this time."

"I don't think so," Maria shook her head. "I mean, he was your best man, she was my maid of honor. We did everything but handcuff them together and they still didn't say more than two words to each other. Hello and goodbye. There was no reconciliation then, so I doubt anything's changed. And now..."

"Maybe we should try the handcuffs this time," Michael smirked.

"Trust you," Maria grinned. Her face fell with a sigh. Her shoulders slumped. "They just hurt each other too much. Max with... with 'her', and Liz with... that whole... Kyle... thing. And my cousin didn't help much either."

"Whatever happened to him?"

"When it was obvious that Max and Liz were keeping apart, Sean really tried. But Liz had already realized that she was, like, using him. It wasn't real. It was just a distraction for her. Someone to help take her mind off her pain at being separated from Max. Whatever she said or did, she really wanted to be with Max. Those two not being together is just... wrong." Maria paused and stared into space. "Anyway, when it became obvious that Liz wasn't interested, Sean just moved on."

"I can never understand why Max couldn't move past that thing with Kyle," Michael's eyes narrowed. "Even I know that she didn't really sleep with him that night... and I know why she made him think that in the first place. Surely he does too." He looked up with narrowed eyes. "Doesn't he?"

"Yeah," Maria placed a bowl in which she was mixing a cake on the table and sat in the empty chair beside him. "He knows." She paused. "But there's an addendum to that story."

"Oh?" Michael raised his eyes. "Don't tell me that Liz... and this future guy..."

"No," Maria slapped Michael's shoulder. "No. In a way, it's worse."

"Worse?" Michael's voice was tight. "How?"

"Max and Liz tried really hard to talk, right? But as long as Liz had that secret between them, they were stuck. So finally, Liz decided to tell him. Everything, including the reason why she did it. She told him all about future Max coming back and telling her how Max had to be with Tess. The whole story. From start to finish."

"So how did he take it?" Michael remembered how strong he thought Liz had been. How brave. "I bet he was pretty amazed by her, huh? How come it didn't pull them back together?"

"He wasn't exactly what you would call, impressed," Maria shook her head.

"He wasn't?" Michael raised his eyebrows.

"He called her weak."

"What?" Michael blinked.

"He was really angry with her, Michael. Shouting at her. And although I love Liz like a sister, when she told me what he had said to her, I kind of had to agree with him. What he said made so much sense. Of course, I never told Liz that. Best friend code means I take her side. No matter what."

"What did he say?" Michael shook his head, unable to conceive Max ever considering Liz as being weak.

"He said that she was weak because she did exactly what their enemies knew she would. And that she did exactly what she had accused him of doing over and over again."

"And that is?" Michael's eyes widened.

"Making the decisions for other people. Controlling, Liz called it." Maria sucked in a large breath. "See, Liz decided what was best for Max. It was Liz who decided he had to be with Te... her. You know, for that Destiny crap. She never considered what Max would want, never even contemplated that maybe Max didn't want to be with, you know, even if he couldn't have Liz. She pushed him to 'her' time and time again. And he was angry that she got pissed at him for doing exactly what she had wanted him to do in the first place. She had gift wrapped him for the ho and then flipped out at him when it worked."

"I can see that Max wouldn't have liked that," Michael nodded. "I mean... basically, Liz used him."

"She thought she was doing it for the right reasons." Maria whispered. "Misguided as she was. But that wasn't the worst of it."

"Am I going to like this?" he raised his eyebrows.

"Probably not." Maria paused. "You see, Max thought about it. He couldn't understand a lot of things, but the main one was... he knew how well they worked together. He would have known that any attempt to change the past would have been a joint venture. That's when he dissected the whole story. Michael. The whole thing. It wasn't real. It couldn't have been. Liz was tricked."

"What?" Michael leapt to his feet. "It was a fucking mind warp? That bitch mind warped her? Why didn't you tell me?"

"No," Maria gave a slow, sad shake of her head. "At least, I don't think it was a mind warp. It was too complex. I think that there was more than one person involved. Skins, probably. And I didn't tell you about it because... well, Liz was really upset by it. It's not like you could have done anything anyway. By then, it was ancient history."

"But Liz said she would know her Max anywhere," Michael frowned. "How did they manage to fool her?"

"But that's the point, isn't it?" Maria shook her head. "See, Liz didn't believe he was Max at first, because she couldn't feel him. Of course she couldn't; he wasn't HER Max, even if he was really from the future. So to make Liz believe he was who he said he was, he told her some events that would be happening in the next few minutes."

"How did he do that?"

"Remember me telling you about that whole Max serenading Liz thing?" Maria gave a wan smile. "That was what he told her would happen."

"But... If he knew it would happen, then he had to have come from the future."

"It was all an act," Maria wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. "While one person pretended to be Max on her balcony, another pretended to be Max down below. Not too hard to plan that sort of thing, really. And it would have been better than a mind warp, 'cause there was no way for Liz to catch them out."

"I don't understand," Michael narrowed his eyes. "How do you know? How does Max know that this future guy was an act?"

"Because as much as Max loves... loved her, Max would never have done that," Maria groaned. "Singing like that. And since when did Max ever forget that Liz likes white roses? The guy's never bought her any other color in his life. How could he have made such an important mistake as that if he was so determined to win her over? And then changing them from red to white? While they were in mid air? In front of the Mariachi band?"

"No," Michael agreed with narrowed eyes. "Not Max. He was way too responsible, and this was what? Only a couple of months after Pierce had him. He wouldn't have risked drawing attention to himself like that."

"And the thing is..." Maria went quiet. "When Max and her finished talking about it... Liz came to see me. We tried to find some proof that it 'was' real. Anything to support her. We looked up the Gomez web site. They never played there that night. They were in freaking Europe."

"So Max was right. It was a trick and she fell for it. So why was he so upset by that? It's not like he's never been tricked."

"The clincher for Max was what she told him at the end. Liz told him that this future Max told her that they had a great wedding. That they became inseparable. He said that their life was pretty much perfect. He gave her so many snippets of a wonderful life together."

"No," Michael narrowed his eyes and shook his head. "And then this future Max tells her she can't have any of that? That she has to live a life without happiness? No way would Max do that to her. No way would Max hurt ANY Liz that way. He would tell her that their life had been bad, miserable, that it didn't work out. Anything to spare her the pain of giving him up. Our Max, in any lifetime would never be that cruel. Not to Liz."

"I think that's what hurt Max the most," Maria sighed. "The fact that she believed he would be capable of hurting her that much."

"That explains the talk we had at our wedding," Michael's eyes went distant once more. "I asked him if he didn't trust Liz any more. He said that he trusted her with his secret, he trusted her with his life, but he couldn't trust her with his heart."

"Why did all this have to happen to Max and Liz?" Maria wailed.

There was a pause while Michael thought about it.

"Because no one else could have survived it," Michael pulled her to him.

"What are we going to do?" she groaned.

"Nothing we can do anymore," he shrugged. "It's their lives. We just have to let them work it out."

"They don't even have lives, Michael. Ever since she graduated early from UNM; which she did by studying every minute of every day, she's been doing that research work at Harris Enterprises over in Albuquerque. She been there a year now and she practically works twenty-four seven. She's a workaholic, Michael. And when did you last see her smile? And Max? He lives in that crappy trailer park that you used to live in and spends all his time trying to..." she drew imaginary speech marks in the air, "save his son."

"We've done all we can," Michael sighed. "The rest is up to them. This is Max and Liz we're talking about. All they really need to do, you know, is talk. Once they do, it'll be all right. They'll find a way back together." He looked at his watch. "Anyway, I better go. I told Kyle I'd only be half an hour."

"But, Michael," Maria started. "There's something..."

"Later," Michael nodded. "Kyle's probably starving by now."

He rose from his seat, kissed Maria on his cheek and headed for the door.

"Here," Maria passed him the wrapped sandwich. "I made Kyle his lunch. And don't forget that Liz is coming round to see us tonight."

* * *

Kyle Valenti parked the Chrysler on the ramp and climbed out of the car. Slamming the door shut, he turned to the ramp controls and pressed the button that lifted the hydraulic ramp so that he could work underneath the car in comfort rather than having to crawl under on his back. The ramp had been one of his better investments. After graduating from high school, he and Michael had become partners, setting up this little garage on the edge of town. With Kyle's automotive knowledge and Michael's ability to 'fix' things, they quickly gained a reputation second to none. So popular was their little workshop that they were turning work away. The fact that they couldn't risk anyone else discovering their little secret precluded the ability to hire extra staff. While Kyle worked on changing the Chrysler's exhaust system, his mind turned again to wondering how they could persuade Max to join them. They had tried before to get him on board, but his search for his son had become an obsession with him. Max did not know how to let go, in spite of the fact that it had driven Liz away. He paused to wonder how a love as strong as theirs could simply fizzle out. With a shake of his head, he got back to work.

"Grub's up," he heard Michael call as his partner returned from lunch.

"About time, Michael," Kyle called from underneath the large Chrysler. Michael had been gone longer than his half hour. His voice was laced with sarcasm. "Have a good lunch?"

"Can it, Buddha," Michael smirked, tossing Kyle his torpedo shaped sandwich.

"Maria make this?" he eyed it with suspicion. "Or you?"

"Hey," Michael growled. "I can make Galaxy Subs every bit as good as Maria. You could remember that next time you beg me cook you up some real food."

"You put in too much Tabasco," Kyle was already heading for the small office at the back of the garage.

"Can you take a look at the tranny of that four by four," Kyle's voice called. "Some of the parts are shot, so I think it might need your expert attention. Oh, and call Mrs. Haynes. Her Hyundai's all fixed. The invoice is on the dash. Cash, this time, yeah? Her checks make good basketballs."

"Got it," Michael nodded. "Want me to finish up the Chrysler?"

"Nah." Kyle's voice called. "There's nothing special there. Just the exhaust. I can handle it the normal way when I get back from lunch."

"Kyle?" Isabel called from the doorway.

Kyle stopped his walk toward the office and looked over at the tall blonde. His face lit up. Michael started to smirk. He knew only too well that Kyle had a huge crush on Isabel. He had first seen it during those few months after Tess. The longing glances, the secret looks. The look of devastation when she started dating someone else. He never worried about it because he reminded him of the innocent days of Max pining for Liz; the days before everything blew to hell.

"Over here," Kyle called to Isabel.

Michael suspected that Kyle was hoping that now Isabel was turning to him to pour her heart out to, the closer they would become. Ever since things had started to go wrong for Isabel, the only person she talked to was Kyle. She even avoided Max. Michael didn't mind, though. Kyle was a decent guy, he treated Isabel right, and was okay with who she was. Even Liz had dated him once, so he couldn't be all bad.

"Can you spare a minute?"

Isabel always looked out of place when she visited the garage. All clean and pristine in the middle of all the grease. Not that the garage was dirty. Not when the wave of a hand left it cleaner than many restaurants they had eaten in. Maria had told them that if their garage was clean, they would attract the female population like flies to honey. Great service, clean premises and two hot hunks. What more could a girl want? It worked for Kyle, not that he ever went anywhere with it.

"Sure," Kyle climbed to his feet.

"Whipped," Michael smirked under his breath as they moved out of his earshot.

* * *

Isabel sat in the large armchair in the corner of the office while Kyle washed his hands in the green goo that removed the oil and grease. After rinsing them under the hot water, he turned to his long time friend.

"I could have..." Isabel waved her hands.

"Habit," Kyle shrugged. "And you're not here every day, so..."


"Yeah," Kyle nodded as he unwrapped his sub. "So... what was it you wanted to see me about?

"I got this, today," Isabel laid a document on the table, the right way up so that he could read it.

"Petition for divorce," Kyle shook his head.

During their senior year, while Isabel took classes at the local community college, Phillip Evans had recruited a hot shot lawyer fresh from Harvard, a local boy who wanted to live close to his Mom. Isabel had first become infatuated with Jesse Ramirez and then had fallen in love. At first, they had worked hard to keep their relationship a secret but all too soon, it had come out. After a long and sometimes loud discussion with her parents, Isabel agreed to delay the planned wedding.

For his part, Max had been torn. On the one hand, he wanted to be supportive of his sister, to give her his blessing that she clearly wanted. But on the other hand, he was worried that her difference would do to her what it had done to him and Liz, Michael and Maria's happiness not withstanding. In the end though, Max's biggest concern was Isabel's decision to leave Jesse out of the alien abyss and not tell him of her origins. The secret that she kept from him was reflected in their marriage, and their relationship deteriorated. After only a year, two weeks before Michael and Maria's wedding, while Isabel was busy with the preparations, Jesse left her and moved back to Boston.

"So..." Kyle scanned the paper. "He wants a divorce, huh?"

"Yeah," her voice came out as a whisper. She was barely holding her emotions together. "Irreconcilable differences."

"You expected it, though, yeah?" Kyle felt sympathy for her. "It's not like it's out of the blue. Have you told anyone else yet?"

He longed to gather her in his arms. But he would get oil on her pullover, and even though she could easily remove it, a dirty Isabel was like Max without... was just... wrong.

"I don't know how," she wiped at her eyes. "I can just hear Max now. Told you so. Told you not to get involved."

"He's only looking out for you."

"Well, he was right. He said that as long as I kept the secret it would never work out."

"You have to tell him, Iz," Kyle urged. "Your parents, too. The sooner you tell everyone, the better things will get. You'll see. That which does not kill, only..."

"Shut up Kyle," Isabel gave him a light smile, lighting up Kyle's heart.

* * *

"I'm home," Kyle called, not expecting an answer as he entered the kitchen through the back door.

He slid his keys across the bar, crossed to the refrigerator and pulled out a TV dinner from the icebox. After peeling off the wrapper, he slid the plate into the microwave oven and pressed a series of buttons. While his gourmet feast went nuclear, he disappeared into his bedroom to change from his oily clothes. He returned just as the oven pinged.

"Kyle," Jim Valenti smiled as he entered the kitchen from the back door.

"'Ey, 'ad," he grunted through a forkful of mashed potato. "Oo wan' sum'in 'a ee?"

"Nah, I'm good," Jim smiled as he helped himself to a beer from the fridge. The light reflected against the Sheriff's badge that adorned his chest. Two years ago, Hansen had decided to move to a bigger town, and Jim was the obvious replacement. "I ate earlier."

"M'kay," Kyle nodded.

"Thought I'd just drop home for a beer," Jim collapsed into the sofa in front of the television set. "Say hi to my boy, before I go out and see how everyone is."

"Same 'ol same 'ol," Kyle sighed. "You not on duty tonight?"

"No," Jim groaned. "Just friendship duty. Oh. And Amy and me are going out tomorrow night."

It was a platonic thing. Jim and Amy decided that they enjoyed their own independence and their friendship too much to actually get involved with one another.

"See ya, Dad," Kyle rose as Jim left the house.

He carried the empty packaging back to the kitchen where he dropped the knife and fork into the sink, and the remains of his meal in the trash can. As he returned to the living room, he caught his face in the mirror.
"When your dad gets more action than you," Kyle muttered, "you're either a loser, a monk or you have entered the alien abyss."

Kyle peered closer to his reflection, stuck his tongue out then turned and walked away.
"Or all of the above," he muttered.

* * *

Michael and Maria had recently held a small get together. The Czheckoslovakian club, they had once called it. Out of the original nine members, only four were in attendance. One was dead. Killed long ago by another missing member who was halfway across the universe. Yet another was busy working, keeping the streets safe while the last two, the one time leader and the first human to have joined, were no longer participating members. Inevitably, the subject of those two, Max and Liz and their problems had come up.

Maria stated that everything had changed for them the day Tess had arrived on the scene. Isabel couldn't help wondering if maybe setting off that signal for Nacedo had ruined any chance for their happiness. It had been that that drew Tess and Nacedo here. Kyle firmly believed that him helping Liz deceive Max was what screwed them. Everything before that had been worked through. But Michael had remained quiet. When they finally asked him when it was that he thought things had irrevocably changed for Max, Michael had thought about it for a long time before he finally gave his answer. Though it pained him to admit it, he spoke his mind.

"Max Evans started dying the day he stepped off of that bus and saw Liz Parker. He just didn't know it yet."

* * *

Last edited by WR on Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 2

Post by WR » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:35 pm

Hi Everyone!

Well, after that rather hard reading, I hope you guys will all stick with me. You should all know me well enough by now to know that all will be well. Eventually. But I have to warn you, it really does get darker before the storm, especially in this story. Okay? But trust me when I say that the bumps will be well worth it. :)

I seem to have lost a few people. I do hope that you guys are still reading. :)

As I have said before, while I LOVE the feedback, the fact that you are reading my story means more to me. So I hope you do enjoy this ride, even though for a while, it will be as rocky as heck!

cocopucks - Will do. You might be surprised to see how much of this story is actually written, and how much farther my notes extend. :) I really have the bug with this one. My muse is on fire!

taressa05 - I will explain the Max/Gomez tickets thing, but not right now. Too early. :wink:

aurorasky - Michael's rather profound line at the end was inspired by a line from a Shakespeare play. A special prize for the first person to guess who said what to whom in which play. :wink:

Jen11Star - You will learn more about the Max-skins later. Also about Alison et al.

jbcna - The prologue WILL become clear, eventually. And maybe Max and Liz can learn from their time apart. Maybe. :wink:

Wildshinx - Welcome aboard. Buckle up for a bumpy ride. :)

RoswellScripter - Well, that's good, because I wanted you to feel that sadness. And please don't worry. If you read my "Importnace of Being Elizabeth", "Consequences of Truth" or "Echo" you will know I am quite adept at putting Max and Liz where they belong. :wink:

kay_b - But remember - the Granolith as a time machine was part of the Skins stunt to fool Liz. And you have certainly caught Liz's problems. She sacrificed so much, all for a lie, she feels that she was Max's achilles heel. Thanks for your scrutiny. :)

tequathisy - Well, who (Apart from me and my two beta readers, that is. :wink:) knows what tomorrow will bring.

frenchkiss70 - Not a warp. But a trick, nonetheless. How they pulled it off will become clear later. And yes, Liz was/is devastated.

Galliard - No, Max doesn't hold Liz responsible. He's angry that she is angry at him for doing what she wanted. He is angry that she believes he could be so cruel to her. He is doubting that her feelings for him were ever true. AND he has guilt issues over what he did to her.

AJK001 - Buckle up, 'cause as I said, this will get REAL bad before it gets better. Probably the worst you will have ever seen it. :wink: :twisted:

Emz80m - Broken hearts do the stupidest things. :(

Timelord31 - Liz really needed to stop being so selfless and get selfish for a change. That was her weakness. It's what made her susceptible to the Skin's trick.

icequeen - I'm pretty sure that Max will soon be saying such nice things to Liz that will make you bawl. :)

BelevnDreamsToo - You can't huh? :wink: Well, like I said before. Patience. LOL How's that man on your roof? :wink:

smokie - Actually, this story won't be TOO bad, confusion wise. Pretty soon, you will be in a part of the story yoiu will never want to end. :wink: Yes, both Max AND Liz have a lot to answer for, and hopefully, they will have the time to really talk about it. Writing wise, I am a third of the way through Part 2 which is planned out almost to the end. I still need to plan Part 3. So not almost completely written, just an awful lot written.

SpiderGirl - Wasn't my Cabbages story wierd enoough? :wink:

LTL - Did you see my email to you? Yes, basically, the moment he saw Liz, Max was already on the road that led to that last chapter. How's that for Destiny?

roswellluver - So some good came from Tess. LOL. It's like something I touched on in my Consequences story. Liz surrendered her future with Max so that Maria could have one with Michael. :(

LovinGuerin2Much - I had to rework that talk twice to get all that information across. LOL.

Roswelllostcause - I'm sure Max and Liz will be close really soon. And knowing how my mind works, huh? Hmmm... Why does that bring an evil smirk to my face? :twisted:

dreamerfiend - Oh, please be strong and stick around. It WILL be hard, but you will be so glad that you stayed. Right, Beta Team?

cherie - Nope. Friday's today, :wink: LOL, I hope you engoy the rollercoaster that has just started. :)

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Yup. Thinks will certainly get darker before they get lighter. But oh so worth it. I think. :)

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 2

King Deryn, the High King of Antar and ruler of five planets stared at the desk top, covered in papers and books, his eyes unblinking. He appeared as if he was in a world all of his own.

"Sire?" a soft voice beside him drew his attention.

Deryn blinked a few times as his eyes focused on the man beside him.

"Ah, Khivar," he shook his head to remove his thoughts. "Sorry, I, uh... I was miles away."

"You have much on your mind," Khivar bowed. "I'm only sorry that I intrude."

"What do you want?" The King's steely gaze returned.

"It is nothing that 'I' want, my lord," he bowed again. "It's just... in my duties as Antar's representative in the Senate, I have... heard one or two, shall we say, grumbles. Complaints, sort of."

"Oh?" the king raised an eyebrow. "Here we are on the verge of a golden age, in a time of prosperity and you come to me with word of complaint? What more do the people want?"

"Pride, my lord," Khivar bowed yet again.

"Pride?" the king snorted. "And how is it that they wish for me to deliver them pride? Are they not aware that we are the most advanced civilization in the entire galaxy? That we are among the most advanced in the universe?"

"Fully aware, my lord," Khivar nodded. "But they are also aware that they have nothing to show for it."

"What do you mean?"

"The people, sire, want a monument. But not a statue or a superfluous shape with meaningless words. They want something that would mean... something."

"Like what?"

"A new palace," Khivar shrugged. "It's just... a thought."

"Yes," Deryn nodded. "The Sky Palace is getting a bit old now. It was built seven centuries ago. Technology has moved on since."

"And the people deserve something to reflect this," Khivar looked at the King. "At least, I'm sure you had already considered this."

"I must think about this," the King nodded. "It might not be a bad idea. Though... I'm not sure that the treasury could afford such a venture at this time."

"I'm sure that the trade taxes could stand a slight increase for a short time," Khivar shrugged. "Then when the palace is completed, lower them to a lower rate than they are now, for a while."

"Hmmmm," Deryn narrowed his eyes and rubbed his chin. "You might be on to something."

* * *


Zan sat at the desk, his eyes glued to the rows of strange symbols that covered the pages of the book that was open before him. If he heard the caller, he gave no indication.


Zan's eyes continued to roam across the pages.

"Zan!" the caller almost bellowed in his ear while she slapped her hand down on the page.

Zan leapt backwards, his eyes widening with shock.

"Vilandra!" he groaned. "What did you do that for?"

Zan's sister, younger by one year than Zan's twenty two, stood over him.

"Because I wanted your attention," his sister grinned.

"Well," Zan shook his head. "You have it."

"What's that you're reading?" she lifted the book so she could read the cover.

"It a book on military strategy," Zan smiled. "Colonel Rath loaned it to me."

"I have no idea why you read these things," she shook her head. "It's not like you'll ever be in the army again."

"But one day, I will be a King, Vilandra," he smiled. "And I want to be a good one."

"Well, listen to me and you'll be perfect," she flashed him a smile.

"Right," Zan rolled his eyes. "It wouldn't hurt you to learn, you know. I mean, what if something happened to me and you had to rule? What then?"

"Don't even say that, Zan," Vilandra looked shocked.

"It's something you have to think about. What would you do if the worst happened? Would you like me to teach you?"

"No," Vilandra rolled her eyes.

"But you can teach me," another voice called from the doorway.

"Ava," Zan smiled, rising as his betrothed entered the room. "When did you arrive?"

"Not thirty minutes since," she smiled as she approached Zan.

They pulled each other into a hug.

"Oh, please," Vilandra looked away. "Go somewhere private."

"And my own chambers are not private?" Zan raised an eye.

"You are so..." Vilandra threw her hands in the air. "Ugh! I'm going."

"Now," Zan grinned at Ava. "Where were we?"

"I was serious," Ava pouted, breaking the embrace. "Teach me. I mean, one day I will be your Queen. Teach me that which I should know."

"Very well then," Zan smiled. He led Ava to a table and motioned for her to sit. "As you know, King Deryn, my father, is the High King of Antar. He rules over our planet and those of Parthrea, Kulka, Denst and Torania. Although each planet has its own military forces, they are all technically under the command of King Deryn. It's an honorary thing, really. No one has needed an army for over seven generations, ever since my ancestor unified the Five Planets. Of course, King Deryn doesn't rule unilaterally. No. Although he has the deciding vote, he has the Senate to help him rule. Each planet has a Senator to help Deryn decide upon what policy we will follow. There's Kathana of Parthrea, Sero of Kulka, Hanar of Denst and Larek of Torania. Khivar represents King Deryn as the Senator of Antar, as the King couldn't very well have two votes, could he? No tributes are paid, save the taxes paid on all planetary exports. In turn, these taxes are put to the greater good, funding the huge army Deryn keeps, in case we are attacked by another planet... should they discover our whereabouts and come to conquer."

"I've never understood that, Zan," Ava looked up at him. "How is it that we know of these planets? And how do we know that they are superior to us?"

"The Granolith," Zan smiled.

"I thought that was just a religious icon."

"It's more than that," Zan nodded. "It's knowledge. The Granolith is probably the most advanced computer in the entire universe."

"How would you know that," Ava looked skeptical. "Have you visited the entire universe?"

"No," Zan shook his head. "But the Granolith has."

"What?" Ava's face looked stunned. "I don't understand."

"One of the functions of the Granolith is that it has this incredible... I don't know. Radar, I guess. It sends out these... pulses. So fast, they can travel to the far end of the universe and back in but a few days. Now, as you are aware, not only does Antar revolve around our sun, our sun revolves around our galaxy's center."

"I didn't know that," Ava shook her head.

"You should pay more attention in class," Zan grinned. "It's standard astronomy. Our galaxy revolves around the center of the universe. So do all of the others. All at different speeds. And all the while, moving farther from the center. And they all oscillate, too. Up and down," Zan moved his hands to demonstrate. "So, imagine that the Granolith sends out pulses, say, every five years or so. From the returning echoes, we can determine where these planets are, and whether they are going away from us, or coming closer to us. It can map out the locations of everything that the pulse bounces back from, right? So, over the decades, because we are changing positions too, the Granolith can draw a three dimensional picture of the entire universe."

"A map!" she clapped her hands.

"Exactly," Zan grinned. "But there's more to it. The returning pulse brings with it far more information than just the fact the planet's there. It can bring with it, details of the planet's surface, its atmosphere, if any, and other useful details. From that information, we have built up the location of every planet that supports life, whether that planet's atmosphere would support us, and exactly where they are, technology wise." Zan paused. "Sometimes, it can make its own decisions. It has like... this artificial intelligence or something."

"That's incredible," Ava was awed. "Who invented this thing?"

"That's the thing," Zan frowned. "There's no record of who invented it. It's just... always been here. Maybe it was here first, and invented us?"

"Like a... God?"

"Which would make it a religious icon," Zan laughed. "Sometimes, I swear, it's controlling us rather than the other way around."

"It does more than that, though. Right?"

"I believe so," Zan nodded. "Its radar abilities have proved useful for things like meteors. If you interface a weapon to it, and it detects an approaching meteor, it can shoot it down, so to speak."

"Or a ship."

"A ship?"

"Yeah," Ava nodded. "If an enemy ship approached, it could annihilate it."

"I suppose it could," Zan agreed.

"Or another planet?"

"If the weapon was powerful enough," Zan chuckled.

"Which I expect the Granolith would know how to make."

"I suppose it would," Zan nodded.

"So, something this powerful," Ava considered. "That's another reason why we need such a large army, right? To protect it?"

"That's right," Zan laughed at her enthusiasm. "Now, we have split our military machine into three Battalions. The First Battalion, led by General Dray, is the home defense force. They provide the Royal Guard, as well as policing the planet itself. They're the ones that will defend us in the event of an invasion. The Second Battalion, led by General Traydn is our hammer. The strike force. It's by far the biggest and best equipped, because this is the Battalion that will conduct any counter attacks, should we ever be invaded. Assuming, of course," Zan gave Ava a sideways smirk, "that we don't use the Granolith to, uh, 'annihilate' their planet."

She kicked him on his shin.

"The Third Battalion is like our... special forces. They do our covert operations, our hit and runs. They would be used to attack the rear of any besieging armadas. It's quite a formidable force itself. General Nikolas leads them, and if we have a better tactician than him, then I don't know who he is. The man's brilliant."

"Suppose the other four planets allied themselves against us? Who would win?"

"Us," Zan smiled. "Without a doubt. Our army is twice the size of theirs combined, and we also have the Granolith." His face took on a mask of concern. "But why would they even think of doing that?"

"I don't know," Ava pouted. "It was just a question. So Rath gave you another book?"

"Yeah," Zan grinned. "It's Nikolas's latest book on military strategy. Listen to this," Zan picked up the book. "It is not enough to know what your opponent is planning. Sometimes, it is of no value at all. It is, however, important to know what you are planning. And sometimes, you have to allow your plan to fail before your plan can succeed. Sometimes you might have to sacrifice part of yourself to let the other part grow."

"What the heck does that mean?" Ava growled.

"I have no idea," Zan laughed. "But isn't it brilliant?"

"If you say so," she didn't look convinced. "You like him, don't you?"

"Who? Nikolas? Yeah, I just told you..."

"No. Rath."

"Oh, yeah," Zan nodded. "Ever since I was a cadet and served under him... I don't know. He's like... a really good friend."

"He has a huge following, doesn't he," Ava looked at the window. "Rath, I mean. There was a crowd of people in the market the other day, calling for Rath to be given more status. And he's quite handsome. In fact, if I wasn't betrothed to you, I might speak to my father about uniting Rath's house with ours. Even Khivar would be a great catch. I hear he's unmarried, too."

"Thanks," Zan grunted dryly. "Both of those guys are twice your age, Ava."

"What does age have to do with it? And Rath is only five years older than me while Khivar is only ten years older. But in any case," she reached over and kissed his cheek. "I have you, so you don't have to worry."

"I wasn't worried," Zan lied.

"You look so cute when you're jealous," Ava hooted.

"Besides," Zan grumbled. "I think my sister has already beaten you to him. Rath and my father spoke only last week. I expect that they'll be announcing their betrothal any day now."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 3

Post by WR » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:17 pm

Hi everyone,

Well, thank you all so much for the feedback, and I'm glad that you all seem to be sticking with me, even if you do drop back into lurkdom occaisionally. :) And for all you lurkers, well, just keep on reading and I will be happy. :)

It's kind of worrying to write a story in which you have someone's favorit characters apart. You constantly worry that you will lose their interest beccause they find it too hard to follow. So all I can say is, please remember that I have never let anyone down. Yet. :wink:

Oh, yeah!! Additionally, thank you all so much for nominating "Of Cabbages and Kings" for the "Best Supporting Portrayal of Maria Deluca" for which I appeard to have won. :) Thank you so very much for voting for me. What a pleasant surprise. :)

And I see I'm up for a few in part 3, too! :) Awesome. Even if it's not for me, please go and cast your votes. And if you do vote for me, then Thank you so much. :)

alienmom - Thank you for that, just be sure to delurk from time to time to say hi. :)

RoswellScripter - Well, why shouldn't Zan have liked Ava? Even if it was arranged, I'm sure they would have at least been friends. :wink:

Evans3 - Well, enjoy your Summer Vacation, but please do take a moment through you days of action packed fun to drop in and say hi. :)

taressa05 - Well, I'm not really sure that what Zan gave up was exactly top secret. At the summit, everyone seemed to know that the Granolith's capabilities.

youre my dreamgirl - Ah, the joys of new computers. :) Oh yes. You will see tons more of their past lives. :wink:

jbcna - Fear not for it all starts to settle down. Well, as settled as I ever let it. :wink:

icequeen - Right. Why should Zan have any suspicions over anyone around him. So far, his life has been pretty peaceful. :)

roswck - Maybe she's just being a little ... flighty? :wink:

Wildsphinx - Well, hang on, 'cause those bumps... :wink:

Ellie - Yes, you qare so right. Remember that Zan does not know Liz, and so why shouldn't he be friendly with his betrothed?

smokie - Wit till you read the rest of my backstory! :wink: :) And no legal action from me. :wink:

kay_b - Please feel free to scrutinize my fic to your hearts content. :) And ask as amny questions as you want. I may not answer them, but ask anyway. :wink:

Smac - Out of curiousity, how long did it take to read BRH, start to finish? Welcome back :)

Grace52373 - My backstory will make their relatioships more clear. The sad thing about Max and Liz is that they will always love each other. But can they really trust that they won;t keep doing the wrong things, even if it is for the right reasons. :(

Timelord31 - Thank you. :)

frenchkiss70 - I think it's safe to say that Zan simply feels comfortable that he enjoys the compnay of the woman he is betrothed to. It could have been worse ;)

AJK001 - Please please please please please, dont EVER give up on this story. You will thanks me for that advice later. ;)

Teresa - Thank you. :) I know things are hectic for you right now, so glad to see you here. :)

tequathisy - Hmmm... What could lives on Antar, decades ago have to do with kids in a coma now? he he he he. :wink:

Asabetha - Thank you. Hope you are enjoying. :)

BehrObsession - Yes, remember that I CAN be trusted. :)

Sali103 - Well, lurk to you hearts content, but please drop in from time to time and say hi. :) And I post every Friday.

Liz Parker Evans - Oooops. You should have emailed me and asked me not to start posting my story till AFTER your finals. :wink: Sorry. But hey, good luck anyway! And thank you. :)

cherie - Yeah. It's funny how Kivar, Ava and Nikolas are always hated/mistrusted. Hmmm... Have we seen Zan and Kivar, Rath and NIkolas, Ava and Vilondra in the same scene yet? :wink::wink::wink: LOL.

Jen11Star - Like I said, I doubt anything Zan said is top secret. But Ava did seem to be digging, huh?

roswellluver - Yes, monumentally ;)

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Max(Zan, actually) admiring Nickolas, why shouldn't he? As I said, Zan has no reason yet to mistrust him. And, uh... :wink: Tissue alert! :wink:

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 3

A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
Finds a streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it?

The sleek, black and very expensive BMW slowed to a stop just outside the entrance to the old the Chisholm Trail Trailer Park. The smart, young businesswoman inside looked through the tinted windows at the site. The old frame that marked the gateway, built from long, straight branches hacked from nearby trees was more weathered and beaten than she remembered. Of course, it was a few years older now. It had been a long time since she had last visited this place. Back then, when they had spied on an FBI agent, she had never once thought she would see the day when she would again visit this place. Especially once Michael Guerin had left the 'protective' custody of one Hank Guerin. Elizabeth Parker waited in the car, the engine still running so that the air conditioning would keep her cool while she waited for the choking dust to settle outside. This was not a visit she was looking forward to.

Because of the chaos that had been her life during high school, Liz had fallen a little behind, academically. Although she had still graduated close to the top of her class, she had missed out on a place at Harvard. Although academically sound, she was not considered 'rounded' enough for them. If fact, she had not even been considered suitable for a number of establishments. In the end, Liz had been forced to accept a position at the University of New Mexico, where she at least managed to pursue her microbiologist dreams.

At college, Liz was an exemplary student. She worked hard to pass her course. In fact, Liz worked so hard, it had left little time for a personal life. During her vacations, Liz took additional assignments to earn extra credits. She never once dated, not even when her few friends tried to Shanghai her into attending blind dates they had set up at the various parties around campus. Liz was all about work. She managed to graduate from college a whole year early. Her achievements had attracted the attention of Harris Enterprises, who had promptly offered her a research position at their plant near Albuquerque, where she was involved in top secret work revolving around cancer medication, as well as being given the opportunity to conduct research of her own. Maria had been right. Liz had become a workaholic.

At long last, she reached forward and twisted the key, stilling the engine and the cooling fans. Sliding the key from the ignition, and clasping the large metal disk that served as the key fob, she pushed open the door and stepped out into the hot, dry Roswell sunshine. Liz had changed very little in the last few years. She was still small, but she now kept her dark hair cut short, almost boyish. Immaculately dressed in a sharp business suit, she smoothed the creases of her pants with the palm of her hand. After she straightened her jacket, she adjusted her sunglasses. She twisted slightly, aiming her key at the car. It responded with an audile 'plip plip' and a flash of its lights. Taking a deep breath, Elizabeth Parker strode with purpose into the Trailer Park, her high-heeled shoes kicking up the dust. Her fingers caressed the metal disc of the key fob every step of the way.

The inhabitants of the park - at least, those who had already crawled from their beds, were not exactly known for their enthusiasm. Wearing string vests and shorts, a few overweight slobs, already partially drunk on beer even though it was only just after lunchtime had braved the early afternoon heat and now watched the girl with unguarded interest. Each harbored their own thoughts about the woman, and then voiced their fantasies to their comrades only when she had passed. As she went by each dilapidated trailer - many extended with an assortment of self-made add-ons, she counted. At last, she reached the one she had been seeking. Looking around her, she took another deep breath. While this one was not in as bad a condition as the others - a sign of its owner and his particular talents, perhaps, it was still old and only just holding together. She lifted her hand and made a fist, berating herself for the slight shake she felt. Three times, she rapped her knuckles against the side of the screen door, which wobbled and bounced in the ill-fitting frame.

The man who opened the interior door was not like the other inhabitants of the park. Whereas the other occupants seemed to be fat, slovenly, unkempt and unshaven, this one was tall, lean, and clean. He wore faded jeans and a T-shirt that advertised a beer he would never get to taste, but they looked presentable. He looked as fit as he had all those years ago. Whatever else he had done, he had not let himself go. She forced down the long dormant feelings that tried to well up. He did, however, posses an empty, hollow expression and his face bore the scars of many, many disappointments.

"Oh," he nodded once. "It's you." No trace of emotion flickered across his face.

Max Evans turned back into the trailer, leaving the interior door open.

Well you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
you can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
you promised me everything you promised me thick and thin
now you just say oh Romeo yeah you know I used to have a scene with him

* * *

He knew that what he had wasn't much of a life, but it was what he needed right now. He had a son to find. A son who was being held captive by his mortal enemy. When he had finished high school, Max chose to forgo College and found himself a cheap trailer at the Chisholm Trail Trailer Park, where Michael had lived all those years ago. The idea had been - and still was - that he would have no one to answer to, no one who would ask him where he had been, no one to wonder where the money to pay the next bill would come from. Now it was he who lived a lonely existence, ready to run at the drop of a hat, while he searched for answers, and it was Michael who had the anchors, the secure, happy home life... a family, and the girl who loved him unconditionally. How things had changed.

Although they understood his obsession, Max would never let his friends take part in his quest. It was his mess and it was he who had to deal with it. They had their lives to lead, he had his. He knew that they saw only destruction down his particular path but they also knew that a stubborn Max could not be turned. There was only one force who could do that, and she did not seem interested any more. In the five years since Tess's departure, Max had been busy, trying to find any trace of the spaceship they had crashed to the planet in, all in the name of finding a way back to Antar and his son. It was true to say that Max was no longer Max. He had vanished a long time ago and was now just a shell, a fragment of his former self. A little while ago, Max had scared everyone when he asked them all why they had bothered to rescue him from Pierce in the first place.

He never mentioned her, but everyone knew that when he wasn't thinking about his quest, Max was thinking about Liz. It was the only time his eyes looked anything like normal - albeit sad. It was also apparent that he went out of his way to avoid seeing her. They knew that it was too painful for him; a reminder that he had once had it all, and then thrown it away. It was only his loyalty to his best friend and brother that he stood by Michael's side at his wedding, enduring what was for him, the agony of the torture that his heart and soul experienced by seeing her, by being close to her. Feeling her.

Excluding her.

* * *

I can't do the talk like the talk on the tv
and I can't do a love song like the way its meant to be
I can't do everything but I'd do anything for you
can't do anything except be in love with you

Accepting Max's response to her as an invitation to enter, Liz pulled the screen door open. Treading as if she feared that she might fall through a rotting floor panel, or that she might step in something unsavory, Elizabeth Parker stepped up into the trailer. She could hear no hum of an air conditioner but the room felt cool. She wondered if Max had consciously lowered the temperature for her. Her eyes darted around the trailer, seeing that while tidy, it was clear that he lived a Spartan life. The kitchen was clean, showing no traces that he cooked there, but she saw the telltale box of a take out pizza in the garbage. The whole place looked more like a workshop than a dwelling place. She looked over to where Max was now sitting, at a table on which sat a very impressive piece of electrical machinery. Her eyes momentarily widened in curiosity and even though this was hidden by her sunglasses, Max caught every muscle flicker. He still knew how to watch her surreptitiously. She felt the floor bow beneath her feet as she approached him.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Ever the scientist," he started to smirk.

"Yeah," she nodded back. "You know me."

"It's a communicator," he indicated with his small screwdriver. "At least, I hope it will be one. I'm hoping I can use it to..." His voice fell. "Check on my son. See that he's okay."

She nodded, her fingers teasing the large, shiny key fob still in her hand.

"So... how are you?" his eyes focused on a small screw in an inaccessible position.

"Good," Liz continued to nod. "Good. You?"

"I'm good," he nodded as he concentrated on a small stream of energy to tighten it.

"It felt strange coming here," she looked around the trailer.

There were no touches that personalized his... house. There were no pictures of family, or of friends. No ornaments. This place could never be called a home.

"'Spect it did," he nodded. "When was the last time you were here? Topolski?"

"How's it going? The search, I mean," Liz waved her hand upwards. "Have you had any luck?"

"Well, I found that crystal... diamond thing," he looked at her. "As you know, I think it's like a key to the ship. The one that crashed. I found references to it when I searched through... Tess's stuff. After she left."

Liz winced when he said her name.

"I even found the place they were hiding it, but they moved it before I could get there."

"Oh," Liz looked down. "I'm sorry to hear that."

"Don't be," Max shrugged. "And I lost the trail of the other shapeshifter. I was so sure I'd find him in Hollywood."

"But you lost him, huh?"

"Yeah. It's like he doesn't want me to find him."

"Maybe he doesn't."

"Maybe," Max could only nod.

"Max," Liz sucked in a breath. "If you find it. The ship. Promise me... Promise me that you'll say good bye to me. Before you leave."

"I will," he nodded, fully meaning it.

The room fell silent.

"What is it you wanted, Liz?" Max slowly reached the screwdriver into a narrow recess. "I mean, I assume you came here for a reason."

"I'm getting married," she blurted.

The screwdriver froze. So did Max. After a couple of heartbeats, he started to breathe again and the screwdriver continued its delicate journey.

"Congratulations," his voice came out slightly lower than a moment before. "When?"

"The end of next month," she whispered.

"Oh," Max sighed. "I didn't even know you were dating anyone."

"I'm not surprised," Liz shrugged. She was glad that the sunglasses hid the unshed tears in her eyes. "You don't know anything about my life any more."

"True," Max nodded again.

"I, uh... started dating him. Just after Christmas."

"Almost a year, huh?" Max looked up for a moment and then concentrated on his task. "Do you love him?"

"What do you think?" her eyebrows arched above the dark glasses.

"So... do you..." he paused. "Sorry. None of my business."

"Do we what, Max?" her voice came out sharper than she had planned. "Do we fuck?"

"Sorry. Like I said. None of my business." He waved his hand. "Forget I said that. I had no right. Uhm..." He shrugged. What else could he say? "Congratulations."

"'Kay," she let her anger dissipate.

"So... who's the lucky guy?" he asked. Not him, that was for sure.

"It's uh," she paused. "Alastair Harris."

"Ah," Max smirked. "The boss's son, huh?"

"Yeah," Liz exhaled. "It certainly gives me a lot more freedom in my research."

"Isn't he like... ten years older than you?"

Liz just shrugged. The room fell silent again.

"So, I guess I'll go now," she indicated the door.

"Right, right," Max returned to his work. "Have you seen your parents yet?"

Liz shook her head.

"They're next."

"And I expect Maria will be waiting," Max's smile did not reach his eyes. "You'll be discussing wedding plans over a bucket of ice cream, huh?"

"Probably," Liz agreed.

"Just in case," he looked up. "You don't have to worry about me, or anything. You know... awkward moments. There's uh... no need to send me an invitation. That should make it easier. You know, wondering if I might be offended or not."

Liz just nodded.

"So I'll see you at Michael and Maria's party?"

"I doubt it," Max shook his head. "I don't really... my work," he indicated the radio again.

"Well," she took a deep breath. "Goodbye, Max."

She turned to leave.

"Oh, by the way," he called. "Happy Birthday."

"It's not my birthday, Max," she looked at him closely.

He pointed his chin at the wall behind her. She looked at the page a day, tear off calendar. A big black 18 stared back at her. September the 18th. Liz hurried to the door.

"For me, today is always your birthday."

She turned again, her eyes stinging.

"Liz," he called again before she was halfway through the door. Softer this time.

She stopped, but she didn't turn to face him. She didn't want him to see the tears that were now rolling down her cheek.

"Yeah?" she replied, fighting against the tightness in her throat.

"I hope you find happiness. I really do." He swallowed. "Of all of us, you deserve it the most."

Liz remained silent while she wrestled for control of her vocal chords.

"Thank you, Max." She heard the screen door slam behind her.

Liz practically ran all the way back to her car with her tears flowing freely now. She didn't have to worry about appearances anymore and she let her distress flow freely. Liz did not know that at this precise moment, Max too was giving in to emotions that he had thought long buried. A pool of warm, salty water was collecting on the Formica table, just below the spot where Max's head was resting against it as he too was crying his heart out.

Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
and I bet and you exploded in my heart
and I forget I forget the movie song
when you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong juliet?

* * *

Liz sat at the wheel for a long time. There was a part of her that hoped Max would come running out to her. That he would pull her from the car and tell her that she was not marrying Alastair, that he wanted her for himself. She knew that Max would never do that. Not her Max. Instead, she cried, allowing the tears to flow, for the last time, she promised. After this, she had to live her life. After having gained control of her shaking body, he started the car. The cool air started to pour out, chilling the interior of the car, making her wet face feel cold. Slipping the shift into Drive, Liz checked her mirror and pulled out into the road.

She had lived in Roswell nearly all her life and things had hardly changed in the last five years. She could find home from here on autopilot. So she drove with one hand while the other tried to mop up the tears that continued to flow. She could have told him. She could have told Max that she didn't love Alastair, that she could never, ever love anyone else. She could have said that the only reason she agreed to become his trophy wife was so that she could do more research. She could have told Max that the only way to stop her from thinking of Max was to do her work.
"When are you ever going to realize, Max Evans?" she shouted out. "Everyone is always going to be second best, compared to you."
She was on Main Street, now. She would be at her parents' home in five minutes. Something caught her eye. Liz blinked. She wiped the tears from her eyes and looked again. She saw something that she should definitely not have been seeing. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something else. Something else that definitely had no business being where it was.

* * *

For almost a full hour, Max had been unable to reign in his emotions so that he could continue his work. His hands shook too much. Even though he had been suspecting that one-day, he would hear that Liz was getting married; he had been unprepared for the reality of it. The truth was; Max still loved her. He always would. He resisted the temptation to run after her, to pull her from her car, kiss her senseless and tell her that she was not marrying some fancy dan while he still had breath to prevent it. But he doubted that they could ever be truly happy together. They were both still haunted by things that they had done to each other. Neither could forgive themselves, even though they could easily forgive the other. They would forever wallow in the misery that they had inflicted. No, it was better that she moved on with her life while he... What? Went on with his? No matter what, though, he would always remember Liz Parker and the way she once made him feel.


For Max, his life could never move forward while Khivar and Tess held his son prisoner. And he could never inflict his situation on Liz. It was the ringing of his cell phone that finally brought him back to reality.

"Yeah?" he almost sighed into the mouth piece.

"All right, buddy," Maria giggled. "Are you ever going to let Liz go?"

"What do you mean, Maria?" he frowned as he slid from behind the table and stood up.

"She's there, isn't she," he could sense her smirk. "You made up and now you won't let her go, right? Too much passion?"

"Liz isn't here, Maria," Max shook his head, aware that she wouldn't see his motion. "She left an hour ago, said she was going to stop by her parents and then come to see you."

"Oh," Maria sounded surprised. There was a pause. "I figured..."

"You figured wrong," he sighed. It was Max's turn to pause. "Maria. She told me she was getting married."

"Oh," Maria's voice fell. Her tone suggested to Max that she already knew. "Max, I'm so sorry. So, how are you taking it?"

"It had to happen," Max exhaled deeply. "She's beautiful, she's intelligent. She's loyal. I mean, who wouldn't want to marry Liz."

"You, apparently."

"Maria," Max groaned. "Don't start."

"What? You did ask."

"It was a rhetorical question."

"When did she leave?"

"About an hour ago. Maybe she stopped at the cemetery."

"Hmmm... Maybe."

"Stop worrying, Maria," Max soothed.

A chill descended upon Max. His heart went cold. Really, really cold. Max's stomach lurched upwards and he collapsed to the floor as though an earthquake had struck the trailer. He couldn't help his sharp cry of pain, even though he had not been injured.

"Max?" Maria sounded concerned. "Max, what's wrong?"

"Oh, God," he cried. "Maria, call the sheriff. No. Call Michael first. Tell him to meet me outside the garage. I'm on my way now."

"What's happening?" she was crying with fear, but he cut her off.

Max was already moving as he closed his phone. He almost ran clean through the door. Pulling his keys from his pocket, Max leapt into the old beaten Jeep that had long since seen better days. His tires spun in the dust and he raced out of the park at speeds well in excess of the speed limit. His tires complained as he threw his Jeep into the corners. His phone rang again.

"Just ring him, Maria!" Max barked into it. "I'll talk later."

"It's not Maria, Max," a somber voice spoke to him.

Max pulled up short.

"It's Jim. I'm on Main Street, just up from Pendleton." There was a deadly pause. "Max. You'd better come. It's Liz. She's..."

* * *

duh... duh... duuuuhhhhhh

Last edited by WR on Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 4

Post by WR » Fri Jul 08, 2005 1:47 pm

Hello everyone,

First of all, to help you rest at ease, I was totally unaffected (physically) by the bombs that went off in London. Thank you for your concern. Hitler couldn't bomb the British into submission, and neither could the IRA. I doubt a bunch of Extremists will even make a dent. We've played with the big boys, Osama, and compared to them, you are a two bit cowardly punk.

Sorry. :wink:

The amazing thing about feedback is that I love seeing how these little ideas I get in the back of my mind hit you. I imagine how you would react and then when you do as I hoped, then I feel I'm doing a good job. Just keep that faith, okay?

taressa05 - Proposal denied. :wink: Hey, this is probably my most evil cliffhanger yet. I plan to milk this one, because there aren;t any more real bad ones for a while. LOL

polar vixen - Anything to bring out the lurkers! :wink: Now, hwta else can I do. Oh yeah! :twisted:

LovinGuerin2Much - Yes, and actually, it was a hard chapter to write, too. :(

icequeen - I had to wonder what Liz would do in her situation. Naturally, Maria would have advised her, so I came up with this. :wink:

aurorasky - It's like I said in chapter 1, Tess ripped a hole the size of Texas. :wink:

Timelord31 - You missed evil. :wink:

youre my dreamgirl - Worst? worst? That was my BEST! And... Would I? :twisted::wink:

RoswellScripter - I love saying this. :wink: Yes I can. :wink:

alienmom - Ah me. Yup. Cruel, evil. Oh yeah! Who said anything about a time limit? Only 7 days? :wink: :twisted:

Galliard - What can I say? I'm an evil soap guy. :wink: And you are right. You will feel so sorry for Alistair.

Liz Parker Evans - I can see it now. If you fail, you will blame me, won;t you. LOL If she's hurt, you can bet Max will heal her. :wink:

rar1942 - LOL! :wink:

Jen11Star - Ah. A connoisseur! (How did the interviews go?)

tequathisy - You can't? Haven;t youread my other stories? :twisted: :wink: As hurt as they are, they both still want to be together. But they are both afraid.

AJK001 - LOL. You have sussed me. Each story, I make it darker and darker. But then, the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and brighter, so in the end, you guys win. :)

kay_b - LOL. Just me being, well, me. :) Hey, wait a minute. You beat me into second place for Fic with the best Music use. Harumph! :wink: Congratulations, BTW :)

cocopucks - Yes, Max and Liz are still connected. And I can;t see Max letting Liz marry someone else without a fight. He need something to jar him into action. Like a ...

frenchkiss70 - Well, you can;t stay the King of Cliffies sitting on your butt, you know. :wink: But don't worry. NExt week, Max says some really nice things that will bring tears to your eyes. :)

ladylou - That well known song, of course, is Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits. Now if only my other answers could be so easy. :wink:

Emz80m - You can't? :wink: Course you could. It's 'me'.

BelevnDreamsToo - Yup. You warned me. "Wayne," you said, "You're evil. Now hurry up and post that chapter. I want to see them all suffer!" :wink:

mareli - Good to have you back. :) Yup. Things are bad for our group, excpet M/M. Feel free to pm me with your thoughts about the little girl.

Alyshia - Thank you. And here I am to post again. :)

roswck - Why is it no one can believe that I would do thsesthings? Every week. :wink: LOL.

smokie - You said it. And I happen to think my grammer teacher would be proud. :wink: Theres the problem. They both pretend to be indifferent and they both know the other is only pretending, but they can;t see a way forward. :(

Smac - Liz will always be beautifull to Max. It's more than her appearance. Notice that Liz never answered his questions?

mezz - That really made me chuckle, all that knee slapping and stuff. :wink:

roswellluver. Thank you. :)

Asabetha - Yup :)

BehrObsession - Well, look at it this way. The sooner I work out all of my evilness, the sooner you get to the goodness. And are my good parts not worth witing for? :wink:

Roswelllostcause - Wait a second. Let me get this right. If something bad happens to Liz, you would make your way over here to find me? Heck, tell me what airport/port you'll be at and I'll come and get you. :) I'm a big guy so you wouldn't scare me and I like meeting new people. :wink: Hah! Your bluff has been called. IF it had to be, bacause maybe Liz is perfectly all right. :)

Micheala41 - Yup, join the cliffhanger haters club, aka Wayne's Feedbackers. :wink:

Sali103 - Ah yes. What indeed? :wink:

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Keep hanging in there, Nora. The ride's not over yet. :wink: And thank you. :)

BlueStar - Thank you for your kind words. And the sad fact is, there is more wrong in the Middle East than just the incolvement of the US and the UK in a war there. I don't think it will ever get settled, because although there are many sides, each side has many more sides and I think everyone wants something different. Sigh. :(

Is anyone out there really really really good with image manipulations? I have something that I just cannot get right for a banner and need some help. It involves a lot of cutting, repositions and some shading/touching (especially shadows) up.
PM me if you can help. (and you can spare me the time) and give me a few pointers to some tricky stuff you have already done.
Thanks :)

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 4

"What is it?" Senator Larek of Torania looked up from his desk to his assistant, Natuk who had just entered the room.

"I have a message, Larek," Natuk handed him a sealed foil.

"Who's it from?" Larek frowned as he turned the foil over in his hands.

"I found it at the door," Natuk shrugged. "There was no one about. Just that."

"Well, only one way to find out," Larek looked up and grinned.

Returning to the foil, he ripped open the end and pulled out the small note inside. His eyes widened as he read. His face grew red.

"Natuk!" he yelled, even though his assistant was still only a few paces from him. "He's gone too far this time! Too far, I tell you."

"Who, Larek?" Natuk frowned. "What has he done?"

"Get me the others," he barked, throwing the note onto his desk. "Call Sero... and Hanar... and Kthana. Right away." He paused. "And get me Khivar! On a separate line. There will be hell to pay for this!"

* * *


The High King of Antar moved through the corridors of the Sky Palace with a face like thunder.

"Ghent," he bellowed again. "Where the hell are you?"

"My lord," a small, wizened old man scurried from a side corridor. "Here, my lord."

"Summon the Senate, at once," the King commanded.

"By your command, Sire," the old man tried to bow as he continued to scurry in the footsteps of his king. "What do I say when the delegates ask why?"

The King stopped abruptly. Ghent only just managed to avoid colliding with him.

"Tell them," he hissed as he glared at his chamberlain, "that I am summoning the Senate. Is that not enough for them?"

"At once, Sire," Ghent managed a proper bow.

Bowing all the time, he walked backwards until he was clear of his king's view, and ears.

"Prick," he spat, turning to head toward the communications center.

* * *

"Hello, Ghent," the officer of the day nodded as the King's chamberlain walked in.

"Captain Leygn," Ghent nodded. "By order of his majesty, would you be so kind as to summon the Senators of Parthrea, Kulka, Denst, Torania and Antar. He wishes to call Senate."

"What for?" Captain Leygn looked at the chamberlain with widened eyes. "There were no outstanding measures to be discussed, and I haven't heard of any new matters arising. What's going on?"

"How should I know?" Ghent snapped. "I was given an order by my King and I have just carried it out. I suggest you do the same."

Captain Leygn blinked at the acidity in Ghent's voice.

"What's crawled up his ass?" a subordinate murmured as Ghent stormed out of the room.

"King Deryn is calling a Senate."

"I wonder what's up now?" the man mumbled.

"King's probably feeling lonely," Leygn smirked.

"Maybe he should go find his wife, then. Perhaps she can take his mind off of matters."

"She hasn't taken his mind off of matters since Vilandra was born," Leygn grinned. "What makes you think she would do it now?"

"Hey," the soldier smirked. "It's his godly right."

"Right," the captain rolled his eyes. "That's why Dalena moved to the other side of the palace in the first place. 'Cause that was 'her' godly right. Now stop making jokes about your king and send the message."

* * *

"There's Sero from Kulka," Zan nodded at the tall but aging man as he climbed from his shuttle, surrounded by his red suited personal guard. "The Kulkans are honorable men, but they make fierce warriors. If they had half the population of Antar, they might make a fine army, big enough to cause problems for us."

"Why don't they try?" Vilandra watched the procession. "You know, take over, I mean."

"Don't you know anything?" Ava rolled her eyes. "The Kulkan term of gestation is almost two years. And their women can't conceive again for another ten. So it would take them like, forever."

"It would take them generations to even match where we are now, Lonnie," Zan smiled. "And by then, we would have increased in size, too."

"So who's this?" Ava pointed at the green soldiers climbing from the newly arrived shuttle.

"Ah," Zan grinned. "Don't you recognize him, Ava?"

"Oh, yeah," she smiled. "Larek. From Torania." She leaned forward to talk to Vilandra standing on the other side of Zan. "He's the one who introduced us."

"Yeah," the princess nodded. "I remember. Dinamaras... something."

Ava pulled herself tighter into Zan's embrace. Zan, meanwhile, wrapped an arm around his sister.

"Look. There's Hanar, from Denst," Vilandra continued. "I spent a wonderful summer on Denst."

"Didn't Khivar go there, too?" Ava looked at Zan. "Some trade mission, or something."

"But that was on the other side of the planet," Vilandra looked at Ava. "He could have come and said hello to me."

"I wish I could spare some time for a vacation," Zan sighed. "It's always work and study for me."

"You'll have your vacation soon enough," Ava winked at him. "Our honeymoon."

"And there's Kathana," Zan indicated.

"From Parthrea," Ava nodded. "So everyone's here."

"Notice that none of them looked too happy?" Zan narrowed his eyes. "I wonder what's going on."

"Whatever it is, I hope it doesn't have an effect on our economy," Ava toyed with her fingers. "We're on the verge of a golden age, you know. Daddy's fortune has almost doubled this last year."

"I don't think the King would want to see your father lose out," Zan smirked. "He has to keep you in clothing. And the Lord only knows how much your wedding dress will cost."

Ava punched Zan's arm with a growl.

"Will you be allowed to attend the Senate, Zan?" Vilandra asked.

"I'm not sure," he shook his head as he rubbed his arm. "Father did say that I could attend the next Senate. But maybe this is an emergency."

"All the more reason for you to attend, brother dearest."

"Just don't forget to tell us what's going on," Ava smirked.

* * *

Sorry it's so short. It's just the way this part of the story unfolds.
Last edited by WR on Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 5

Post by WR » Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:20 pm


Has a week rolled by already? Where does the time go, when you're having fun? And look at that? I found a way to keep a regular post AND extend a cliffhanger. Oh, does that spell bad news for you guys! LOL :wink:

Actually, as cliffhangers go, that was probably the last really bad one for some time.

Now, this has NOTHING to do with this story, but I have some good news, some great news, and some bad news. :wink:

The great new first. I have [finally] finished Home for the Holidays - Auld Lang Syne - a single part extension to my Holidays series. I just need my Beta for that story to reappear and presto. :) I will post it.

Now, the good news. When I write these stories, every now and then, I take a break by dabbling with something else. Well, a certain something I dabbled with a week or so ago, I sent to one of my Beta Team. I think she was impressed bacause she has been threatening me with violence if I don't continue. It's fluff, and I *think* you might enjoy it. She sure is. :wink:

Now the bad news. No one came forward with any kind of art skills, and I am not even going to THINK about posting this story until I have a banner for it. :wink: I *really* need someone who can manipulate (masks, layers, blending, that sort of thing) So until I either learn myself, or someone volunteers, you going to have to wait for this rather fluffy peice of AU M&L. Oh, but fear not. It will NOT impact on Red Shift.

Thanks for you continuing good wishes and support.

N O T I C E S..... :wink:

LovinGuerin2Much - Yes, thinks are hotting up on Antar. (Did you ever go and read any of my other work?)

BehrObsession - There does seem to be some strange backround manouvering going on. :wink:

taressa05 - Actually, the confusion won;t last much longer. The first part of this story get finished with really quick. :)

icequeen - No one ever trsust Ava. I wonder why? :wink:

roswellluver - brewing, fermenting and being bottled! :wink:

RoswellScripter - Well, fear not. Here is more. It unfortuneately worked out that the point I wanted to end Part 1 with was realatively quick, so the Antar chapters will be rather short, I'm afraid.

BelevnDreamsToo - Êtes-vous sentant peu un suffisant? Apologies to my French readers. :wink:

kay_b - Yes, Zan it not yet the King. He's still just a prince.

aurorasky - Thank you. :)

Evans3 - Thank you taking the time out from your busy day to read my story. :) Watch out for them spiders. :wink:

brighteyes - We find out what happened to Liz tonight. And yup. Cruel. :wink:

Timelord31 - Absolutely. I'm laying the foundation for Zan's eventual overthrow.

Smokie - Every time someone leaves me feedback, that is an award as fr as I am concerned. But thank you four you kind opinions. :)

AJK001 - And the J would stand for...? :wink:
Thanks you. :)

tequathisy - No no no no no, PLEASE do not discover any self control! I love getting my fb on a weekly basis and you know I'm good for coming back week after week. :)

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Definately forshadowing. We will get to Liz tonight, and see what it was that she saw, and why Jim called Max.

frenchkiss70 - Oh oh. More threats? Please! Someone out there HAS to be good with PSP or Photoshop!!! That will save me. :wink:

Scottie - WB! :) Missed you. That was one long vacation, huh? :wink: No manicures needed for this story. I don't think. Just tissues. Please hang on to that faith and really really trust me. :)

Roswelllostcause - Glad your sisters friend was okay. So many made the call and got on that bus. :(

jbangelo - Thank you :) HAve you read anything else of mine?

Galliard - Well, I hope that I can continue to keep your interest. Things reallt so start moving tonight. :)

cherie - We all know M&L can NEVER stay closed off for long. :wink:

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 5

Chapter 5

She took off a silver locket she said remember me by this
She put her hand in my pocket I got a keepsake and a kiss
And in the roar of the dust and diesel I stood and watched her walk away
I could have caught up with her easy enough but something must have made me stay

"Dead?" Maria's wail came out high pitched and strung out. "No, no, no, no, no." She collapsed sobbing into Max's arms. "She can't be dead, Max. She can't"

"I know, Maria," Max had given up trying to contain his grief the moment Maria found her voice. It was too heartbreaking. He was crying openly as he rubbed his hand up and down Maria's back, holding her tight. "She's gone, Maria. She's been taken from us."

"No," she leaned back shaking her head. She rubbed one of her eyes with her fist. "You know what? You can heal her, Max. You did it before." She started to pull him to the door. "We can go to her now and you can heal her. Then everything will be all right. You'll see. Just heal her, Max. Heal her!"

"Don't you think I would if I could, Maria?" Max managed to gulp out his reply. "I already told Jim I could do it. But he said I couldn't. Maria, they wouldn't even let me see her."

"Oh, God, Max," Maria started to wail again. "What are we going to do?"

"I've lost her, Maria," Max mumbled as the tears rolled down his cheeks. "I feel so alone and empty, now. I've really lost her."

The door burst open. Three frantic people burst into the room.

"What the hell's happened?" Michael demanded, his eyes falling on the condition of Max and Maria.

"Oh, Michael," Maria hurled herself at her husband in a fresh flurry of tears. "We've lost her."

"Lost who?" Michael looked up and when he saw the look of devastation on Max's face... he knew. "No!" he gasped as realization dawned.

"No," Isabel started to shake her head. She too realized the moment she had seen the state Max was in. Tears fell from her eyes. "No, that can't be right. Not Liz."

"What about Liz?" Kyle demanded. "What? What's happened?"

"She... she was in an acc... accident, Kyle," Max struggled to regain his composure. It was one thing to lose it in front of Maria, or Isabel. But this was Michael and Kyle.

"So? So?" Kyle shifted uneasily. Max and Maria upset, Liz in an accident. That could only mean one thing. "You just go to the hospital and heal her. Simple. Right?"

"No," Max shook his head, but kept his face lowered. It might be easier to say this if he couldn't watch Kyle's reaction. After all, he had loved her, too. "She's dead. She died almost instantly."

"No," Kyle shook his head. "Not Liz." He stepped closer to Max. "Not Liz. She's not dead." He grabbed Max's shirtfront and pushed him backwards until he collided with the wall. Kyle was almost lifting him by his collar. "Now you get your ass down to where ever they have taken her and heal her! For crying out loud, Max. This is Liz. I thought you loved her!"

"I do, Kyle," Max looked up and saw Kyle's tears falling. He didn't resist Kyle's manhandling. "I did. But it's too late now." His voice fell to a whisper. "It's... too late."

* * *

They sat for hours, consumed by their grief, alone with their thoughts and their memories of Liz. No one spoke. There was nothing to say. Daylight faded and darkness settled over the quintet. Still no one moved.

"What..." Kyle finally broke the silence. "What happened?"

Everyone turned to look at Max.

"She came to see me first," Max's voice was quiet, broken and defeated. "She told me she was getting married."

"Ouch," Michael whispered.

"What?" Kyle demanded. "No way!"

"Yes," Max agreed. "But I'd been expecting that. Liz is... was a lovely person. She was bound to move on sooner or later."

Kyle's accusatory glare was too unnerving, so Max looked away. He didn't expect what Kyle said next.

"Who?" Kyle whispered again.

"Boss's son," Max closed his eyes and bit back the sadness. "He must be something kind of special. Huh?"

"Not like you, Max," Maria's quiet voice seemed more steady than anyone else. "She loved you. I know she did."

"Thank you, Maria," Max whispered. "Anyway, I wished her a hap..." His eyes widened. "Oh god!" Max lost it again. A fresh storm of tears.

"What? What?" everyone grew concerned.

"I wished her a happy birthday," he groaned.

"But it wasn't her birthday, Max," Kyle looked confused.

"September the 18th," Maria nodded, her tears joining Max.

They fell silent again, waiting for Max to gain the strength to continue.

"I told her that I hoped she would find happiness... and I meant it, too. She deserved it. She left, and went to her Mom and Dad's."

"So she told you first," Isabel gave a weak smile. "She wanted you to stop her."

"No," Max shook her head. "She didn't." Max didn't see Maria nodding, agreeing with Isabel. "Anyway, she left her moms and was heading over to you, Maria. This old guy, he had a stoke or something. He... he veered into Liz's lane and they hit. Head on. Jim said she was wearing her seatbelt, but it broke, and the airbag didn't work. Witnesses say she tried to accelerate out of trouble, but it didn't work. She went through the windshield."

"Oh, god," Maria and Isabel wailed.

Everyone knew the mess that would have made to Liz's face.

"I've told Jim that I want to fix her before her parents see her. I want to. I want her to be remembered the way she was. Beautiful."

"Max," Isabel reached her hand out.

"I know," he nodded. "Jim won't let me, either.

"Does that strike anyone else as being odd?" Of all of them, Michael was handling this the best. But then, he was never as close to Liz as the others. "Faulty seatbelt, faulty airbag. This was a brand new BMW for crying out loud. And someone had a stroke and just happens to veer in front of her?"

"Are you saying this might be alien related," Isabel looked up, wiping her eyes.

"Sure sounds like it to me."

"What for?" Max wondered out loud. "I mean, Tess has taken the Granolith, and my son. What else could someone want? And we weren't together any more. Why kill Liz?"

"Maybe to show you they mean business."

"If they had asked me," Max pushed his hands through his hair, "I'd have given them what ever they wanted. But what else could I possibly have that they would want?"

"Maybe it's not about something physical they want," Isabel whispered. "Maybe it's something else."

"What?" Kyle asked.


* * *

The four men dressed in dark suits lifted the small coffin easily between them, two to a side and balanced it over their outstretched arms. With a deliberate and slow pace, they somberly followed the minister along the winding path that led into the Roswell Cemetery. Max and Kyle took the front while Jim and Michael took the rear. A few paces behind them followed Liz's fiancé, Alastair Harris, alternately complaining to Liz's parents that he was not a pall bearer, shouting instructions down the mobile phone that seemed glued to his ear and barking orders to one of the entourage of three that followed him. Behind him came Liz's family, her friends and an assortment of well-wishers.

Max's eyes had misted over and it was all that he could do to prevent himself from allowing his emotions to take control. He could feel that beside him, Kyle was struggling, too.

"I'm gonna ram that phone up his ass," Michael growled from behind him.

Max could only nod. In his mind's eye, however, he was picturing Liz, her battered face lying only inches away from him. Their connection broken, it felt strange that she was so very close, yet so very far away.

At last, they reached the freshly dug hole surrounded by green plastic matting. The four men easily maneuvered the coffin onto the supports that spanned the grave. They took their positions and waited while the other mourners moved around them. Alastair stood beside Nancy, wrapping his arm around her as though he had known her for years. Diane and Philip joined Max and Isabel, while Maria and Amy went to offer Jeff and Nancy some real support. Max's eye caught the assorted wreaths and bouquets from everyone, dwarfed by the enormous display that Alastair had brought. Fifteen feet long and three feet high, red, orange and yellow flowers spelled out the name, Elizabeth.

"I am the resurrection, and the life," the minister read from his book. "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

He paused while he looked around at the sad faces. A few people were crying.

"What then are we to say about these things?" he continued. "If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.'

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

"Let us pray." He paused, lowering his head. "The Lord is my shepherd ..." the minister started alone, but almost everyone soon took up the verse.

"I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou annointest my head with oil. My cup runneth over.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever. Amen."

The minister gave everyone a few moments before speaking again.

"Our first reading is from Elizabeth's best friend. She assures me that Liz would want you to hear this. Maria?"

Maria wiped her tears and stepped forward. She pulled a sheet of paper from her pocket and unfolded it.

"You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she's gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on."

How she kept her composure, Maria would never know. Every syllable made her want to burst out crying. Her words, soothing though they were for everyone, were aimed at Max. She knew where his loss might take him. No one wanted him to go there. While she had recited the poem, her eyes were fixed on the amber ones that had loved Liz all his life.

"And now," The minister had waited for people to compose themselves after Maria's reading. "Max has asked if he might say something. Jeff and Nancy have agreed that he can, seeing that he was once so close to Elizabeth"

Standing by the grave side, Max looked down upon the coffin holding the only girl he had ever loved; would ever love. He didn't need a prompt sheet. He spoke from memory. Tears blurred his vision anyway. He would never have been able to read.

"Do not stand by my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints upon the snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain and
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am that swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die."

The silence hung heavy among the mourners as handkerchiefs and tissues dabbed at moist faces. Even Michael could no longer hold back his tears. Max kept his eyes firmly fixed on the coffin, as though he had inherited Superman's X-ray vision and was even now, gazing upon the face of Liz. His Liz. How he wished he could turn back time.

The minister nodded to Max before he again took up the service. While he continued with a few words of comfort, Max, Kyle, Michael and Jim picked up the golden tassels that had been spread under the coffin, and lifted. Someone removed the supports and they started to lower Liz into the ground. Nancy started to cry and Jeff could not help calling out, "Liz!" Tears stung Max's eyes until all he could see was a blurry outline, but he held Liz with all of the love, respect and dignity that he had held for her in life.

"We therefore commit Elizabeth's body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life." He looked up. "Comfort is to be found in the promises of Jesus Christ, in the hope of the Resurrection and in the belief that Elizabeth is safe in the hands of God."

As he spoke his benediction, the minister threw in a few handfuls of earth.

One by one, family members and friends passed by, saying their last goodbye and throwing a flower into the grave. Alastair appeared with an armful of red roses, throwing all of them on top, covering everyone else's offering. Max and Michael exchanged glances and slowly shook their heads. The crowd dwindled until only Max and Maria were left.

"I'm going to miss her, Max," Maria dropped a single white rose on top of the red ones.

"Me too, Maria," Max nodded. "I don't know if I can go on."

"Well, you have to, Max," Maria ordered. "Liz would want you to. I said that poem for you, you know. I spent three whole nights on the internet looking that up."

He reached into his jacket and pulled out another white rose. He brought it to his lips and kissed it. Maria could see that it had started to glow. Max threw it next to Maria's. She looked at him questioningly.

"To light up the darkness her passing has left," he gave a weak smile.

Maria nodded.

Max wrapped his arm around his sister-in-law and guided her back down the path to join the others.

* * *

The Crashdown had never felt so cold. Even though she had not worked there for over four years, it no longer seemed the warm, happy place that it once had. Using it for a wake didn't really help matters. But Jeff and Nancy were determined to give their only daughter a magnificent send off.

"Is it me," Kyle growled. "Or does anyone else want to kick that moron's ass through his teeth."

"It's not just you," Isabel glared at the man who Liz had agreed to marry. "What the heck did she see in him, anyway?"

Alastair was at that moment, telling Jeff and Nancy just how much he and Elizabeth had meant to each other.

"That poem you said, Max," Kyle stepped up next to him. "That was good. Liz will always be a part of us. In here," he placed his hand over his heart. "But I know where we can find the most of her. Where she really is. And that's..." He placed his hand over Max's heart. "Here."

"Thanks, Kyle," Max's face burned red.

"And Maria..." Kyle shook his head. "That was awesome. I could almost believe that Liz had come back and was reading that. It was for Max, though. Right?"

"All of us," Maria gave Max a sideways glance.

"I hate funerals," Isabel mumbled. "This is two too many."

"I hear ya," Michael nodded. "I hope it's a few decades before we have any more. Nobody else die. Deal?"

"Amen," Kyle nodded.

"You're Elizabeth's friends, right?" Alastair appeared beside them. "I'm Alastair Harris. Liz's fiancé."

"You were, you mean," Kyle would have smirked, had it been appropriate.

"Don't worry," he smiled. "I know she's right here," he patted his chest.

"That's what you think," Maria mumbled in Max's ear.

"Michael Guerin," Michael held his hand out. "So pleased to meet you. Heard a lot about you."

"From Elizabeth, right?" Alastair accepted with a firm grip of his own. Michael placed his hand on Alastair's chest and pretended to grimace.

"That's quite a grip you got there."

"Yeah," Alastair nodded, scratching at his chest. "When you are as successful as I am, you need to keep a good grip on things. I should have kept a tighter grip on Elizabeth, but she insisted she had to come back and tell her parents the good news."

"Liz was very independent," Maria nodded.

"Do you think so?" Alastair frowned as he started to scratch his back. "Never seemed like it to me. Always seemed a little lost, you know? Until she found me, of course. You're Maria, aren't you? Elizabeth's best friend."

"Ah," Jim Valenti made his way to Max. "I've been trying to have a quiet word with you Mr. Evans. You're a hard man to pin down."

"Hey, Jim," Max shook the sheriff's hand. "Thanks for, you know, today."

"Max. I won't say it was a pleasure, but it sure was an honor. Thank you for asking me. How are you holding up?"

* * *

"Why is he asking him how he's holding up for?" Alastair demanded of Maria. He couldn't seem to stop scratching. "I'm the guy who lost the love of his life, here."

"You really don't know, do you?" Maria stared at him. It was time he learned a few truths.

"No. I don't."

"How many times did Liz tell you that she loved you?"

"She told me," he smiled, "on more than one occasion, that she only loves one man. And that would be..."

"Max," Maria interrupted.

"Say what?"

"She was in love with Max, you brain dead moron."

"Yeah, right," he sneered as he clawed at his chest. "That's why she agreed to marry me."

"Absolutely," Maria shook her head, exchanging an amused smirk with Michael.

* * *

"I've got something I've been meaning to give you," Jim continued.

"Oh?" Max raised his eyebrows. "What's that?"

"Liz gave it to me. Before she, uh..." Jim handed an envelope to Max. "I think she thought you might gain some comfort from it."

Max tore the top from the envelope and pulled her car key, attached to the large metal disk of her key fob.

"Hey," Alastair pushed his way across, trying to snatch the key from Max.

Max was too quick.

"That belonged to Elizabeth. It was a gift from me. I should have that."

"Well, I'm sorry now, Mr. Harris," the sheriff went into defense mode. "You see, I was the first one at the scene of the accident. Liz... Ms. Parker was still alive, though only just. She tried to speak, but I told her to save her strength. That help was coming." Jim didn't say that he knew that Max would never have got there in time. Which was why he had called him back and told him to stay away. "She handed me this and asked me to give it to Max."

"I don't believe you," Alastair growled. "Why would she do that?"

"Because whatever you may think, Mr. Harris, Ms. Parker was in love with Mr. Evans, here."

"You don't know what you're talking about!" he snapped. "She loved me!" He thumped his chest. "Me!"

"Max," Jim called, holding out his hand. "May I?"

Max frowned but handed the key fob to Jim. Jim turned to Alastair, inadvertently shielding Max from seeing what was going on. Alastair's face went dark. He glared at Max and then at Jim.

"You'll be hearing from my lawyers!" he spat through gritted teeth as he stormed away. "Thieves and pickpockets. I see now why Elizabeth moved away from this hell hole."

Jim handed the key back to Max who tucked it in his pocket. Max nodded and started to walk away. Jim grabbed his arm.

"There's more, Max," Jim looked around to see who might be listening.

"She said, 'Tell Max..' But I stopped her. She was in a lot of pain, and I knew you wouldn't want her to suffer. So I told her. I told her that you would know. That you've always known."

Tears glistened in Max's eyes. He gave a slow nod. Liz was still in love him. Had been in love with him right to the end.

"I did," Max looked away. "I always knew. But I didn't deserve her." His tears were coming thick and fast now. "I was never good enough for her. I was too much the... the boy."

* * *

Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
and I bet and you exploded in my heart
and I forget I forget the movie song
when you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong juliet?

How long he had spent driving, Max didn't know. Unable to contain his grief, Max had left the 'party' and went for a drive. The sun was setting. Setting on the day he had buried Liz Parker. He found himself at the corner of Main and Pendleton. The place where Liz had died, only a few days before. He pulled his jeep up, away from the intersection, and walked over to the impromptu shrine of flowers that had appeared on the corner. He watched the cars going by. Remembering Liz's parting gift, he reached into his pocket and pulled out her car key. He traced his fingers over it, wondering why she would want him to have it. He found the catch and pressed it. It opened up, like a locket. Inside, he found two spaces for photographs. On one side, was a simple legend.

"M.E. & L.P. Always."

The other side contained a photograph of him, taken when he was sixteen. Before destiny. Before... Tess. Tears blurred his vision, so he snapped it shut. Holding the key fob between his palms, he looked up at the heavens and begged Liz to forgive him. That was when he was assailed by the image.

Everything was blurred. She had been crying. Too many tears for her to see clearly. She kept wiping her eyes with her hands so that she could see. She didn't speak but he could feel her thoughts. She still loved him. She had still waited for him, even after all these years. She would wait till eternity for him. And then she saw her. Out of the corner of her eye first, but then she turned to look straight at her. At that moment, still shocked by what she had seen, she saw the car. It had swerved, violently, and was coming straight at her. The brakes of her own car wouldn't work and she felt herself accelerating. And then she knew. She knew that nothing could save her now, but there was one thing that she could do to save Max. For surely he would be next. Knowing she would die, Liz gave up trying to fight and grabbed her key fob, ripping the key from the ignition before the impact, hoping that Max would see.

Shaking with fear, and fury, Max sprinted to the Jeep. He leapt into it from the back, bouncing off of the back seat and into the front. He didn't bother with the ignition, he just waved his hand to start the engine. Jamming the car into gear he raced away, leaving two long, black strips of rubber and a couple of terrified motorists leaning on their horns.

Tess was back.

* * *


*Authors note. I'm sorry. I don't know the authors of either of those poems.
Last edited by WR on Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Post by WR » Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:59 pm

Takes cautious peek to make sure no one is lying in wait to bushwack me...

Okay, all looks safe.

Takes deep breath.

Yup. You have all reacted exactly in the same manner that my beta team did. Even down to the connections with the coma kids. So, I will mention that link here, rather than individually.

If you are thinking that the girl in the coma is now Liz, ask youself this. Would our twenty two year old max Evans really fall in love all over again with a blonde haired green eyed fourteen year old named Alison? Nuh uh. If Liz doesn't have brown hair and brown eyes, she aint Liz. And as for the whole cradle robbing issues, I mean... "Eeeew!" :wink:

Back to the drawing board.
A warp? In hiding and Jims in on it? Does that explain Max's 'flash' at the end?

Michael's suspisions stretch only to the fact that a BMW would not have so many faults. He knew someone tampered with it. And how do you explaind this?
WR wrote: Their connection broken, it felt strange that she was so very close, yet so very far away.
And remember, Future Max was a trick, and so in all probability, so too is the fact that the Granolith can be used as a time machine. Plus, there is no Liz and no Serena. :( Things look bleak for Max.

Ah well...

But hey! Didn't Max say some nice things to her? :wink:


All I can say is, you will lovewhere I go with this. Please trust me.

I will leave you with these hopeful lyrics:

Baby I see this world has made you sad
Some people can be bad
The things they do, the things they say
But baby I'll wipe away those bitter tears
I'll chase away those restless fears
That turn your blue skies into grey

Why worry, there should be laughter after the pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now

Baby when I get down I turn to you
And you make sense of what I do
I know it isn't hard to say
But baby just when this world seems mean and cold
Our love comes shining red and gold
And all the rest is by the way

Why worry, there should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now

And that's a promise. :)

LovinGuerin2Much - Yes, it was tough. And sadly, you will have to wait. :wink: But hey! My web site has oodles of reading to keep you going. :)

BehrObsession - Sigh. So cuel. So evil. Hey, I worked hard to get that rep. :wink:

Itzstacie - No. Check the dates! The girl was a blonde haired green eyed 14 year old while Liz was still alive and well and working at Harris. :wink:

icequeen - I'm pretty sure everyone is on the same wavelength. Liz was an omportant part of their group, even if the dynamics WERE all wrong.

Sali103 - Something wasn't right with the car. He knew it had to have been tampered with, not that things might not be as they seemed.

taressa05 - You mean you didnlt cry? :( Dang. Need to crank up the emotional pressure a touch or two. :wink: Sometimes, if you cut all the unimportnt stuff away, you get left with the truth.

Ellie - Again, check those dates. Doesn't really work, does it? :wink: Why would Liz agree to marry him? You will findout why, soon.

AJK001 - He had to be that way for a reason. :wink: And of course Tess had to come back. I needed a good villain. LOL.

dreamerfiend - My theme tune goes like this... "Come on lets twist again, like we did last summer..." :wink: Max WILL take Maria's words to heart. I promise you, Max is the last person I would ever kill off. And don;t worry about how much fb you write. I love it all. :)

Liz Parker Evans - Kill you? Uhm.... nope. :wink:

aurorasky - There IS a reason. You are so gonna love it, too. :wink:

Timelord31 - How did they break the connection? Maybe Jim stopped Max because he knew that Max would kill himself trying to bring her back. :(

cocopucks - I HAVE fixed it. Well, in my own omnipotal style. :twisted: Just haven't posted the patche yet. :wink:

BelevnDreamsToo - *points finger at self* This kind. :)

tequathisy - Chapter 5 and I killed Liz! Booooo Hisssss! :wink:

frenchkiss70 - Yup. This kind. :wink: If this is the worst it can get, then the only way is up, right? Right? :twisted:

Emz80m - Thank you. I surely do! :) :wink:

smokie - I don't know? Would I? :wink: It sure looks like I would. LOL Ah, a first attempt at speculating the title. Wrong.

BlueStar - Michaels wrongness he saw was the bad engineering of a new BMW. He knew something was up with Liz's accident, not her presumed death. (BTW - I will post Auld Lang Syne before December 31st. ;))

mareli - Oh dear. I'm sorry I ruined your day. :( :wink: Hmmmm.... You could be on to something there.

Roswelllostcause - Check back on the dates that preceed the PRologue and Chapter one. Take in the girl's description. Think of Max's age. Do your thoughts still hold water? LOL

Scottie - But you still love me, right? :wink: And I have such a clever method all lined up. :) PS - Did you read my new Xmas story?

omwf - WHAT?????? You were in London and you didn't drop me a line? I am mortally offended now! Reaches for delete key - deletes all the NICE chapters and hastily rewrites making everything dark 'cause I am so peeved. :wink: Seriously, we could have met for coffee (or tea :) )

roswck - Well, you are in good company. Seems not many believe Liz is dead. :wink: There are only three people on this planet who know the truth. :wink:

RoswellScripter - Well, if Liz is alive, she will come back, but if she's not... :twisted:

NorafanofMaxandLiz - Sorry about that. But hang in there. You're going to love this. :wink:

roswellluver - Heh heh heh - :)

Norma Bates - Thanks for the info on the poems (Of course, I already knew about Dire Straits. :wink: Thnak you, and even if you only drop a line or two every now and then, I still appreciate it. :)

cherie - All I can say is... hold on to your hat. :wink:

behrlyliz - Well hello there. Thanks for delurking. :) If this was a mind warp, how would I explain Max's flash? :wink:

heavenli24 - Thank you. I think I have a whole host of people who are going to blame failed exams on me. :wink: Did you pass your finals, BTW?

Galliard - Endeth? Nope. Not yet. :twisted: Yes, a blonde, green eyes Liz is SOO wrong! Max will believe Tess is back, because he believes Liz told him so. :wink:

SpiderGirl - Thank you, but there are other authors who are equally as good at angsty and sad. :)

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 6

"All rise," a soldier dressed in a ceremonial uniform called.

As one, the Senate rose to their feet. So too did the few distinguished guests, Prince Zan among them. Everyone bowed when King Deryn entered the small, airy chamber. The king stood in front of his throne and looked at the five Senators. At last he sat himself down and motioned for the people to sit, also.

"What is it, this time, your majesty?" Hanar called. There was a clear lack of respect.

"I have conducted a review," the King intoned. "Of the Sky Palace. It is old and in much need of repair."

The five senators looked at one another in confusion.

"Forgive me, sire," Kathana spoke. "You do not need our permission to facilitate repairs to your palace."

"Permission?" the King rose to his feet bellowing. Everyone in the senate rose with him. "Permission? I do not need permission to do anything!" He sat himself down. "What I choose to do, I will do," he growled. "No self obsessed Senate is going to stop me doing what I think is right."

"We fail to see the problem here, my lord," Larek soothed. "What is it you wish of us?"

"I wish to build a new one. Bigger. Better. One that will reflect the glory of Antar and the five planets."

The five Senators murmured among themselves. So did the guests.

"Then," Sero looked up. "Build it. Why do you require a meeting of the Senate?"

"Because I have little funds to afford such an undertaking," Deryn's voice turned like honey. "And this will be of benefit to the whole alliance. So, to that end, I want you to ratify a raising of the export tariffs by another five percent."

The noise created by just five men and a handful of visitors was astounding.

"Five percent?" Larek yelled. "You jest, surely!"

"I do not jest, Larek!" the King shook his head.

"Speaking on behalf of Kulka," Sero stood up. "I say nay."

"On behalf of Torania, I say nay," Larek agreed.

"Denst says nay, too," Hanar rose with the others. "However," he raised his hand. "We will agree to this concession if the King gives us his assurances that the taxation rate will be reduced to a much lower rate as soon as possible, and will remain that way for as long as the taxes remain high."

His colleagues glared at him. Denst was the biggest of the exporters, being a planet that contained an abundance of the most sought after minerals in the five planets.

"Parthrea agrees with my colleagues. We say nay.

"I must agree with my King," Khivar looked at the other four, his face frowning with apology. "Antar says yay."

"Of course, Antar says yay," Larek spat. "Antar gets richer while leeching the wealth of the other four planets. Why should we pay for another palace?"

"Because I am your king!" Deryn's voice boomed. "And therefore, I declare this motion passed."

"You cannot go against the Senate, my Lord!" Larek shouted. "You cannot."

"Cannot?" Deryn's face grew red. "Who are you to say 'cannot' to me? I am your king! Chosen by the Gods themselves. That is tantamount to being a God in my own right! If I have the desire to raise the taxes, I WILL raise the taxes."

"We have the backing of the other planets!" Kathana joined in.

"And I have the Granolith," Deryn's threat was like a hot knife slicing through ice cream. "The Gods have instructed me to build this palace, and by thunder, I WILL build this palace. This Senate is dissolved."

King Deryn rose and left the stony silenced chamber. The four Senators' eyes glared like agates at his retreating form. When the heavy door boomed shut, pandemonium erupted.

* * *

Zan sat before a holographic image of a small galaxy rotating above his desk. He was staring intently at it, his eyes focused on a bright spot set to one side.

"What's up?" Vilandra appeared at his side.

"Hey, Lonnie," he smiled at her. "Not a lot. You?"

"You know," she shrugged.

"Yeah," Zan nodded.

"What's that?" she pointed at the galaxy. "Is that ours?"

"No," he shook his head. "Ours is way, way over there." He waved his hand in a vague direction. "I was just looking at this one. There's a planet in there that fascinates me."

"Oh?" she peered into the mass of cloud and stars. "Where?"

"Just here," Zan pushed his finger into the image and twisted his finger. The image zoomed in onto a single star. "The third planet from that star."

"Looks pretty," she nodded. "What's it called?"

"According to the Granolith, the indigenous population call it 'Earth'."

"So, it's inhabited?"

"Yeah," Zan nodded. "And they are quite advanced. I mean, they haven't made it into space, yet, or anything. But they're getting there."

"What do they look like?" Isabel grinned. "Are they like, three feet tall, green and have a third eye in the back of their head?"

"I'm not sure," Zan laughed at the mental image. "Our survey ship, the Gem will be passing close to this planet on its return journey. I've asked Commander Artan to bring me some data, and if he can, some DNA samples for me to study."

"Interesting," Vilandra shifted, looked at her nails and then yawned. "Okay. So, tell me. How did you like your first Senate?"

"It was... interesting," Zan nodded. "A real eye opener, you know?"

"That bad, huh?"

"How could you tell?"

"Your voice gets higher when you lie," Vilandra grinned. "Take a tip. Seeing as you'll be involved in politics, either you learn to mask that, or you always tell the truth."

"Noted," he smiled.

"So what was so bad about it then?"

Zan fell silent as he stared at the image. He exhaled and sat back in his seat.

"Lonnie?" Zan looked around the room. "Do you think we have a right to rule? Do you think it's fair that what we say, goes?"

"Well," she pondered. "Someone has to rule, right?"

"Yeah," Zan agreed. "But do we have the right? I mean, suppose someone else could do a better job. Why does it have to be us?"

"Because," Vilandra shrugged. "Daddy always said we were chosen by the Gods themselves. That we are, in fact, Gods. Why? What's brought this on?"

"He wants to raise the tariffs."

Vilandra raised her eyebrows.

"You do know what effect that will have on the economy, don't you?" Zan continued.

"Sure," she narrowed her eyes. "Antar will get richer. The wealth will be spread right across the whole population, because that would spark hundreds of new projects securing long term employment for anyone whose job might be a little.... The golden age that everyone is harping on about will start almost immediately."

"What about the other planets?"

"Well, I guess their prices will have to rise, so the rich will get richer."

"While the poor?"

"I guess they won't see much benefit, will they?" She tapped her chin. "Quite the opposite, in fact. They're the ones that will have to pay the higher prices. Anyway, the Senate will never agree to that, so there's not much chance of that motion succeeding, is there."

"He passed the new tariffs by himself, Lonnie. He's dissolved the Senate."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 7

Post by WR » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:37 pm

Hi everyone,

Well, another week has gone by and here we are again. Thank you all so much for your feedback. Yes, as you can see, things are rotten in the state of Antar. And things, as they say, do not look like getting any better.

taressa05 - Okay then. If you're not gonna cry anyway... I'll leave it all as it is. :wink:

aurorasky - Until the end of Part 1, this is the pattern. One week Now, and one week, Then. So hang on in there. :)

LovinGuerin2Much - Yes, the king does seem a little... out there. :wink:

youre my dreamgirl - Well, don;t worry about being lost. All will come clear sooner rather than later. :)

Timelord31 - Yes... things look bad for Zan. And your theory about Liz... well, it's a theory. :wink:

Evans3 - Non taken. Yes, he does seem a sandwich short of a picnic. :wink: Uhm... Which Queen would that be? Ava is already there. :wink::twisted:

smokie - Yes, I am still safe, in spite of being in London last thursday when they had another go. And the parts you will love... soon. :)

dreamerfiend - Yes, all will be revealed, a long time before the end, actually. And this fic... Is likely to be long. Part 1 is complete, and I am well into Part 2. Right Team?

Emz80m - Uhm... Zan can't become King until his Father (the current King) is dead. :wink: But I know what you mean. LOL.

AJK001 - As I said, the complexity starts to work itself out as the story unfolds. No major cliffies for you.

tequathisy - Ah. But maybe Deryn's... uh, problem is hereditary. Maybe it's in his genes. ;)

behrlyliz - And because HIS father was the king before him. And that wasn't the beginning of the end. :wink:

kay_b - Yeah, we're pretty much guaranteed a revolution. :wink: But how will that affect everyone?

Ellie - I should warn you that I do like to gove out snippest of misinformation, right folks? :twisted:

frenchkiss70 - Maybe Deryn is a better king than we imagined. Hey, it's possible. :wink:
Hey! *I* never killed Liz! That was Tess! LOL

roswell3053 - Thank you. :) I'm sure you will like the direction... eventually. :wink:

roswellluver - Yeah Zan seems so unlike his father. Reminds me of another story. :wink:

Roswelllostcause - Oh, okay then. :wink: Why don't you pm me with your thoughts? I'd love to hear them.

Scottie - Actually, he is modelled on a very real (but very dead) historical figure. Me? get a big head? Nah. :wink:

jbcna - I hope your computer is all fixed now. :) And it's not really ALL over the place. There is a logical structure. :wink:

mareli - Uhm... Liz died. They buried her. :wink: Did you miss that chapter? LOL.

cherie - Well, not quite Ceaser, but a lot later. :wink: :)

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 7

And she's watchin' him with those eyes
And she's lovin' him with that body, I just know it
And he's holding her in his arms late, late at night

"Did he say how long he would be?" Michael was pacing from one side of the living room to the other.

"No," Isabel shook her head. She was sitting in an armchair, her face buried on her knees. "He just said to meet everyone here. He sounded... I think it was urgent."

"Then where is he?" Michael demanded, peering through his curtains to the darkened streets outside. "We've all been here ages."

"For goodness sake," Maria's voice still bore the signs that she had buried her best friend only that morning. "You'll wear a hole in the flooring if you keep that up much longer."

"I'll fix it," he grunted, waving a hand in the air.

"Max said he'll be here," Maria rolled her yes. "So he'll be here."

"Just like old times," Kyle's mute face showed that his reaction was automatic, that he was not trying to lighten the mood with a joke.

The knock at the door made them jump.

"That'll be him now," Kyle looked up.

"'Bout time," Michael snarled as he crossed to the door.

"Since when does Max knock?" Maria called out.

"Where the fu..." Michael's voice dropped from anger to surprise. "Jim!"

"Michael," Jim nodded.

The two men remained silent.

"Are we going to stand here, or are you gonna let me in?"


"Max told me to come over," Jim pushed his way past anyway. "He was pretty insistent."

"Dad," Kyle nodded. "Do you have any idea what's going on?"

"Only that Max called me and asked me to get over here, right away," Jim shook his head. "He sounded kinda scared to me."

"Same here," Isabel was rocking back and forth. "And angry. He sounded scared and angry."

"For Max to sound scared, today of all days..." Maria began. She began to worry. "But angry?"

"This is bad," Isabel continued. "This is really bad."

"Oh, hey," Maria looked up and tried to smile. She knew when it was time to lighten everyone's mood. "Did you hear about Pam Troy?"

"No," Isabel stopped rocking and lifted her head. "What did she do now?"

"She only went to see the Parkers," Maria couldn't help her small smile. "She told them that although she and Liz didn't exactly get on very well, she was still really sorry to hear what had happened."

"Wow," Isabel raised her eyes. "That's so... wow."

"Interesting," Michael huffed.

"Did you know that Harris was going around talking to everyone," Kyle sat on the arm of the chair Isabel sat in. "He was asking about Max and Liz. Guess what everyone told him?"

"How close they were," Maria shrugged. "How surprised everyone was that they weren't together?"

"Yeah," Kyle nodded. "Paulie told him that Max and Liz were 'gaga' over each other. His words, not mine. And he spoke to your mom, Iz. She said that she always thought they still loved each other but didn't know how to cross the stream." He looked over to Michael. "He was scratching up a fit when I left. Was that down to you?"

"I don't believe this," Michael was staring at the others. "Max comes out of his self imposed exile, sounds scared, calls a meeting right after we bury Liz Parker and no one else in this room is the slightest bit concerned that he's not here?"

"We're all terrified," Isabel confirmed. "And right now, as you said, he's not here. So until he is, grumbling about where he might be won't get us any further than we are now."

The door opened and the ghost of Max Evans entered the room. At least, the person who entered looked like a ghost, being that he was so pale.

"Max," Isabel leapt to her feet.

"Where have you been?" Michael demanded.

"Checking something," Max nodded by way of a greeting, and wrapped an arm around Isabel.

"Checking what?" Michael was no less hostile.

"Max, are you okay," Maria pushed past Michael and gave her friend a hug.

"I was right," Kyle smirked. "Except that it's Maria hugging Max, this 'is' like old times."

"I think," Jim pushed his way to the center of the room, "that everyone wants to know, Max. What's going on? Why have you called us together like this? We haven't all met like this since... since, you know."

"I've just come back from the Pod Chamber," Max's voice was soft and low. It was tinged with the remorse of losing Liz, but there was something more. Anger and fear. "There were signs that a ship had landed there recently. Landed and then got taken away."

"What?" Everyone exclaimed at once.

"You mean..." Isabel looked shocked.

"Like the one we came in?" Michael frowned. Max had told him about his discoveries, and his theories concerning the size and shape of the ship he had been tracking.

"No," Max shook his head. "This one was smaller. At a guess, I would say only big enough for one."

"Great," Kyle rolled his eyes. "Just when I thought things were getting back to normal."

"Things have never been normal, Kyle," Isabel hid her face in her knees again. "At least, not for us."

"So what made you go all the way out there in the first place?" Michael was not satisfied. He knew there was more. "Why did you drive out to the Pod Chamber after you left earlier?"

"I didn't," Max denied. "After I left, I just went for a drive."

"To the Pod chamber," Maria completed. "Yeah, we got that."

"No," Max shook his head. "Not at first. At first, I went to Main and Pendleton."

"Oh," Maria blinked.

"I was looking at all the flowers, and thinking," his face fell. "About Liz. And how... I..."

"Don't go there, Max," Maria shook her head. "Just tell us what happened."

"I took out the key ring Jim gave me," Max held it up for them to see. "It belonged to Liz. It, uh, opens up."

"What?" Michael was seething with frustration. "Did she leave you a note?"

"Kind of," Max gave a small smirk. "I uh, held it in my hands, and I sorta prayed. You know... begging for forgiveness."

"She already forgave you, Max," Maria placed a hand on his arm. Her voice, tinged with sorrow, was filled with sympathy. "A long time ago. All you had to do was forgive yourself."

"Can we please move on!" Michael growled.

"You know how we see things?" Max looked at Michael and Isabel. "Like when things get intense?"

"Yeah," Isabel nodded. Michael nodded with her.

"Liz and I used to share those a lot," Max looked away. "We'd touch each other's books and... stuff, and see things. About us."

"Yeah, we get it," Michael hissed. "You saw her in the shower or something. Max. What is it? What does her car keys have to do with the space ship?"

"I saw her crash," tears started to form. "She was on her way to the Crashdown. To see her parents. That when she saw her. And the car. It just veered across. Her brakes wouldn't work and she accelerated."

"Yeah, we heard all that!" Michael was almost in a rage. "We know what happened."

"Wait," Jim raised his hand. "You said she saw 'her'. Max, the driver was an old man."

"Yeah," Max nodded. "She grabbed the key ring, hoping that when I touched it I would see. And I did. Right before the crash, she saw..." Max paused, drawing breath. "Liz saw Tess."

The room fell silent.

"No," Kyle shook his head. He started pacing back and forth. "No, no, no, no, that's not possible. See, Tess went to Antar. In the Granolith." He stopped and looked at Max. "We were all there. We all saw! She took your son and left! So, no! No, no. no! She did not see Tess!"

"That means..." Isabel choked on the words.

"That fucking whore killed Liz!" Maria spat through clenched teeth."

"We are so screwed," Isabel whispered. "Screwed."

"What does she want?" Michael snapped.

"Gee, Michael," Max looked annoyed. "How remiss of Liz not to ask."

"But why would she kill Liz?" Kyle's face was crunched in frustration. "I just don't understand it. It's not like you were together, or even like she stood a chance with Max. Given that..."

"I think it was just to show us that she could," Isabel had stopped her rocking and had crossed to Max's side. "I think it was about revenge after all."

"Do I need to warn anyone, Max?" Jim asked. "I mean... we have a potential murderer on the streets."

Max was acutely aware of the fact that everyone was looking at him. He reached his hand behind his ear and scratched.

"What would you say, Jim?" Max frowned. "There's no evidence of a murder or anything. It's already been established that Liz's..." Max nearly choked on the word, "death... was an accident."

"We can't just let her get away with this," Michael was all but running for the door. "We have to find her. Now."

"And I agree Michael," Max called. He raised his hand and used his energy to hold the door closed against Michael's attempt to open it. "But we can't just go out charging around, looking for her. We need to play... smart."

"Smart, how?" Maria was crying again.

"She doesn't know that we know she's here," Max's mind was racing. "So she doesn't know that she's given the element of surprise to us. So the way we look for her has to be like we're not really looking. You know, casual, like. We'll split into teams. Iz. You and Kyle can team up. Make it look like you're on a date or something. I mean, keep it comfortable, like friends, if you want. But it has to look like you're being natural. What's more natural than turning to an old friend in times of need?"

"Thanks, Max," she shook her head.

"Hey, you say that like you don't want to date me," Kyle grinned.

"Could my life get any worse?" she rolled her eyes, but hid the light smile with her hand.

"Anyway, you can check out the town. Make it look like you're out for walks and things. Check out the places people go on dates. Movies, bowling... whatever. Maybe you could go by the school, too."

"What about us?" Michael moved behind Maria and wrapped his arms around her.

"Take the commercial area. You can be a normal married couple out window shopping and doing stuff. Try to look in the places Tess liked. Speak with Kyle," Max nodded to his friend. "Maybe he can remember some of them. Oh, and you suddenly have a desire to move to a larger home. Try and find out if anyone's taken any short term rentals recently. Single occupancy. While you're at it, try to take a look at Tess's old place."

"What about me?" Jim raised a hand. "And don't leave me out of this, Max. This is my town. And if Tess is going to pose a threat to any of its inhabitants, then I want to be kept in the loop."

"I wasn't going to leave you out, Jim," Max gave an easy smile. "You get the easiest part. All you have to do is what you always do. Cruise the streets and keep your eyes open."

"What about you, Max?" Maria was watching him carefully. Apart from his intense sorrow, Max seemed like Max again.

"I'm going to talk to River Dog," he rubbed his forehead. "And while I'm out there, I'll check the caves."

"What do we do if we find her?" Michael's posture suggested that he knew exactly what he 'wanted' to do.

"Call me," Max smiled at his attitude. "If I see her, I'll call you. We don't do anything till we're all together. We don't know how strong she's gotten now. Let's not take any chances."

"Just make sure you don't take any chances, either, Max," Maria called as everyone started to move to the door.

"Starting tomorrow, guys," Max sat down, his face falling sad again. "Today's about Liz."

* * *

With one arm wrapped around Maria, trying to look like a happy couple as they meandered around town, Michael's other hand was in his jacket pocket, a finger pressed against the speed dial button that would summon Max. They looked into the windows of restaurants and café's, pretending to be studying the menu for a potential night out. They went into realtors and asked about suitable houses for starting a family. While Maria ended up knocking over something that contained water, like a vase of flowers, Michael used his powers to speed read through the filing cabinets while the sales person left the room to get some paper towels. Once they had left the premises, Michael would write down the address of any possibilities he had found that he felt were worth investigating. When they had finally decided that it was time for refreshments, there was only one place to go.

"Michael, Maria," Jeff greeted them from the grill as they entered the Crashdown. "You're looking for a second job, Michael?" Like the others, he was still saddened by his daughter's death, but he was trying to present a brave front.

"What makes you say that?" Michael frowned.

"Little birdie told me that the two of you were looking at bigger properties," Jeff winked. "Something to share, Maria?"

"Don't believe everything you hear," Maria shook her head as she slid into an old, familiar booth. She knew that news of that kind would have been a tonic for Liz's father, but not yet. She turned to Michael. "This doesn't seem right," Maria sighed, tears forming in her eyes.

"Yeah," Michael nodded

As Maria gave their order to the waitress, Michael glanced around the room. The place was so familiar, he almost expected to see Liz in her Crashdown uniform and her antennae bobbing above her head to come breezing over to see them.

"Did we really look as young as that?" Maria watched her go.

"Yeah," Michael laughed. "You really did. Liz looked even younger... 'cause of her size. I remember when Max and I used to come in here..."

"Max was looking at Liz," Maria smirked. "What was your excuse?"

"Max was buying," Michael shrugged. "What? I hardly knew you then."

"Do you think that... this is all about revenge?" Maria leaned forward and whispered.

"Yeah, I think so," Michael nodded. "What else can it be? Why else would Tess want to come back and kill Liz?"

Maria paused as the young waitress returned with their drinks. They thanked her as she left.

"Maybe it's something more involved," Maria continued. "Maybe it's something to do with making sure that Liz never has Max's children."

"It couldn't have been that, Maria," Michael shook his head. "Everyone knew that Max and Liz weren't together. And besides, she already had Max's son."

"But what if he had died?" Maria exhaled. "What if she had come back to try again?"

"Nah," Michael couldn't believe it. "She has to have known that Max would never have anything to do with her, even if she was the only female left in the entire universe."

"No, Michael," she brushed away the start of his objection. "Hear me out. You heard what Kyle told us about Alastair asking questions. How everyone said that they were still in love, and that. What if someone asked those same questions last week? What if someone decided it wasn't worth the risk. Because the slut had to have found out how much in love they really were."

"But if Liz was seeing that guy... surely she would have checked. Surely she would have known that Liz was going to marry the moron."

"We were trying to kick start Max into action," Maria mumbled as she looked down at the table. "We were hoping that Max would react differently when he found out about the marriage."

"Except he didn't," Michael took a sip of his Tabasco laced drink.

"That's because I hadn't played my part yet. Liz set it all up, I was the finisher."

"Max would never stop her from being happy," he shook his head. "He would have let her marry him, if that's what she had wanted."

"But what would Max have done when I confided in him that Alastair Harris made Max's control issues seem tame by comparison? How would Max have reacted when I told him that Alastair treated Liz like a possession, hardly ever letting her out of his sight and that once married, she would be practically a prisoner in her own home? Not even allowed out to see her family and friends?"

"Max wouldn't have liked that," Michael shook his head. "He wouldn't have let her get married."

"And how would he have done that?" Maria wondered. "How would he have prevented her?"

"He... he would have had to try and win her back for himself," Michael's eyes narrowed. "He would have fought for her." They widened again. "He would have admitted to her that he still loved her."


* * *

"We found absolutely nothing," Kyle and Isabel reported when they had all met up back at Michael and Maria's apartment.

"And I just gotta say, Max," Kyle continued. "Making me go shopping with Isabel? Thank you so much. Really."

"I never told you to go shopping," Max frowned at Isabel.

"You said to go where she went," Isabel shrugged with a grin. "And the girl liked to shop."

"Can't imagine Isabel and Kyle in 'Ho's R Us," Maria smirked. "Well," she cast a sideways glance at Kyle. "Not Isabel, anyway."

"What about you two?" Max turned his attention to Michael and Maria.

"Same as them," Maria shook her head. "Nothing."

"Though we have a few leads we can check out," Michael showed the list of recent lease agreements he had finagled. "But I don't think any of them are what we are looking for. 'Course, she might not be working alone. I know it's hard to believe but there still might be some Skins out there."

They all seemed to consider this.

"River Dog doesn't know anything, either," Max shrugged. He held his cell phone in his hands, flipping it open and closed like something out of Star Trek. He seemed more able to cope if he was busy. "At least, if he does, he's not telling me. He was surprised that a ship had landed and he knew nothing about it. And there was no sign of any activity in the caves. The floor was covered in a fine dust. I even went back and checked the Pod Chamber again. Nothing."

"And nothing on the streets," Jim completed. "But I can keep looking whereas you guys need to work for a living."

"I can keep looking, too," Max placed his phone down on the table and pushed his hands in his back pockets. "I mean, this is the best link to my son I'm ever going to find, and if she killed Liz..."

He didn't finish because he didn't need to. Max would find Tess and if it was the last thing he ever did, he would kill her for what she had done to Liz.

"And I don't work either, so..." Isabel trailed. "I can help Max."

"But nobody does anything without me," Michael growled.

"Or me," Maria slammed her fist on the table. "I want to be there when she gets what's coming to her."

"What she said," Kyle nodded at Maria.

Isabel's cell phone started to ring. Everyone turned to gape at her, their eyes wide with surprise.

"Oh, please," she rolled her eyes as she reached into her purse. "Like she's going to call. Oh, hey Isabel. I'm back in town and wondered if you wanted to meet up for a soda for old time's sake." She glanced at the screen. "It's Mom. Hey Mom. What's up. Uh huh. Uh huh. What, now? We're kind of in the middle of something. Oh. Okay. Be right there." She hung up the phone. "Mom's really upset about something," she gave the others a look of apology as she placed the phone back in her purse. "I'll get back when I can."

"Want me to come, too?" Max stepped toward Isabel.

"No, that's okay, Max," she reached out and put her hand on his arm. "You stay. You guys need to figure this out."

* * *

"I hate it when I don't know what the hell is going on," Michael raged.

"Snafu," Kyle smirked.

"What?" Michael stopped and glared at Kyle.

"Well, I guess I can't really add anymore to this conversation," Jim rose from his seat. "Max? What do you say I give my deputies Tess's description and ask them to keep an eye open for her?"

"What reason would you give them?" Max was weighing up the pros and cons. "We don't want to arouse anyone's suspicions."

"Simple," the Sheriff grinned. "She was like a daughter to me while she was living with us I heard she was back in town and I want to surprise her." He shrugged. "No one needs to know any more that that."

"Okay," Max agreed. "Make sure that they don't tip her off, though. Tell them that if they see her, just report her position. We, uh... don't want to spoil the surprise."

"Okay, Max," he touched his fingers to the brim of his hat. "'Night, all."

"Good night," they all echoed.

A phone on the table started to ring. Everyone stared at it.

"Max," Maria called, rolling her eyes.

Isabel was right. Tess would never tip her hand and contact any of them. Unless she already knew that they were on to her, in which case... she would definitely be one to call him up to gloat. That was definitely Tess's style. Max crossed to the table and picked the phone up from where he had left it. He flipped it open, checking the caller's id.

"Hey, Mom," Max nodded to signify to the others that it was okay. "What's... What? What did he... What?" Max's face fell in shock. He went white again. "When? How?" The others could sense Max's panic and were showing signs of alarm. "I gotta go," he started to move toward the door.

"Max, what's up?" Kyle was the first to react.

"It's Iz..."

The room went deathly silent.

"What about her," Kyle's voice was tight.

"She's just had a visit from the FBI," the look of another failure was spreading across Max's face.

"What?" Michael barked. "Max, is this..."

"No, Michael," Max shook his head, but the haunted look remained. "It's about Jesse. He was mugged last night. In Boston."

"In Boston?" Maria's jaw dropped. "But nothing ever happens in Boston."

"How's he taking it?" Kyle blurted.

"Not too well, Kyle," Max shook his head. "Not too well at all."

"Did they get away with much?" Michael asked, felling genuine sympathy for the guy. The break up hadn't been completely his fault.

"Yeah," Max pushed his hand through his hair. "His watch, his wallet..." Max paused. "His life."

"What?" the three gasped.

"Jesse's dead," Max groaned.

"Damn, she moves fast!" Maria growled. "No wonder we haven't seen her anywhere. She's in fucking Boston."

"You think this has something to do with Tess?" Kyle narrowed his eyes.

"Don't you?" Max snapped.

"Wait. Max," Michael looked up, his face twisted into a frown. "Tess didn't even know Jesse."

"And you think that would protect him, how?"

"Why?" Kyle shook his head. "Why would Tess kill Jesse?"

"I have no idea," Max growled. It was an animalistic growl that caused everyone's hackles to rise. "All I know is that in the space of a week, someone important to Isabel and the most important person in my life has been killed. Coincidence? I don't think so."

The door slammed shut behind him as Max left the apartment.

"I just wish he realized that while Liz was still alive," Maria cried.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Post by WR » Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:45 pm

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your great feedback. And I am really sorry, but I'm not going to be able to respond individually tonight. Just lately I have been so incredibly busy. In fact, I have had no time to even write for over a week now. It's a good jon I'm so far ahead of myself. :wink:

I hope (:!:) to be back to normal next week, but who knows? :roll:

So without further ado...

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 8

"This is a great opportunity, sir," Ghent leaned over the table.

Sitting in the darkened corner of the tavern, both the King's chamberlain, Ghent and the man to whom he was speaking were in shadow. No one would recognize their features.

"So you say, Ghent," the mysterious figure grunted.

"The time of the monarchy is over," Ghent continued. "Every day, we discover a new civilization on a distant planet. How soon until we find one more advanced... or more empirically minded than us? What do we do when we are attacked by a fleet that turns the daylight into night? The Granolith can't do everything. And what if they have a Granolith of their own?"

"So are you suggesting that we...?"

"Offense is the best form of defense, General," Ghent lowered his voice. "Surely you know that. Rather than becoming the expanded horizon of another planet, why shouldn't we be the ones to expand ours?"

"So you're suggesting a dictatorship?"

"An Empire, sir," Ghent nodded.

"The Generals take over. With someone with as much foresight as you leading them. We increase the size of our armies, conscripting soldiers from the other planets as well. And as we conquer, we absorb the defeated military might of our enemies, using them on the frontiers rather than allowing them to cause trouble on their home planets."
"Your idea has merit," the General's shape nodded. "Have you spoken to anyone else about this, yet?"

"No one," Ghent shook his head.

"What do you get out of this?"

"I would hope, sir," he looked around, "that I would be rewarded with a position that would grant me some scant profit? Say... a planetary Governor?"

"That's all you want?"

"That is all," Ghent nodded. "I have no use for political power."

"And you're sure that this latest... tension among the Senate is the best way to exploit this?"

"It is. Too many people will be thinking too many things to see what is really happening. By the time the people are indebted to the military for taking care of the situation, no one will be in a position to do anything about it."

"What you say makes sense," the General sat back. "I will do it."

"Then we are agreed," Ghent leaned back too. He handed the General a drink. "Let us toast our destinies"

"Destiny," they both raised their cups and clinked them together. Both men swallowed the fiery liquid.

* * *

"Your highness," one of the palace's servants was shaking Zan's arm. "You must wake up, your highness."

Zan awoke to that foggy feeling between wakefulness and sleep, the kind you found yourself in after a disturbing dream that you couldn't quite remember.

"Prince Zan," the servant shook him again.

"What?" Zan opened his eyes and stared into the darkness. It was either very, very late, or really, really early. "What's up?"

"You must go to the Senate," the servant urged.

"The Senate?" Zan tried to roll over. "My father dismissed the Senate. Let me sleep."

"That's as may be, young sire," the servant continued. "But it seems that the Senate have not allowed themselves to be dismissed. They are planning a meeting as we speak."

"What?" Zan sat upright. "They're meeting without the king's permission? Now?"

"Yes, sir," he nodded. "In the Senate buildings."

"Fetch my clothes," Zan pointed to his wardrobe. "I do not want to miss this."

* * *

"What's going on, Zan?" Vilandra padded out into the hallway in her dressing gown as Zan was preparing to leave.

"The Senate is holding an unauthorized meeting," Zan looked at her. "It seems they have disregarded Father's instructions."

"What good would that do?" Vilandra frowned. "Without the King to ratify any agreement, all they can really do is talk."

"I don't know." Zan narrowed his eyes. "I think that maybe they're hoping Father will turn up. That it will force him into discussing this whole issue more calmly."

"It's likely to make him more angry," she rolled her eyes.

"I'll say," Zan smirked. "Anyway, I thought I'd go, you know, and keep an eye on things. I mean, one day, it will be me who has to deal with the Senate. The more I learn in times of trouble, the more ready I will be."

"You just be careful, Zan," Vilandra urged. "I was in the market today. Everyone's been talking about this since it happened last week. There's a whole bunch of people calling for Daddy's abdication. Some even want to see the whole Monarchy abolished. They're calling for a Republic."

"I've heard those stories, too, Lonnie," Zan approached her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "But for every voice calling against, there are a half dozen voices who oppose that idea."

"I hope you're right, Zan," Vilandra frowned. "'Cause where will we go if they do get rid of us?"

"It will never happen," Zan chuckled as he turned for the door.

Zan opened the door to the palace and stepped through. Another man, grabbing Zan's arm as he himself stepped from the outside, halting his forward momentum. The newcomer was slightly taller than Zan and held the bearing of a military man. He moved with the knowledge that no repercussions for manhandling the prince would befall him. Holding Zan's arm tightly, he dragged him back into the room.

"Rath!" Vilandra gasped.

"Vilandra," the stern looking man nodded his greeting.

He turned to face Zan.

"And just where do you think you are going, young man?" Rath demanded. He seemed angry.

"I thought I was going to the Senate," Zan glared at his old friend and mentor, while he rubbed his arm now free of Rath's grip.

"Wrong," Rath shook his head. "You are staying right here."

"No," Zan stood up to the man. "It is you who are wrong. There is something going on, and as your future King, I think I should know exactly what it is. After all, I will have to rule these people. Better that I know first hand what their problem is."

"Who says there's a problem," Rath narrowed his eyes. "I never said there was a problem."

"You didn't have to!" Zan snapped. "When someone manhandles his Prince, and forbids him to go somewhere, then clearly, that man thinks there is something wrong. Something that constitutes a problem. Now you either step aside and let me pass, or you tell me precisely what this 'non-problem' is."

"It's not safe for you to be out on the streets," Rath sighed. "I've been busy these last three days, putting down riots and breaking up demonstrations. There's a growing movement who are... shall we say, less than pleased with our King."

"Are the riots quelled?" Zan raised an eyebrow.

"For now."

"Then it is safe for me to go," he shrugged. "It's unlikely there will be a band of citizens out there at this hour, on the off chance that their Prince might wish to go for a walk."

"What?" Rath gasped. "No way."

"Then how about a compromise," Zan pulled on his diplomatic face. "You and your men can escort me."

"I can't," Rath shook his head. "General Dray has been missing for the past two days. There had been no word of him or the bulk of the army he was leading at the time. He was chasing down the rumor of a large gathering of rebels, or bandits in the mountains. I have to stay on top of things here. You know. Organize a search party for him, quell riots and keep the peace here. And I don't have time to baby sit you."

"Baby sit?" Zan barked. "You know as well as I do that I came out top of my class when I trained under you. Do you really believe that I need baby sitting?"

"You are not a killer, Zan," Rath stared at him. "You have never taken a life in your... Don't start now." Rath paused, all the while studying Zan. "All right. I'll send two men with you. Wear a hood and stay at the back. Do not reveal yourself. You go straight there, come straight back when it's over, and if anything happens, then listen to your guards. They are in charge. Deal?"

"Deal," Zan shook Rath's hand.

"I hate dealing with you," he shook his head with a wry smile. "You always seem to get your way in the end."

"You stick to the fighting, Rath," Zan grinned. "I'll do the politics."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 10:22 am
Location: Somewhere over England

Red Shift Part 1 Chapter 9

Post by WR » Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:43 pm

Hi everyone,

Thank you all so much for sticking with my to and fro story. And I hope things really are starting to make sense, what with both lines moving forward, one here and now nd the other, decades past.

Things start to quicken apace from her until the end of part 1. Tighten those seat belts folks. No major cliffies but a bumpy ride.

Evans3 - Well, Things aren't really settling down but I'm making time tonight. :) Thank you.

jbangelo - Thank you. :)

NorafanofMaxandLiz - What can I say, but thank you. I'll be in touch soon. Promise. :)

taressa05 - Thank you. To help understand, separate the two separate issues and look at them both as separate stories. ;)

AJK001 - See my note above. And get the belt buckled. ;)

aurorasky - Thank you. :)

Timelord31 - Well, give you three guesses, but you'll only need one. ;)

tequathisy - Yes. I would agree with you that the senate is in the right and the King is in thr wrong, but who has the global picture?

Roswelllostcause - Okay, I'm back. Oh, you had to wait the week. Wait. More than a week, because tonight we're back in Roswell. ;)

Teresa - Glad to see you around, still. Hope all's going well. Hope to see more of you. :)

cherie - Aw, come on! Would I really bump anyone else off?

Okay, here goes...

Red Shift

Part I

Chapter 9

Through these fields of destruction
Baptism of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

The FBI had long since departed, leaving the Evans to their grief. Isabel sat in an armchair beneath the glow of a single lamp standard, in the corner of the Evans' living room. Max watched her, noting that she looked as broken up over Jesse's death as he still was over Liz's.

"Has anyone told his mom?" her voice sounded dead.

"Yes, honey," Diane sat on the arm of the chair, her hands smoothing through Isabel's hair. "The FBI told her at the same time as us."

"She shouldn't be on her own," Isabel looked up through her red eyes.

"I'll take care of it," Max offered. He walked to the hall and the telephone.

"Jim? It's Max," he started. "Listen. We just heard from the FBI. No. Its Isabel's... husband. Jesse, he's..." his voice started to break. "He's been killed. In Boston."

He paused while Jim was talking.

"Probably," Max nodded, looking into the living room. "Listen. His mom is on her own. You couldn't get someone to swing by and pick her up, could you? Isabel thinks she should be with us right now. Thanks." He hung up and returned to the room. "Jim is sending someone to pick her up," he sighed.

"Who would do such a thing?" Philip kept shaking his head, unable to comprehend that a man would be stabbed to death for the sake of a few dollars. "And why? I mean... why?"

"There are some crazy people out there, Dad," Max's voice was quiet. He crossed the room and sat on the other arm, next to his sister. He placed his hand on her shoulder. "And one day, justice 'will' be done."

Isabel glanced up and looked hard at Max, trying to read him.

"At the end of the day," Max sighed. "Our misery has been brought down on us by one person." He caught Isabel's attention and looked upward.

"Max," Diane scolded. "I know that sometimes, it's just too easy to blame God for all the bad things that happen, but, you know, it's times like these, a little faith can help you a lot."

"I have faith, Mom," Max gave her a weak smile.

Isabel looked up and nodded her thanks. She knew that Tess would not get to walk away again. Not this time.

* * *

Max lay back on his old bed, his fingers laced behind his head, staring at the ceiling. He had agreed to Isabel's request to remain there for the night and it felt strange to be in his old room again. But he had been unable to sleep. Although there were so many things that he should have been thinking about, there was only one thing on his mind. Liz. He had failed her, yet again. He found it hard to believe that even at the end, in spite of the fact that ultimately, it had been his fault that she was about to die, she had thought of him. He winced in pain as he again felt the moment the car hit hers. It was even harder to believe that Liz had still loved him... as much as he still loved her. He had felt that through her vision she had left for him. A deep, patient love.

"Come in, Iz," his voice was soft and quiet. He had sensed her presence even through his thoughts of Liz.

Isabel entered his room and sat on the corner of his bed.

"If you had Counting Crows playing," she smiled. "This would be just like old times."

"Kyle mentioned that," Max gave a light snort. "Once or twice."

"He asked me for a divorce, you know," Isabel started to weep.

"Iz," Max sat up and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. There was genuine sympathy in his voice. "I'm so sorry."

"You can say it, you know," She looked down at the floor. "You can say, I told you so."

"Why would I do that?" Max widened his eyes. "Did you think I might get some kind of pleasure out of seeing you in pain like this? I wouldn't wish that on anyone, Isabel. And as you all know, I'm hardly an expert on relationships."

"No, I..." Isabel closed her eyes and just sat, comforted by the fact that Max was being so... Max. She sucked in a deep ragged breath and exhaled, trying to gain control of her emotions. It seemed that was all anyone had been doing lately. "Why do you think Tess had something to do with this?"

"It's..." Max waved a hand in the air. "I just think it is. Though, for the life of me, I can't figure out why she would do that. I mean, she never even knew Jesse. And he was all the way over in Boston. So... it's just a..." He shrugged. "I don't know."

"Maybe..." Isabel sounded nervous now. Unsure. "Maybe she's acting on orders."

"In what way?" Max leaned back to look at her. "And who from?"

"From..." her voice caught. "From Khivar."

"No," Max shook his head after careful consideration. "No. I can't see that. I mean, I can see why Tess would want to... kill..." he swallowed, "Liz. And I can see Tess acting on orders to maybe try something with me again. But Jesse? That's a little too tenuous for me. I mean... why?"

"Because he wants me back," Isabel started a fresh storm of crying.

"What are you talking about, Isabel?" Max frowned. "And what do you mean... back?"

"Do you remember that time when Tess was kidnapped by Whittaker?"

"Yeah," Max nodded. "You had to... you saved Tess."

"Yeah, how dumb was that, huh?" Isabel gave a self-deprecating smirk. "Anyway, she told me that she had kidnapped Tess to lure me out. She... she told me that on Antar..." Isabel gulped. "She said that she wanted to get me away from you guys. To protect me from you."

"Why would she do that, Iz?" Max was reeling. "And what do you mean, protect you from us. Isabel, you're my sister. I would never hurt you."

"This is hard, Max," she whimpered. "Really hard. I don't know how Liz did it. Talked to you after, I mean. I can only imagine how scared she must have been."

"Isabel," Max clenched his fists in frustration. "Please. You're not making any sense. Please, just tell me."

"Whittaker... She said that on Antar, I was the reason we all died. She said that I betrayed you. To Khivar."

"Why would you do a thing like that?" Max narrowed his eyes, hating the fact that something in the back of his mind was telling him this was the truth.

"Because... Because, Max," Isabel inhaled and let out a long, jagged breath. "Khivar and I... we were lovers."

Max's jaw dropped. He couldn't help gaping at her. He remained silent for the longest time. He was trying to wrap his mind around Isabel's confession.

"Say something, Max," Isabel begged.

"And you think Khivar ordered Jesse's death because you were married to him?"

"It does sort of make sense," Isabel nodded. "But aren't you going to say anything about... about Khivar... and me?"

"Not you, Isabel," Max shook his head. "That was Vilandra. If she was in love with Khivar, then maybe she had her reasons to betray Zan. I mean, look at the mess I lead us into down here. Maybe up there, I was worse."

"No," Isabel shook her head. "No, I don't believe that."

"Just like I don't believe that you will betray me. Just like I don't believe that Vilandra betrayed Zan. At least, not intentionally. But you're right about one thing. If Khivar wants you back, then having Jesse killed solves a problem for him. But... But what about Liz?"

"Maybe Liz was just a personal score."

* * *

The garage remained shut the following day. Maria called her mom and didn't go in to help her in her retail venture, selling tacky tourist gimmicks to even more tacky tourists. Instead, everyone gathered at Michael and Maria's, primarily to comfort each other after the blows they had all received. They were also there to hold a council of war. Only Jim was absent. He was not his own boss and could not just take time off when he felt like it. And it was reassuring knowing that there was at least one pair of eyes on the lookout for Tess.

"Do you even think she'll come back?" Kyle was lounging in one of their armchairs.

"It's a possibility," Max nodded from the kitchen chair he sat on.

"It won't hurt to stay on our guard," Michael confirmed. "I mean, if what Max and Isabel said was right, then Isabel at least isn't safe, and I can't imagine that Tess will pass up the chance to have a go at Max."

"I know you stayed there last night, Max," Maria moved across from the kitchen door to stand behind him. "But I want you to promise me that you'll stay at your mom and dad's until this all blows over. At least then you have each other. You're too isolated out there at that trailer park."

Max exchanged an amused grin with Michael.

"Yes, mom," he chuckled, leaning back to look up at her.

"I mean it," she slapped his shoulder. "If Tess is going to come after you, then you better believe I'm going to be concerned." Her voice dropped. "Besides, Liz would never forgive me if..." She left it hanging. Everyone knew what she meant.

"What scares me the most," Isabel's voice pierced the silence. "Is the fact that she seems to know things that we don't talk about in public. I mean... who could have guessed that Max and Liz did still love each other unless you listened to us talk?"

"Oh, come on, Isabel," Kyle shook his head. "Everybody knew that. Just like Harris was finding out for himself. We already said how easy it was for Tess to find out that particular gem."

"Okay then," she looked up in defiance. "What about me and Jesse? He moved all the way over to Boston. He served me with divorce papers..." Maria gasped while Michael raised his eyebrows. "Anyone asking around would learn that my marriage was totally dead and very nearly buried." She realized what she had just said. "Sorry," she mumbled, looking down at the ground. "The thing is, Kyle. You are the only person I've told how I still have feelings for him."

"I'm not in the habit of passing information on to Tess," Kyle snapped, leaping from his chair.

"No one is saying you are," Max rose and stepped in between Kyle and Isabel, just in case. "It's just... Tess can do things to people. To people's..." He dropped his voice to a whisper, remembering that Kyle, of all people, would know. "...minds."

"I know you wouldn't say anything Kyle," Isabel's tone was more placating. "That's what I was saying earlier. How did Tess find out that I never stopped caring? That I never stopped loving Jesse and hoped that he would come home and try again."

"Talking about coming home," Max took a deep breath. "They're flying his body in tomorrow. We'll have another funeral to attend soon."

* * *

"I don't care what you say, Max," Michael stood beside him, gazing out of the window at the streets below. The sun had set, bringing darkness to the streets of Roswell. It was funny how threatening they now seemed. "Whether you like it or not, you are a leader. Look how easily you stepped back into the role for this crisis."

"You're in charge," Max shook his head.

"No," Michael slapped Max's back. "You are. Everyone looked to you right away. They wouldn't do that if they didn't think you were up to it."

"But last time..."

"We weren't ready. But this time, we are."

"I have a bad feeling, Michael," Max continued to shake his head. "Don't do this. It will end in disaster. I can feel it."

"We need you, Maxwell," Michael smiled. "And you know that Liz would be proud of you. So... It's time to step up to the plate and bat us in."

* * *

"I'll get it," Michael called to Maria who was still in the shower, getting ready for work.

"Right," Maria called above the noise of the water. "Like I'm going to go."

Michael started to chuckle as he opened the front door.

"Hey guys," he stepped back to let Max and Isabel in. "So... what's this?"

"Escort duty," Max smirked. "Isabel will walk with Maria to her Mom's store, and you get to enjoy my company."

"Great honor," Michael rolled his eyes. "When did I draw the short straw?"

"Don't give up the day job," Max snorted. "Any coffee going?"

"In the kitchen," Michael waved his hand.

"Who is it?" Maria called out from the bathroom.

"Max and Isabel," he replied.

"What do they want?"

Michael looked into the kitchen where the two siblings were helping themselves to Michael's toast and shook his head.


* * *

"Do you really think this is necessary?" Michael asked Max as they walked along the street toward the garage. It wasn't far enough to drive. "I mean, this babysitting?"

"Maria seems to think so," Max nodded. "Making me move back home. And if I have to put up with my mom's culinary experiments, then you have to put up with me coming round in the morning for some real food and walking you to work."

"You're a regular hero," Michael grunted.

"What are friends for?" Max's mood dropped. "I wish Li..."

"You two were good at figuring things out," Michael gave a gentle smile. "You miss her, don't you?"

"Like I'd miss my right arm," Max scratched his ear. "But it's more than that." He exhaled. "You see... our connection... over the years, I just got used to it being there. Like it was a part of me, you know? And now... it's gone, and I feel so... empty. And I'm so afraid I'm going to forget how good it felt." Max stopped. "Michael? I can't live for dozens of years, knowing she's gone. Knowing she'll never come back. What am I going to do?"

"You're going to go on, Max!" Michael snapped. "Like Liz would have wanted you to. You're going to sort out this mess, punish Tess for what she's done to us, and then? Then you are going to make something of your life. Forget this search for your son. It's too late, now. Live your life for Liz. Got it?"

Max stared hard at Michael, as if searching for something. He started to nod.

"Good. Now come on. Let's get to work before Kyle starts giving me grief again."

The two young men turned and continued to walk along the road.

"Any news from Jim?" Michael asked.

"No," Max shook his head. He dropped his voice so that only Michael could hear him. "He has all the deputies looking for her, but no one's seen a damned thing. Maybe she didn't come back from Boston yet."

"No," Michael looked around. He too spoke in a near whisper. "She's here. I can feel her."

"I wish I could figure out her next move," Max peered at a shadow, convinced someone was hiding there. "I mean, she's bound to come for me sooner or later, and if I could just figure out how."

"Do you really buy that deal about Khivar wanting Isabel?"

"I don't know," Max frowned. "I don't want to believe it. But Isabel is pretty convinced that he does. So... I trust Isabel. The same as I trust you. Maybe she did betray us on Antar, but we were different people then. All of us. We were all different people."

"Except Tess," Michael growled. "She's just the same. All that 'destiny' crap. Memory retrieval," he snorted. "What stupid asshole would really fall for a stunt like that?"

"This stupid asshole," Max held up his hand and pointed his index finger down on himself. "Apparently."

"Shit," Michael bit his lip, conveniently forgetting his own experiments with Tess. "Sorry, Max. I mean..."

"No," Max smirked. "You're right. I was so... mixed up over that whole... Liz thing... I thought... I thought maybe, if I started to remember, I could see that I wasn't really in love with Tess... I mean, Ava, and that Liz and I... could..."

"Good intentions, Max," Michael's words were filled with sympathy. "Bad plan."

"I just had a thought!" Max stopped in his tracks. His face went white. "Oh, no. No. You don't think...?"

"What?" Michael finally stopped and looked back at him. "What thought did you have?"

"What if..." Max went pale. "Tess killed Alex, right? She said it was an accident, but with her, who knows? And she murdered Liz and probably Jesse, too. Right?"

"Uh huh," Michael was nodding. "I'd say that's a pretty safe bet."

"So what if..." Max swallowed. "What if it really is a revenge thing? What if Tess is trying to get revenge on me for not loving her, and on Iz for not being the friend she was supposed to be? What if Tess is killing everyone that Isabel and I have ever got close to?"

"Yeah," Michael nodded. His eyes went wide. "Oh shit!"

"Kyle!" they both exclaimed together.

With one combined thought, they both took off. The leisurely stroll to work became a footrace. Cars that got in the way were scrambled over. More than a few garbage cans were knocked over. Neither cared. Both were feeling panicked. As they burst around the corner, the sight that met them caused them both to stop suddenly, both grabbing hold of each other for balance. Both Max and Michael felt the world drop away. The garage door was fenced off by yellow tape. 'Police line, do not cross.' There were three Sheriff Department cars there, a fire truck and an ambulance. All of them had their lights flashing. As well as a few bystanders, a number of deputies were moving about. Taking a look at one another, they ran toward the door.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," a deputy grabbed their arms, managing to stop them. "You can't just go barging in there. This is the scene of an investigation."

"What's happened?" Max gasped.

"An industrial accident," the deputy shook his head. "There's nothing here to see. Just move along, now."

"What happened?" Michael demanded. "I'm the co-owner of this place. You have to tell me! What's happened?"

"I'm sorry sir," the deputy persisted. "Until the investigator's finished his... investigation, I'm afraid I can't say anything."

Just then, the doorway opened. Max tugged Michael's sleeve and nodded at the opened door. Beneath the ramp upon which sat an old looking Buick, the bottom half of a body was trapped. All they could see were the legs and the feet.

"Who is that," Michael pulled at the Deputy. His voice was frantic. "That's our friend, for Christ's sake! Is that our friend? Is that Kyle Valenti?"

"I'm sorry," the Deputy remained resolute. "I'm afraid that I cannot divulge that kind of information. Now please, let us do our job. Leave." He looked over his shoulder. "Close that damned door!"

Someone complied.

Max pulled Michael over to one side and pulled out his phone. He pressed the speed button for Jim.

"Hey, you've reached Jim Valenti. Uh, you go ahead and leave a message now, 'kay? - beep."

"Oh, shit," Max hung up, his face draining of color. "We're too late."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.