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

Red Shift Part 3 Chapter 7

Post by WR » Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:04 pm

Hi everyone!

Is it Friday already??

As always, thank you for your continuing support for my story. And can I say, I miss my cliffhangers. Just like the old days, huh? Like those ones from BRH... or OCaK?? There were some good ones!

Can I just say.... poor Raul. I needed an excuse to get him off the boat (and captured) and NOT have Julia refusing to leave him behind. So I needed him to make a play. It was either him or one of the others :wink:

BehrObsession - But then... Nah. I would never be mean enough to kill Liz twice, would I?? :twisted:

youre my dreamgirl - LOL - I was never off form. Just being nice to you guys :wink:

polar vixen - Evil? Me? But then you already knew that :wink: :lol:

AJK001 - he he he... bucke up! :wink:

roswck - Yup :D Yes. Luke is insisting on telling the people who are helping him. It seems he has learned SOMETHING from his last lifetime :wink:

dawnuk - I have an awesome rolse for Anders to play. I wonder if you will spot it :wink: Now, Coffee... I would prefer a Saturday towards the middle/end of October. How about the 21st?

Timelord31 - Thats what everyone said waaaaay back in Part 1 chapter 3! :wink:

Ellie - It gets pretty noisy when the wind is blowing through you sails. :wink:

roswellluver - Maybe they are and maybe they aren't! :wink:

roswell3050 - Thank you :) Yes, I think Luke would give up. :wink:

smokie - Heh heh heh - since when have I done things that you guys think I "have" to? :twisted: Luke told Raul about their origins. As he knows them. When Luke/Max trusts someone, he trusts them.

omwf - YOu mean... you would see me go hungry? Yes, I'm like a vampire. I feed on your angst! :lol:

paper - Yes, I think Luke decided that if Raul was going to help them, he should at least know why. Clearly someone born to lead. :wink:

frenchkiss70 - I do! I love it! :wink: Really? Luke and Julia have no connection (well, they do, sorta) so you think he might still know if she died or not? Hmmm... I wonder what he thinks?

heatherbelieze - Thank you :) I do strive to keep my stories different. I like to explore angles that other authors have not. It gets harder with each new story, though.

Emz80m - Thank you. :)

Roswellostcause - I know exactly how you feel! :wink: Good to have you back.

Jull_ana - Lurkdom? Lurkdon? No, no , no. That would never do. :)

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 7

Luke was feeling a little 'wooly headed' when he emerged from his tent a little after the sun had risen. He stood up and stretched.

"So what was that little outburst about, last night," Maria asked him.

"Excuse me?" Luke frowned.

"Yeah," Michael nodded. "What was that about?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Luke shook his head in confusion.

"You know," Leia narrowed her eyes. "Standing there like a zombie, saying 'Help her', over and over again."

"Was I?" Luke seemed surprised.

"Yes," everyone nodded.

"Sorry," he shrugged.

"Help who?" Maria asked.

"I have no idea," Luke shook his head again. "Sorry."

"Did you have another one of your dreams?" Leia frowned.

"I don't think so," Luke tried to concentrate on whether he had dreamed or not. "I don't remember dreaming about anything."

"Weird," was all Michael could say.

* * *

By the time the buses arrived, the news buzzing around camp was that someone had escaped from the stockade in a rather mysterious fashion. There were rumors that the army had captured a high ranking alien officer, but alien commandos had rescued him.

"Great," Michael groaned. "How much closer to the truth could they get?"

Although the search was concentrated on the surrounding countryside, they still conducted a thorough search inside the camp. With soldiers checking everyone's papers, and circulating throughout the camp, Luke had come up with a novel idea.

"They're looking for someone on their own," he told them. "So Maria, you act like you are with Raul, okay? Michael, you stay with Leia. I'll be the one on his own."

"Why can't Leia and Raul buddy up?" Michael demanded.

"If we need to run," Luke wouldn't look at Michael. "It's better we act like we don't know these two. They can then just mingle into the crowd and disassociate themselves from us."

"Disassociate?" Maria snapped. "I never got involved with this to disassociate myself, Luke."

"That's not what I meant, Maria," Luke groaned. "We won't leave without you, but if we have to make a run for it, we can pick you guys up later, right?"

"Right," Michael nodded. "Just keep your hands where I can see them, Raul."

"I don't have any papers," Raul was showing signs of panic as they neared the guards checking everyone onto the bus they had lined up near.

"Relax," Maria sighed. "Just act normally."

He almost bolted when one of the wandering guards stopped next to him.

"Don't I know you?" his face was screwed up in concentration. His eyes widened in sudden recognition.

Raul's face went white.

"No," Leia spoke from beside him. "That's not him at all. It looks like him but this guy is much taller."

"Sorry, Pal," he continued his walk.

Raul was too busy staring at Leia to notice Maria hand two sets of papers to the guard.

"Say goodbye to Beaumont," Michael sighed with relief as the bus pulled out of the compound.

"How did I get passed that guard?" Raul turned to Maria, sitting beside him.

"With these," Maria handed him a set of suspiciously new looking papers.

"Where did you get these?" he examined them, front and back.

"I thought Luke explained everything to you?" Maria narrowed her eyes.

"You mean... he just made them?"

"Duh," she rolled her eyes.

"I thought he was fooling around with me, you know?" Raul slumped into the seat. "To get even with me."

"Why would Luke want to get even with you?" Maria wanted to know.

"Never mind," he shook his head. "So everything he told me... that was true?"

"I don't really know how much he told you," Maria shrugged.

"You know, uhm..." Raul pointed upward.

"Yeah," Maria nodded. "That much is certainly true. Why? Does it make a difference?"

Raul couldn't answer straight away. He had to think back on everything they had ever done together, as friends.

"I guess not," he shrugged. "Not if they're opposed to the ones who invaded us."

"Oh, you don't have to worry about that," she started to chuckle. "These guys are just about more opposed to those aliens than the humans are."

"Does Julia know?"

"What?" Maria smirked. "If Luke and them are opposed to the other aliens?"

"No," he shook his head. "Does Julia know that the guy she's head over heels in love with is... is an... you know."

"I really don't know what Luke told her that night they spent together," Maria shook her head. "So I don't know if Julia does or does not know. But I can tell you one thing."

"What's that?"

"It won't make a blind bit of difference. She will love Luke, whoever he is."

* * *

"Andy! Julia!"

As the light gradually grew and the darkness receded, Lyle had kept calling the names of his friends. Over and over again. His voice was getting hoarse now, and he was almost too exhausted to continue. How long he had been calling, he couldn't say.

"Annnn-dyyyyy! Juuuu-llliiiiaaaa!" he tried one last time.

He had had enough. Lyle could not continue shouting any longer. His body had taken all it could and he reluctantly knew that it was time to give up his search. His friends were gone.

Then he heard it.

"Lyle!" a weak call from somewhere out to sea. "Is that y..."

The voice was suddenly cut off. A surge of adrenaline gave Lyle a second wind. His eyes swept from one wave to another, searching for something... anything.

There! Lyle spotted a flash of white, maybe fifty yards out to sea. It looked like a body. Wasting not a second more, Lyle was in the water and moving through it like an Olympic athlete. At long last, the shape was close enough for him to grab. He had been right, it was a body. It was Anders.

"I got you, buddy," he was shouting with joy. "Just hang on!"

With one hand holding onto Anders, Lyle used his other arm and his legs to power himself back to shore. He had him on his back, on the wet sand. Calling up all of his first aide classes, Lyle was pumping Anders' chest, and using CPR to fill his lungs with air.

"Don't give up on me!" Lyle was screaming as he pumped on his chest some more. "Damn you Anders, don't you die on me!"

Almost frantically, Lyle worked at bringing Anders back. At last he was rewarded with a cough, the ejection of seawater and choking.

"Oh, god," Lyle hugged his friend. "You're alive."

"Does this mean we're engaged?" Anders' weak voice groaned. "Were you kissing me?"

"Tell a single soul," Lyle chuckled with relief, "and I'll drown you all over again."

Anders reached up and grabbed Lyle's upper arm.

"You saved my life," he coughed.

"Yeah," Lyle nodded with a grin. "And I don't think I can even begin to tell you how good that makes me feel inside."

"Where..." Anders was almost too afraid to ask. Lyle had somehow built a fire and they were sitting in front of its warmth. "Where's Julia?"

"I don't know," Lyle shook his head after an agonizing moment of silence. "I couldn't find her."

"Do you think..." But he left the sentence unfinished.

"No," Lyle shook his head. "She's alive. I know she is. She never came all this way to drown before she even got to see Luke."

"I think I saw her jump," Anders stared into the fire. "Just before I did. But I never saw her after that."

"I shouted to you both and jumped," Lyle's voice was filled with disgust. "I should have made sure before I jumped. I should have waited for her."

"You did what you had to do, Lyle," Anders voice was gentle. "At least you gave us a chance. If you hadn't warned us, neither of us would be here now."

"I hope she's okay," he groaned.

"Let me catch my breath," Anders nodded in agreement. "Then we can search for her."

"Okay," Lyle nodded.

Together, the two boys scoured the shoreline, taking turns to call out her name. Although they found lots of wreckage that had washed ashore, including the name plate of the boat, they found no trace of Julia.

"What do we do?" Anders collapsed to the sand, breathing heavily.

"We keep searching," Lyle was just as exhausted. "We keep looking until midmorning."

"Then what?" his friend's voice was a sad whisper.

"Then..." Lyle paused. "Then we head inland. Julia was trying to warn Luke about something. While I don't know what it was she was going to warn him about, we can at least try to find him and let him know."

"Where, though? New Mexico is a big place."

"Well..." Lyle shrugged. "I guess we could always start in the alien capital of the world. Roswell."

After another hour or two of searching, they had lost all hope. They had both given up the faint possibility that Julia had survived. It had only been Lyle's fitness that had saved him, and Anders. Julia, being half the size... Lyle doubted that she had managed to avoid the current of the bigger boat. He hoped that she had not been sucked into the propellers.

"We just keep following this beach," Anders suggested. "We'll find civilization soon enough."

The beach was actually a kind of causeway that ran parallel to the mainland. After hours of calling Julia's name, both of the boys remained silent as they trudged along beach. Both of their thoughts were with the strong willed young girl who had sailed across the gulf, chasing after her destiny, only to meet it in a collision with a large navy ship.

"I have some money," Lyle finally broke the long silence. "There's a town up ahead. Maybe we can find a diner or something. We should get something to eat."

"I doubt I could eat anything," Anders' stomach gave a long low grumble.

"Me neither," Lyle shook his head. "But if we plan to finish this journey, we need to regain our strength. And that means food."

"Unless eating is against the new Martial Law or something," Anders gave a soft snort.

They arrived at the small diner just as the owner was opening up.

"You boys look like you've been through hell," he commented as he held the door open for them.

"Twice, I think," Lyle groaned. "I don't suppose you've seen a young girl, about so high, probably in as bad a shape as we are, have you?"

"Hardly see anyone these days," he shrugged. "Not since Martial Law, anyway."

"Could we have two big breakfasts, please?" Lyle was almost done.

He had been hoping that maybe Julia had made it further along the beach. He was sure she would make for somewhere like a café or diner. The fact that she was not here...

"I'm sorry," he looked at their beaten condition. "I can't serve you without any papers."

"I was right," Anders rolled his eyes.

"We've run away from home," Lyle told the man. "We want to sign up with this volunteer force, you know? But our folks... they didn't want us to. We had to sneak out without our papers."

"I'll tell you what," the man looked around the room. It was empty. "I'll serve you a breakfast, okay? But if any soldiers appear, you two have to duck out the back, pronto. Got it?"

They sat at the counter while the man cooked them a full breakfast.

"You must be headed for Midland, then," he called over his shoulder.

Anders and Lyle looked at each other and shrugged questioningly at one another.

"Uh, yeah," Lyle finally answered. "I guess."

"You guess?" the man turned to look at them, one eyebrow raised. "Seeing as that's the biggest recruitment and training base in this area, it's probably the best one to head for. I think they have buses leaving for Midland later on, from the Corpus Christi bus despot."

"Whereabouts is Midland?" Lyle was trying to remember the geography of Texas.

"I'll show you," the man answered, placing the two breakfast plates in front of the boys.

He ducked into a back room while they started to tuck into their meal as though they had not eaten in ages. He returned with a large map of the state.

"We're here," he pointed to a town called Port Aransas, a small town on the causeway. "And over here, about ten miles as the crow flies is Corpus Christi." His finger moved South and West. "Midland is way up here." His finger moved up close to the corner formed by the New Mexico border.

"Midland is about forty miles from the border, right on Highway 20. It's a journey of nearly six hundred miles. By my reckoning, you should get there by tomorrow night. As long as you can get to the bus station by noon."

"Did you spot it?" Anders asked when the man had taken the map back to the back room he had it stored in.

"Sure I did," Lyle nodded. "He pointed right at it."

"No," Anders shook his head. "Did you spot the highway that runs practically parallel to the course we sailed? I bet that's the same highway Luke and the others took. And it leads all the way to Midland. Maybe we can intercept them there, 'cause I bet you that they'll head there first. Pretending to join up so they can travel."

"And..." Lyle narrowed his eyes.

"And we make our way to Corpus Christi bus depot, and get a ride to Midland by pretending we're joining up, too. You heard him. Forty miles from New Mexico."

"What if we don't find them there?"

"Then I hack into their computer, un-enlist us, and sneak away."

"Right," Lyle grinned with enthusiasm. "Then we head out for New Mexico, find a suitable place and cross the border."

"You realize that the border's going to be watched, yeah? Not only by soldiers and aliens, but probably by tons of electronic stuff, too. How are we going to sneak through?"

"By using our wits," Lyle shrugged. "But we have to get there first. And the longest journey starts with the first step."

"Where did that come from?" Anders smirked. "Sounded kind of Buddhist."

"Yeah," Lyle reached into his shirt and pulled out the small jade Buddha, tied around his neck with a leather strip. He studied it for a second. "It did, didn't it?"

* * *

"This is it," Maria looked out over the military encampment that the bus had just pulled up into. "Home, sweet home."

Built to the north of Midland Airport, which had been taken over by the Armed Forces, midway between Midland and Odessa, the camp had been sectioned into three main areas. The first area was a transit camp. Surrounding the square where the buses pulled up and deposited the influx of volunteers was a sea of tents. Included among these were the latrines, the showers and the kitchens. This transit camp was closest to the runways of the airport. The people who milled about the tent city were for the most part, civilians. A few uniforms seemed to be moving around, acting as some sort of police force.

Beyond the transit camp was row upon row of wooden barrack type buildings. The people milling about those buildings were dressed in military fatigues and moved like soldiers. Some were in units, being drilled, while others marched from one place to another, on some errand or other. The fields beyond the barracks seemed to contain towers and rope netting, and other forms of apparatus over which numbers of bodies were scurrying. In the distance, the steady sound of gunfire could be heard, presumably where the recruits were learning how to handle a gun.

They filed off of the bus and stood in a loose group, waiting for other groups from other buses to join them.

"Welcome to Midland Training Camp," a soldier stood on a large wooden crate and yelled out at the group. "This is where we will turn you into soldiers. This is where we start to fight back against the alien scum who are here to take over our planet."

"Steady," Luke placed a calming hand on Michael's shoulder. "That's not us they're talking about."

"The large building behind me is our processing center. As soon as you are ready, please file into the building and sign the papers. Once you have signed, you will officially be in the U.S. Military. You will be a member of the new Volunteer Force. From there, you will be assigned to a unit, and your barracks. As you can see, the barracks are a lot more comfortable than the tents you've been staying in up till now."

He paused to allow everyone to look over at the barracks and appreciate his little joke.

"Obviously, we are unable to process everyone at once, and there are many of you who might not be ready to sign up yet. Perhaps you are waiting for friends to join you. Until you have signed up, you will remain here in the tents. And if you wish to sign up with friends and be in the same unit, then please make sure you fill the appropriate boxes on your forms. It's best to sign up all together, because we fill up one barrack at a time. While you are here, in training, or waiting, you will have to work. You will be allocated chores to do. A camp this size does not run itself and we ran out of maids."

"The guy's a regular comedian," Raul rolled his eyes. "Well guys? What do we do?"

"We're not signing up," Michael turned to face the group. "As soon as it's dark, we'll slip out of here."

"Let's stay here tonight," Luke suggested. "We'll wait here tomorrow, too. We can spend the day resting up. Tomorrow evening, we can make our move, maybe using an incoming bus as cover, you know, slipping away in the chaos. And that gives the others a chance to catch up to us... if they think to come here."

"Makes sense," Maria nodded. "I mean, I would love to see Julia again."

"One day," Michael agreed. "But we leave tomorrow night."

"Agreed," Luke nodded. "Let's go find our tents and see what 'chores' we get to do."

As always, they took turns to keep watch through the night. They received some strange looks from the patrolling guards who passed them, but they did as Luke suggested and did not offer up any kind of explanation. Raul had seemed less jumpy and didn't even flinch when, unable to sleep, Luke joined him earlier than he should have.

"They're all teenagers," Luke looked at a small group of recruits what made their way past them. "Did you notice? All these kids should be thinking of college, and girlfriends, and just having fun. Not fighting against aliens."

"You, too," Raul observed. "You're a teenager too, you know."

Luke remained silent. How did he explain that he felt so much older? Only when he was with Julia did he ever truly feel like a human teenager.

"They want to defend their country," Raul shrugged. "This sort of thing has always happened, down throughout history. As soon as a country gets invaded, the people, and it's mainly the teenagers, flock to join up. As long as those aliens are here, then the kids will keep coming."

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "Maybe the one we're looking for will know of some way to make them all leave. The, uh... aliens, I mean."

"What about you?" Raul turned to look at Luke. "Would you just pack up and leave? If you could?"

"I don't know," he shook his head. "If I have a choice, no. When I find her... I never want to leave Julia again. But I really don't think that it's my decision." Luke released a heavy sigh.

During the next day, in between their manual chores, mostly food preparation, they took turns keeping an eye on the incoming buses. They also noticed a lot of regular army activity. Huge aircraft landed at the airport, and deposited large numbers of soldiers, marching smartly in formation to a fleet of trucks, which then disappeared with them. Huge trucks pulling flatbeds with tanks on them trundled along the highway. Armored personnel carriers were everywhere. Helicopters filled the skies. Sometimes just patrolling, sometimes dropping soldiers off, and sometimes taking soldiers away somewhere. And everywhere they looked, antiaircraft missile batteries were being set up.

As the sun was starting to drop behind the distant mountains, Michael called them all together.

"We have to go," he looked at Luke. "Now. We can't afford to wait. This build up isn't for show. We have to get in and find our King before the war starts. If the countryside is crawling with armies, we're never going to be able to sneak in and find him."

"Okay," Luke closed his eyes and nodded. "We'll make our way to the square. Tell anyone who asks we're expecting our friends. When a bus comes in, I'll make a wall to hide us. We head due west. See that hill out there? With the crown of trees? Make for that. If we get separated, we all know where to meet up. As soon as it's dark, we'll strike out and follow the road. Maybe tomorrow, we can find a town and I'll change our papers to read that we're heading for El Paso."

"You really thought of this, haven't you?" Leia grinned at him as they packed away their few possessions."

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "We really should know what were doing."

"What's next?"

"Let's just get to El Paso, first," he shrugged. "I'm still, uh, working on the rest."

"There's only two more busses due in tonight," Michael told them when they all gathered together at the square. "I just overheard those two guards talking. One's due any minute while the other is a couple of hours behind."

"We'll go with the first," Luke nodded. His face showed that he had been disappointed that Julia had not turned up.

"Can you feel her?" Leia asked.

"No," he shook his head.

"So we know she's not on this next bus, then," she placed her hand on his arm in sympathy. "I'm sorry, Luke."

"Maybe they went straight to New Mexico. Maybe I can follow her as soon as I can feel her."

"Want me to dream walk her?"

"No!" he was almost in a panic.

The last thing Luke wanted was Leia knowing that Julia had moved on to Lyle. Luke suspected that Leia liked Lyle herself.

"No," he said less urgently. "Let's just see what happens, okay?"

"Here it comes," Maria pointed out.

"We need to stand on the other side of it," Michael; suggested. "So that we're out of sight of the soldiers."

They moved to the back of the square as the bus pulled in and turned in a loop so that the doors were facing the welcoming committee.

"There's Lyle!" Raul's voice was almost filled with excitement.

"And Andy!" Maria laughed. "I don't see Julia, though."

The two boys on the bus saw their friends, and gave them a wave.

"They don't seem as excited to see us," Leia frowned at their dejected looks.

Anders and Lyle broke from the group and ran over to their friends. There were hugs for Maria and Leia while the men exchanged handshakes. Although they were genuinely pleased to have caught up with them, the others sensed an underlying sadness. And all the time, Luke ignored the fact that he couldn't feel anything and was searching the rest of the passengers in vain hope.

"Sorry, Luke," Lyle finally found the courage to answer the question that everyone wanted to ask. "She's not with us." Both Lyle and Anders looked heartbroken.

"Where..." his voice caught. "Where is she?"

"We got run down by this huge ship," Lyle was looking at the ground, unable to meet Luke's eyes. "It appeared from nowhere, and just... It ran into the back of us, Luke. Anders and me... we were up front. But Julia... she was steering."

Maria started to cry.

"We searched and searched, Luke," Anders continued. "All night and all morning too. We never found her. I'm so sorry. Luke. She never made it."

Everyone was stunned into silence, except for Maria who now had her head buried in Michael's chest, weeping loudly.

Luke looked at Anders and Lyle and just nodded. He turned away from the group and stared eastwards.

"Did you lose everything," Michael asked from over the top of Maria's head. "'Cause we're going to need more money."

"I never did trust boats," Lyle nodded. "As soon as I found out how... how Julia wanted to travel, I wrapped my money and my cell phone in a plastic bag and kept it with me. It stayed dry. I have the charger too."

"How much money do you have?"

"Nearly a thousand bucks," Anders shrugged. "What?" He looked at everyone who was staring in shock at him. "You'll be thanking me when we next eat."

"I never thought that far ahead," Anders shrugged. "Sorry."

"Well..." Michael looked at Luke. "There's nothing we can do, now. It's time we left. I think being in this army is going to be detrimental to our health."

"Where are we going?" Lyle looked at Luke, too.

"See that hill over there?" Michael pointed westward. "We're going to make our way to that and then, make for the road when it's totally dark. Hopefully, we can find a bus to El Paso.

"Come on," Luke," Leia stepped up beside him and took Luke's hand. "It's time, and we need you."

Luke nodded, and with a final wipe of his eye, he turned west.

* * *

In the end, it was easier than they had all expected. No one came looking for them, and neither did they get separated in the darkness. No one spoke, though, each of them thinking about the loss of Julia.

"I don't think she's dead," Luke finally announced when they reached the hill.

"What?" Maria gasped. "Why? What makes you say that?"

"I..." Luke suddenly flustered. "I don't know. I just... I just feel like I would know if she was dead. That's all. I don't think she's dead."

"I hope you're right, Luke," Lyle looked at his friend. "But me and Andy searched that beach for hours. And it took all I had to stay out of the undertow from the big boat. I nearly didn't make it. Andy was almost dead when I rescued him. And Julia, she's smaller... and weaker. Luke..."

"She's alive," Luke shook his head. "I know she is."

"We can't waste any time, Luke," Michael warned. "I'm sorry. But we have to keep going."

"I know," Luke sighed. "Let's make our way to the road. It's only a couple of miles. We should find a town before daybreak."

The dark ribbon of road grew closer as they carefully made their way over the uneven terrain. The moon was providing them a little light, but it was still not yet half its normal size.

"What's that?" Leia pointed at a dark shape by the road.

It was a long rectangle.

"Looks like a truck," Michael offered.

"There's someone there," Luke added. "Looks like he has a flat or something."

"Hey," Lyle offered. "Maybe if we help him, he can drive us to the next town. Saves on shoe leather."

The truck driver nearly jumped out of his skin when the seven of them appeared from darkness.

"My truck's empty," he warned them, watching them suspiciously. "And I aint got no money."

"Oh," Lyle laughed. "No, we're not here to rob you or anything. We're kind of hoping to trade our help for a lift. We're trying to get home to El Paso."

"You decide that you didn't like the idea of joining up after all?" he grinned at them.

"Something like that," Michael answered, his voice warning the others to be careful of what they said.

"Well," he shrugged. "I'd like to help you, you know? I was trying to get to Toyah, which is a hundred or so miles down the road, before curfew. But I got a flat."

"If we help you fix it," Luke pushed forward, "will you take us to Toyah?"

"Sorry," ht truck driver shook his head. "I don't have a spare. It got shredded a couple of hundred miles back. You can't get new ones unless the military authorize it and that takes ages."

"I learned this trick in science," Luke continued. "If I fix it, will you take us?"

"Hell, sure I will," he nodded.

"You guys climb in the back," Luke told them. "This won't take long."

While the others headed for the back of the truck, Luke went to the side of the road where he started to tear off leaves from some plants that grew there.

"What's he doing?" the driver scratched his head.

"Oh," Leia laughed. "Basic science, really. When you damage leaves of certain plants, they like, weep this sap stuff. When you mix the saps of other leaves, you can make like a glue. It dries like rubber. It should hold out easily for a hundred miles or so."

"Oh," the driver nodded, pretending that he had understood that. "Well, climb aboard then."

They watched Luke approach the flat tire and start to apply something to a few spots. He then ran his hands around the rim. Michael joined him, and leaned over, so that the driver would not see Luke's glowing hand.

"We can go now," Luke told the stunned driver.

He was so surprised, that not once did he think to ask how Luke had inflated the tire.

* * *

"Are you guys okay?" Maria looked at Anders and Lyle, sitting on the sofa in one of the motel rooms they had taken.

They both looked stunned. Like he had with Raul, Luke had told Lyle and Anders of their extra terrestrial origins. He did not like the idea of his friends getting involved in something they knew nothing about. The alien trio had left the human contingent to come to terms with their status. Maria and Raul were helping with the transition.

"Uh..." Lyle shook his head.

"It gets easier," Raul smiled. "Once you get past the part where they can kill you as easy as that." He snapped his fingers.

"All those times I teased him," Lyle shook his head, the shadow of panic showing in his eyes.

"They won't kill anyone," Maria assured them, glaring at Raul. "Unless you're their enemy. And you guys are their friends, so..."

"Anyway," Anders glared at Raul. "We're not talking to you."

"Huh?" Maria frowned. "Why not?"

"I already told Luke," Raul dropped his head. "He knows all about it."

"And you're still alive?" Lyle looked shocked.

"Knows all about what?"

"Did Luke tell Julia about his, uhm, origins?" Lyle narrowed his eyes at Maria.

"I don't know," she shook her head, looking at the three of them in confusion. "But like I told Raul. Do you really think it would have made a difference?"

* * *

"Okay," Raul broke the silence. They were all together in one room again. "Now that we're all on the same page, so to speak, I think it's time you let us in on the plan. I don't know about the others, but I don't like it when we just appear to stumble from one place to the next. We should at least know what we are trying to achieve, and how we are going to achieve it."

"Fair enough," Luke overrode Michael's objection. "Michael, Leia and I will amend our papers so that we have permission to return to our home, in Pine Springs, Texas."

"Why Pine Springs?" Maria asked. "I thought we were heading for El Paso?"

"We are, initially," Luke nodded, pulling out his map of Texas. "This road out of El Paso heads up into New Mexico, through this mountain range, the Guadalupe Mountains. I was thinking that we can cross over in the mountains where we can make use of the natural terrain to hide in. I can ferry you through one at a time so no one sees us, even if they set up cameras or something."

"How can you do that?" Lyle frowned.

"Oh," Raul grinned with a nonchalant wave. "Luke can set up this shield that makes him invisible."

"Neat trick," Anders nodded while both he and Lyle looked stunned. "Uhm... what then?"

"Well," Michael took over. "Then we do what it was we came here to do."

"What exactly is that?" Lyle asked. "Julia never said. All she told us was that you were looking for someone and that you didn't know about something."

"Didn't know what?" Luke narrowed his eyes.

"She never said," Anders finished. "It's like she thought she said too much and shut up."

"What we'll be doing," Luke continued, pushing his breaking heart into the bakcground, "is making our way to Roswell. We're pretty sure that we'll find who we're looking for there. If the aliens don't have him, then he'll have made his way to..." Luke's eyes narrowed. He turned to Michael. "Who will he make his way to?"

"The Dog," Michael said it like he knew who 'the Dog' was. "The Dog will know where he is."

"And if the aliens have him?" Anders asked.

"We find him, we free him, and then we make sure that the alien who killed Maria and me the first time around isn't breathing when we leave. Any questions?"

* * *

Sharing her room with Maria, Leia had been completely still for hours. She had been listening to her friend's breathing, waiting for that moment that signified when she would have fallen asleep. Waiting to make sure that her companion was indeed asleep, she eased herself up from the bed. Sliding her hand into her bag, she took out her cell phone, and slipped out through the door into the night air. Checking for any passing patrols, she crept across to the shelter of the trees next to the playground, where she turned on her phone. She tapped in the number from memory and waited.

"It's me," she whispered when the call was answered. "Keep quiet, and listen. I have something to tell you. Yes, it's important. Okay."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:41 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 3 Chapter 8

Post by WR » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:53 pm

Hi Everyone,

I do apologise for the lack of an update on Friday. That was because Friday was my changeover date for my new Broadband (ADSL) service provider, My old provider cut me off... but my new one hadn't connected me properly. Neither had they sent me a username or password. I was on the phone to them most of Saturday and a lot of yesterday morning. Anyway, this afternoon, I managed to get everything up and running. And here I am with Friday's update.

omwf - erm... it was Leia who was doing the calling... :wink:

polar vixen - I can't? oh. ok. :wink: I'll remember that in future :lol:

youre my dreamgirl - lol - do you really think I would kill a major character? Ok, let me rephrase that... :wink:

ALwaysRoswell - Hmmm... you mean you want someone else to connect with Julia??? :wink:

thetvgeneral - Well... some times, you just have to live up to your reputation. :wink: I hope it's sweet tortute though :lol:

raemac - Yes. It's Leia making the call.

roswellluver - It looks like the gang are heading west again, so not really looking for Julia...

katydid - Hope you are ok now. And as for Leia and who she is calling... hmmmmm :wink:

Ellie - Oh, yes. And can I say, I love it! lol :wink:

sylus27 - hmmmm - dolphins, huh? How on earth would they know? :wink:

roswell3053 - Yes, of course he would. :wink: Ooooo! Is Leia becoming Vilandra???

dawnuk - I think Luke is too unsure of himself right now. He needs something to happen to make him realise that he IS a leader and he CAN make the right decisions. I think Michael and Leia do realise that Luke is taking the lead. Michael is probably greatful, but remember that as Rath, he was once a great military leader, too. He just needs to be allowed to come out from Luke's shadow and take charge himself. And so looking forward to Oct 21st! :D Soho xounds great. I was going to say that I know the area pretty well, but on reflection, I better not! :wink:

Emz80m - Thanks. As for Leia.... time will tell... :wink:

Timelord31 - who indeed. :wink: lol - great idea!!! a second set of coma patiants! Nah. Things are starting to build up now.

BehrObsession - So that means she's back in Siesta Key. :wink: A note about Lyle, Raul and Anders... like the others, they have their memories. they are supressed is all. And so being 'reminded' about the alien status is not as mind blowing to them as it was the first time they heard it.

Roswelllostcause - Yes, but just how 'fine' is Julia??? :wink:

smokie - I would dearly love to emulate Dierdre and become a published author. My biggest weakness, believe it or not, is to come up with a unique idea for use in a real novel. I know, I come up with these ideas for fanfics, but I already have the base laid down. I mearely build upon it. If I could come up with a good and unique plotline, I would be able to do it. I DO have an idea that I am worjing on, but it's a little werak right now. I need something big to back it up.
As for Luke telling the gang his secret... he knows it is the right thing to do. WHat better way to buy loyalty than to pay in trust?

frenchkiss70 - Heck! I LIVE to keep you guys on your toes! :wink: Luke is not abandoning her. He is trapped, believing that he is supposed to be helping Michael look for the King. He's kind of feeling a little lost right now. If Luke could feel Julia, then he would not move an inch away from her, but he can't. Remember than beneat it all, Luke is a King. And as much as his feeling for Julia might pull at him, he has an inbuilt sense of duty.

mareli - you like my little joke, huh? :wink:

VeronicB - Well, thank you :) Glad you'rew all caught up. :)

Jull_ana - Well, it's not so much WHEN you leave me feedback, as long as you do :) So are you saying that as soon as I release information as to Julia's whereabouts, you will leave an immediate response? Hmmmm.... It was Leia on the phone. Any news on future trips to London? :wink:

paper - Sadly, because whether Luke realises it or not, he is a King. A leader. And he has more to be concerned about than someone he cares about. The expression "Heavy is the head that wears the crown" is not about just the weight of an ornament. If the navy rescued Julia, I think she could be trusted to think of a better sotry than "hand me over to Richard" :wink:

Chrystalkay - lol - 3 days!!! wow. I'm glad you got through the darkest parts. And thanks for writing to get the encouragement and assurabce you needed. I hate for people to just give up. People who know my style know that I am loyal to Max and Liz's feelings for each other. Right smokie? :wink:

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 8

As soon as Lyle's warning cry came out, Julia caught the approaching danger in the corner of her eye. Julia didn't even think. She had thrown herself over the rail of the boat and into the water only a microsecond before the huge ship crashed into her little yacht. She had struggled vainly against the undertow that the large vessel had created and she could feel herself being dragged along by it. She fought hard to remain on the surface, but she kept getting sucked under. Every time she managed to make the surface and take a breath of air, she got dragged under again. And every time she came back up, it seemed some more of her strength had been sapped away. She hoped that she would not get sucked into the huge propellers at the back of the ship.

And finally, somehow, she broke free of the current. The vast, dark shape was vanishing, but her limbs were so tired, 'she' was so tired, it was more than Julia could do to just lay there. Her muscles ached and her chest was hurting more than she could bear. She just wanted to close her eyes and sleep. It would be easier to just accept the approaching darkness. Julia closed her eyes and welcomed the peace. Her mind started to fade out.

"Help her," she heard in a dark corner of her mind.

It sounded so much like Luke, his face floated for a moment in front of her. He was one thing that she would miss, if she gave in to the void. She would have liked to have at least said goodbye to him. Liz never had the chance to say goodbye to Max, either. She allowed a soft smile to pass across her lips as she welcomed the peaceful darkness that was starting to envelop her.

At the back of her mind, she sensed something next to her. Was it a shark, perhaps? Then she felt it again. Whatever it was, there were two of them now. And still others were nearby, she could feel. Would she become the subject of a feeding frenzy? She remembered a show on the National Geographic Channel once, where they had filmed such a frenzy, where the sharks had attacked and ripped apart a large tuna fish. Instead, the large fish - no, were they dolphins? The two nearest dolphins swam underneath her, and the pair of them rose, their dorsal fins catching her by her underarms. They continued to rise and lifted her head clear of the water.

The last thing Julia thought as she finally gave in to the darkness was how her dreams were getting way too weird lately.

* * *

The warm and peaceful feelings that had enveloped her were starting to fade. She was feeling cold, and wet now. Her body was shivering. Her muscles started to ache again, and her chest was hurting her. Close by, she could hear voices. She wondered if they might be Angels. But surely, if this was heaven, wouldn't all things such as cold, and pain be nonexistent?

"Do you think it's dead?" one of the voices asked.

"Don't know," another answered.

Young angels, Julia considered.

"I think I saw it breathing," the second voice continued.

"Is it a mermaid, d'ya think?" the first voice asked. "You know, like Ariel?"


Julia opened her eyes, blinking under the stabbing pains as the light hit them. The pain at least confirmed that she was not dead. She turned her head away from the big ball of light and groaned. Even as she groaned, she could hear the sharp sucking in of breath from the two children standing close to her. A pair of shapeless blobs coalesced into two young girls, perhaps five and six years old. With every part of her cold body aching, Julia struggled to sit up. The girls reacted at once. Screaming at the tops of their lungs, they ran away.

She managed to sit up, resting on her elbows and examined her surroundings. She was on a beach, laying on the damp sand, her legs still being washed by the lapping waves. Around her legs was tangled a clump of seaweed. Behind her, she could make out the rooftops of some houses. She felt cold, although she could now feel the warming rays of the sun upon her, tired, very disoriented but otherwise, she seemed unhurt in any serious way. At least she was alive.

"Buenas dias," an approaching woman called out, a little hesitantly. She was being dragged along by the two young girls. "Como estas? Está usted lastimado? Necesita uno médico?"

Julia shook her head as the woman knelt in the sand next to her and started to check her over.

"Como te llamas?" she seemed satisfied that there were no broken bones.

Julia looked up, trying to clear her head.

"Uh, Julia," she replied.

"Soy Barbara," she started to feel Julia's forehead for signs of a fever. "De donde eres tu?"

"Uhm," Julia blinked. She had to think hard to form her sentence. "Esta es acqui Mexico?" It was the limit of her Spanish.

Barbara looked at her with narrowed eyes.

"No," she shook her head. "You're in Texas. A place called Laguna Madre, a little ways out of Corpus Christi."

"Oh," Julia nodded. Then she remembered. The yacht, the ship... Lyle... Anders... She tried to work out in her head where the accident had been, and how far she had drifted. "Have you seen any other people like me? Two boys?"

"No," Barbara shook her head. "I'm sorry. You're the only stranger I've seen. But then, I only saw you because my little girls came and got me. Are you okay?"

"I think so," Julia nodded, tears stinging her eyes for her lost friends. She hoped that like her, they had made it.

"What happened to you?"

"I'm not sure," she shook her head. "We were in a boat, out there," she pointed vaguely. "And this big ship... it came out of nowhere..." Julia remembered something else. Two large... Was she really rescued by dolphins?

"That would be the navy," the older woman nodded. "They've been patrolling the Gulf to protect the oil rigs. As near as we can work out, the aliens have attacked and destroyed every single oil-producing region of the world, except for the oilrigs out in the Gulf. It's like they never knew about those ones or something. Now we have pretty much the whole Atlantic fleet here in the Gulf protecting them, and I heard that the Pacific Fleet is on its way here, too." She paused and looked at Julia. "I suppose you were on your way to join up?"

"Uh, yeah," she nodded. It seemed easier to let people believe that. "Do you know where I have to go to?"

"Best place would be Midland," Barbara shrugged. "It's a good day's drive. But going by bus, I expect it will take you two days. I heard there's a bus leaving Corpus Christi later on today. Are you hungry?"

Reminded of food, Julia's stomach let out a loud growl.

"Uh, yeah," she nodded.

"Well, you come with me then," Barbara helped Julia to her feet. "Let's get some food and a hot drink inside you. And I'll see if I can find you some clothes to wear, too."

"Thank you," Julia groaned as her limbs started to complain about being made to work again.

As she walked back with Barbara, Julia hoped against hope that Lyle and Anders survived the wreck and that they would make their way to Midland. Otherwise, she was on her own. She wished now that she had followed her instincts and the feeling that Luke was close by. Maybe she 'could' have caught him before they moved on. All day, he had stayed still. And all day, she had thought about going after him. But every time she thought about starting out, she worried that maybe Luke would start to travel and leave her behind with no mode of transport.

* * *

After Barbara had fed her, she allowed Julia to take a piping hot bath to try to help restore some feeling to her muscles. She gave Julia some clothes that looked as though they might fit her. When she came downstairs, Barbara had also prepared a huge packed lunch to take with her on her journey. They then caught the only permissible mode of transport, the local bus, and Barbara escorted Julia to the bus station in Corpus Christi.

"There are two buses, both going to Midland," the man pointed at the two buses outside. "Take your pick."

After choosing one, Julia sat next to an open window so that she could talk to Barbara.

"You should have chosen the other bus," Barbara smiled as the other one pulled out first.

"Yeah," Julia grinned. "Thank you. You know, for all you've done."

"Think nothing of it," Barbara just shrugged. "You just look after yourself, okay? I expect there are lots of people who will want to see you safe and sound."

"I will," Julia nodded.

The bus Julia had chosen left twenty minutes after the first.

Julia had not felt Luke's presence since just after midnight, earlier that day, when they had sailed out of range. She wished she could feel him now. She needed reassurance. She had lost her friends, and had almost lost her own life. And if she had died, Luke would always believe that she was safe and sound at home in Florida. Better to believe that, though, than... She couldn't help the feeling of depression that settled on her as the bus continued westward.

The bus journey was a nightmare. After the freedom afforded her when travelling by boat, Julia had no control over this stage of her trip. The bus seemed to stop at every little town, as well as some crossroads where they seemed to wait for passing military convoys. Once, the bus even broke down and they had to wait for a spare part to be rushed out to them. The bus finally limped into the Military encampment at Midland on Sunday morning, just as dawn was starting to break, two days after the accident.

If she was feeling low then, her spirits fell still further when she saw the enormity of the camp. Finding anyone she knew, a faint hope she had clung on to seemed almost impossible now. Part of her was hoping that because of her experience in the water, she could no longer feel Luke even though he might be close by. Another part hoped that she would run in to Lyle and Anders here. But there were just too many people. On her own, she doubted she would be able to make it to New Mexico, let alone sneak across the border. She felt sure that Luke was already there by now. She had arrived too late. She had lost all of her friends. Lyle and Anders to the boat accident, and now Luke... to 'her.' All Julia could do was collapse to the ground and start to cry.

She didn't see the approaching group of soldiers.

"Julia?" she heard someone call her.

Julia turned, expectantly. Had Luke found her? Lyle? Anders?

"Oh, my god!" a man in a military uniform rushed up to her and pulled her into a hug. "I can't believe it! You came! I knew this was meant to be, babe!"

Oh, god, Julia groaned. She had run straight into Richard Madly. Her head started to spin; it was all too much for her. Julia promptly fainted.

* * *

The distant peeling of a church bell woke them up. After showering and packing, they all gathered outside their rooms, waiting for the curfew to lift so that they could make their way to the bus station. After breakfast, Luke bought the tickets to El Paso. Even though the distance to El Paso was less then three hundred miles, it was already four in the afternoon when they finally arrived there.

"Now we need a ride to Pine Springs," Luke reminded them. "And if we can get there today, then so much the better."

There were no buses scheduled for today, but while 'talking' to some of the local people, one of them told Leia that there was a delivery van that would be making its way up that road, taking supplies to the towns close to the border.

"No," the delivery man shook his head. "I am not giving no one a free ride."

He climbed into his cab and slammed the door shut. Nothing happened when he tried to turn the engine over. Cursing loudly, he climbed from his cab and opened the hood of his truck. He wiggled some wires and prodded some parts around the engine. He even kicked the tires. When he tried again, he got the same result.

"My buddies and I can fix that," Luke shrugged after the driver tried his wiggle and nudge routine again. "But only if you give us a ride."

"Okay," the man nodded in exasperation. "But you have to ride in back."

Making a big show, Luke, Michael and Lyle tinkered with some tools while Lyle, who actually seemed to know what he was talking about, gave instructions on what to check, and which bolt to turn. Miraculously, when the driver tried the engine again, it leapt to life.

In Pine Springs, they found the town almost deserted. The man who ran the motel that they stopped at seemed totally surprised to see them.

"What the heck are you kids doing up here?" he frowned at them when he checked their papers, noting that they had come all the way from North Carolina.

"We, uh..." Luke looked suitably embarrassed. "We're making our way to Midland. You know, to join up? We hitched a ride in the back of a truck, only we slept through our stop and ended up in El Paso."

"So how on earth did you end up here?" the man laughed at their predicament.

"We hid in a truck we thought was going back to Midland," Michael shrugged. "Only it came up here instead."

"And you guys plan to fight aliens?" he roared with laughter. "Think you'll even find them?"

Having rented three rooms, they had gathered that evening in the middle one, to receive a further update of their plans from Luke.

"We'll cross into New Mexico at night," he told them.

"Walking through the mountains in the dark?" Raul frowned. "Isn't that kind of... well, risky?"

"They won't be expecting that," Luke smiled. "So we might not have to worry about too many people watching us. Besides, as we cross New Mexico, we'll be moving at night, then, too. So the sooner we get used to it..."

"And sleeping during the day?" Maria's mouth dropped. "Luke, do you know how hot it gets during the day? They don't call it the desert for nothing."

"We'll learn to cope," Luke shrugged. "And try to spend the day in the shade. Somewhere sheltered, certainly. So anyway, we'll need equipment. At least three tents, backpacks for everyone, ropes, flashlights... you know, hiking gear. I don't think we'll need sleeping bags," he grinned at Maria.

"Leave that to me," Raul offered. "Unless you need them, Lyle and Anders can help me carry everything."

"See if you can get those soft spongy mats that roll up," Maria suggested. "The ground gets pretty hard after a while."

"And we'll need supplies," Luke turned to Leia. "You and Maria should buy as much stuff as you can. Dried stuff will be easier to carry. I'm pretty sure we can find water out there, but get some bottles. Oh, Raul, get some canteens, too."

"What will you and Michael be doing?" Leia looked at the two of them. Michael had a big smirk on his face.

"We're going hiking," Luke grinned.

"We are?" Michael didn't look so smug now.

"We're going up into the mountains," Luke nodded. "We're going to find a good place to cross into New Mexico."

* * *

Leia waited until she was sure that Maria was asleep before she rose from her bed and crossed to the door and opened it slightly. After checking to see if her movement disturbed Maria at all, Leia slipped through the opening, closing it softly behind her. Looking around her, making sure no one was watching, she made her way to a small cluster of trees. Sitting on a small bench, she pulled her cell phone from her pocket.

* * *

"We won't be able to get up there," Michael shook his head, looking at a high bluff in front of him. Their path was blocked. "Not in the dark."

Since first light that morning, he and Luke had been in the Guadaloupe Mountains, trying to follow a river whose source was the other side of the border. But so far, the terrain was proving harder than they had considered. The river had led them to a waterfall.

"To go around that would add another five miles to the journey," Luke agreed with Michael. "At least!"

The initial stage had been easy. They had penetrated to within five miles of the border in only a few hours. The last five miles were proving harder.

"We're going to spend all day up here at this rate," Michael shook his head.

"You have something better to do?" Luke grinned.

"I was hoping for a little one on one time with Maria, you know?" Michael shrugged.

"Yeah," Luke sighed. "I know. But this whole trip was your idea. I could have been on the beach with..." Luke's face fall. "Come on. Let's at least get a look at the border."

Abandoning the river and striking due north for the border actually proved to be a better idea. Even though the terrain was rugged, they reached the border area after a little over two more hours.

"Stop," Michael reached out and grabbed Luke.

"What?" Luke looked around for danger.

"I... I think I can sense something," Michael scratched the back of his head. "I'm not sure, I think it's some kind of static."

"A listening device?" Luke raised an eyebrow. "And you can sense it?"

"I can feel all the static, or something," Michael nodded.

"Where," Luke started to study the terrain more. "Show me."

"There," Michael pointed, although neither could see anything other than rocks and foliage. "And there... and there..."

"They've probably planted motion detectors, too," Luke shook his head. "And maybe even cameras."

"Yeah," Michael nodded. "Definitely cameras, too. It's almost like I can sense the radio waves emanating from them. And you can bet, if this side has installed them, then the other side has, too. And if their sensors tell them someone crossed them, and their cameras show nothing... they'll know we're coming. I mean, Luke? They'll know 'we' are coming."

"They'll see us, Michael," Luke reminded him with a shake of his head. "My invisibility only works on humans. And if they see us... Michael, they might recognize you. And Maria."

"Come on," Michael nodded back down the trail. "Let's get back. We need to think of a plan B.

"Someone's coming," Luke warned Michael as they found the river back down the mountains. He looked around. "Over there, look."

'Someone' turned out to be an old man with a thick, white unkempt beard. He was wearing very old and tattered hiking gear. A frying pan hung from his battered backpack. As he picked his way over the uneven terrain with the help of a gnarled walking stick, he looked completely at home with his surroundings. He seemed startled when he finally spotted Luke and Michael.

"Don't often meet people out here," he greeted them with a polite nod. "'Specially these days." He nodded northwards. "Too close to the aliens." He started to laugh, his teeth, yellowed from years of tobacco, flashing in the sunlight.

"You not scared of them?" Michael raised an eyebrow.

"Nah," he shrugged. "I doubt that whatever they're after, I'm it. And I doubt they'll come down here looking for me. Besides, I know these mountains like the back of my hand. I lived here all my life. They could look for me till the cows come home. What brings a couple of punks out here?"

"Punks?" Luke laughed. "We uh, were heading for Midland, you know, to sign up, when we got a bad lift. We ended up in Pine Springs." He was sticking to his cover story. "No one's heading back that way for a day or two, so we're stuck out here for a while. And seeing as how we studied these mountains in school... I just wanted to take a look. I seem to recall that these mountains run all the way to Carlsbad, in New Mexico. I'd have loved to see the caverns there. They're supposed to be spectacular."

"No reason why you can't still see 'em," the old man shrugged.

Luke and Michael started to chuckle.

"Sure," Michael nodded. "The aliens will let us take a day trip."

"No need for the aliens to know nothing about it," the old man shrugged.

He had the boys' full attention now.

"These mountains are the fossilized remains of a coral reef, from millions of years ago when all of this was underwater. Carlsbad Caverns are just some caves that people know about and go in to see. But no one knows the true extent of the caves. There are hundreds of caves up here. Who's to say that the caves don't all join up together?"

"Are you saying they do?" Luke narrowed his eyes.

"I'm not saying they don't," he winked. "And just down there," he pointed out a small gully that neither Luke nor Michael had seen until the man pointed it out. "That there leads to a cave that the injuns say lead right to Carlsbad."

"Have you ever taken it?" Michael's eyes narrowed.

"No," the man shook his head. "I never could find the route. There's hundreds of spurs, and all of 'em seem to be dead ends. Could take a man a hundred lifetimes to check 'em all out. But this ol' injun once tol' me that their ancestors used to use the caves to lead them from the Carlsbad area to these mountains to hide from the soldiers. All I know is that if you look at a map, there's a series of ridges that run in an almost straight line from here all the way to Carlsbad Caverns."

He gave them a hearty chuckle, before coughing up some phlegm and spitting.

"Well, I'll be wishing you youngsters the best of luck"

"What do you think?" Michael asked as they watched the old man make his way along a different path.

"I think we just found our Plan B," Luke grinned. "It's gotta be worth checking out, at least."

Had they not had alien powers, it would have been hard for them to climb down into the gully.

"We can use ropes," Luke looked back up to where they had climbed down from. "When we come back here with the others."

After a short search, they found a well-hidden cave entrance. Had they not known it was there, they would never have found it. As they stepped into the darkness of the cave interior, Luke held out his hand and produced a strong blue light. The air had a strong smell of ammonia.

"Look up there," Michael pointed.

Hanging from the ceiling were hundreds of bats. The cave was full of them.

"That explains the smell," Luke looked around him. "But what's making us feel this way?"

"What way?" Michael looked at Luke, showing his confusion. "I don't feel any different."

"You don't feel... like... I don't know. Fuzzy?"

"Fuzzy?" Michael smirked.

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "Like... my inner ear has lost its balance or something. Like I've been shut off from something. It's... it's weird."

"It doesn't seem to affect your powers," Michael noted the blue light. "What do you want to do?"

"Let's check out some of the caves," Luke used a nod of his head to point them deeper.

They followed the main cavern for a while, passed a number of smaller fissures and openings.

"This one?" Michael pointed to a large opening.

"No," Luke shook his head. "That feels like a dead end to me. Let's try this one." He pointed to a smaller opening. "This leads somewhere."

"How do you know that?" Michael frowned.

"It feels different," Luke shrugged.

"Feels different?" Michael widened his eyes. "They both feel the same to me. If we were human, I would say that you are weird."

"Well," Luke grinned. "We're aliens, and guess what? And I think 'you' are weird."

"How much farther should we go?" Michael gave a small chuckle.

"Not all the way to Carlsbad," Luke shook his head. "That's for sure."

"How far is it, anyway?"

"In a straight line?" Luke looked up at the ceiling. "Twenty, maybe twenty five miles. Down here? Who knows?"

"The guy said that the ridges ran in an almost straight line."

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "But do the caves? We could be down here for a couple of days.

"Better get lots of batteries, then," Michael smirked.

"Why do we need batteries?" Luke indicated the artificial light he was creating.

"I think that the others might appreciate their own light, rather than following someone else's."

"Michael!" Luke's warning made Michael react like a true warrior.

His hand was glowing, ready to fire at whatever target Luke had discovered.

"Someone else has been here. Look."

In the soft, dry earth of the cave floor, were footprints. There was no tread to the prints, making it look like a pair of slippers had made them.

"We'll need to be on our guard down here," Michael looked along the trail that had been left. "Maybe we should have you and me leading, and have Leia bring up the rear."

"We're still doing this, then?" Luke looked up.

"Yeah," Michael nodded. "If we can enter New Mexico undetected, then yeah. And I think we should do it soon, too."


"Perfect," Michael agreed. "As soon as the curfew lifts, we'll make our way up here. The earlier we start, the quicker we get through the caverns. Now let's get back. We need to get ready."

* * *

As she had done the previous two nights, Leia waited until Maria was asleep before she rose from her bed and crossed to the door. After a short pause to make sure she had not disturbed her sleep, Leia slipped through the door and crossed to the shelter of the trees. She took her phone from her pocket, and after a short wave of her had, a text message appeared. After double checking it, she pressed the send button and waited.

A few minutes later, a figure approached her, moving furtively.

"Anyone see you?" she asked in a low voice.

"It's my turn for sentry duty," Lyle shook his head. "They're asleep and I'm supposed to be awake. It was easy. What's up?"

"Listen," she turned and sat down on a bench that had been placed there. "You know, things haven't been easy for me. I mean, you always hear that you're supposed to meet the one guy, you know? The guy who's just right for you? Maria met Michael, and Julia..." her voice caught. "Julia met Luke. But me? I met three of you. All at once."

"Uh huh," Lyle nodded.

"And I feel really close to all three of you. And the trouble is... I know that I have to make a choice, okay? I have to choose one of you."

"I see," Lyle gave a soft smirk. "And this is to tell me, what? That you have chosen Raul, or Anders? Have you been meeting them in secret, too?"

"You all have such great qualities," Leia pressed ahead. "You are all such great people in different ways. But in the end... it's something that Luke once told me that helped me make up my mind. And I think he's right."

"Well," Lyle sighed. "We all know that Luke doesn't see me as good buddy material, so which one is the lucky guy? I bet it's Raul."

"It's you, you dope."

"What?" Lyle faltered. "What did you say? You're kidding, right?"

"Yes," Leia rolled her eyes. "I am. April Fool."

"It's not April."

"Are you going to just stand there?" Leia shook her head. "Or are you going to like, kiss me or something?"

"Wait," Lyle held up his hand. "Who says I choose you?"

"Lyle!" Leia stamped her foot.

He moved in and placed his arms around her, smiling.

"I have been in love with you for so long, Leia."

Their faces drew together, and their lips met. As the kiss deepened, they both felt the doorway open. And neither one of them thought to try to close it. A green glow spread from where their bodies pressed together and as their passion rose, the glow slowly enveloped them both.

"Isabel?" Lyle gasped, his eyes widening.


* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:47 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 3 Chapter 9

Post by WR » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:23 pm

Yes indeed!

You DO get an update today!

Last week was a slight hitch that I could not have avoided. Everything is fine now (well, almost. I still have no email account but that will be sorted out tomorrow... I hope) and I am back to normal. Or whatever it is that passes for normal when it comes to my writing :wink:

Yes, big sigh of relief. Julia is safe and well, and only one day behind Luke. But then, define safe. :wink: YOu knew I wouldn;t kill her yet... I mean, again. :lol:

Okay - the big surprise. I had to think long and hard about this. Teaming Isabel up with Kyle like that. In the end it came down to on major thing. The fact that Jim was still alive. As hard as you might think it for Anders and Raul not to know who they really were, it would have been too hard to have Jim recognise Kyle but Lyle not knowing who Jim was. I couldn't do that. We can assume that the Whitmans moved away and that Mrs Ramirez died a natural death in her sleep long ago.

So I apologise to all the Stargazers. And all the Isabel/Jesse shippers. (do they have a name?)

Now, regarding the memories!

It wasn't the kiss that gave the memories back. They made a choice. Remember how the voice told Luke that making the right choice had it's rewards? Lyle, Anders and Raul all made the choice by agreeing to help Julia. Julia has made her choice long ago. She just needs Luke to acknowledge HIS choice. And no one will remember anything of the others until they have restored their own memories, because Maria or Kyle telling Luke that Julia is Liz is NOT Luke making a choice. I hope that makes it clear.

Roswell3050 - Yes, she was calling Kyle. And probably the others too, to let them down gently. Heck, why do you think I introduced Richard? lol

VeronicaB - All of them, probably :wink: As fir being stuck with Richard, I'm sure someone will take her away from him. :wink:

roswellluver - Thank you :)

Angel Kisses 70 - Well, as much as we would like him to, he's in the wrong place to find an alien :wink:

Ellie - She was talking to the trio. Anyone know HOW Luke was communicating with the dolphins? Clues clues clues :wink: Glad you enjoyed my birthday pressy to you.

roswck - Leia was only talking to the guys. She was making her choice. :) Thats all.

raemac - Nah. YOu're not selfish and greedy because you want the new part for everyone and not just yourself. right? :wink:

Timelord31 - Yeah. Sorry. I kind of had to.

Lairabehr4 - LOL!

smokie - Oh, yes. And I have not finished convoluting yet! :wink: I did a lot od research on the Guadaloup Mountains for this part. And if you look at a map, they do run in a straight line to Carlsbad. :)

frenchkiss70 - But you love it, right? :wink: No, no. dont throw anything at you computer. Cause then you cant read the next twists and turns I have planned! :lol:

Jull_ana - Me? Bad? Never. :wink: :twisted: Okay, maybe a little. I'm afraid Alex and Jesse are now lost to us. :( They will remain for ever more, Anders and Raul. Sorry. (Unless Julia chooses one of them :wink: )
Just as soon as you know you can make it to London, be sure to let me know!

Emz80m - Yeah. :( Looks like he IS her destiny after all :wink:

Luke? Cross into New Mexico without Julia? Would I do that? :lol:

thetvgeneral - Well... as it was me writing, yes she did :wink: Hey, I have need of him. Can I help it if Julia catches the wrong bus! :lol: Oh, yeah.

BehrObsession - The whole point of the dolphins, really. :wink: That and letting Luke know that the ball was starting to roll. :wink:

omwf - lol! Nag me??? I hope you saw my note and understand about Alex.

StarGazing101 - Ooops. I am so sorry. I hope you saw the note above and can forgive me for what I had to do.

Arianneleigh - Ah, that fuzzing... No. It has nothing to do with Liz. It's something else entirely. And you will all go "duh!" when it gets revealed.

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 9

Julia woke up in a strange environment. She neither knew where she was, nor how she had got there. In her disoriented condition, her mind started to wander. She remembered the boat, and the accident. She remembered Lyle, and Anders... She remembered... a bus journey and arriving at the camp. And she remembered... She groaned out loud. She remembered Richard Madly.

She tried to sit upright. A wave of nauseous dizziness swept over her, forcing her to close her eyes and remain motionless while she adjusted. Finally sitting up and opening her eyes, she surveyed her surroundings. She was in a room with bare, brick walls. From the color and style of the Spartan furniture, she knew it was a military room. There was another bed close by, identical to the one she was sitting on. A green wooden table next to that bed held a clock, a comb and a framed picture of her. One that she had no idea how the owner had gotten a hold of. There was a green wooden wardrobe on the other side of the bed, against the wall. Next to the bed she was on was an identical table, with an identical wardrobe on the wall. Expecting to see army fatigues on her, she was relieved when she saw that she was still dressed in the clothes that Barbara had given her.

"Ah," Richard Madly entered the room. "You're awake at last."

"Is that what you call it?" Julia closed her eyes and groaned. "It still feels like a nightmare to me."

"I can't tell you how happy you've made me," he smiled at her, sitting down beside her on the bed. "You came all this way to find me. I could have been anywhere. Do you even know how lucky you were?"

"Lucky?" she shook her head.

"And now I know for sure," he was beaming widely. "Now I know you love me just as much as I love you."

"Richard," Julia sighed. "It's not what you think. I didn't..."

"Don't worry about it now babe," he interrupted. "You're here now. And I thought you could bunk in here. You can stay with me. I couldn't get a double bed, sorry. I mean, we're practically married, anyway."

"No, we're not," she stood up, regretting it at once.

Her sudden re-occurrence of dizziness gave Richard an excuse to stand up and hold her.

"Not legally," he conceded with a shrug. "But as soon as you turn sixteen, we can get married. I already have your Dad's permission. And it's only a few weeks. But you know, until then..."

"No," Julia shook her head, breaking away from him. "No way. And it's not my Dad's permission you need for that. It's mine. And you haven't got it."

"No need to be like that, babe," he started to move over to her again.

"Until you do, I think you'll find that it's still rape," Julia growled. "And I wouldn't mind betting that under Martial Law, rape is punished very severely indeed. Even if you are a hotshot officer."

"But it won't be rape, Julia," he chuckled. "I know your 'no' will just be for appearances sake. You want this as much as I do."

"You lay so much as a finger on me," she warned, "and they'll hear me screaming 'rape' all the way back in Siesta Key."

"Okay," he backed off, holding his hands up in mock surrender. "I can see that you're still overwhelmed. I'll give you a few days to get used to all this. You can stay in the main room, until you're ready."

"Don't hold your breath," she muttered.

"In the meantime," he looked at his watch. "You need to run out and get your kit, anyway."

* * *

The main barracks room held a total of fourteen bunks. The room was empty, but she easily found the bed that would be hers. It was the only one unadorned with something personal. She dumped her new kit onto the bed and stared at the sheet that told her how she was expected to put it away. At that moment, three soldiers entered the barracks, laughing. They all fell silent when they saw Julia. She stared back at them, as though waiting for them to make the first move. With an air of caution, they approached her.

"Captain Madly told us to make sure your kit is put away properly," the lead soldier wouldn't look at her.

"Oh," Julia nodded. "Uhm, thanks. I guess when I get some basic training, I'll be able to do it myself."

"You?" one of the others snorted. "Madly's golden girl? Doing this for herself? Don't make me laugh."

"I'm quite capable," she defended.

"I'm sure you are," the third nodded as they started to put her kit away. "But it's not a question of what 'you' want. It's what the Captain wants. I'm Ben Cattrick. Everyone calls me Catt. That there is Fitz. Real name, Martin Fitzsimmons. And this one here is Spider. His name is John Atkins and no one knows why they call him Spider."

"Julia," she nodded. "Julia Cartier. I expect I'll get some nickname, huh?"

"Probably Ma'am," Fitz shrugged. "You know, 'cause you're Madly's old lady."

"Can we get something straight?" Julia ground her teeth. "I am not anything to 'Captain Madly'. He's just someone who is deluded in his belief that we are an item."

"He usually gets what he wants," Catt shrugged. "In the end."

"When do I start my basic training?" she deftly changed the subject. "I expect I'm quite a way behind you guys."

"Sure," Spider snorted. "The only basic training you're gonna need, I expect Captain Madly will show you as you go along."

"He wants you trained up as his Comms Officer," Catt continued. "I doubt you'll see any weapons training or even any of the physical stuff."

"Oh," Julia nodded. "And when do I start that?"

"This afternoon. Report to hut 407 at fourteen hundred hours."

"Two o'clock," Julia nodded. "Okay."

* * *

"Please don't get confused," the lecturer told the room full of trainees. After lunch with her three new friends, Julia changed into army fatigues - she hated them at once - and made her way to hut 407. In a room full of other recruits, she was being taught the basics of becoming a Comms Officer. "The role of Comms Officer is not a rank. You are still a regular private. A grunt. Got it?"

"Sir, yes sir," the room chorused.

Julia had to bite her tongue to keep herself from laughing. It was like a scene from a bad movie.

"But neither should you dismiss your role lightly," he considered. "You are a vital link between HQ, your platoon, and the rest of the battalion. You are the glue that will enforce the Battalion's cohesion on the battlefield.

"It's vital that platoon commanders on the ground keep in touch, especially when you will be combating units with advanced technologies. In order to succeed against a superior technology, communication is the key. Your role will be to stick to you commander like glue."

Great, Julia shook her head. No wonder Richard wanted her to be his Comms officer.

"You will monitor transmissions and listen out for requests and orders for your platoon. You will feed this to your commander as well as any other information you deem useful to his tactical overview. This will allow him to react to the ebb and flow of the battle.

"Our sources lead us to believe that the enemy makes use of telepathy to maintain contact. As telepathy is beyond our understanding at the moment, then we have to rely on old-fashioned methods, even if, to us, they are the most advanced thing we have ever seen.

"This..." the instructor lifted up a small backpack and stood it on the table, "is your Titan PL15 Battlefield Radio pack. As you can see," he lifted it again with one hand, "it's lightweight. You will spend the rest of the day wearing this baby and learning how to use it. It has been designed to be really easy to use. A child could be proficient with its use by the end of the day. The speed at which you disseminate information and pass it on to your commander depends entirely on you."

As far as Julia could see, it really was simple. She plugged an earpiece into her ear, and listened to a steady stream of radio traffic. All she needed to do was listen out for details that she felt were important to her commander, in this case, Richard, and let him know. As for transmitting a message, it couldn't be easier. A small stalk, a microphone, reached down from the ear-piece. All Julia had to do was to press a transmit button and talk. She wished that it was harder, so that she could fail and get herself kicked out.

* * *

In spite of Catt's suggestion that she would be excused from any other form of basic training, Julia was ushered along with the rest of the Comms Officers to take part in various physical drills, always with a mock up of the radio pack strapped to her back. She had to run, crawl, leap over ditches, climb ropes, and run along wooden beams. Lots of it. She was exhausted when she finally returned to her barracks.

"If you had listened to me," Richard chuckled at her, "you would have already done all of this ages ago. You wouldn't have to cram it all in then."

"Go away, Richard," Julia groaned as she collapsed onto her bed. She wondered where the rest of her room mates were.

Instead of going away, he sat on the edge of her bed.

"How are you feeling, now?" he was looking down on her.

"Tired," she had her arm folded over her eyes.

She felt his starting to settle on the bed beside her.

"What are you doing?" she sat upright.

"I thought I'd join you," he smiled, taking her arm and pulling her back down.

"I meant what I said," Julia pulled away and climbed to her feet.

"It's just you and me," Richard rose and started to walk toward her. "Look, Julia. We've been dancing around this ever since we started dating. It's time..."

"It's time you realized," Julia was backing away, her face showing her fear. "I am totally not interested..."

Someone entered the room and saluted.

"General Thomson's compliments, sir," he saluted smartly, his eyes staring straight ahead. "You presence is requested in the briefing room."

"Very good, sergeant," Richard saluted. "I'll be right there."

The soldier completed his salute and left the room.

"See?" he grinned at Julia. "I'm a big shot around here."

With a final look at her, he also left the room.

"You spelled it wrong," Julia heaved a sigh of relief.

* * *

Julia felt relieved when she found that not only were the showers segregated, the cubicles had locks on them. Finally feeling safe enough to take a shower, she didn't strip off until she was locked in her own cubicle. When she emerged, fully dressed in clean fatigues, the room was full of soldiers. All conversation stopped and everyone was watching her. There seemed to be as many girls as there were boys.

"Uhm, hi," she nodded at them.

No one replied, although Catt, Fitz and Spider did at least give a little nod. She sat alone on her bed until it was time for lights out. Feeling alone, and miserable, she laid on her bunk and considered what her instructors had told her that afternoon. The aliens used telepathy to communicate. Did that mean that Luke was telepathic?

"Luke?" she sent her thoughts out. "Where are you Luke? Please come and rescue me." She fell silent for a moment before she added another thought. "I love you, Luke."

If Luke heard, and made any attempt to reply to her, she never found out. Sleep claimed her soon after.

* * *

It was all beginning to catch up to her. Her ordeal in the water, the cramped bus journey, and now the activity of her basic training. When Julia awoke that morning, every muscle in her body was stiff and sore. It took all she had just to get up, have her wash and get dressed. All she wanted to do was to lie on her bed, but then, she did not want to be alone in the room in case Richard came back. She made her way over to the mess with the rest of her platoon members.

"I see why they call it a Mess," Julia remarked to Catt when she sat next to him, with what passed for her breakfast.

"At least it's nutritious," Catt shrugged, giving a half smile.

"Thank God for small mercies," Julia shook her head. "I bet this is against the Geneva Convention or something."

"The what?" Fitz narrowed his eyes. "What's that?"

"Oh," Julia looked surprised. "Uh, never mind."

She continued eating.

"Why doesn't anyone want to talk to me?" she could sense that these three were feeling very awkward. "I mean, I haven't done anything, have I? Like get you all into trouble or anything?"

"No," Catt shook his head. "It's just... We got warned off you, okay? And if it looks like anyone is making a play for you..."

"Madly has some big buddies," Spider nodded down the table where two of Richard's goons from Siesta Key were watching her.

"How long do I have to put up with that guy," she shook her head. "I so have to get out of here."

"Good luck," Catt shrugged. "I think your shadows won't let you get far."

"You mean they're going to follow me everywhere I go?"

No one commented.

"Have you guys been here long?"

"Most of us have," Catt nodded. "About eight of these guys came with the Captain from his old ROTC group."

Julia recognized all of them.

"The rest of us were assigned to his platoon. Fitz only got here the day before you did."

"I don't suppose you saw my friends," she lowered her voice. "Two guys, two girls. The girls were blond. Both really good looking. The bigger of the two had brown eyes while the other had green. The guys would have been really protective of them. One of them was tall, short dark hair and amber colored eyes. The other was just as tall, lighter hair, probably walked around scowling at everyone."

"Nah," Catt shook his head. "I never saw anyone like that."

"Me neither," Spider shrugged.

"Not here," Fitz shook his head. "But I might have seen them a couple of days back. But there was so much confusion that day, I'm not sure."

"What confusion was that?" Catt seemed more interested in this story than any missing friends.

"We had stopped over at Beaumont," Fitz gave a feint smile. "You know, just the other side of Houston. Anyway, the MP's bring this Hispanic dude in. They caught him that morning, trying to steal some food or something."

"Hispanic?" Julia perked up. "Tall? Slim?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "Anyway, they locked him in the stockade to wait for his trial, yeah? Only that night, he got sprung."

"Sprung?" Spider looked skeptical. "You mean someone busted him out of a military stockade?"

"That's exactly what I mean," he nodded. "There was a huge hole in his cell wall, and no one heard a sound. No explosions, nothing. And it was only his cell, no one else's. It was like they knew exactly where he was. The rumor went around all day that he was some top alien officer and his buddies had busted him out."

Raul, Julia decided. The morning he had vanished, he had been arrested. And taken to a nearby military camp. Where Luke had seen him, she decided. And being Luke, he could not let his friend stay behind bars, so he hung around and freed him. That was why she could feel him all day. And if she had given in to her desires, and followed Luke inland, she might have stumbled upon him at an inopportune moment. Or perhaps he would have set out before she reached him. With her on foot now, and he on a bus heading god alone knew where, she might never have caught up to him. Much like now, really, except she would still have Anders and Lyle with her. Quite suddenly, Julia didn't feel so good. She wondered if she was trapped now, or if she would ever find Luke's trail.

* * *

"Kyle?" Michael twisted his head as he climbed out of his bed.

"What?" Kyle groaned from his sheets.

"Huh?" Luke rubbed his eyes. "Why did he call you Kyle?"

"It's my name," Kyle shrugged. "It's no biggie."

"I remember you!" Michael grinned.

"Hey," Kyle nodded. "That's the Michael we all know and love. Quick off the mark."

"What's all the noise?" Anders stumbled into the room.

"Michael keeps calling Lyle, Kyle," Luke was frowning.

"That's 'cause it's who I am," Kyle shrugged. "I'm Kyle, not Lyle."

"What's going on?" Luke narrowed his eyes. "You're not one of us, are you?"

"Not so far as I can tell," he checked himself. "Although... I have this memory... that I might change."

"Change?" Michael frowned. "Change how?"

"I don't know," he shook his head. "You know this guy you're looking for? Your King?"

"Yeah," Michael nodded, eager for news of his King.

"Well... he did something to this girl... Maria's best friend... and she changed. I think."

"What?" Luke gasped. "What the heck is going on here?"

"Maybe Isabel can explain."

"Who is Isabel?" Luke thought he might be falling apart.

"What happened, Kyle?" Michael's mind was whirling. "Maria, I understand. Her soul wanted to be reunited or something. But how come you got this second chance?"

"Second chance?" Kyle frowned. "Oh, wait. Yes, I remember now. I was working on a car... and the Hydraulic jacks... they... and I remember... I saw her."


"The same one who killed Maria. And Isabel. And you. And has your King."

"Who is Isabel?" Luke demanded at the top of his voice.

"What's all the noise?" Maria asked as the two girls entered their room.

"This is Isabel," Kyle stood up and took Isabel's hand.

"No, no," Luke shook his head. He really was looking lost right now. "That's Leia."

"Uh, sorry, Luke," she shook her head. "But it's like what happened to Michael. I'm afraid I really am Isabel."

"So..." his voice fell. "So you're not really my sister?"

"No," she shook her head. "I guess not. Although, I do have a brother. And he's the same one we're looking for."

"Wait," Anders was shaking his head. "You mean you're brother is the King?"

"Yeah," she nodded, giving a chuckle.

"We've been traveling with royalty," Raul's eyes widened.

"Then..." Luke almost didn't want to ask the question. "Who am I?"

"There were four pods," Michael's eyes went distant. "But only three hatched, right? You, me and Isabel. So that fourth... that must have been the pod for our King."

"Only..." Isabel continued. "Only he didn't die, did he? He couldn't have, otherwise he would have emerged with us that day we all did."

"So where does that leave me?" Luke was trying hard to take everything in.

"You're the fourth," Michael shrugged. "Wait... there was a fourth with us before... Only... we waited and..."

"Didn't you say that some guy who helped us saw that one of them got damaged?" Isabel was searching her memory.

"You're one of us, Luke," Isabel placed her arm around his shoulder. "And even if you're not my real brother, you have been the best big brother a girl could ever have. But you are still Luke, and you are still our friend."

Luke did not know where he stood. Who was he? Was he merely a foot soldier? Someone to look after the Royal Three?

"We better get a move on," Michael urged. "We want to get into the caves before darkness sets in.

"So," Maria smirked at Isabel. "You made your choice then."

"Uh, yeah," Isabel blushed.

"Good choice," Maria winked.

* * *

"Poor Luke," Maria shook her head as they followed Michael and Luke through the mountainous terrain toward the gully that held the cave. "He must feel like his whole world just collapsed around him."

"Yeah," Isabel nodded. "First he loses Julia, and now he loses his sister."

"I hope he rewards him well, when we find him."

"My brother?" Isabel nodded. "Yeah, I think he will. And if he doesn't, we'll kick his royal butt for him."

"What if the hotel clerk tells the authorities that we're out past curfew?" Raul had moved up to join the ladies. Listening to Kyle talk about old times had gotten old really quick. "He saw us leave, like this."

'Like this' was fully laden with back packs, tents and general hiking gear.

"Why would he?" Maria smirked. "It's not like we haven't paid for the room in full for a couple more days. I doubt he'll report us until we're not back to pay for any more nights."

"And what if he does?" Isabel looked around at the terrain. "I doubt they can zero in on us by the time we get to this cave. And he certainly doesn't know where in these mountains we are."

"Yeah," Raul nodded. "I'm not too good at all this cloak and dagger stuff. Sorry."

It was late afternoon when they reached the top of the gully. They did not make as good of time as Michael and Luke had made on their own, mainly because of the human contingent. They had elected to eat, first, before descending into the gully and entering the caves. After their meal, they used the available light to make their way into the gloom of the gully.

"Well," Michael hefted his pack. "We might as well get started."

"No," Luke shook his head. "I think we should wait a little bit longer before we enter the cave."

"What for?" Kyle laughed. "It's not like it will get lighter in there or anything."

"No," Luke gave the first smile he had shown all day. "Not lighter, just less crowded."

"Oh, come on," Kyle headed for the entrance.

He was knocked off his feet as a black swarm jetted from the mouth of the cave. Bats. Millions of them. Maria screamed and held her hands over her hair. Michael couldn't stop laughing at Kyle. Neither could Luke.

"What's that smell?" Maria wrinkled her nose as they stepped into the cave.

"I think, the technical term is guano," Anders laughed.

"Guano?" Maria held up her torch to make sure there were no errant bats flying around.

"Bat shit," Kyle shook his head.

"Oh," Maria nodded. Then she looked down at her feet. "Eeeew."

"Just don't fall over," Michael chuckled.

"Hadn't planned on it," she looked at the sole of one of her shoes in disgust.

"It's gone," Luke was looking around the cavern, his blue light illuminating the whole chamber.

"What's gone?" Michael looked around to try to see what Luke was talking about.

"That funny feeling I had, when we were here yesterday," Luke looked at him. "I feel fine now. And what's more, I can feel the caves better."

"Remember that weird comment?"

"This way," Luke pointed, ignoring Michael's attempt to make him laugh.

With Luke's amazing ability to sense dead ends, the gang was making good progress through the tunnels. At least, they hoped they were. More than once, one of the human contingent had voiced their concerns about getting lost down here. But not once did Luke even appear to falter.

"It's getting close to dawn," Michael observed checking his watch.

"Can we have a rest?" Maria collapsed against his chest. "I am wrecked. We could all use some sleep."

"Yeah," Michael nodded. "I'll take first watch."

"Ouch," Luke suddenly clasped his head.

"What?" everyone was on alert. "What happened?"

"Nothing," he shook his head a few times as though trying to loosen something. "That feeling's back is all."

"What feeling?" Isabel was concerned.

"Fuzzy," Michael grinned.

"Off balance," Luke glared at him. "It's almost like... like something's been removed from me or something. It's hard to explain."

"Get some sleep," Michael urged. "No need for you to take a watch. You're our guide, so sleep."

They slept until almost noon, not that they knew it was that from any sunlight. It was totally black, with no lights. And it felt so oppressive. After a quick meal, they packed up and carefully hid any signs that they had been there. Michael and Luke still had no idea who else had been down here.

"How far have we come, do you think?" Raul asked.

"Don't know," Michael shook his head. "It's hard to tell with all this zigzagging, as well as the up and down we have to climb."

"It's not been as hard as I imagined," Kyle pointed out.

"I wish I knew what was causing this," Luke shook his head. "That feeling? It's gone again."

"That's really weird," Isabel shook her head.

Michael started to laugh.

"Shhh!" Luke was holding up his hand.

Michael's laughter died as sudden as it had begun. Everyone strained to listen to whatever it was that Luke had heard.

"Someone's coming," he warned them.

"What?" Michael demanded. "Where? How many?"

"How do you know?" Anders frowned. "I can't hear anything."

"I can sense them... see them almost..." Luke was concentrating hard. "They're behind us. Lots of them. And they're moving fast... like they know the path or something."

"Are they humans?" Michael's voice was a whisper. "Or alien?"

"I think they're soldiers," Luke opened his eyes.

"And you said no one could zero in on us," Raul rolled his eyes.

"I think I can hear them," Anders nodded.

Very faintly, the distant echoes of some clanking could be heard. Someone was indeed behind them.

"Come on," Luke urged. "If we want to stay ahead of them, we have to keep moving. Whoever they are, we don't want them to find us and ask us awkward questions."

It was only another two hours before they found a cave that everyone recognized from the Internet. They had emerged into the main chambers of the Carlsbad Caverns system. Everyone's congratulations were a little premature however, for when they found the main exit, they also found their first aliens. Fortunately, the aliens did not find them. They were clearly on guard duty but were watching outside rather than in.

"What now?" Kyle asked when they retreated a little way back into the caves. "Do we take them out?"

"No," Luke shook his head. "They would know that someone is out there then. We have to remain invisible. Under their radar, so to speak."

"We need another exit," Anders pointed out.

"Gee," Raul rolled his eyes. "D'ya think?"

"Luke?" Michael asked.

Luke started to concentrate.

"Yeah," he said at last. "This way."

It was into bright daylight that they finally emerged, high in the mountains, above the bed of a dried river. By Luke's reckoning, they were half a mile north of the main exit of the caves. Moving as far from the exit as they could, and as fast, they found a copse of trees to hide in until it turned dark.

"What do we do now?" Michael was scanning the countryside for any signs of their trackers from the caves.

"See, Luke" Isabel was cuddled up with Kyle, leaning against a tree. "We still need you, even if you weren't who you thought you were. You're just as important now as you always were."

"Now," Luke nodded at her. "We head for Roswell."

"And then?" Anders asked.

"Then we decide when we get there," Luke shrugged.

"Good plan," Kyle snorted.

"I have no idea as to the layout of Roswell," Luke snapped. "I don't know where they might be keeping prisoners, I don't know what security systems they might have, I know zip. How can I make any plans when I have no information about what we are up against? So if you know something I don't, then please. Share it with us. I'm not doing anything until I know what I am up against."

"Sorry," Kyle looked suitably embarrassed. It wasn't nearly so much fun baiting Luke when Luke bit back.

"How long do you figure it will take us to walk to Roswell?" Anders tried to take the heat off of Kyle.

"You're figuring to walk?" Raul's jaw dropped.

"It's not like we can rent a car," Michael growled.

"We could steal some horses," Luke shrugged.

"What if we get caught?" Raul narrowed his eyes. "I think horse rustling still carries a huge prison sentence."

"We get caught," Luke smirked, "I don't think it's prison we need to worry about."

"Well..." Anders chuckled. "We might as well be hung for a horse as a... uhm... How does that saying go?"

"So we'll rustle us up some horses and hit the trail," Kyle stood up, pulling Isabel with him.

"Come on, Pil-grim," Anders imitated someone famous; an old actor. "We're burning daylight."

"Get off your horse and drink your milk," Maria giggled, using a well-known misquotation from the same man.

"Huh?" Luke looked completely confused.

"Never mind," Maria shook her head with a roll of her eyes. "Forget it."

"The hell I will," Anders laughed in the same voice.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:03 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 3 Chapter 9

Post by WR » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:57 pm

Hi everyone,

Thank for all your wonderful comments and for your continued for this story. I think this is getting as long as my epic BRH. :)

My regulars readers will remember that I have seldom given out any kind of reassurances, trusting that they know I will remain loyal to M&L. But I feel that I need to reassure you that I will not keep Luke and Julia apart for too much longer. Okay? They both have separate tasks to do in order to make sure that I can have certain things happen later in the story.

roswell3050 - The funny feeling Luke is having is nothing to do with Julia.

BehrObsession - It seems that Madley is believing his own hype and has become a legend in his own lunchtime. :lol:

AJK001 - Well, i have been wondering lately. No one to keep my on my toes, I said. :wink: Oh, dont worry. Madly

Smac - Yes. Luke (just like Max) was afraid of rejection. As for the fuzziness Luke feels... the clues are there.

Emz80m - Yes - they left her behind, but they believed they had no choice. Michael and Luke both new that they could not delay their entry into New Mexico. War is coming.

roswellluver - Oh, lots happens next ;)

Timelord31 - Sorry - Luke and Julia do not have a telepathic link. :wink:

frenchkiss70 - I wonder how many parts your willpower will hold out for? :wink: I think Richard got a little overexcited - I mean, all he knows is Julia is there - on her own. Why wouldn't he believe she bowed to the inevitable :twisted:

omwf - Max and Liz are in the wings as we speak, getting their makeup done, ready for their reappaearance. :wink: No. That wierd feeling is nothing to with Julia at all.

VeronicB - the others will remember almost everything about their old lives except anything that might affect Luke's freedom of choice. As for rescuing someone who isn't there... well... there's plenty of time to get there yet. a lot can happen :wink:

sylus27 - Well... the problem is... well, Richard. :lol:

Ellie - Yes. But then, you must have seen this coming, right? ;)

paper - Or is it just some ability that Max has? Hmmmmm.....

thetvgeneral - lol - oh yes. we are back into evil gernil country. looks like Luke gets to meet that 5 foot rodent after all :lol:

smokie - not necessarliy his "royal destiny". Only his partner and his task. He is still believing that he is just a footsoldier and so is following orders than accepting a task. Michael was always ready for the task and while Isabel also accepted the task, she thinks its only to find the king.
As for Luke's luck... think of about what is happening to him.

Roswelllostcause - Hahahaha. Oh, watch out! this guys is a big shot! Damn. Now I am spelling it wrong. :lol:

dawnuk - lol. ok. ohmygod! I just realised. I bet I am going to be quizzed about this next Sat!!!! As for "bad" at torturing you. Awwww, and I have had all this practice too. :wink: I'll mail you my number shortly. Looking forward to Sat. Should we prepare a secret handshake or something? :lol: slap? slap?? Oh, yes. I could so drag this out for that! :wink:

Jull_ana - Erm.... sorry. What I meant to say was that they are lost as Alex and Jesse. As Anders and Raul, they remain the same. They will never remember what they once were to the pod squad though. I can always have Julia chhose Anders if you want, and leave Luke in limbo. :wink: :twisted: Don;t you think it would hurt both Alex and Jesse if they remembered... and Isabel was with Kyle? Ot how about how Isabel would feel with all three of them there...
Great new with your internship. As I do with all of my friends, I hope that one day, our paths will cross.

Authors Note - The place mentioned in this chapter really exists. If you have Google Earth, zoom in on Roswell. YOu can see it as a strange triangle about 11 miles due south.

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 10

As Julia was leaving the mess hall, Catt came scurrying across to join her.

"Captain Madly wants you in the barracks," he was puffing and panting.

She had not seen Richard since their last altercation when he was summoned to the briefing room. Which was fine by her. The less she saw of Richard Madly, the better.

"You can tell Captain Madly," Julia growled, "that I am not his moll or whatever, at his beck and call. I have to get to training."

"No, sorry," Catt shook his head. "Not just you, the whole platoon. I've been sent to round everyone up."

"But... my training..."

"Has to wait, this is urgent. Something big is going on."

While Catt ran off to find any others, Julia made her way back to the barracks. She found Richard, standing with his cronies, by the door to his private room. The rest of the platoon, minus a few stragglers like her, was standing in a loose order in front of him. Julia stood at the back, where the remaining members of the platoon, including Catt, joined her.

"This is it," Richard was almost bubbling over with anticipation. "We've finally been given our orders. Our platoon has been attached to the first company of the 7th Cavalry. We're to act in support. Our task is to move with two platoons from the first company, to our designated positions, and carry out any duties that the field commander sees fit. This is an honor, guys, because we are the first platoon of the Volunteer Force to be assigned an active duty."

Great, Julia grumbled to herself while she was packing her few belongings into her kit bag. Naturally, as Richard's Comms Officer, she was expected to accompany them, even though she had not completed basic training. They would probably end up doing some stupid road block duty in some stupid town in the middle of nowhere. She wanted to leave, to slip into New Mexico and look for Luke. She wanted to stay here at the camp, where she had a better chance of sneaking away. Julia was just contemplating seeking help from a source higher ranking officer, claiming that she had not received enough training, when she overheard Richard talking to his main two goons.

"We're slipping over the border," she heard him say in a hushed tone. "We're going to a point just south of Roswell where we are to take and hold an old airport. Some old missile base or something. When the invasion starts, we'll be flying in troops and supplies, so we need to set up a defensive perimeter. We will be in the front lines, my friends. From there, anything is possible."

Roswell, Julia realized, was where Max and Liz lived. And Luke, being Max, would more than likely begin his search there. Julia was more than enthusiastic about going, now. Just as long as she could keep Richard at arm's length.

The rest of the day was a flurry of activity. Julia was asked on countless occasions to check and recheck her radio set. She found it safest to just find a quiet vantage point and stay out of everyone's way. Around two hours before midnight, a medic circulated among them, passing out a small pack of rather large tablets. He instructed everyone to take one now, and that they would be told when to take another. A couple of army trucks arrived shortly after and they all climbed aboard, bringing their bags with them. The journey was long, boring and uncomfortable. On more than one occasion, her mind drifted back to the fun she had on the early part of her journey. She wished more than anything that Luke had been with her. It would have been pure bliss, then. When the sun started to rise the next morning, Julia was dismayed to find that they were driving towards it. They were driving east! And then they turned north into the mountains that had been steadily rising beside them.

A few hours after sunrise, the trucks stopped in a small clearing, high in the mountains. There were a number of other trucks already there. A series of rope ladders led down into a hidden gully. Julia wondered what they were doing here. At the bottom of the gully, there were another fifty or so soldiers. They were all checking their weapons and packs. All of them looked rather frightening. Julia wished that Luke was with her right now. Especially when one or two of the soldiers winked at her.

"I'd like to see Madly's goons tangle with them," Catt whispered to her with a wink.

Small groups of the soldiers seemed to be vanishing into the rock face. It wasn't until she got up close to it that she realized they were all climbing into a cave.

"Just follow the group ahead," a man who seemed to be directing things told her little group. "Stay together and keep up. One final warning. Make sure you take those tablets every twenty-four hours. We know that there are aliens who can pluck your thoughts out of your heads, okay? Their leader is supposed to be able to read your mind with just a touch. This suppresses that part of the brainwaves they detect. Don't ask where we got it from, and don't ask how we know it works. Just take one when you're supposed to, and if you're about to be captured, take another. Only try not to get captured, okay?"

With that, Julia was pushed along with the others into the cave.

She knew at once that the smell was the ammonia from bat droppings. She couldn't help looking up, glad that she was wearing her kevlar helmet.

"Do you feel that?" Julia whispered to Catt whom she had found beside her."

"Feel what?" he whispered back.

"Like someone's stuffed your head with cotton wool?" It was the best way she could describe it. It was almost like she had been closed off from something.

"No," he shook his head. "I just feel like all that weight is going to crush down on me."

They kept on going, at an almost forced pace. Along the route, soldiers stood at crossroads and junctions, pointing out the direction. After a few hours, her feet were sore, and she was totally exhausted.

"How much longer," she groaned during a rest period. "I don't think I can go on anymore."

"The golden girl?" someone scoffed. "Why don't you call for your hero? Maybe he will order one of us to carry you."

It was dark when they finally emerged through a hole in the side of a mountain face. A little below them was a large copse of trees, and behind that was what appeared in the darkness to be some kind of ranch.

"Are we in New Mexico?" Julia was gasping for her breath when a couple of Native Americans helped her through the small cave entrance.

"Yes," one grinned at her. "Welcome to the Alien Zone. Sightseeing tickets are on sale at the kiosk."

"Did anyone else come through here, recently," Julia was looking around, hoping that maybe she might see Luke.

"Only other Navajo," he shook his head. "You are the first white people to use these caves like this. Oh, and people of color," he noticed the darker skin tones of one or two African Americans.

"So no one else came through?" her face fell. Where would Luke have crossed into New Mexico? "Not even yesterday?"

"No," he shook his head. "And these caves are so secret, that we would have killed any who tried."

* * *

Riding through the night on the horses they had 'borrowed' from a farm, Luke's amazing ability seemed as useful above ground as it did below. He unerringly guided them down ravines and gullies, and over terrain that would have gotten them all lost if anyone else had been guiding them. Every now and then, he would warn them to hurry into the shadows of some rocks and hide. After a short while, he would lead them out again, satisfied that the danger had passed.

"I think he's making it sound more dangerous than it really is," Raul whispered to Kyle. "Do you ever see what the threat was?"

"No," Kyle laughed. "But you know what? Having lived through this before, I'm taking no chances and believing him one hundred per cent."

They never saw anyone, and hopefully, neither did anyone see them. But it was slow going, as they were reluctant to ride in the open, following the contours of the land instead.

* * *

For two nights, Julia's group of soldiers were guided through the desert by a number of Native Americans. They followed the natural contours of the land and remained in the shadows, for the most part. Every time they saw, or rather heard an approaching alien ship, they would disperse to hide in trees, behind boulders, in crevices, anywhere they could squeeze their horses into. And every time one came into view, Julia, like the others, was totally terrified. The regular soldiers showed some traces of worry, but only the Native Americans seemed unconcerned.

At long last, they arrived at an old airfield. They were assigned an old bunker in which they could hide during the heat of the day. All work on this base would be carried out at night, unless it was undercover somewhere. They would spend their time checking the runways, helping to fill any craters and cracks. It shouldn't be too bad, they were informed. A private flying club had been using it until the invasion. Other tasks allocated were the checking of the fuel storage tanks for leaks, as well as checking the condition of any defensive points around the perimeter. They were there to basically assist with the general maintenance of this forward base. As soon as they were settled, the Native Americans began the trek back to the caves to bring the next squad of soldiers down.

* * *

As she had been ordered to do, Julia had been sticking to Richard, in spite of the fact that they were observing total radio silence. She didn't even have her radio with her.

"Get into good habits now," he winked at her.

They were spending their first day walking through the underground tunnels, checking on the fuel tanks.

"This one is full," someone tapped the side of a large drum. "Aviation fuel, too."

"Make a note of that," Richard turned to his lieutenant. "You know, this isn't what I signed up for." He took off his helmet and sat down against the wall. Around him, the rest of his men followed suit. "We should be staging a series of hit and run raids. Something. Anything. Like Montgomery did during the North African campaign. Did you know, that's how the SAS started up? They were called LRP's then. Long Range Patrols."

"But we're not supposed to let the aliens know we're here," someone pointed out. "If we started attacking them, they're going to start looking for us."

"We gotta do something," he threw a rock against the opposite wall.

While she followed him around, Julia was scheming how she could escape from Richard's clutches and begin her search for Luke. She was only a few miles from Roswell, and still she had not felt him. Was she too late? Had she arrived here ahead of him? She never once felt him nearby. She had planned to slip away that night, under the cover of darkness while everyone else was busy on their first night's tasks. But all the while, she was closely watched by Richard's two friends. They did have their uses, though. Their constant presence meant that the other soldiers were tending to stay away from her, too. Some of them were giving her the creeps.

Darkness was starting to fall, when the Commanding Officer approached Richard.

"Captain Madly," he saluted.

"Sir," Richard snapped to rigid attention, saluting.

"Why don't you and your men take a little recon to those ravines over yonder," he pointed to the west. "You'll be led by a Native American, and I'll send along an experienced man, but look at this as a training exercise, okay? Just scouting experience, mind. Don't do anything stupid and don't look for a confrontation. Remember that we're not supposed to be here."

"Sir, yes sir," Richard saluted again.

Although the rest of the soldiers grumbled, Julia was quite pleased when they found out that the patrol would be conducted on foot. Julia had decided that riding horses was very uncomfortable.

"This is a Patrol," Joseph White Cloud, their native guide told them. "Not a joy ride. We need to move quietly."

While they were moving along the shadow of a small rise, Julia could not help feeling rather useless. Not only did she not carry her radio, due to the need for radio silence, she also carried no gun. She really didn't want to carry one, but if they ran into any trouble, she should at least be able to protect herself.

Joseph and Sergeant Craig Eastman, the soldier the commanding officer had sent along just watched them while Richard led the group in a loose formation. When they reached the distant hills, Richard start to wave his hands, issuing movement orders and they slowly inspected each of the ravines in turn. A little before midnight, the lead soldier stopped. He held up his closed fist. At once, all of the soldiers took cover, either on the ground, or behind some form of shelter. Someone grabbed Julia and pulled her behind a boulder. Richard, Joseph and Craig moved forward to talk to the point. After a few moments, they returned, bringing with them all of the patrol group.

"There's an alien ship in that ravine," Captain Madly informed his platoon.

"It looks like they have some mechanical problems," Joseph continued. "There are two aliens working on it." He paused, his eyes narrowed. "I must check on something. You remain here until I get back. Then we must return to base."

He vanished into the darkness like a shadow.

"We'll be returning to base, all right," Richard nodded to his goons. "But we'll be taking two prisoners with us."

"What do you mean?" Julia frowned.

"We'll be taking those two aliens with us."

"No, we won't," Sergeant Craig Eastman shook his head. "Our orders were to avoid confrontation. If we take those two back with us, every goddamn alien in New Mexico will be looking for them. They'll know we're here."

"How do we know they won't assume that the resistance took them?" Richard raised an eyebrow.

"Just follow your orders, kid," Eastman shook his head.

"Patton never made his fifth star sitting on his ass and playing safe," Richard snarled.

Any potential confrontation was averted when Joseph returned.

"Come," he called them. "We'll go back now."

Julia was rather surprised when Richard nodded, and gave the order to head out. Julia started to look for an opportunity to slip away into the darkness. She would never find Luke at this rate. Her only chance was to lose the soldiers, and this was the best time to do it. All she needed was an opportunity. After twenty minutes of walking, a hand covered her mouth and she was pulled into a hidden gully.

"Shhh!" Richard held a finger to his lips.

After a few more minutes, he started to lead Julia back the way they had come. As they moved, they were joined by other members of his Platoon, who had dropped unseen from the group and hidden. The small force approached the ravine in which the two aliens were still working on their ship. It became apparent to Julia that it would be some time before her opportunity to slip away would come.

Following his silent orders, the platoon fanned out across the mouth of the ravine, effectively sealing it. The group moved in slowly, closing the distance between them and the aliens, as well each other. Richard waited until everyone was in position. With his two goons either side of him, Richard stood up.

"We have you boxed in," he called out to the aliens. "You will surrender yourselves to me."

The two aliens turned and appeared to be startled. They looked at one another and shrugged. At once, they both raised a hand and bright blasts of energy flew at them. One of Richard's goons took a direct hit and was thrown backwards nearly twenty yards. Richard and his other goon both managed to dive for cover in time. The aliens did not plan on surrendering, it seemed. Everyone started to open fire on the aliens, still standing out in the open.

"We have to flank them," Richard called out. "We have to get a shot at their backs."

He waved across at the other side of the ravine. While everyone else maintained their fire, a trio of soldiers rose up and ran in a half crouch from cover to cover, planning on moving behind the pair of aliens. One of them started to blast at them. One of the trio fell, and the other two ducked into cover, remaining safely hidden.

"Shit!" Richard swore. He signaled to the other side, when a new trio made the same attempt.

They had little better success, and two of their number was struck while crossing an open space.

"You stupid, fucking moron!" Sergeant Craig Eastman appeared from no where to grab Richard. He was panting heavily, showing he had run all the way back. "Break off the attack, get your useless butts out of here and back to base. You've compromised the whole..."

He stopped taking when he felt the gun. Richard's other goon was holding a pistol to his head.

"I'm in command, here," Richard shook his head. "Not some two bit sergeant."

Julia was cowering behind a rock. With no weapon of her own, there was little else to do. Beside her, Spider was firing at the alien and swearing loudly. He suddenly cried out in agony and Julia could only stare at the huge wound in Spider's back.

"Richard!" she called, pointing to a third alien approaching them from their rear.

A sudden realization swept over Julia just as another soldier cried out in pain, struck by an alien blast. Everything that had been happening to her, the martial law and its ban on travel, the shipwreck, this military action, all of it was telling her one thing. She was not destined to be with Luke after all. She would never see him again. She was going to die here in the middle of nowhere. What made it worse was that Luke would forever believe that Julia was safe at home, like she had promised him.

Richard barked out a series of orders and tried to cover his rear as well as his front. He had rapidly changed from being a hunter to becoming the hunted. Another man fell. Julia recognized his still, pain filled face. It was Fitz.

"Don't shoot!" Richard suddenly called out, throwing down his rifle and holding up his hands. "Don't shoot! We surrender."

Julia remembered the soldier's comment about being captured. Then she remembered that she had not taken her tablet yet. It had been a little over twenty four hours since she took her last one. Reaching into her top pocket, she took out her tablets and popped two into her mouth, one for good measure. Around her, other soldiers saw her and copied her. Amid the discarding of rifles, many were also taking their tablets. They had been captured by the aliens.

* * *

High above the firefight, a small group of weary travelers were hidden among the rocks and watched as the events unfolded.

"How did those morons down there not see that point guard?" Michael shook his head. "Who trained those idiots?"

While they had a good vantage point, they could see no faces nor insignia in the darkness. Only shadows. The rest of the gang passed suitable comments, except for Luke, who remained quiet throughout, while down below, the remaining soldiers were divested of their helmets, weapons and battle jackets.

"What do you suppose will happen to them?" Anders asked, his voice tinged with sorrow.

The prisoners were now being herded like cattle, in the direction of Roswell.

"I have no idea," Luke shook his head, climbing to his feet. "But I better follow them."

"What?" Michael gasped, rolling over to look up at him. "What are you talking about? What about our mission?"

"Why's that, Luke?" Isabel asked.

"Because Julia is down there," Luke looked so sad at that moment.

"What?" everyone gasped.

"She's alive?" Maria's smile was huge.

"How did she get there?"

"I have no idea," Luke shook his head.

"How do you know?" Michael narrowed his eyes. "They were too far for us to see. How do you know she was down there?"

"Because, when she's close enough, I can feel her," Luke told them. "I only felt her for a few moments, and then it was gone. But I know. I know that she's down there." He pointed at the small group fading in the shadows.

"You can feel her?" Raul narrowed his eyes.

"Ever since spring, when I healed her after she was shot."

"You healed her?" Kyle gasped. "Why does this sound so familiar?"

"Look," Luke started to back away. "I don't want to lose them, okay? Make your way to these co-ordinates." He handed his map to Michael. "I'll come and find you."

"Look after yourself," Michael warned him.

"You too," Luke was already moving away.

"And don't you dare come back without Julia!" Maria called after him.

The small group sat motionless for nearly ten minutes, watching the small group of soldiers march away.

"So what do we do now?" Kyle asked.

"We got plenty of darkness left," Michael shrugged. "We keep moving."

"You sure you can find your way without being able to check the map?" Anders looked over Michael's shoulder to try to make anything out on the opened sheet.

"We need to get away from here, at least," Michael shrugged. "Let's get the horses, and follow this ridge a ways. Once we have gotten away from here, we can find some shelter, make some light and I can check the map. And then we can make our way to Roswell."

"You won't be making your way anywhere," a strange voice informed them from behind.

Everyone turned at once. There was a large group of Native Americans, all on horseback, and all of them aiming rifles at them. Isabel laid her hand on Michael's arm to prevent him from doing anything. There were too many of them.

"Where is the other?" the voice asked.

"What other?" Michael spoke up for the group.

"The other youth that was with you only moments ago. There were seven of you when you came up here."

"Well, you must have trouble with your counting," Michael snorted, "cause I only count six of us."

"Where is he?" the man demanded.

"You tell us, Tonto," Michael scoffed. "Do you see him? Is he here? You think he can just vanish?"

"Who are you?" the Native demanded.

"We're no one," Michael shrugged. "We're just passing through."

"No one just passes through these lands," he shook his head. "What are you doing here?"

"That's our business."

In a strange sounding language, the lead men exchanged a few quiet words.

"You will come with us," he informed them. "We will let Hash-kay-gi-na-tah decide what to do with you.

* * *

Julia couldn't help the soft smile when she realized that not only was she still alive, but their captors were taking her to Roswell. But then her smile faded. Roswell was where they had all lived before. Max, Liz, Michael, Maria... all of them. And 'her', too.

"Tess..." she remembered, whispering the name out loud.

"Huh?" Catt looked at her. "What did you say?"

"Nothing," she shook her head. "Sorry."

The alien force marched them through the night, arriving at the outskirts of Roswell just as the sun was starting to rise in the east. It had been hard going, especially since the aliens had 'created' handcuffs out of the sand and had bound their hands behind their backs. When they finally reached town, they were made to stand in a field beside the main road. Julia couldn't help looking around, amazed that her dreams had been so detailed that she recognized where she was. She half expected to see Luke and the others walk around the corner, on their way to free, well, Luke.

While they stood there, in their combat pants and t-shirts, a group of wretched looking people shuffled along the road. They looked tired and hungry. Their eyes were filled with despair. Julia felt a wave of pity for them, but realized that all too soon, she would be among them, looking just like them. She was puzzled by the people that guarded them. They wore blue shirts and pants, and while they looked well fed, and content, they also looked very much human. She remembered the rumors that had emerged about these 'Capo's'. These blue clad humans then started to supervise while the half starved humans started to erect a wire fence around them. They were building a camp to keep the prisoners in.

They sat out in the heat of the sun all day. Occasionally, someone brought them some water, and once or twice, a little food. As the sun was finally starting to descend, another man, this one looked more self important than the others, walked by, seemingly uninterested in what was going on. He was tall, perhaps in his early thirties, with short, curly reddish blonde hair. His blue shirt bore an insignia, unlike the others. He seemed to be a Capo of some rank.

As he walked past Julia's group, he stopped. He turned and looked at Julia with narrowed eyes. His eyes blinked in astonishment. He looked and then looked again, as though he could hardly believe what he was seeing. She felt uncomfortable under his gaze. Even more so than she felt around Richard, or Raul.

"Do you need all of them?" he called out to one of the aliens.

"No," the alien gave a knowing smile. "We only need the leaders. Why?"

"I want this one."

"Take her," the alien shrugged. "When they ask, who should I say has her?"

"DeLuca," his smile was very leery. "Sean DeLuca."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:12 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 3 Chapter 11

Post by WR » Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:40 pm

Hi everyone!

Well, the news of the week is that due to illness, Dawn and I have had to postpone out get together that we had scheduled for tomorrow. Get well soon, Dawn.

Well... it seems not only did I manage to get Luke and Julia in the same state, I got them to withing sight of one another. Okay. Julia didn't see Luke, but now they are only a short distance apart, Luke is aware of her, and is now going to get her.

See :) And you thought I would let you down. :twisted:

youre my dreamgirl - When I get predictable... I will give up writing! :wink:

omwf - Me? Not like Sean? Does it show? No. He makes a real handy person to play the villan. And I needed someone to... because... Aw... you'll see why I needed Sean. :wink: Just remember... I "DO" think ahead.

raemac - Well... Who do you think Sean works for?? :wink:

roswck - Okay - you have to remember that the clones are identical to the original pod squad. So I'm sure he knows it's not Liz... but he can have whoever he wants and sees... Heck, I'm sure he will explain it better :wink:

Timelord31 - Well... I like using characters from the original show. :)

roswellluver - Yes. Julia is in definate need of a hero right now.

Emz80m - Yes. Richard is learning (and ignoring the lesson) that there is a difference between paint ball and real bullets. And yes. Julia is identical to Liz.

roswell3053 - Well, if he touches Julia, I'm sure he will :twisted: But what difference will that make?

mareli - lol - well, you have more time to read it all again, and can then work out exactly what questions you can get Dawn to ask me. Of course, you know I'm not going to answer anything that gives away the plot :wink:

lazza - 20 chapters!! welcome back. :) Hope you managed to work out everything that has happened.

dawnuk - Aw come on. YOu know I love the torment! I am well practiced and why get good at something and then stop doing it? :wink: :twisted:

Ellie - YOu know that Luke is only a short way behind them. He knows where she is now, and he knows what he wants. :)

frenchkiss70 - Well... the aliens have been there for what? Two years? And for two years, Sean, as a Capo will have had free reign with his desires. Uh oh!

VeronicaB - Yes, the people catching up to the gang were the soldiers, being lead by Native Americans who know that caves like the backs of thei hands. :)

BehrObsession - Yes, you kind of get the feeling that as Luke and Julia, they are not strong enough to do what has to be done.

Roswelllostcause - LOL - Sean is claiming Julia for his own in this mess. There! Dont ever say I never gave you a straight answer! :lol:

Jull_ana - OK, please dont worry. You did not offend me, and I took it as a joke anyway. I always will. So no harm done. And dont worry. I am sure Max will make an appearance sooner or later. I cant see Anders or Raul rocking Julia's boat... uh, if you know what I mean. :lol:

smokie - LOL. Well, when I have everyone split up like this, why shouldn't everyone have a villaing of their own? :wink: Valenti can only inform the gang that Luke is the King if he meets Luke. And not being able to remember, I am sure that Michael and Isabel will doubt that they hear. They're not allowed to know Max is Luke until Luke knows... if you know what I mean. :lol: A sequel to PW?? Oh my!

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 11

Sean DeLuca.

The name rang bells in Julia's mind. Some of them were alarm bells. And snippets of memories came to mind. Memories of dreams. Wasn't Maria's last name DeLuca? The man who shared the same last name was pulling her along the street like she was his little dog. But that didn't prevent her from looking around, at the streets and houses. Everywhere looked run down, more like slums. Some buildings looked familiar. Buildings from her dreams, but they were in better condition then. But this Sean DeLuca took her past all the ugly buildings and to a part of town that looked a lot more affluent. It appeared that a number of the thin looking people were working on the gardens, maintaining them. It was into one of these buildings that Sean DeLuca dragged her.

"I don't care much for your clothes," he was leering at her, looking her up and down in the entrance hall. "We'll soon change that, though. God, I just can't believe this." He was shaking his head.

"Believe what?" Julia found her voice.

"Christ!" he gave a huge grin. "You even sound like her."

"Like who?" she narrowed her eyes.

"I had a girlfriend," he started to walk around her, looking her up and down. "She lived right here in Roswell. We coulda been happy. Except for 'him'."

"Who?" Julia frowned.

"I didn't know it at the time," he shook his head. "But he was an alien. And he was useing some alien mind trick on her. He stole her from me. She died because of it. She threw her life away on some miserable piece of shit. And you look just like her. That's why I chose you. That's why I took you from that compound."

"Because I look like her?" she swallowed.

"Yeah," he nodded. "And because you're going to be my new bitch. The one I have right now is getting kind of used."

Stepping up to Julia, he reached out to embrace her. Julia tried to move away, but still cuffed as she was, it proved difficult. He grabbed her by her t-shirt and pulled hard. It ripped along the seams, exposing her bra. Julia was really afraid that that this man was going to rape her and she prepared to defend herself as best as she could. When he moved again, she tried to kick him, but he simply grabbed her leg. She was completely helpless.

"Shit!" he suddenly squealed with pain. He released her leg and staggered backwards, his hands now pressed against his temples. "Son of a bitch! Damn that fucking whore! One of these days I'm going to fucking kill her!"

Holding her t-shirt together as best as she could, Julia was cowering against the wall, crouching in the fetal position. Sean DeLuca crossed to a doorway, yanking it open while his other hand still rubbed his temple.

"Troy!" he bellowed. "Get this slut scrubbed up and dressed for me. You know what I like." He paused, giving a cold chuckle while he looked back at Julia. "Yes, of course you do. The Queen wants me. Queen," he snorted. "Queen bitch. Ruler of a shit heap. Anyway, Troy, have her ready for my return or you really won't like what happens to you."

* * *

Although they were treated well by their captors, the gang was forced to ride hard during the night. Michael kept up an almost constant muttering.

"What's he saying?" Isabel finally asked Maria when they stopped for a rest.

"He's berating himself," she shrugged. "For letting them sneak up on him like that."

"It's hardly his fault," Isabel cast a sympathetic glance in his direction. "You know, Luke must have seen them as he was leaving. Or at least, he surely must have sensed them with that radar thing he has."

"Radar thing?" Maria frowned.

"It was almost like he could sense things. Like approaching ships and soldiers and stuff. Almost like he had this... radar."

"Well..." Maria gave a shrug. "He was concentrating on Julia. No one else matters when he does that."

"Kind of like my brother," Isabel nodded.

"And my best friend," Maria agreed.

"Okay," Kyle crawled to join them. "Every minute takes us farther from where Luke said he would meet us. Why don't you guys do your alien mumbo stuff and get us out of here?"

"Because there's only two of us," Isabel rolled her eyes.

"And because then they'll think we're the enemy," Michael joined them. "These guys appear to be fighting against the aliens. As long as we don't give them any reason to consider us as enemies, we'll be treated at least friendly."

"But we're getting further away from Luke."

"I know," Michael nodded. "And there's not a damned thing we can do about it."

"Luke will find us," Isabel assured them. "I know he will. But I'll dream walk him if we don't hear from him."

"Doesn't he block you?" Michael frowned.

"I can at least try," she closed her eyes. "Maybe he won't block me when we aren't there to meet him."

"Where are we going?" Michael asked the man on horseback who was leading his horse.

"Somewhere safe," the man answered.

"And who is this... Hash - kay... guy?"

"He is the man who will determine your fate," the native shrugged and fell silent again.

"I wonder if this Hash kay what's-his-name guy knows what happened to our parents?" Kyle twisted and looked back towards Roswell.

"We don't think they made it," Isabel spoke in a soft whisper. "Sorry."

"We saw the Sheriff's station take a direct hit, Kyle," Michael continued. "The Crashdown was totally destroyed."

"So was our house," Isabel was fighting to keep back her tears.

"We think they were all killed," Michael's voice was half growled. "They were probably targets because of us."

"That's good to know," Kyle's voice was tight. He had gritted his teeth.

"Huh?" Maria frowned.

"I just made me a couple of targets," Kyle clarified.

"Get in line," Anders smirked.

"Can you kill someone more than once?" Kyle called out to the group.

"Apparently," Isabel smiled through her tears.

The rest of the gang started to laugh, while the Native Americans looked on in confusion.

* * *

It was ludicrously easy to follow their trail. The aliens had not even considered the possibility that someone might follow them, and the hostages certainly didn't care. And even if they hadn't left a trail, Luke was always aware of where they were. He was following behind them, perhaps only by an hour.

When he arrived at the makeshift compound that was still in the process of being erected, he saw the prisoners standing in a small group in the middle. They looked dejected, and thoroughly demoralized. They were illuminated by some spotlights, high above them. Luke counted only nine figures. The patrol had consisted of seventeen soldiers, including the Native American Guide who had not taken part in the assault. The aliens had killed five men he knew. That should have left eleven soldiers. Two were missing.

Moving around the edge of the darkness, Luke moved to a wooden building that the others had glanced at every now and then. He peered through the window and saw Richard Madly inside, sitting at a table across from an alien. Luke could feel Richard's fear emanating from him. He seemed to be talking a lot. That was ten, he thought. Where was the eleventh? He looked at the prisoners again. He could see that a few of them were females, but they were all much taller than Julia. She was not there. Maybe she was killed? His heart started to pound. That would explain why he felt her for a few moments and then nothing. No, he shook his head. Why couldn't he feel her before? She was right there all the time. Did she know how to turn this 'feeling' off? One thing Luke knew for certain was that the prisoners would know what happened to her.

The doors to the wooden building opened and Richard was escorted back to the compound. Luke watched from the shadows, as he was welcomed back into the fold. Even from where he sat, Luke could hear him bragging how he never cracked, how he had not said a single word in there. Luke could only shake his head in amusement. He had to talk to them, he decided. But what then? He couldn't leave them there to rot. He would have to free them. But not right now. There was too much activity around the perimeter wire. He would make his move when things calmed down.

* * *

Sean DeLuca made his way through the deserted streets of Roswell as though he owned them. In a way, he did. He had proved very useful to the new rulers of New Antar. As a petty criminal surviving on his wits in the darker corners of Albuquerque, he could see which way the wind was blowing right from the moment he woke up to the sounds of people screaming. He was one of the first to offer his services when he discovered that the aliens had taken over.

Naturally, with the Capo's being given their pick of the young girls, Sean had made his way straight to Roswell to get the one girl he had always wanted. He had been quite surprised to find Tess there. At first, he had assumed she had been taken by one of the aliens, but he had been totally amazed to discover that she had been an alien all this time. And not just her, either. It figured that that piece of shit, Evans had been one too. No wonder Parker had seemed brain washed when it came to him. Another surprise was the fact that Liz had known all along of the alien's presence among them. His cousin, Maria, too. But he had also discovered that Liz was dead, and with it went his fantasy. And now, in the absence of the real McCoy, this young girl who was her spitting image would do. Oh yes. He was practically salivating at the thought of that young flesh at home. She was probably even a virgin, too, and she would certainly have never heard of Max fucking Evans.

* * *

Luke waited for everyone to settle down before he made his move. It was around four in the morning. His first action was to wave his hand in front of him, changing his clothes so that he looked like one of the humans who appeared to be helping the aliens.

After a quick double check to make sure he had not missed anything, Luke then crossed the open ground, walking right up to the edge of the wire. No one paid him any attention. Under the pretense of checking on the quality of the job, he grabbed the wire and pulled. After a quick check to make sure no one was watching, the wire in his grip vanished. Repeating the exercise, Luke soon had a man sized gap in the wire fencing.

"Now for the guards," he muttered.

He walked up to the wooden hut and simply walked into the room. There was only one guard there, running his fingers of a small metallic coil.

"What do you want?" the alien looked up at Luke.

"Nothing," Luke smiled as he sent a bolt of energy into guard, knocking him unconscious instantly.

Crossing back to the door, he scanned the area. There were only two more guards that he could see. He could feel no others.

"Hey," Luke called out. "There's a problem in here." Luke indicated inside the room.

The two alien guards came running, and stepped into the room.

"What's wrong with him?" the first guard knelt at his comrades side.

"Me," Luke shrugged, firing two more blasts into the aliens.

He knew he should kill them, but he couldn't bring himself to do that. Instead, he used his powers to make some shackles. He bound them together, back to back with their hands jumbled in the middle. He knew how hard it was to manipulate something you couldn't see properly. This would take them some extra time to sort out, once they woke up. Satisfied, he left the building and went to the gateway into the compound.

The prisoners watched his approach with a look of hatred and concern.

"Follow me," Luke said.

It must have sounded authoritative, because the men all followed him. He lead them to the gap he had made earlier.

"Quickly," Luke stood back to let them through. "Make for those trees over there. It will be light soon, and we have to get as far away from here as possible."

"Who are you?" someone demanded.

"Think of me as that masked man," Luke grinned. "You know, the one that everyone asks who he was but no one knows? It's safer that way." For you, he added silently. "Hurry. They'll come looking for us. And I don't know about you guys, but I am not letting them catch me."

* * *

"What do you want?" Sean DeLuca snapped when he was lead into Tess's room.

"Hello, Sean," Tess greeted him like he was an old friend. "I heard you were back in town. Don't I deserve a courtesy visit?"

"I was tired," he growled.

"I bet you were, you lecherous pig," Tess rolled her eyes.

"Sticks and stones will break..."

"I don't need sticks," Tess gave a tight smile filled with malevolence. "Or stones."

Sean fell to his knees, clutching his head while he screamed in agony.

"Perhaps you should learn to leave your attitude at home and come here like the whipped little puppy you are."

"Yes, Tess," he begged. "Turn it off."

"Yes, who?" she demanded.

"Yes, your majesty!" he cried out.

"Very good," she nodded, stopping whatever it was she did to bring his arrogance to its knees. "Have you had any luck?"

"Not the kind you want to hear," he shook his head. "I have searched every damned square foot of the desert in a fifty mile radius now. I have found loads of caves, some with all that weird writing stuff, but nothing that your man says is significant."

"You need to work faster," she informed him. "When I gave this job to you, you assured me you would cover more ground than this."

"Looking for a cave that might hold a clue as to where Evans hid the seal?" he shook his head. "Or where the Granolith is hidden? It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. You have given me no idea what the symbols for these things look like. You haven't even told me what the things you are looking for look like."

But when I find them, he whispered in his mind, I will work out how to use them, and it will be me who makes you writhe in agony. And before I kill you, I will fuck you into kingdom come.

"You have plenty of resources you lazy moron," Tess shook her head. "I knew it was a stupid idea to leave such an important task to a two bit hoodlum like you. You have access to detectors..."

"It's manpower I need," he shook his head.

"You freaking moron!" Tess spat. "You have a whole fucking slave labor force out there. Take what you need. Just get however many bodies you think will get the job done. Only, get the job done. I'm warning you, DeLuca. You better not let me down."

"Can I go now?" he licked his lips.

Tess spotted his action. She rolled her eyes.

"Is that all you think about?" she was shaking her head. "No wonder you don't achieve much. I though you would have grown tired of that slut by now."

"I have," he nodded. "But she still has her uses. Like helping me to break in my new slut."

"You found a new one, huh?" Tess seemed totally disinterested. "One not already worn out by the others?"

"Plenty of untouched girls out there," he shrugged. "But not like this one. I found her among some prisoners that got brought in. A real tasty little slut she is too."

"You've already had her then," she shook her head.

"Not yet," he licked his lips again. "That's why I'm kind of eager to get back." He turned and headed for the door. "If I can't have her," he opened it. "I'll have her clone instead."

The door flew from his hand and slammed shut.

"What did you say?" Tess's voice had never sounded more deadly. Sean's face drained of all blood.

"I said... if I..."

"No," she roared. Sean had never come more close to soiling himself than he did just then. "Did you say clone?"

"Ye... yes..." he nodded, his whole body shaking. "She could be her clone. They're identical. They even sound alike."

"Who does she look like?" Tess's eyes flashed like lightening. "Isabel Evans?"

"No," Sean shook his head. "Liz. Liz Parker."

"What?" Tess's screech made the very wall of the nuclear fallout shelter shake.

"I fou... found this girl who could be Liz Parker's twin... except she... she's younger. Maybe sixteen."

"Bring her to me," Tess's voice turned cold. Sean dropped to his knees again, screaming with pain as it twisted through his head.

"Yes!" he cried. "Okay! Okay! I'll bring right over."

"Before you have your fun with her," Tess warned. "Or I'll fix this headache so you get it permanently."

* * *

Sobbing with both fear and momentary relief at Sean Deluca's departure, Julia remained cowering on the floor for some time before she climbed to her feet. She was halfway across the hallway when a woman's voice spoke to her from behind her.

"He'll have locked it," she spoke with a dead, emotionless voice.

Julia turned to look at the newcomer. She couldn't help gasping at what she saw. The girl, maybe in her late twenties, although she had not aged well, was tall, and blond. She sported and outrageously sized pair of breasts that made her walk with a slight stoop. They were so clearly false. She wore a small, tight cheerleader outfit, with a pair of high-heeled stilettos. Her short skirt only just covered what it was supposed to cover. Her abnormally large bra-less breasts bulged out of her cheerleader top. Her face was made up with too much make-up. Apart from her face, almost every inch of her exposed flesh was covered in small scars. Some were straight lines, like cuts from a razor blade, while others appeared to be small burns. The girl was blinking in astonishment for a few moments before she started to walk toward Julia.

Crying hysterically, Julia backed away from the woman.

"I won't hurt you," she was shaking her head. Her eyes, flat and lifeless a moment ago, now showed sorrow after a brief flash of recognition. "I want to help you."

"What do you mean," Julia was frantically searching for an escape route. "He told you to get me ready for him. I heard him."

"Look at me," the woman looked down at her body. "I wouldn't wish my fate on my worst enemy. The girl you look like? I knew her. We went to school together. We never really saw eye to eye. But I would never want to see her reduced to this. It's a good thing she died, because I think that bastard would have treated her worse than me. And I think that you..." Her voice caught. She was too choked to finish. "I have to get you out of her. I have to help you escape."

"You... you're going to help me?" Julia was amazed.

"Yes," the woman nodded. "Call it my last act of defiance." She gave a weak smile that did not reach her eyes.

She had found Julia a blue shirt and a pair of blue pants that was not too bad a fit on her. Then, Julia helped her fill some plastic bottles with water, and placed them in a bag. Reaching to the top of a cupboard, she produced a key.

"He doesn't know that I know about this," she forced a smile.

Together, under the cover of darkness, the two young women slipped away. She guided Julia through streets she recognized from her dreams. Every now and then, they had to duck behind some cover as an alien, or a Capo came by.

"This is the best I can do," she whispered when they reached the edge of town. The dark, empty plain stretched away before them. "I heard that the resistance is to the north of here. Keep hidden by day, and only travel at night. Keep heading North until they find you."

"Aren't you coming with me?" Julia begged.

"No," she shook her head. "Look at me, I'm a freak. He had my breasts enlarged to this cartoon size, and he uses me as an ashtray or as a dart board, or... No. I was born in Roswell. I'd like to die here."

Her voice suggested that she knew Sean would kill her for this.

"Just do me a huge favor."

"Anything," Julia nodded.

"Tell the Resistance that the aliens are looking for something. That's what this whole invasion is about. They're tearing apart the town to try and find it. They're looking for something called the Granolith. And something else. Something that a guy I used to go to school with called Max Evans once had. Some kind of seal."

"I'll tell them," Julia nodded, a surge running through her at the mention of the name. It was confirmation that her dreams were real after all.

"And can you ask them..." she swallowed. "I doubt they will ever find my body. When this is all over... Can you ask them to build a small memorial to me? Nothing big or fancy or anything. In the Roswell cemetery? Up by some people I went to school with. I'd kind of like that."

"I'll do that," she nodded. "What's your name?"

"Troy," she started to weep. "I used to be called Pam Troy."

"And this girl," Julia's heard started to pound. "The one I look like. What was her name?"

"Liz," Pam Troy smiled. "Liz Parker."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:24 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 3 Chapter 12

Post by WR » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:50 pm

Hi Everyone!

My first words tonight are to pass on to Jeannine my very best wishes. My thoughts will be with you and your family tomorrow.

My second are to hope you are well now, Dawn. :)

Thank you for your kind words,and your feedback this week. You will be pleased to know that your suffering is almost at an end :)

And guess what? I have hit a block! I'm stuck! I know where I need to get to, but the place I am at the moment, I'm not sure how to get them from there to where I need them to go. Arrrgh!

Wnat hasn't helped is that in the course of thinking how to move this story along, I have come up with another cracking idea for a CC w/alians story and two AU w/out alians stories.

Oh, well. I 'm sure it will come to me. Regular readers will no doubt remember I hit this same wall with Blue Remembered Hills.

Smac - Remember those tablets she keeps taking? Blocks something to prevent aliens detecting them? Maybe this ALSO screws up connections? :wink:

BETHANN - Well... Tes needed to find out from someone. That's why I needed to keep Julia separated from Luke for so long. Hope I got this posted in time for you ;)

Ellie - After what Pam has been through, I'm sure death will be a welcome change for her. :(

smokie - Thank you. YOu know how hard I work to make sure I maintain the interest. :) It's nice to know its worth while.

Emz80m - Lol - well... everyone makes Pam the bad girl, yet the only thing we really know about her is that Liz hates her ahd openly admits it. But remember to apply the Maria filters :wink:

Timelord31 - thank you

frenchkiss70 - Yes, it seems Sean is in Tess's pocket and doesn't want to be there. Are they stronger, or does she just make free with them? I'm sure the gang will realise who Luke is one Julia points it out to him :wink:

roswellluver - Good ol' Pam :)

omwf - They dont recognise Luke/Max and Liz/Julia because they are not allowed to. Otherwise, they would TELL them who they are, therby forcing them to take action, not allowing them the choice. Both Luke and Julia can shoose to turn their backs on this.

raemac - I don't think you need correcting. :wink:

VeronicaB - Liz seems to be in a constant state of fear right now. Yes, he has to choose Julia and to accept the task (and his task is leadership.)

youre my dreamgirl - lol, I love making the bad people the good ones for a change. Look how many times I made Tess good ;)

Roswelllostcause - I'm sure Julia/Liz will do all she can to repay Pam. And I'm sure that Luke/Max will help Julia in what ever way he can

roswell3053 - I'm sure Julia getting away will give Sean a few headaches! :lol:

paper - Interesting that you think being between Richard and Max would be difficult for Julia/Liz. We all know where her allegiance lies. And we all know how hard Richard really is.

Jull_ana - Better late than never :) Okay... Christmas Story. I have a sneaky suspicion that you are the only one who wants one. :wink: Actually, I "AM" experimenting with one right now. Something that is once again, different. But I am having trouble keeping the complexity down. So watch this space.

No, seriously. Do you really want me to write ANOTHER christmas story???

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 12

"Okay gentlemen," President Hilary Clayton decided that she was spending way too much time down here with the same people. "You called this meeting. What seems to be the problem?"

"Madam President," General Wallace looked embarrassed. "As you know, our plans were underway... There's been a development."

"What kind of development?" she looked worried.

"Plans?" Avi Bernstein frowned. "What plans. Why were we not informed?"

He looked around the room, noticing that many of his colleagues seemed just as confused.

"It was a need to know," the General shrugged. "We were taking added precautions."

"I'm hardly in the habit of talking to aliens," Bernstien growled.

"You don't need to," Clayton shook her head. "Apparently, they have some sort of mind reading capability."

"Oh," he blushed.

"Perhaps, General..." Clayton sighed, "you could give us all a briefing?"

"As you know," General Clayton began, "the seat of Alien Power in New Mexico lies here," his pointer stabbed on the map. "Roswell."

"The best way to kill a snake is to cut off its head," the General smirked. "So we planned to make a major strike on Roswell in such a way as to catch the aliens off guard. We would have positioned large units of mainly reserves and volunteers at these four points. All of them backed up with heavy firepower, and anti aircraft capability."

He pointed with his stick as he told his audience where they were placed.

"One here, west of Amarillo, on Interstate 40. Another down here in El Paso, on Highway 85. A third here in Arizona, sitting on the western side of Interstate 40. And a fourth here, to the north, on Interstate 25. Their task was simple. They were decoys. They were to hide them in such a way that the alien reconnaissance would spot them, yet look concealed. On D-Day, their task was solely to draw out the enemy defending forces and engage them, right on the borders if necessary. The farther from Roswell, the better.

"Also at zero hour, elements of the resistance would start striking at the aliens using classic hit and run tactics to slow their advances. Capos would be targeted, freeing slaves to take whatever actions into their own hands. The aliens would need to keep units back from the front lines just to maintain some semblance of order, forcing the early use of reserve forces.

"Here, here and here," he stabbed three places on the map. "Farwell, Texas. Right on Highway 84. Slightly to the Northwest of Roswell. Plains, Texas, Highway 380. Due west of Roswell. And this place here, right on the border. Highway 285. South of Roswell. We would have totally concealed units ready to strike. At D-Day + 5, these concealed units of mechanized forces, covered by the support of low flying fighters, bombers and helicopters would have raced toward Roswell in a classic Blitzkrieg move. Their task was to draw all enemy units out of and away from Roswell.

"At Zero hour plus 6, units from the Marines, Airborne and other elite Infantry units along with some anti aircraft units, and APC's would have been flown at ultra low level to this airbase here." He stabbed a point just to the south of Roswell. "Roswell Auxiliary Airfield number 3. One time home of the Walker Nike Site WA-50. It lies eleven miles due south of Roswell. The idea was to slowly infiltrate and conceal a defense force capable of holding onto the airfield long enough to form a strike force and thrust straight to the heart of Roswell. A covert operation had recently been in operation. Waiting for us on the outskirts of Roswell, James Valenti and a number of resistance fighters would link up with advance units and would be used to identify key alien personnel, to whit, one Nikolas Whitaker and one Tess Harding.

"You speak in the past tense," Bernstein frowned. "Am I to understand that we have already launched this campaign?"

"No," he shook his head. "A small scouting group from the advance base was... spotted, and captured, alerting the aliens to our presence. The base was evacuated immediately. The soldiers on their way there were called back and those already there were ordered to make their way North, around Roswell, to the base of the resistance."

"Is this something we can try again later? Maybe using another airfield?"

"No," the General shook his head. "If I was the defending commander, I would order a watch be placed at every airport, disused or not, in the state. But maybe we can use the troops in the north as some kind of diversion. And in the meantime, they can assist in the training of the resistance fighters."

"I would like to hear any other options," she shrugged. "At this stage, I think I would consider anything. Although I don't think a limited nuclear strike is an option."

"It would be useless in any case," the General sighed. "The leaders made their base in an old shelter. And I suspect that these special suits they wear would protect them from everything but the direct blast."

* * *

"Okay, Julia," she looked around at her surroundings. "You need a plan." She looked up and studied the stars. "What do you do? Do you wait here until you can feel Luke? Maybe you're too late. Maybe he's dead?" She peered around at the surroundings. "No. You can't think like that. There could be a hundred different reason why you can't feel him. But I know what you do need to do." The sun was starting to make its presence felt. Light was forming to the east. "You need to get into those trees and hide."

Julia hurried across the broken ground to the copse of trees she had seen in the gloom. She went in to the middle, knowing she would be harder to spot from the outside. Collapsing to the ground, Julia could scarcely believe what her night had brought her. Capture, escape, alone in the desert... What could possibly happen to her now?

She felt a knife press against her throat.

"One squeak," a voice filled with disgust hissed. "Just one squeak and you are dead, Capo."

You could get captured again, she groaned to herself, blinking against the pain the knife was causing her.

* * *

"Five days, we've been riding these freaking horses," Anders groaned. "Five days, we've been riding at night and hiding by day. I thought we would have been out of New Mexico by now."

"I never thought I would say this," Maria groaned. "But I would trade my soul to be using those damned army busses instead of these horses. I ache all over."

"I have aches where I never had aches before," Raul winced, wishing he had his hands free to enable him to lift his backside up from the saddle."

For the most part, their captors ignored them and their complaints. They watched them closely, saw to their basic comfort, but generally left them to whine and complain to their heart's content. Unless they demanded silence because they had seen something in the distance.

"Hey," Michael called out. "How much longer are we going to be?"

"Nearly there," the nearest native to them spoke.

"That's what you said earlier," Anders groaned.

After a few hours, under the light of a half moon, they could see that they had turned from due north, to northwest. Anders looked around at the shadows that formed dark walls ahead of him, to his left and to his right. From the way the dark walls faded at three points in the walls, he knew that they had entered a place when three canyons opened up to the desert floor. Something started to nag at him. A memory.

"We are nearly there," one of their guards announced.

"Nearly where?" Michael's eyes scoured his surroundings for any sign of habitation. All he could see were ruins.

"Are those..." Raul blinked. "Are those buildings up ahead?"

Everyone stared in the direction Raul was looking. In the gloom, it looked almost like a ruined medieval castle, complete with round turrets and ramparts. The beginnings of a sunrise was helping to cast a pale glow over them.

"Is that...?" Kyle blinked. "Is that...?"

"Pueblo Del Arroyo," Anders whispered in a voice half filled with awe. "And over there, to our left is Casa Rinconada. And way to our right is Pueblo Bonito. I did a school project on them last year."

"We're in the heart of Chaco Canyons," Kyle started to nod. "I remember my grandfather once telling me how the Navajo believed that the people who built these places came and left by a big ship."

"My friend," Maria's voice had fallen to a whisper. "She had a grandma who studied all this."

"But they're just ruins," Michael shrugged. "Right? How can you hide an army in a bunch of ruins?"

"Sometimes, they are the best place to hide," one of the Native Americans now leading their horses grinned. "You would never have thought to look for us there."

"He's got you there," Kyle grinned.

Michael just gave a snort.

The guards lead them closer to the ruins. And then they saw the most peculiar thing. The ruins were not ruins. They were fully formed buildings, with roofs, and solid walls. Doorways were filled with wooden doors. And all around them, Native Americans were going about their business. Apart from the fact that they were wearing modern clothes, it could have been a typical scene from centuries ago.

"The last time I saw pictures of this place," Kyle was looking around, "these were all ruins."

"That was then," their guard shrugged. "This is now."

"Does anyone else feel like we've fallen into the twilight zone?" Kyle shook his head.

"You will wait here," after being helped off of their horses, the group was lead into a large, rectangular building. There were no chairs, only mats on the ground.

"Can you at least untie us?" Isabel called after them.

"Feel free to try yourselves," they laughed as they left them alone.

"Okay," Isabel shrugged, her ropes falling to the ground.

Michael followed suit and moments later, everyone was rubbing their wrists, trying to restore their circulation. Apart from when they stopped for meals, their hands had been tightly bound at all times.

"Do you suppose they'll let us take a bath?" Maria sniffed her top.

"What do you suppose happens now?" Anders approached the door and tried to peer through some small gaps.

"We wait for the head man, I guess," Michael collapsed onto one of the mats and laid an arm over his eyes.

"What?" Maria stood over him with her hands on her hips. "You're just going to go to sleep? Do I have to remind you that Luke and Julia will be expecting to meet us at that place he told you?"

"No," he shook his head. "I am well aware of that Maria. But unlike Luke, I can't do the invisible thing. And the next best thing to invisibility is darkness. We're not going to escape from here until tonight, so I don't know about the rest of you, but I intend to grab some sleep."

"Talking of which," Anders turned away from the door. "I wonder how Luke and Julia are getting on? I wonder if he caught up to her okay?"

* * *

Luke and the freed prisoners hurried over the broken ground, aware that there were few places to hide from the search parties they knew would be swarming over the whole area. As the sun started to rise, they found a small gully with a low overhang beneath which they could shelter from both the sun, and the flying ships of the aliens. If any soldiers came on foot, however, they would be seen, and captured at once.

"We need weapons," Richard Madly growled. "Maybe we could ambush a search party."

"Yeah," grunted Craig Eastman, the older man of the group. "'Cause that worked really well, last time."

"No one asked for you opinion, Sergeant," Madly sneered.

"There's no charge," the sergeant shook his head.

They took turns to keep watch during the day, although the only time Luke felt comfortable enough to actually sleep when the veteran, Craig Eastman was on watch. When it was his turn on duty, although alert for any danger, he kept looking back toward Roswell.

"Where are you?" he kept whispering. "Why can't I feel you?"

"You okay there, buddy?" Craig stepped up beside him.

"Luke," Luke nodded. "My name's Luke. Yeah, I'm okay."

"You're worried about that girl, huh?"

"Yeah," Luke nodded.

"It seemed like the guy who took her, knew her," Craig shrugged. "I'm sure she'll be fine."

"Julia doesn't know anyone in Roswell," Luke shook his head. "She's lived in Florida her whole life."

"I'm a little confused though," the man looked around at the sleeping group. "I kind of thought her and the captain... Or rather, he seems to have it bad for her, but she sure as hell don't seem to think too highly of him. Which makes two of us."

"Oh," Luke nodded. "I did wonder..."

No he hadn't. He had hoped. Hoped beyond his wildest dreams that Julia had not gone looking for Richard after all, as he had thought on more than one occasion. He hoped that as soon as he had caught up with her, she would forgive him for leaving her behind, and stay by his side through all of this. That was up to her, of course. But first, he had to find her.

And to do that, Luke had to return to Roswell. That was where she was. But in rescuing the prisoners, he knew that he had taken responsibility for them. For the first time in his entire life, Luke hated the fact that he was noble as he was. He wanted nothing more then the ability to just abandon these idiots here. But there was no way he would turn these men loose in the desert, only to be captured again, and possibly warn the aliens in Roswell of his presence. And then what of his friends? They would be waiting for him. What would they do when he did not turn up? Was he putting them in any danger? Sometimes, he really wished he was not a... a what? What had he been thinking? Why had he suddenly felt as though he was a somebody, only for that feeling to slip past him?

"Sometimes," he sighed, "I feel like I'm two people."

"Excuse me?" the sergeant blinked at him.

"Oh," Luke reached up and scratched the back of his ear in embarrassment. "Did I say that out loud?"

Throughout the day, they saw heavy signs of activity. While the menacing ships patrolled the air, small teams of soldiers - or perhaps they were slaves - were crisscrossing the desert floor, looking for the trail which Luke had carefully erased. No one questioned how it was that Luke had found the small underground stream when no one else had seen it, but they had gratefully drink from it in any case.

"I wish we had some containers of some kind," Sergeant Eastman shook his head.

"Guns would be more useful," Madly grunted.

"Tell me that tomorrow afternoon," the older man rolled his eyes, "when you're gasping with thirst."

When darkness had fallen, Luke lead his rag tag group out into the open.

"The quickest route will be east," Luke pointed. "But I suspect that the borders will be watched even more now."

"Yeah," the disgust in Eastman's voice was thick. "We should head north. That's where the resistance is based. We'll get spotted long before we reach there, any way. By the resistance, I mean. No one moves out here without them knowing about it. Especially this close to Roswell."

A sinking feeling hit Luke. Would Michael and the others be able to avoid detection.

"Why this close to Roswell?"

"The Alien leaders are there," he shrugged. "Stands to reason that this is the place they'll keep a closest eye on."

"And when they find someone," Luke's voice caught. "Someone who had no business being here. What would they do?"

"Take them to the Sheriff," he shrugged. "He's the leader of the resistance."

"And then?"

"That depends," Eastman stared into the night. "We'll be okay on account of us being with the military. If it was some civilians... I guess they would be treated okay. Helped to escape unless they wanted to join up. Capos would be arrested and held for trial. And aliens..." He gave a snort. "I wouldn't want to be an alien that the Sheriff gets a hold of."

"How come?"

"They say he hates the aliens with a vengeance and has sworn he won't rest till every last one of them is dead. My guess is that any alien he gets a hold of won't see the sunrise.

It would be too easy for Luke to abandon these people and hope the resistance found them first. Why did these things happen to him?

* * *

Although tense, with the passing ships and small groups of soldiers still searching for them, Luke's uncanny knack of sensing their approach long before they could be seen or heard helped them to avoid detection time and time again. And every time they hid, he was too painfully aware that he might even be avoiding the resistance. The traveling band had split into two groups. The larger group consisted of Richard Madly and the rest of his soldiers, with the exception of Sergeant Craig Eastman and a young soldier who insisted he be called Catt. These two stayed by Luke. Luke liked both of them, if only because they shared his mistrust of Captain Richard Madly. The small band of eight soldiers stayed close during their marches, but when day broke, the tended to huddle among themselves.

"You know what we could do with?" Catt groaned after another forced halt while an unseen enemy passed them by.

"What's that?" Luke was only half paying attention.

"Those anti alien pills we were given."

"Excuse me?" Luke blinked.

"We were given these tablets," Eastman explained. "They do something to suppress brain waves. Apparently, some aliens can read our thoughts. Anyway, the effects will have worn off by now."

"Oh," Luke nodded. Then a thought hit him. "Did Julia take any of these tablets?"

"We all did," Catt nodded. "In fact, it was Julia who reminded us to take them the night we were captured."

And that answered Luke's questions. How it was he had not sensed her, then sensed her only to lose her again. And she was somehow still being suppressed and by now, she was out of range anyway.

* * *

"What do you suppose it is?" Richard Madly asked from beside Luke. They were laying on the ground, peering over the crest of a ridge. "Another alien ship?"

"No," Luke shook his head.

"It looks like an old half-track to me," Eastman stared hard at the strange shadow in the distance. "But I don't see any one moving around. Do you?"

"No," Luke scanned the area from one side to another. He didn't want to tell them that he could detect six thin figures inside the vehicle with that uncanny radar like ability of his. "You stay here. I'll sneak down and take a look."

"Take someone with you," Eastman suggested. "Someone to watch your back."

"That's okay," he shook his head. "I'll move quicker alone. Trust me."

Once out of sight of his comrades, Luke raised his shield. He knew it would be useless if the vehicle's inhabitants were alien. He still approached cautiously. He relaxed slightly when the image his 'radar' built up was that the occupants appeared to be slouched over, as if in slumber.

Sergeant Eastman had been correct. As Luke got closer, he could see that in fact, it was a half-track. Luke could make out a big white star in a circle on the truck's hood. The canvas cover over the cab was torn in a few places, but looked in remarkable good condition. All the wheels as well as the tracks were half buried in the sand. The occupants were not asleep, however. They were dead. And had been so for some time; their bones already stripped clean by the assorted members of the desert clean up crew.

There was a driver, a passenger in the front seat and four passengers in the rear; all of them soldiers. The passenger in the front had captain's bars while the remaining five all had the insignia of a private first class. After a quick double check of the surrounding terrain, Luke ducked behind the truck and dropped his shield. Stepping out into full view, he waved his hand to signify that all was clear.

While waiting for the others to arrive, Luke searched the vehicle for weapons. He managed to find five M16 rifles, and six handguns. He also managed to salvage some ammunition clips for all of them. His biggest prize, however, were six canteens. Of course, he quickly repaired all of them.

"Poor buggers," Eastman shook his head as he tore the tags from around each of the necks. "It looks like they never even knew what hit them."

"Here," Luke handed him and Catt each a rifle and a couple of spare clips.

"How the hell did these stay in this condition?" Eastman examined his gun from one end to another. "It's like it just came off the production line."

"Maybe the way they were stored," Luke shrugged, while he handed out the rest of the weapons. "At least now, if we get discovered, you guys can defend yourselves."

"What about you?" Eastman frowned, noting that Luke was still unarmed.

"He can just hide behind us," Madly laughed, cocking his handgun and testing it before replacing the clip. "I've seen him with a gun before."

* * *

Now that they carried guns again, Madly was feeling more military. Instead of tagging along like a lost group, he instead was taking the lead. He had insisted that the men who carried the rifles take the point, walking several steps out on front in the shape of a wide 'V', with the experienced Eastman taking the lead point. Their task was to keep moving, watching only in front for the approach of the enemy. The rest followed behind, scanning their flanks and their rear. Luke, who knew well in advance of them actually seeing them shook his head at the futility of moving so slowly, and frequently found himself wishing themselves closer to nearby ridges.

As the sun started to rise, Luke pointed to a narrow ravine to their left. It was a mere crack barely ten feet wide that lead into a cliff face for about thirty to forty yards.

"As good a place as any," Madly shrugged.

The small group made themselves as comfortable as they could, finding little nooks and crannies among the rocks and boulders, each one making sure that he was out of the sun's path. Luke found a small gap under a flat piece of rock that was propped against a large boulder. He crawled under it and allowed himself to drop off to sleep, knowing that Catt was on the first watch, while Eastman was on second.

In fact, when Eastman woke him up, he made the natural assumption.

"My watch already?" he started to pull himself out from his rock.

"No," Eastman shook his head. "I thought you should see this."

"See what?" Luke blinked a few times.

Luke followed the sergeant to the mouth of the ravine. Eastman pointed across the desert floor where a plume of dust was growing, and coming toward them.

"Alien," Luke nodded. "Is that a hovercraft?"

"Sure looks like it."

"I've already alerted everyone," Madly appeared beside him. "Nice trap you lead us into."

"We don't know that they're coming for us," Eastman observed.

"And we don't know that they're not."

"Whatever they're doing," Luke warned. "Stay hidden. We can't fight them with only the few of us. Let's wait and see what they are doing, first."

The sleek, cylindrical vehicle pulled to a stop only thirty yards away from the opening. As the vehicle stopped, it started to settle, totally engulfed by the cloud it had created. While the soldiers double checked that their clips were in place and their safeties were off, Luke concentrated hard. He had no idea if it was working or not, but he was trying to make the opening in the rock invisible. Even though he knew that the vehicle had to have been driven by an alien, he was hoping that the occupants would be human. Something at the back of his mind told him that the aliens would not like the dry, dusty heat of the desert.

When the dust cloud finally settles, the side of the vehicle opened up. From inside, a group of perhaps thirty people, all clad in blue emerged. They stood in a small group, as if waiting for something. All of them appeared armed.

"Capos," Eastman whispered. "Human who work for the aliens."

"Right," Luke nodded.

"Traitors," Madly spat. "I'd like to tie each and every one of them to that vehicle and just let it go, dragging them behind it."

"Nice sense of justice you have there," Luke shook his head.

"Luke," Eastman grabbed his arm just as another blue clad Capo emerged from the vehicle. He was tall, with short, curly blond hair. "That's the one. The guy who took your friend."

Luke stared across as the man stood by the door, barking out instructions on where to start their search. They were clearly hoping to find their trail. Luke didn't recognize him at all.

"We could take them out," Madley sounded icy cool. "Before they disperse. Automatic fire, we could cut them all down."

"No," Luke shook his head. "Let them conduct their search and go."

"This is a military operation," Madly snarled. "And as the senior officer here, you will shut up and let me decide what we do. And I say we should take out some of those small groups."

Luke turned around and stared at Madly. Just once, he thought, he wanted to act like Michael. Richard had been bugging him for so long now. He had been the one to stand in his way when he was ready to proclaim his love to Julia. It had been him, or rather, because of him that he had taken that stupid step back. It was time he stood up for himself and took what he wanted, and not let others walk all over him.

"Hands up everyone here who has tried to ambush a small detachment of aliens, got his butt kicked as well as some of his men killed." Luke looked around. "Okay, and hands up anyone who has managed to sneak into New Mexico, avoid detection, rescue your sorry ass right from under the noses of the aliens and managed to bring you this far without getting captured again." Luke paused before raising his hand. "Oh... that would be me."

He liked that feeling.

"We will let them conduct their search," Luke warned. "Then we will let them climb back inside and we will let them leave. Unharmed."

"I'm not going to let them just stumble in on us and find us here like rats in a trap. We take them out. One by one. What do you think we are?" Madly growled. "Some chicken shit..."

"They're looking for us," Luke interrupted. "Right now, they have no idea where we are. They're just picking map co-ordinates and carrying out random searches. If we attack them, even if we capture or kill every one of them, they are going to know where we are and concentrate their search here."

"He's right," Eastman nodded. "Listen to the man, Captain. He knows what he's doing."

Eastman's tone left everyone knowing that while he believed Luke knew what he was doing, he also thought Madly did not.

No one slept. No one could. Everyone was convinced that one of the searching groups would eventually investigate the crevice and the hidden ravine. But no one came. No one even looked their way, as if they had no even noticed the crevice.

A little after noon, the man who was clearly their leader, the one whom Eastman had said took Julia reappeared at the door. He threw a body out onto the desert floor. The body screamed in agony for almost 10 minutes before it started to quiet down, whimpering instead. It had been all Luke could do to not charge in there. A steadying hand on his arm from Eastman allowed him to hold his nerve. The body's cries, it was clearly female, were also having a bad effect on the others. A few of them had tears in their eyes.

"Poor bitch," Eastman shook his head. "Why doesn't the bastard just shoot her?"

Luke hoped with all his might that the 'poor bitch' was not Julia. He could not see because of the strange angle she laid in. Even from here, he could see that she had multiple fractures. Bad ones. Already, the buzzards were circling high over head.

At last, the small groups returned, all shaking their heads. One by one, they cast a glance at the body and climbed into the vehicle.

"Shit!" the Capo leader punched the side of the vehicle. "Where are they?"

With a final, brutal kick at the body, which had laid in the burning sun for a couple of hours now, he climbed inside, and the engine fired up. Leaving a large cloud of dust behind it, the vehicle sped away, back towards Roswell.

No sooner had the silver sphere vanished when Luke was on his feet, racing across the open ground. He was aware that others were behind him. He wished that he had told them all to remain behind now. If that were Julia out there, he would use every power he possessed to patch her up.

The woman was barely conscious when he reached her side. Whoever she was, she was unrecognizable. At least, no one could have recognized her even if they had have known her. Her face was a black and blue mess. Little slits in a puffy mess of bruised flesh was the only indication that this woman had any eyes. Her nose had been broken, and was a mere smudge against the middle of her face. Her lips were shaped only by congealed blood. Her naked body was as black and blue as her face, covered in old scars and new wounds and now burned by the sun. And her abnormally large breasts...

A couple of the soldiers started to bring up what little food they had. Most could not even look. As horrifies as Luke felt, as sickened as he was that any human being could do this to another, he was glad that this person was not Julia. A rage started to build within him. If anyone could have looked into his eyes, they would have seen that they were totally black.

"We should get moving," Madly looked around. "That's a lot of open ground we have to cover." He pointed to the distant ridges.

"We can't leave her here," Eastman shook his head.

"Look at... her," Madly barked. "She's already half dead. She'll probably die in another hour or two. Leave her and let's go."

"No one else dies," Luke shook his head, his voice a near animal growl. "She's killed too many of our friends."

"Do you know her, Luke?" Eastman placed his hand on his shoulder. "Who killed too many of your friends."

The human contact seemed to snap Luke back to his senses.

"I..." he shook his head. "I don't know. But I'm not leaving her here." He looked up at Madly. "If you want to get yourself killed, I can't stop you. But if you get yourself captured, then you will give away our position, as well as where we are going. And that I will not allow."

"Won't allow?" Madly shook his head. "Seems to me that I recall you were pretty useless with the pellet guns back at Siesta Key. And you had me outnumbered then. Now I have you outnumbered and these are real guns. But it so happens that for now, our paths lie in the same direction. So play the good Samaritan. But if she slows us down, we leave her behind. Lets get moving."

"We stay here tonight," Luke shook his head. "Tomorrow too. We have to build some kind of litter to carry her in."

"You're really asking for it, aren't you."

"No," Luke shook his head. "I'm telling you."

Ignoring Madly's glare, Luke turned back to the poor piece of humanity and started to gently touch her limbs, assessing where the worst breaks were.

"Need any help?" Eastman was at his side.

"Actually," Luke nodded. "I need a huge favor. And I think you might be the only one who can do this."

"What's that."

"I need you to find some wood. I don't believe that any of these other morons... no offence Catt..."

"None taken," Catt shook his head, kneeling down on the other side of Luke.

"I doubt any one of them could go out, find some wood, and actually find us again out here. And I suspect that you're the only one who knows how to make a litter, too. So you'll know exactly what we need."

"Yeah," he nodded. "And I think I know the best place to get it from, too."

* * *

"You are damned lucky we just didn't kill you where you were," the Native American gave a menacing scowl as he bound Julia's wrists behind her.

She couldn't help being afraid. All of those scenes she had even seen from the old western films were haunting her right now. She knew on some level that her fears were irrational, Hollywood at it's worst, but she could not help it. But her captors, all four of them, looked very menacing and she was very, very frightened.

"Beh-heh nin so ah-tad," one of the braves pointed at her with his rifle.

"Yah-a-da-hal-yon Hash-kay-gi-na-tah," another shrugged, watching her though narrowed eyes.

"Naz-tsaid ah-tad," another demanded.

The way he ran his finger along his throat while looking at her, left Julia in no doubt as to what he had just said.

By night, Julia sat on the back of one of the brave's spare horses. Her hands were tied in front of her, and secured to a kind of reign. They had no saddles, which Julia found to be incredibly uncomfortable. Like they had when the soldiers were lead from Carlsbad to Roswell, they stayed with the contours, using the natural terrain for cover. When the alien ships appeared, she no longer feared them. She just knew that with every mile, she was getting farther and farther from Luke.

By day, they hid from both the alien ships, which seemed far more numerous now, and from the sun. Julia was bound hand and foot like a trussed rabbit. At the end of each day, they force fed her a tablet, as they had said, to prevent her 'friends' from finding her. Julia almost snorted. How could Luke find her if he had no idea she was here?

One day, the braves had stopped in the middle of a large wood, surrounding a small pool of water. Even before the horses were secured, three of the braves had leapt into the water. Julia was left alone, tied to the back of her horse, watching cagily while her captors whooped and hollered in the water.

They were sitting around a small fire, above which, the remains of their diner was cooking. Julia was huddled against a tree trunk, her arms and legs bound to prevent escape. Three of native Americans were lounging on the ground, talking softly, while a fourth was somewhere in the darkness, keeping watch.

"I wish it were the old days," one of the bucks suddenly spoke loudly for Julia to hear. He was not talking to her, however. "In those days, we just used to take the women of our enemy."

"Yeah," another nodded, his eyes wandering over Julia's frame. "It has been many days since we have had some sport."

Julia's eyes widened in panic when he started to climb to his feet.

"Sit," the third barked, kicking the man's legs from under him, making him fall to the ground. "We are Navajo. Not savages. We will let Hask-kay-gi-na-tah decide her fate."

The sun swept overhead and soon started to dip behind the distant mountains. The young bucks broke camp and by the time they had finished, there was no evidence that they had ever been there. Though her captors felt relaxed and refreshed, the same could not be said for Julia. Her distress was only too apparent. When urged her to climb to her feet, she could barely stand.

"Throw her over the horse," the one in charge finally gave up.

The man took her by her waste and lifted her. Exhausted be her ordeal, Julia just slid back down, the man's rough hands taking her shirt with them, revealing her skin. By the light of the setting sun, her tattoo was clearly visible.

"Where did you get that mark?" the leader crossed the camp in large steps. He grabbed Julia's wrist and shook her.

"At home," she whimpered. "With a friend of mine. He has the same one."

"Who are you? Why do you bear this mark?"

"My name is Julia," she whimpered. "Julia Cartier. And I have the tattoo 'cause Luke gave it to me. I mean, he gave me the pendent and said it was 'our' galaxy. But we got the tattoos later. It was like... it was ours."

As if seeing it for the first time, the man grabbed Julia's necklace and pulled her pendant out. He stared long and hard at it. He looked up at the sky, and then at Julia. He gasped just one word before she passed out.


* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Red Shift Part 3 Chapter 13

Post by WR » Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:27 pm

Hi everyone!

Well, here we are, another Friday. And I am still stuck! But lucky for you, I am have another part for you so you don't need to worry just yet.

I'm slowly working trhrough my dilema, and I might even have to create a rather short and very disjointed "transition" piece. I'll keep plugging at it.

Okay, A reminder from Season 1.

For those of you who wonder why the Native Americans called Liz "Nah-say-do"...

From "Balance"

RIVER DOG: Only it took the symptoms longer to show up in your friend. That's why I dismissed him at first. But when you told me he was sick, I knew he was another visitor.

MARIA: That's an interesting way to put it.

RIVER DOG: Well, that's what he called himself. In my language, the word is "nasedo". So that's what I called him.

So to them, Liz is a Visitor. And clearly one they are expecting. Okay? :)

thetvgeneral - LOL - Pity that it's Luke with him then :wink:

AlwaysRoswell - Oh, I am sure I will. It happens from time to time, but usually, I am so far ahead that it never need concern you guys.

katydid - Thanks! :) I'm sure the two will become themselves soon, if only so I dont have to worry about making sure I dont get the dames names mized up! :lol:

roswellluver - You are welcome :)

sylus27 - Well, so far, I think Madly knows that Luke is doing a good job and that probably irks him the most.

Ellie - Sorry about the Max mix up. I went back and fixed it. :)

roswell3053 - Well... Michael and the gang were on horses and took a week. Julia as on horseback... but Luke is walking...

smokie - Yes, looks like Julia's tattoo is more than just body art! :wink: Of course Luke couldn't leave Pam!

omwf - Well, you should be okay for this week and next... hopefully the week afetr too... After that...

dawnuk - I'll respond to your mail shortly, but the 18th is fine! :) BTW - I got the flu myself anyway! :( As for Pam, I am sure she's gonna get healed PDQ :wink:

Timelord31 - lol - Speed up, huh? As in time travel? :lol:

you're my dreamgirl - Thank you :)

roswck - Well... they are saying they will take Julia to the same people Michael and the gang were told, so it's looking good.

frenchkiss70 - I think it's safe to say that everyone is at least converging on the same point just now. :)

VeronicaB - Yes, Luke really does seem to be learnig something here, right? :wink:

Asabetha - Glad you caught up. I hope you give OCaK a second chance. I am so damn proud of my little sting in the tail on that one. And give the non alien PW a go. YOu might just like it :wink:

Jull_ana - When I saw you post, I thought I had lost a few days :wink: Okay. If you really want one that badly, I'll see what I can do :wink:

Roswelllostcause - Yes. I wonder how Valenti will react if he meets them :wink:

polar vixen - Yes! Luke/Max is learning how to be a leader, how to stand up for himself! As Julia says, a journey of... wait, she hasn't said it yet :lol:

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 13

In the building that once housed a UFO tourist center, in a room that once held a diorama of an alien autopsy, the alien invaders of New Mexico were holding a post mortem into the recent events. The 'Jeopardy' question would have to be, define irony.

Nikolas sat at the middle of a long table. To his right was Tess. Either side of them were two Military commanders. One was responsible for the protection of Roswell, while the other was supposed to look after the surrounding areas. Along the opposite wall, a row of aliens were sitting in seats, looking uncomfortable. There was also a human, a 'Capo'.

Standing on the other side of the table from Nikolas were three aliens, members of the invasion force, and not his from his own elite who had survived with him for years on this wretched planet. They bore the insignia of the units that protected the desert around Roswell.

Nikolas had always been, and still was, a great general. He knew that the counter attack, when it came, would strike straight for Roswell, with himself and Tess as the main targets. He had not foreseen, however, the possibility that the human forces could or would try to set up a small force less than a dozen miles from his headquarters. It had come as a shock to him and he wanted to get to the bottom of it.

"We developed a fault in the helioscopic guidance system," the leader of the trio was standing slightly forward of the other two. "When I thought left, it seemed to be a little sluggish, and as I was patrolling some tight ravines, I felt it would be wise to fix it."

He look to his comrades, as if hoping for some backup.

"While myself and Trentz worked on the gyroscopic converter, Karsten was stationed to keep watch some distance away. I did not want any element of the resistance approaching us undetected."

"Yet a fully armed body of soldiers managed just that," Nikolos frowned, looking down at the slivery scroll containing a strange set of hieroglyphs. "They just crept past your lookout and attacked you."

"Yes, sir," the leader nodded with shame. "Their leader called for us to surrender. We, uh, refused. Karsten rejoined us, attacking the force from the rear while we picked off their attempts to outflank us. It was they who surrendered instead. Myself and Karsten brought the prisoners to Roswell while Trentz remained to protect the ship."

The three aliens sat down in some seats against the far wall, while another took their place at the table. This one bore the marks, and the insignia that said he was garrisoned in Roswell.

"When the prisoners were brought to me," he stood to attention and delivered his report. "We had no facilities to hold them so I requested labor and materials to have a pen built, on the edge of town, until we decided what we would do with them. Naturally I wanted to interrogate them and needed to keep the others secure. One of our Capo's requested possession of one of the young ladies from the prisoners. She had no markings indicating rank, and seemed insignificant so I allowed him to take her.

"We questioned their leader, and he told us everything. He told us that he had entered New Mexico through a cave system in the south, and had set up their base in a disused airport, again, to the south. I didn't even have to use any force on him. The man was a weakling. Naturally, I passed on the information to Commander Bernta."

When the prison guard returned to his seat, another took his place. This one had the uniform on of an elite soldier.

"Under Commander Bernta's orders," he began, "we were rushed to the airfield eleven miles due south of Roswell. We surrounded the airfield to prevent any escape and slowly closed in. We met no resistance as the place was deserted. We did, however, discover signs that a large body of men had been there, recently. It was clear to us that they had been fixing defensive positions as well as making reparations to the runway. They had even left crude booby traps. These were easily spotted, but regrettably, there was one we missed. It was cleverly concealed near a nearly full fuel storage tank. The resulting fireball killed ten of my men."

"No, sir," another shook his head. "Although se suspect that the cave was part of the tourist caverns near Carlsbad, we found no trace of the subterranean route they used, although we have placed a constant guard in the caves and have increased the patrols in the surrounding mountains."

"Damn it!" Nikolas brought his clenched fists down against the desk. "We have armed men roaming the country side and no one knows how they got in! Didn't anyone think to take our talkative prisoner and have him point out the cave to us? Did no one think to bring him to me so that 'I' could interrogate him?"

A few of the aliens fidgeted nervously.

"They escaped, sir," the prison warden spoke with a tremor in his voice.

Nikolas' jaw dropped. He was staring with a wide eyes incomprehension.

"And just how did a motley bunch of human cowards manage to do that?"

"We... we're not sure," he stammered. "Someone managed to disable three of our guards... including me. We don't know how," he was shaking his head. "But we do know that a small section of the new wire fence we had erected had just vanished. As if it had never existed. It was almost as if...

"As if one of us had done it," Tess narrowed her eyes.

"Yes," he gave her a grateful nod. "I did not want to say that. I did not want to suggest that we had a traitor in our midst."

"Not a traitor," Tess shook he head in disgust. "A Zan. He's here, Nikolas. In New Antar. This has all the hallmarks of Zan. He couldn't even kill the guards."

"Why are you so sure?" his eyes narrowed.

"Because 'she' is here. Liz Parker. Or her reincarnation. I have no idea how he managed to do it, but he did. The girl that Capo took? He said she was the spitting image of her; she could have been her clone. And you can bet that wherever she is, Zan can't be too far away."

"And where is this girl now?" Nikolas demanded. "Bring her to me, now."

"She... she got away," it was Sean's turn to stand. His eyes darted from Nikola to Tess, already squinting against the pain he knew would come.

"And how did she manage that?" Nikolas raised an eyebrow. "I thought you were very protective of your property. Or did Zan rescue her, too?"

"Yes, she had help," Sean growled. "But don't worry. She's paid for helping her. Oh yeah. She paid all right."

* * *

"Well?" Tess asked when they were alone. "You seem a little tense."

"Tense?" Nikolas raised an eyebrow. "We have a serious security breach, and no one knows exactly where. Only that it's a cave in the mountains. Soldiers have been coming and going as they please and we have no idea how big this force is that they have already managed to smuggle in. And we have no idea as to their whereabouts.

"We either have a traitor in our midst, which is bad enough, or we have Zan running around like a loose canon, which is infinitely worse. And where Zan is Rath and Vilondra can't be too far away. And maybe they'll have Ava with them. At least we can be confident that Ava will betray him again. She's your duplicate. Try to contact her. Meanwhile, I want the patrols doubled. I want intense random searched carried out. And I want every damned airfield in New Antar staked out and checked. No matter how old or how decrepit."

Nikloas looked at the map on his wall. A large red zone in the Northwester corner seemed to be mocking him.

"It's time we took a look at this Chaco region again," his eyes narrowed. "Maybe leaving that little thorn for so long was not such a good idea. It's time we started planning something. Especially as our movement sensors don't ever seem to work there."

"They can't be that important," Tess shrugged. "They're just ruins."

"And Zan was just a kid," Nikolas reminded her.

* * *

It was some time after she woke up before Julia remembered where she was. That she had been captured again was the first thing she remembered. Her aching limbs reminded her that she had been bound for a number of days now. Then she remembered how her captors, Native Americans, had discovered her tattoo and had been questioning her as though it had meant something to them. Then, she remembered that book. The one by Claudia Parker, Liz's grandmother. But Liz was dead. She had died a long time ago, killed by Tess. And Max! Or rather, Luke! Luke was out here looking for, well, himself, really. He truly was on a journey of self-discovery. She couldn't help smiling at her private joke.

"You are awake," a soft voice spoke beside her.

Afraid to speak, she nodded, expecting to be hoisted onto the back of a horse again.

"You have slept a long time," the voice continued.

Julia risked opening her eyes to discover that it was dark. They should have been on horseback, heading for god knows where to meet with this Hash-kay someone or other. Someone lifted her head and she felt a small cup press to her mouth. The cup was filled with cool water, and she drank it all.

"Thank you," she nodded as they allowed her head to lie back again.

"We would like to ask you some questions," it was only then that she became aware that all four braves were sitting around her. "Do you feel ready to talk?"

At least they weren't shouting at her.

"Okay," she nodded.

"My name is Darren," the man who had seemed to be in charge introduced. "Darren Storm-Feather. This is Martin Eagle-Claw, Jay Arrow-Head and Terry Moon-Shadow."

"Julia," she nodded at their introductions. "Julia Cartier."

"Perhaps, Julia Cartier," Darren started. "Perhaps you can tell us how you came to have that mark on your back."

"I got the idea from Luke. He's my friend, from where I come from. In Florida."

"I see," he nodded. He sounded relieved. "You have seen this mark before, yes?"

"Yes," Julia nodded.

"Of course," he nodded. "Did you see it at one of the many exhibitions from when Geronimo was exiled there?"

"No," Julia shook her head. "The first time I saw it was when Luke gave me my necklace."

Her hand immediately sought the pendant. She was relieved to find it there still. That was when she realized that she was no longer bound.

"And this friend, Luke. Perhaps he bought the necklace from a souvenir shop?"

"I don't know," she shook her head. Which was a lie. She knew full well that the symbol was a representation of his home galaxy, and that in all probability, he had made the pendant himself. "I don't think so." And then a strange thought entered her mind. "I know what it means though."

"You do?" all four of them looked startled.

"Yes," she nodded. "It's a promise. A promise that the visitors will once again return and aid their friends."

She was winging it, she new. Claudia Parker had not known the tense in which the phrase was used. But Liz just knew what these people believed. And she hoped she was right.

"How is it that you come to wear the uniform of the Capo?" Terry narrowed his eyes. "How long have you worked for the enemy?"

"Oh, these," Julia tugged her blue top. "No, no. You see, I was with some soldiers. Only we got captured and taken to Roswell. A man stopped and looked at me. He, uh, he took me home. But he got called away, and this..." Tears sprang to Julia's eyes. "This poor woman... she helped me escape. She gave me these clothes."

"So you are a volunteer?" Darren seemed confused. "You joined the army?"

"No," she shook her head, wiping her eyes. "I'm trying to find Luke. You see... Luke is here. In New Mexico."

"The man who gave you the knowledge of this symbol is among us?" Darren seemed astounded. He exchanged a few strange words with his friends. "We must get you to Hask-kay-gi-na-tah, quickly," he nodded. "And after him, you must speak with River Dog. He knows much about what you speak. But before we leave, would you like to bathe?" He pointed toward the pool.

"Uh, no," Julia shook her head, remembering the other's comments about taking women.

Her eyes gave away her concern, causing Darren to give a little laugh.

"No," he shook his head. "We will not dishonor you. We can give you some soap and some privacy. You have no need to fear us."

Although the water was cold, Julia had to admit that she felt so much better after her bath. She dressed in her old clothes and regretted it at once. The odor they gave off was definitely overpowering. Horse and stale sweat.

"Here." Martin handed her a bundle of soft leather. "You can change into these. I have altered them for you. They should fit you now."

Behind a rock, Liz changed into a pair of leggings and a shirt, made from very soft and supple leather. With a string of rawhide, she tied her hair into a ponytail. Although she felt a little strange, it felt so much better than her other clothing.

The native couldn't help laughing at her when she stepped from behind the rock. Her cool glare soon silenced them.

"We will call you Nah-say-do," Darren informed her. "Which in our language means visitor."

"No," Julia shook her head. The name filled her with disgust. "No, not that name."

"Why not?" he frowned.

"No," she shook her head again. "I don't know. It just makes me feel... Not that name."

"Okay," Jay started to laugh again. "We will call you Minihaha."

* * *

Once Sergeant Eastman had left, taking a full canteen of water with him, the first thing that Luke did, while Catt was not watching him, was to send a pulse of energy into the poor woman's mind. It was not strong enough to hurt her, but enough to render her unconscious. Luke could not risk that Eastman would return before sunrise, and there was no way he wanted to leave the woman in such an exposed position. And he could not risk healing her wounds in one go. Someone would almost certainly notice. So by knocking her out, he could lift her and carry her back to their shelter without risking her crying out in pain, which he knew she would experience.

"She share's your water," Madly snarled when Luke laid her beneath the shelter of an overhang, ensuring that she would remain out of the day's sun.

"She shares any water I find," Luke looked up at him. "If you find any water, you can keep it to yourself. There are six canteens, there are now twelve of us. That's half a canteen each."

"How is you can find water so easily?" Catt shook his head once Madly had skulked away. "It's almost as if you just make it out of thin air."

"Well," Luke chuckled. "Water is just two Hydrogen atoms combined with one of Oxygen. And as both those elements are in our air, the theory is a sound one."

"Yeah," Catt started to chuckle. "If you could figure out how to do that you could make a freaking fortune turning all the deserts arable again. I mean, just finding it like you do is amazing enough."

"Just a part of my childhood," Luke shrugged.

"Boy Scouts?"

"Something like that," Luke nodded.

"Do you think Eastman will be long?" Catt cast a wary eye at Madly and his group. "They kinda worry me."

"Don't worry about them," Luke shook his head. "And I really don't know how long Eastman will be."

"It's a shame we can't contact each other telepathically, you know, like the aliens."

"Yeah," Luke nodded, hoping that Catt would not see the disappointment in his eyes. Disappointment in himself.

"Michael," he threw his thoughts out. "I'm okay, but something's come up. I'm not going to be able to meet you. Can you make your way north to wherever the resistance is based? And whatever you do. Don't let them think you're an alien."

For the rest of the night, Luke watched over the injured woman, when possible, repairing any of the internal damage her severe beating had caused. In particular, he made sure to straighten the broken bones, not repairing them yet. He was tempted to repair the muscular damage to her back that had occurred as a result of her rather large breast augmentation. That augmentation was clearly an alien enhancement. The signature had been left all over her. But Luke decided that instead, he would reduce the size to what would pass as normal in small stages. He could easily explain the decrease in size as tissue wastage caused by deficiency in their diets. Of all the soldiers that were accompanying him, only Eastman and Catt appeared to have enough brains to suspect that he was lying, and as much as he liked them, he suspected that even they would be none the wiser.

As the sun rose that morning, 'sleeping beauty' seemed a lot more comfortable. While Luke caught up on some sleep, Catt took watch, feeding the unconscious girl little amounts of water by dribbling it into her mouth, allowing it to be absorbed rather than expecting her to drink it. He never once suspected that Luke had been using some additional 'skills' to make sure she remained hydrated. While Catt slept, Luke took over, and even found some time to refill their canteens.

"You do realize that she's going to slow us down," Madly was once again on the warpath.

The sun was setting and there was still no sign of Eastman. The rest of the group was making their feelings known. They wanted to leave that night, and start their journey again.

"That's why we're making a litter," Luke nodded. "Eastman will be here. And as soon as he is, and we've made the litter, we'll leave.

"Someone's coming," the lookout called from the mouth of the ravine.

Luke joined Madly to peer out across the sun-baked desert. In the distance, marred by a heat haze rising from the ground, a figure was walking towards them. He appeared to be carrying something long and slim.

"Catt," Luke handed Catt a full canteen. "You and another go and give him a hand. And give him that. He might need it."

"I give the orders," Madly snapped.

"Just do it," Luke rolled his eyes.

Catt nodded, and taking the nearest soldier with him, set out to intercept Eastman.

"You and me will have serious discussions about this whole chain of command thing," the Captain hissed.

"As long as we do it when we're all safe," Luke released a heavy sigh.

* * *

In spite of his long journey, Eastman appeared to be in good condition, if a little tired, and parched.

"I made for the ruined half track," he grinned. "The canvas is in good enough repair, and if we can figure a way to fix it, we can use that like a bed or something. And I unfastened the poles of the roof supports. Two of them make a handy dandy stretcher and I figure the slight natural curve will make it easier to drag, if we have to. I brought a few extra lengths that we could maybe make an A frame or something. I figured you might know how to fix it all together. Maybe we could catch a rabbit or something. Use the intestines as binding. And we could eat the meat."

"You did well, Sergeant," Luke grinned at him.

"How's the patient?" he nodded at the woman.

"Doing well, considering," Luke shrugged. "Why don't you take a look while I fix something up?"

Fixing something up turned out to be, as Eastman had suggested, a traditional A frame litter. Luke used some strings of a vine type weed that was growing nearby, suitably 'modified', as his binding. No one thought to ask how he had managed to 'sew' the canvas into place with it. Everyone was too glad to be on the move again.

"Has she not woken at all?" Eastman frowned, looking her over while Luke and Catt were taking their turn to pull her.

Some of the other soldiers had taken a turn, much to Madly's disgust, but there was a hardcore of Richard and four others who would not.

"Uh, no," Luke shook his head.

"I don't like this," Eastman looked up at Luke. "I think she's slipped into a coma. Or worse."

"She'll be fine," he assured him. "Trust me."

Whether Eastman did or not, he never said.

"We should find some shelter," Luke called over to Madly.

In the east, the sky was starting to grow lighter.

"We can keep going," Madly shrugged. "Eastman showed we can move around in daylight."

"Eastman knows what he's doing," Luke replied. "And it's easier for a single person to hide than it is for us lot."

"Especially when that single person can cover himself in tarpaulin," Eastman offered. "Luke's right. We need to find some shelter.

Madly gave them both a glare of pure hatred. Above everything else, Luke knew that they had to reach safety soon, before Madly decided to take command by force.

* * *

"Michael," Isabel woke Michael up. He had been asleep all day, ever since they arrived early that morning. "Darkness will fall soon. It's time we made ready to make our escape."

"We're not escaping," Michael shook his head.

"What?" Maria gasped. "But what about Luke? And Julia? We have to get out there and find them."

"And then we have to find someone else, remember?" Isabel added.

"Luke contacted me," Michael shrugged. "While I was asleep. He told me that something had come up and that we were to make our way north. To the resistance. And seeing as we are here... we will wait. I'm sure Luke will make his way here too."

"So Luke can dreamwalk now?" Isabel's eyes narrowed.

"No," Michael shook his head. "He spoke to my mind. Even when I'm asleep, he can reach me."

"Did he find Julia?" Maria grabbed his arm.

"He didn't say."

"What 'did' he say?" Isabel demanded.

"Just what I told you," Michael rolled over. "He said we were to come here. And here we are. He'll find us. And he'll find Julia."

* * *

"God, this is boring," Raul stood by the door and peered out through the gap. "I don't know how much longer I can stand this."

"We've only been here two days," Maria rolled her eyes.

"Wait," Anders looked up. "Weren't you the one who was saying the same thing earlier on?"

"What?" Maria gave a look of innocence. "I can change my mind."

"It's alright for you," Raul nodded at Michael. "You have a distraction."

"You can always ask Kyle to share," Michael shrugged.

"Forget it," Kyle shook his head. "You wouldn't have shared with me if the situation was reversed."

"Probably not," he nodded. He turned to look through the gap of the door. Whatever he saw startled him. He stood up and rubbed his eyes before peering through the gap again. "Maybe I can persuade Julia to give me a second chance." His grin was self mocking, like he already knew the answer.

"What?" Isabel shook her head. "When Luke finds her, nothing will split them apart. You mark my words."

"Well, he hasn't found her yet."

"How do you know that?" Maria looked up at him.

"'Cause Julia just rode into camp," he informed them peering through the gap in as many directions as he could. "And there isn't any sign of Luke."

"What?" everyone gasped. As one, they rushed the door.

"Are you sure?" Michael demanded, unable to remove Maria who had pushed Raul from his spot.

"Yes," he nodded. "She was dressed like a Native American, and she was with a couple of them,. But that was Julia all right."

"Yeah," Maria squealed. "It is! It is! Julia! Julia!"

She even started to pound on the door for good measure.

"I think it's time we got the door open, Michael," Isabel nodded. "Before Maria goes hyper."

"What if they don't like that we busted out?"

"That's our friend out there," Michael pointed out. "And Luke likes her. A lot. She belongs with us where we can look after her for him."

With a quick pass of his hand, the lock clicked. Maria was through the doorway before the sound had vanished from hearing.

"Jules! Jules!" she cried, rushing at the quintet of horses that had just rode in.

The four natives moved as one to block her but Julia reacted faster. She was off her horse in an instant and with her eyes wide with surprise, she hurtled at Maria, rushing at her.


They met without knocking on another over. Their arms pulled one another into a fierce hug while tears coursed down their cheeks.

"How do you girls do that?" Anders wondered out loud. "If two guys met like that, they would both be flat on their backs by now.

"Oh, Maria," Julia wailed. "I thought I would never see you again." She broke away from her friend and looked back in the direction Maria had come from. Her eyes lit up when she saw her friends there. "Where's Luke?" she gasped. She looked at Michael. "Luke! Where's Luke?"

"We don't know," Maria shook her head. "We haven't seen him in over a week."

"No!" she screamed. "No! Where did he go? Where did he go?"

"He followed you, Jules," Maria told her. "We were there when you were captured. He followed you to rescue you."

"No!" she cried. "Nooooo! He can't follow me to Roswell. She's in Roswell! She's in Roswell! He walked straight to her!"

"Who?" Isabel tried to calm her. "Who Julia? Who's in Roswell?"


Julia promptly fainted.

* * *

The night passed uneventfully. Luke, using his radar, led them easily along the ridges and gullies to remain hidden from the roving bands of horsemen and ships alike. At first, Luke had been tempted to allow a troupe of mounted men to find them, thinking they might be the resistance. But he saw that they were in fact, the same as those men who had been searching for them the other day. He decided then that it was better to be safe than sorry.

By day, Luke was doing more and more to heal the young woman he had rescued. He had repaired all the internal damage, including the fractures and splintered bones. Her breasts were now a size that Luke, inexperienced though he was, considered normal for her frame size. He had also repaired all of her muscular damage. Beneath the blanket of tarpaulin he had laid over her to hide her skin from the sun, Luke had even started to repair all of the external damage that had been caused by whatever instruments of torture that the Capo had used upon her. And every time her healed her, he hoped that Julia was not with the man who had done this. He could not bear the thought of her, even for 1 second, being with the monster who could do this to another human being.

"There's something I've been meaning to talk to you about," Eastman spoke quietly when he came to relieve Luke a little past noon. "You know... this woman... she's looking better and better every day."

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "That's a good thing, right?"

"It is," Eastman confirmed. "Especially since I know you're doing something to her."

"What?" Luke gasped. His fight or flee instinct kicked in. And he was not about to flee. "What do you mean?"

"The way you just instinctively know where we will be safe... the way you rescued us. Heck, Luke. Everything that's happened since you turned up... You're an alien, aren't you."

Luke did not know what to do. His mind was already working out where everyone was, and who constituted a threat. Eastman was the only one here he felt capable enough to put up any resistance.

"It all makes sense. You followed us, right? Yet no one saw you. That wire looked as though it had been... dissolved. You always seem to find water. And those guns you found would have been caked in sand and dirt." Eastman seemed to realize Luke's predicament. "You can relax," he shook his head. "Heck, any one who frees this bunch of losers and then sticks with them; anyone who takes the time to help this poor woman... You could be somewhere safe by now. You could have hightailed it out of here long ago."

Luke's eyes narrowed.

"And I did wonder if you might have been a plant. You know, to lead the others to the resistance? But I figured that you are the one leading us... seems kind of illogical. And I can remember your concern for that missing girl. Wait. Is she...? Is she an alien too?"

"No," Luke shook his head. "She's human. But Julia... she's special."

"And this girl... It's obvious that you are doing something to her, Hea... healing her. Can you do that?"

"Yes," Luke nodded. "She was pretty badly messed up. I couldn't leave her. I couldn't let her die."

"You know that if this lot..." he indicated Madly and his crew, "find out, then you are in trouble."

"No really," Luke shook his head. "At least. Not 'till I fix their guns so that they will work."

"The guns won't work?" Eastman looked at his rifle.

"Yours and Catt's will," Luke shrugged. "And I can quickly fix the others if I have to. But I think I would rather avoid a confrontation with my enemies."

"So... these aliens who invaded New Mexico. They... they're your enemies?"

"Yes," he nodded. "Are you by yourself? Or do you like, have an army?"

"Right now, my army consists of two more like me and four human friends. And Julia, if I ever find her again."

"Why?" Eastman shook his head. "Why would these four... five humans trust you?"

"They're out friends," Luke shrugged. "Wouldn't you help your friends if you could?"

"I can hardly count aliens among my friends, Luke."

"But you're here. Helping me."

Eastman remained quiet for a moment.

"What will you do when the resistance finds us?" Eastman gave a nod. "Their leader will probably kill you first and ask questions later."

"Then I better make sure I'm the one who finds the resistance," Luke shrugged. "And hope they never find out I'm an alien."

"Get some sleep, Luke," Eastman used his head to point to a piece of shade that Luke could get comfortable in. "I'll watch over her. And don't worry. I won't say a word."

* * *

"Do you actually know where we're going?" Madley demanded.

They had been walking for almost six days now. And no one had seen any sign of life apart from that ship who had dumped the girl.

"Northeast," Max nodded. "That's where the resistance is, right?"

"Right," Eastman nodded. "The northeaster section of New Mexico was never totally conquered. There's like... this little island or something. The resistance made its base there."

"Why didn't the aliens conquer it?" Catt asked.

"No one knows for sure," the sergeant shrugged. "But it's a strange area, full of legends and half truths. Even the Navajo say it's a place to be feared. They say its full of spirits."

"Ghosts?" Madly spat. "No one believes in ghost stories."

"Well... apparently some people do."

"What's this place called?" Catt asked.

"Chaco Canyons," Eastman replied. "And by my reckoning, it's going to take us weeks to walk there."

"Weeks?" someone gasped.

"Stop!" Luke held his hand up. "There's someone coming from ahead of us. And from behind." Luke looked around. "That way." He turned them north. "Head for the gap in that ridge. Hurry."

They broke into a run, Luke and Eastman carrying the litter. Madly and his soldiers were leaving them behind as they ran faster and faster for cover.

"Thanks, guys," Eastman swore as they vanished in the gloom.

"Luke," Catt called. "Let me take your end."

Luke nodded, and while he ran beside the litter, he hoped that his shield was large enough to cover them all. They kept on running.

"I have to take a break," Eastman finally called. "Luke, if we don't stop, I'm gonna keel over."

"There," Luke pointed at some rocks.

"Can you find where they are?" Eastman asked when they had settled behind some large boulders. "Madly, I mean."

"No," Luke shook his head as he turned his head one way and then the other. "There's no sign of them. But the two groups have merged and are moving this way. And there's a large group over there." He pointed in the direction they had been running.

"Maybe they caught Madly."

"Maybe," Luke nodded.

"Okay," Catt stared at Luke. "Just what the heck is going on?"

"I say you can trust him, Luke," Eastman shrugged. "He's stuck with us all this time."

"Yeah," Luke sighed.

No matter how many times he said it, it never got any easier.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:15 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 3 Chapter 14

Post by WR » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:17 pm

Hi everyone!

Firstly, I must apolofise that I will not be leaving individual comments this week. I'm running late, and have just got in from a rather pleasant social event. :) And I didn;t want to mke you wait too much longer.

Secondly, this is the last chapter before my Block struck, I think I have moved through it but I still have some way to go. I am hoping to have it ready for next week, so I hope you will forgive me if I fail to post next Friday.

In my defense, I will tell you that while waiting for my muse for Red Shift to return, another muse visited me and it looks very much like I will have another story for you for Christmas - subject to my beta's approval :wink:

I think that it is 70% complete. :)

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 14

"Okay," Catt nodded. Although he had a wild look about his eyes, he had taken Luke's revelation quite well. "Back in Beaumont... there was some dude who got busted out of the stockade. Rumor had it that some big alien general got busted out by his alien friends. Was that you?"

"Yeah," Luke nodded. "But the guy we busted out wasn't alien. He was human. He was our friend. And when we heard he was going to be executed for stealing some food, which he told us was a frame up... I can't stand around and watch my friends die for no good reason. Not for any reason."

"And Julia. She knows you're an alien."

"No," Luke shook his head. "I don't..."

"No, that wasn't a question."

"Excuse me?" Luke blinked.

"Julia knows you're an alien."

"I never told her," he shook his head. "I was too afraid she would..."

"Reject you," Eastman finished.

Luke nodded, a haunted look in his eyes. For all his promises to himself that he would never allow her to leave his side again, that wasn't his decision alone. What if Julia could not accept that he was an alien? After all, it would take an amazing woman indeed to fall in love with one.

"She knows," Catt shook his head. "She was asking if anyone might have seen her friends. And when she heard the story of the supposed alien breakout, her eyes lit up like she just knew it was you."

"There you go, Luke," Eastman grinned. "Sounds like you don't need to be so worried. Now, what do you want to do? Want to risk moving in daylight and get into those canyons yonder? Or shall we wait?"

"We'll wait," Luke nodded. "There are a lot of people out there right now, and they are all headed the direction we need to go.

The delay gave Catt a chance to ask Luke questions. And with every answer, it seemed that there were more questions resulting. Eastman, too, had more questions. As the sun reached its zenith, and the two men fell silent, Luke took the opportunity to completely heal the young woman of her wounds. Then, Luke used the tarpaulin to make a pair of pants, a shirt and a pair of moccasins. They were ill fitting, but they would at least cover the woman. He then brought her out of her coma.

"Am I in heaven?" she asked, looking around her. "I never figured it would look like the desert."

"No," Eastman smiled at her. "You are in the desert."

The girl jumped, rolling into a fetal position as if to protect herself from the blows she expected to rain down upon her again.

"It's okay," Eastman's voice took on a soothing quality that belied his gruff exterior.

Luke blinked. In place of the experienced soldier he had come to rely on during their trek across the desert, was a young man of perhaps only twenty-five or twenty six years old. Luke had not once considered his age. And the way that Eastman was looking at the woman, as well as the way he was talking, it was clear that he was quite taken with her. Luke wished that he could fix her mind as easily as he could her body. There were scars that he would never be able to heal. But maybe Eastman could help her? The woman, however, looked terrified.

"What's your name?" Eastman asked in a gentle voice.

"Troy," she whispered. "I was called Pam Troy once. But lately it's been bitch, or slut."

"You're okay, Pam," Eastman smiled at her. "You're safe now. And no one here is going to call you names anymore. No one here will hurt you."

"I thought..." she looked up at Eastman. "I thought he was going to kill me. How come he didn't? Did you stop him?"

"No," Eastman shook his head. "There were too many of them. But when he left you for dead, Luke... and me and Catt... We kind of took care of you."

"Thank you," Pam nodded. "How come I don't feel any pain? I know I have broken bones all over my... Am... am I paralyzed?"

She lifted her arm as though experimenting.

"Let's just call it a miracle."

"Where is this Luke and Catt?" she turned her head.

Seeing the first man, she nodded. Then the second. She could not help crying out. Her face drained of all color.

"I am dead!" she wailed. "You're dead! You're dead! I know you are!"

"Uh, sorry," Luke shook his head, feeling more than a little awkward. "But I'm not dead."

"I saw Liz," she sighed. "Why shouldn't I be surprised to see Max?"

"Excuse me?" Luke frowned.

"Oh, god," she shook her head. Then she noticed her breasts. She blinked a few times as though she would not believe what she was seeing. "How...?"

"You were out for some time," Luke shrugged. "Your body lived off the fat and so they shrank.

"Oh," she nodded. "I hoped for a moment, that it was just a bad dream. I'm glad they're back to normal though. So where are we?"

"Some distance north of Roswell," Catt told her. "We're heading for the resistance."

"I sent her to the resistance," she nodded. "I hope she made it."

"Who?" Luke's eyes widened.

This girl had been with the man that Eastman had said took Julia from the prisoners' compound.

"This girl. She looked so much like Liz... a girl I used to know. Her name was Julia. I helped her get away. And he beat me for it. He kicked me and kicked me and kicked me... He wouldn't stop."

She started crying now and only stopped her hysterics when Eastman pulled her to him, holding her in his strong arms. Luke gave him a smile and then allowed his mind to wander. If Julia was no longer in Roswell, if she had been sent north to the resistance, where was she? And was she still taking those tablets? She might be so close. And this woman had helped her escape. And in so doing, had been kicked nearly to death. Left for dead in the desert, Luke was glad that he was able to repay her kindness to Julia by saving her life, and returning what little dignity she had.

* * *

The afternoon crawled by. The three men listened to Pam as she told them about life in Roswell under the cruel and vicious rule of the aliens. She told them what it was they were looking for. And because it seemed to bring him comfort, she told Luke about how Julia had been spared any indecent assaults by the man who had taken her.

"Okay," she finally said to him. "Now I know you're probably seething at him right now, okay? But if ever you go looking for him, please don't kill him."

"How come?" Eastman narrowed his eyes.

It was also apparent that he had become rather attracted to Pam. And she certainly did not show any eagerness to escape from his comforting arms.

"I want to do it myself," he turned to face him. "I want to look into his eyes and see his fear. I want to hear him plead for mercy, see him beg for his life. You have no idea what I have been through. When these aliens leave... 'cause I know they have no plans to stay here, there are going to be a lot of murders going on when the people take their revenge against the capos."

The hours passed. It was approaching three in the afternoon.

"Do you guys just sit around?" she looked at the three of them. "Shouldn't we, like, start moving north or something?"

"We normally move at night," Eastman told her. "To avoid detection. And there are lots of soldiers out there right now. Plus it's cooler at night."

"I don't like just sitting here," she looked around, expecting someone to jump out from behind a boulder. "Not if we're only a few days out of Roswell. Can we get moving, please? I don't want him to catch me again."

"He won't catch us," Eastman shook his head. "We're really good at evasion. I think it's best that we..."

Luke jumped up to a standing position, as though an electric current had just been passed through him. He stared northeast, his eyes burning.

"We move now," Luke nodded.

"And by what incredible sense did you reach that decision?" Eastman rose and he too stared into the empty desert.

"I feel Julia."

There was a smile on Luke's face such as neither Eastman nor Catt had seen before. And his eyes were so bright. Even the sun seemed dull by comparison.

* * *

"Julia!" Maria was at her side in an instant.

Isabel and Michael were there, too.

"Let's get her out of the sun," Isabel ordered. "Michael..."

Michael nodded and started to scoop Julia in his arms.

"No!" one of the Native Americans who had come in with Julia barked, pushing forward. "We will take her." He started to call out loud. "Ah-tad a Na-say-do! Ah-tad a Na-say-do!"

Others seemed to stop and stare. Some older men, Elders by the looks of them, scurried forward. A few of them spoke to the man who appeared to be in charge of Julia's captors.

"Why is her calling 'his' name?" Maria eyes widened. "Michael. I really don't like this.

"Me neither," Isabel shook her head. "I have a bad feeling about this. He is dead, isn't he?"

"We all saw him," Michael nodded, backing away with Julia still in his arms.

A shout from the edge of the town distracted everyone.

"Silago bi-chi-ol-dah!" Someone was pointing out into the desert.

There was a dark smear against the horizon. Michael knew at once that a large body of men were approaching.

"What's going on?" Kyle stepped up next to Michael.

Anders and Raul joined them. If there was going to be trouble, they were not going to let their friends down, even if there was little they could do.

"Looks like we can expect some guests," Michael nodded at the dark smear.

"Be-ki-asz-jole ah-hih-hi-nil," someone pointed at Michael and the others. The four natives who had brought her in moved with Michael but made no indication that they would try to take her away from him.

"Looks like they want us to get back inside," Michael nodded to the others.

"Good idea," Kyle nodded.

The small group returned to their quarters. Michael carried Julia to a mattress in the far corner of the room. Maria took positions at her side while Michael and the three boys stood between them and their Native guards.

They remained at an impasse for some time. Outside, it was eerily quiet. The quietness, however, soon gave way to the distant sound of approaching horses.

"Neh-hecho-da-ne," someone outside called out.

The four guards visibly relaxed.

"I guess they're friendly," Michael observed. "Anders, go take a look."

Nodding, Anders went to the door and peered through the crack.

"Soldiers mainly," he called back. "All types, Rangers, Marines... Maybe a hundred or more. And more Native Americans, too."

"Keep an eye on them," Michael nodded. "I don't want to be hit with any surprises."

"Is Na-say-do all right?" one of the braves asked.

"Why do you keep calling her that?" Isabel joined the boys.

"She is Na-say-do," they shrugged. "She does not like us to call her that but she is."

"She's Julia," Isabel shook her head. "Don't call her that. Ever."

"You know what Na-say-do means?" the Native American in charge seemed surprised.

"Yes, Maria blurted. "We used to know one of your kind. An old man. He told us the word means visitor. But we figured he meant, as in alien."

"Yes," he nodded. "And Julia is Na-say-do."

"No," Isabel shook her head. "Na-say-do was our..."

"Iz!" Michael snapped.

Isabel widened her eyes in horror. She turned away and returned to Maria at Julia's side.

"You've made a mistake," Michael shook her head. "Julia is human. She was born in Florida."

"Then how do you explain her pendant?" he asked.

Michael turned to look at Julia, noticing her pendant over her buckskin shirt. He remembered the pendant Luke had given her and issued a silent curse.

"It was a present from her boyfriend," Michael shrugged. "Maybe he got off of some tourist stand somewhere."

"And she liked the design enough to get marked with it?"

"Huh?" Michael blinked.

"On her back," he pointed at her. "They have been marked."

"Marked?" Michael frowned. "In what way, marked?"

Isabel gently rolled Julia over and looked at her back. Kyle gave a low whistle when they saw the Whirlwind Galaxy tattoo. Michael closed his eyes and promised that he would have words with Luke when they found him.

"They both have one," the brave continued. "Both Julia and this Luke. She told us."

"Why shouldn't they?" Maria called out. "They like each other. They wanted a way to... like, make a connection."

"You don't understand," he shook his head. "This makes them our Bih-da-hol-nehi."

"What does that mean?" Anders turned from the door where he had maintained his vigil.

"A legend," he told them. "And a promise. That the old ones would return in our hour of need, like they had in the past when they brought our ancestors here, from great danger. We are in great danger again, and the Na-say-do have come. Julia, and Luke. They are our leaders."

"Leaders?" Michael blinked. "Luke? In charge?"

"No," Maria shook her head. "No, the one you need is... uh... what was his name? Why can't we remember his name?"

"We're looking for someone," Michael told them. "He's the one I think you want. That's why we're here. We're trying to find him, too. He's our friend."

"Have you guys ever noticed how Luke's been leading us all this time?" Kyle frowned. "You can say you're the second in command all you want, Michael. But Luke leads. What's going to happen when you find this other guy? You can't have two leaders."

"How is this possible?" an old man's voice spoke from the open doorway.

Everyone turned to face the newcomer, a very old Native American. Michael first gave Anders a reproving glare. Anders, having allowed someone to surprise them blushed and stared down at the ground.

"How is it that the spirits have risen from their graves and now walk among us as living men?"

"River Dog?" Isabel blinked, shaking her head clear of a fog that had seemed to blind her for a moment.

"I have no idea how it happened, River Dog," Michael shrugged. "All I know for sure is that Isabel, myself and Luke emerged from our pods a few years ago. We know we lived... and died before. I think... our ki... leader planned it that way."

"You, I expected to see," River Dog nodded. "But the others..."

"Kyle and Maria were killed by our enemy... and they kind of took over these kids in comas who looked exactly like their old forms...I can't explain that."

"And these two," he indicated Anders and Raul. "Friends in the past also slain by your enemy yet returned to walk among us."

"Huh?" Raul blinked. "You mean, we died too? Then how come we can't remember who we were like everyone else can?"

"Not everyone else," River dog shook his head. He pointed at Julia. "Not this one. I understand even less why she should be here when she could not fit in the circle...but I am not surprised to see her here. Her name is not Julia."

"Yes it is," Maria objected. "We met her down in Florida. And Luke's in love with her."

"No," the old man shook his head. "She belongs to another."

"What are you talking about?" Michael demanded.

"Julia's as much in love with Luke as he is with her," Isabel narrowed her eyes.

"Where is Max?"

"Max?" Kyle blinked.

"Who's Max?" Isabel looked confused.

"We don't know a Max," Michael shrugged. "So perhaps you can tell us where he is."

River Dog narrowed his eyes and studied the group in front of him.

"Look," Maria barked. "Forget this Max dude, okay? Julia is still unconscious, and unless I'm mistaken, it's going to be down to her who she chooses to be with. Raul. Bring me some water. You," she pointed at River Dog. "You wait until you see her with Luke before you tell us she belongs to some other dude."

"Shit!" Anders swore at the door. "Is that... Is... I don't believe it. I don't believe he's here!"

"Who?" Michael started for the door. "Luke? Is Luke here?"

"No," Anders moved out of the way so Michael; could look. "Another old friend."

"Huh?" Isabel looked over at the door.

"Madly," Michael shook his head. "Richard Madly just walked into town behind those soldiers. And from the way he's being treated, I don't think he's arrived as a hero."

"I must leave you all," River Dog announced. "I must be at the council meeting. We must find out what went wrong, why we had to abandon the plans."

"What plans?" Michael narrowed his eyes.

"If the suits in Washington had their way, we would be at war with the aliens. But something went wrong. We Navajo are pleased, because we can do nothing until Max returns. But the suits, they are never patient. I will tell the others who you are, so that you might be free to wander the camp as guests rather than remain in this room as a captive." He looked at Michael. "Not that we could stop you in any case. But tensions are high. And I would hate for one of my old friends to die. Again." River Dog turned to face Kyle. "Not before Hash-kay-gi-na-tah sees you."

* * *

"Well," Michael stared at the door through which River Dog had left. "That was weird."

"I'll say," Isabel nods. "It was like..."

"Nothing had happened. Like he hadn't seen us for a couple of years."

"You guys really know him?"

"Yeah," Michael nodded. "There are some gaps in my memory, like how we know him... but yeah. And I know we can trust him. I think he knew how to save my life once." Michael frowned and narrowed his eyes. "Isabel. Dream walk Luke tonight. If he's blocking you, use everything you have to break through. Tell him where we are. Tell him we need him here, like, yesterday."

"Why the sudden urgency, Michael?" Kyle asked.

"Because River Dog was surprised that Max wasn't with us. That suggests to me that this Max... is the guy we're looking for. Our King. And it also means that River Dog doesn't know where he is. I kind of get the feeling that these guys know where everyone is. They know everything that's going on here. So if they don't know where this Max is..."

"Then who does?" Isabel finished.

"So what are we going to tell Julia when she wakes up?" Anders called from the doorway.

"What do you mean?" Isabel narrowed her eyes.

"About Max. River Dog said that she belonged to Max."

"Max would have to be a grade A moron to not realize the Julia was in love with someone else," Michael shook his head. "That she's in love with Luke."

"Besides," Maria called from Julia's side. "If this Max is your king, then he was in love with my best friend. And she died. He's not going to forget her just like that. He was as much in love with her as Luke is with Julia."

"You must give her this," one of the native guards stepped from the huddle they had hidden themselves in after River Dog's departure.

"What is it?" Maria frowned at the small white pill the man was holding out to her.

"When we... found her," he explained. "She was dressed like a capo. They are able to keep tabs on their capos through brain waves, in much the same way that they are able to detect our thoughts. But capos, they can find over great distances. She must take this one as it has been almost twenty four hours since her last. This will suppress those waves they detect."

"Suppress them?" Maria narrowed her eyes. "Michael? Remember how Luke said he could feel her? Would this tablet stop that?"

"Probably," Michael nodded. "It would make sense, I guess."

"No dice," Maria shook her head. "If there's one guy we need here right now, its Luke. And anything that stops him getting here, pronto... is out."

"But..." the young man started to protest.

"You heard her," Michael's growl had a dangerous edge to it.

* * *

"Shouldn't she be waking up by now?" Maria looked up to Isabel. "Is there anything you can do?"

"Luke's the healer," she shook her head. "I can deal with minor cuts and stuff..."

"She'll wake up when she's ready," Michael placed his hand on her shoulder. "I expect that everything that's happened to her has just caught up to her. She just needs rest."

"She needs Luke," Maria sighed. "Poor Julia. God, why is this so déjà vu?"

The door opened and a couple of young Native American woman entered the room, carrying trays with some bread, some bowls and a pot of steaming stew.

"River Dog sends his apologies," one of them spoke. "He is telling the others about you, now. In the meantime, these... people," she said the word as though it left a bad taste in her mouth, "will be staying here with you. They have already eaten."

These people turned out to be Richard Madly and four of his closest goons. The ladies left, accompanied by the four young braves.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" Madly sneered. "First I have to drag your shitbag friend across the desert, always holding us up, and now I find you."

"We could ask the same," Kyle smirked. "What did you do to piss these guys off?"

"Nothing that I won't be vindicated for," he shrugged. "You, however, I suspect will not see that future. I can imagine these people take kindly to civilians barging in on them. What are you doing here any... Julia!"

As soon as he spotted her in the corner, he started to rush toward her. He found himself blocked by Michael and Kyle. When the four goon moved toward Madly's side, Anders and Raul joined their friends. Isabel stood up and moved to stand slightly ahead of Julia and Maria.

"What have you done to my girlfriend?" he demanded.

"We weren't aware that you had one," Kyle smirked. "So we haven't done anything to her."

"Julia is my girlfriend, you moron," Madly snarled. "We're getting married when she turns sixteen. Now get out of my way."

"You don't want to do anything you will really regret," Michael's voice sounded cold and dangerous. "I mean, you're the kind of guy who might lead a platoon of men against two aliens, getting a bunch of you killed and then getting captured in the process."

Richard narrowed his eyes."

"Oh my God," Kyle blinked. "That's what's going on. That's why you're here. That was you! You disobeyed orders, didn't you! You blew your cover and let the aliens know we had been smuggling soldiers to their very doorstep."

"You stupid moron," Raul shakes his head.

"Is she alright?" Madly called out to Maria ignoring the accusation.

"She'll be a lot better when Luke shows up," she shrugged.

"That imbecile?" Madly snorted. "One day, quite soon, him and me are going to cross swords."

"Are you that eager to die?" Anders grinned. "He could cru..."

"I'd like to see that," Michael smirked, his foot kicking Anders into silence.

"You're here!" Julia sat up suddenly. Her eyes were not focused, she was not fully conscious.

"See," Madly smirked.

"You're here!" Julia repeated more firmly.

Before anyone could stop her, Julia was on her feet. Her eyes were clear now, and she stared past Michael and the others who had turned to look at her. Julia started to move quickly, straight through her protective wall of Michael, Kyle, Anders and Raul.

Grinning wildly, Madly opened his arms to her. Julia barreled straight past him, and his comrades. She reached the door and kept pulling at it, unable to open the lock. Before the quintet could react, Michael hurried to her. Reaching past her, he passed his hands across and the door sprung open. Julia was through before anyone could even think of stopping her. Everyone ran out behind her. Julia appeared to running out into the empty desert. There was no sign of anyone.

"Your girlfriend, huh?" Isabel smirked. "She didn't react like that when 'you' arrived."

"What are you talking about?" Madly demanded. "She's just overwhelmed. She's gone a little... she's overawed."

"She's alright, isn't she?" Maria looked worried.

"She's fine," Michael gave her an encouraging smile. "She's more then fine."

"Come on," Madley indicated to his friends. "Someone better go and get her. Her so called friends don't seemed to be that concerned."

Like some magicians trick, four people appeared from nothing, as though a curtain had just dropped to reveal them. One of them was running straight at Julia as fast as she was running at him.

"Seems like Luke knows that trick, too," Isabel smirked at Kyle when the two of them met with a hug.

"Julia can see him through his shield, too?" Maria blinked.

Luke and Julia's faces met. Their lips pressed together. A single ring of blue light shot out from them, like the shock wave of an explosion. It knocked the voyeurs to their feet, as a kaleidoscope of colors surrounded the young couple. So bright, that none could look at it.

And then, a strange sound, the rushing sound of a windstorm swept over them. The kaleidoscope exploded then, into just two colors, completely masking the young couple from view. Blues and pinks.

Juliet says, hey its Romeo, you nearly gave me a heart attack
He's underneath the window, she's singing hey la my boyfriends back
You shouldn't come around here singing up at people like that
Anyway what you gonna do about it?

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

* * *
Last edited by WR on Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:22 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 3 Chapter 15

Post by WR » Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:24 pm

Hi Everyone!

First of all, please accept my apologies for disappearing like that. I'm sorry the I didn't at least drop a note to let you know I would be late.

But I am making up for it by agreeing to host another chat over on DAS site on Friday, December 15th, where I will discuss my Christmas fic which I will start to post soon.

Okay - Thanks for all you comments but I think I will get straight into the story tonight, if you don't mind.


Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 15

When you going to realize, it's just that the time was wrong, Juliet.

"Max!" Liz gasped, finally, regretfully removing her lips from his. Their connection was wide open now. Not only would Liz not let him close it, Max didn't even want to try. "You came for me!"

"I promised you I would," he affirmed before kissing her again, this time a little more tenderly than their first, but filled with years and tears of frustrated passion.

"Yeah," she was breathless. "You certainly did. Oh, Max! I'm so sorry. For everything. For everything I have ever done to you."

"No, Liz," he soothed. "I'm sorry too, you know? But we can't..." he kissed her again. "We can't do this to ourselves. We both made mistakes, we both hurt each other. But you... you are too important to me to allow myself to dwell on these things. I don't care what you did. I don't care why you did it. None of that matters any more. It's all in the past and it's time we looked forward. To our future."

"I like the sound of that," Liz agreed. "Our future. But Max... with Tess being here... and the aliens... Max, what if our future is only a short while?"

"Then we're going to live it to it's fullest, Liz," he promised. "I love you, Liz. I love you now like I loved you then. And I don't want to spend another day without you by my side. And..." he seemed hesitant. As though the momentous kisses they were intermittently sharing meant nothing. "I don't mean as a friend, Liz. I can't do whatever it is that I'm supposed to do alone. If I learned nothing else from my past, at least I learned that. I can't be the person everyone expects me to be unless I can be the person I want to be, too."

"And who's that, Max?"

"The person who holds your love," he allowed all of his own love to flow over her. "Who let's me give her all of mine. I want to be the person who is going to marry you, Liz Parker and love you for the all the days of our lives."

"Is that a proposal?" she teased.

"No," he sighed. "A warning. My proposal will be much better than that. But believe this, Liz. My soul didn't rest until I found you again. I came for you, just like I promised. Our souls found each other, to be together. So believe it when I say, I will marry you."

"All I can say, Max, is that any day spent without you is a day totally wasted. Max. We've wasted too many days, too many years. And we've been given a second chance. I have no idea how this happened, but I am not going to waste it. So when that proposal comes, you better be prepared to follow through, Max, because I'm going to say yes before you even finish the question."

"I'll be following through, alright, Liz," his eyes sparkled. "Now we better get back to the others. There are some people out there who have been waiting for us."

"Let them wait, Max. I have been waiting for such a long time to do this. Too long." She pulled him into another kiss. "Promise me that I can do this whenever I want."

"Okay," Max laughed, his hands dancing up and down her back. "Anytime you want."

"Max," her eyes clouded over. "After my... after I died... what happened? In Roswell, I mean. Did Tess...?"

"We..." Max's mind darkened. "I... It's better if I show you."

They kissed again, with Max holding the nape of her neck and allowed Liz to see into his soul. His memories assailed her, starting with her funeral service and not ending until he was locked with her in an embrace that gave them their memories back.

"I'm sorry," she whimpered. "Did you... Do you know what happened to my... to our parents?"

"No," Max shook his head, allowing his tears to flow. He rested his forehead against hers. "But I promise you, Liz. They will pay. We should talk to the others now. They'll want to know what's going on with us."

"They know," she waved him away. "But, Max? We will stay together, okay? I have no idea how it came to be that me, Maria and Kyle were reincarnated, but there has to be a reason. Especially since we've been given back our old memories." Her eyes narrowed while a puzzled look settled on her face. "Kyle wasn't involved with Isabel before, was he?"

"No," Max was deep in thought. "He wasn't. But I remember that she had to make a choice. Maybe... maybe she chose Kyle this time because she learned things that made him more important to her than the other two."

"But who were the other two?" she frowned. "That part of my memory is blank."

"I think it's supposed to be that way, Liz," Max took a deep breath. But whoever they were, they're important to us now in their own way."

"Max... Is Raul okay? I mean..."

"Yeah," he grinned. "And he told me all about what he did. And he's sorry. But I guess I'll only forgive him if you do. I'm just happy that I have you again, Liz. And all that baggage between us is far behind us now. Liz, I love you. I have always loved you. And I will always love you."

"Me too, Max," she nodded, her eyes misting over again. "Oh, Max!" she suddenly remembered. "When I was in Roswell... with... with Sean... Pam... Pam Troy, she helped me to escape."

"We found her in the desert, Liz," he nodded. "I guess Sean was going to punish her by leaving her there to die. She's okay. She's safe."

"Thank you," she nodded. "And I already knew that, cause I... you know, saw. But when I was in Roswell, she told me... Max, she told me that Tess was looking for the Granolith. And for the seal you used to carry. After you died, they couldn't find it."

"I wonder why not?" Max pondered. "It's a physical thing. It's not like it could just get up and walk away."

"Unless someone else found it," Liz's words came out as a whisper. "And they haven't said anything. Maybe someone loyal to you."

"No," Max shook his head, his eyes narrowed. "Wait. Wait. They're still looking for the Granolith? But Tess took it back to Antar."

"Max, maybe that wasn't the Granolith."

* * *

"Now there's something you don't see every day," Kyle shook his head.

"You can say that again," Anders nodded in agreement.

"Tell you something else you don't see everyday," Maria indicated the three traveling companions with a nod.

"Pam?" Isabel frowned. "Pam Troy? What are you doing here?"

Pam appeared to be in a daze.

"I could ask you guys the same question," her wild eyes were flicking from one familiar face to another. She frowned when she looked at Anders and Raul, like she should know them but their names eluded her. "I thought all of you guys were dead."

"Urban legends," Kyle shrugged. "How did you get out here?"

"Luke rescued me." Pam allowed herself to sink to the floor. Her legs were a little shaky right now.

"We found her in the desert," Eastman took over. "Some dude kicked her half to death and left her to die. Luke, he... he healed her."

Everyone turned to face the pink and blue light.

"Max," Isabel told him. "His name's Max."

"Where are your horses?" Raul called from behind the main group.

"Never had any," Catt shook his head. "We walked."

"Walked?" Raul frowned. "It took you only a few days longer than us to walk all the way from Roswell to the Chaco Canyons? In the north of New Mexico?"

"What?" Eastman blinked.

"You guys covered over two hundred and fifty miles of hostile terrain, not to mention having to circumnavigate Albuquerque in seven... eight night?"

"And we had to stop a few days while we fixed up something to carry Pam."

"How the heck could they do that, Michael?" Isabel turned to him. "How can he travel that far, that fast?"

"I have no idea," he shook his head.

"Look," a sharp voice demanded. "What the fuck is going on here? Make them stop that!" Richard Madly was pointing at the blushing light. "What's he doing to my girlfriend?"

"Moron," Maria rolled her eyes. "When are you going to get it into that thick skull of yours that she is not your girlfriend. Not in this lifetime or any other. She's been in love with Luke... I mean... Max... I mean... Liz!" she turned to her friends. "My friend's name! It's Liz! Julia is Liz! And that's what River Dog meant!"

"And that makes Max our King," Michael nodded.

"And my real brother after all," Isabel's smile was huge.

"So the old dog was right," Michael smirked.

"But so were we," Maria nodded.

Understanding dawned on Madly.

"He's an alien!" he exclaimed.

"Shit," pulling Maria to his side, Michael turned to face the crowd that had gathered behind them. He was expecting to have to fight now.

"Maybe she's one too," one of his goons offered,

"No," Madly shook his head. "I know all about her. She was in a coma. She... She's supposed to be with me. Her Dad said so. She's destined to marry a great leader. He told me."

"Can't get much greater than a King," Maria smirked. "I think he outranks you, even if you ever do make it to a general."

"But an alien?" his voice was thick with disgust.

"Luke is a King?" Eastman's jaw dropped. "I mean... Max. Max is a King?"

"Uh huh," Anders nodded.

"He's an alien!" Madly called to the Natives watching them. "We have an alien in the camp! Maybe more of them!"

"Na-say-do!" someone from the crowd shouted. "Na-say-do na-dzah! Na-say-do na-dzah!"

From out of the buildings, everyone come running. The native Americans came first, followed by the soldiers, who were looking particularly confused.

"Na-say-do na-dzah!"

"What are they saying," Michael grabbed one of the young bucks hurrying to join in.

"The visitors!" he was grinning. "The visitors have returned, and I am here to see it!"

"Remember what I said about the twilight zone?" Kyle shook his head in amazement?"

* * *

"Liz," Max kissed her temple. "As much as I am enjoying being back in your arms..."he placed a soft kiss on her cheek, "and kissing you... we should talk with the others."

"Just promise me one thing, Max," she lookup into his eyes.

"Anything," he nodded.

"Don't shut me out, okay? I mean, no matter how bad things might get, please, don't ever shut me out," she shook her head. "You have no idea how much that hurts."

"I promise, Liz," Max nodded. "Now we have our connection back, I can't live without it again. I can't live without you."

"Okay," she nodded, holding the lapels of his shirt. "And one final thing."

"What's that?" his eyes widened.

"You have a bath just as soon as you can," she wrinkled her nose.

"Will you scrub my back?" he smirked.

"Anytime," she nodded breathlessly. "Uh, Max? When do you think this light will stop? Are you doing this?"

"No," Max shook his head. "At least, not all of it. I think part of it is you."

"Like neither one of us wanted to be disturbed or something?"

"Well...," Max blushed. "I know that I didn't want everyone looking at us while we... erm... made up."

"We never had to make up, Max," Liz shook her head. "All we had to do was to forgive ourselves. I had forgiven you a long time ago."

"I think we're going where we said we wouldn't," Max shook his head. "Let's drop our shield and say hello to our friends. We might have some explaining to do."

"Max," Liz slid her hands down to his. "Listen. About that. Explaining, I mean. We're at war, Max. These aliens have flown across the universe to kill you. Or worse. Michael and Isabel... and the others who follow you... Max, you are the king. You're a leader. And leader's don't explain their actions. I know Michael is like your brother, and I know Isabel is your sister, but Max... It's not just about the three of you anymore. Neither is it about the eight of us. Max, you have to be seen to be the leader. You have to show everyone, and that means Michael, as well as Isabel, that you are the one in charge. Stand up for yourself, Max, or you will forever be 'explaining' yourself."

"I learned a lot on this journey, Liz," Max nodded. "I think I had to make this journey without you, to find that 'leader' side of me. All those years ago, I was afraid that I could not be a King and have you at my side, too. But I know, Liz. I know that I have been afraid for no reason at all. In fact, I know that as long as you are with me, I can be the King I was meant to become.

* * *

"What the hell was that?" Nikolas demanded, looking up from the maps he was studying.

"I have no idea," Tess shook her head. "It felt like an earth tremor, but look at the water."

She pointed to some glasses of water on the table in front of them. The water was steady.

"Whatever it was, it was pretty powerful," Nikolas looked shaken. He looked at his map again. "I take it there's still no sign of Zan?"

"None," Tess shook her head. "There's been no sign of anyone."

"He's here," his finger stabbed the map, pointing at the Chaco Canyons. "I just know he's here."

"It would make sense that he made his way to the resistance," Tess nodded. "He's going to need help if he wants to get the Granolith."

"Except we know he can access it from a distance," Nikolas shuddered. "I just wish we could get a lock on it. How many times have we felt it's use now? At least once a day for the last... few days."

"They could have been accidents," Tess shrugged. "Maybe he doesn't realize he can use its power."

"Or maybe he's practicing," Nikolas shook his head. "But when you consider that the Granolith can be used to knock every one of our ships out of the skies, I think we should take care of him first."

"How are the plans for the assault coming?"

"I've requested every spare unit from the Middle East to be sent to me," Nikolas looked up. With the forces I already have, along with the reinforcements, I will have enough to level the Chaco Canyons in just a four hour time span. And then I will send ground troops in to clear up any areas that our bombardment might have missed."

"When do we make out move?" Tess looked up at the calendar that both she and Nikolas were still using, out of habit.

"In seven days," Nikolas smiled.

The door burst open one of Nikolas's men burst in. He had a wild look of panic to his eyes.

"That was the Granolith again!" he saluted. "Someone has accessed the Granolith again."

"What?" Tess gasped. "Did you get a lock on it?"

"No," he shook his head. "But the Capo, Deluca managed to narrow it down. He says... He says that it's somewhere here within the Roswell City Limits."

"Make that three days," Nikolas frowned. "We can't waste anymore time. Especially if we are sitting in what could potentially be our own graves.

* * *

"Liz," Max's face took on a worried frown. "This light that surrounds us... People are going to notice. We're going to have attracted everyone's attention."

"Yeah," Liz nodded. "I don't suppose they get many light shows in the desert."

"I'm used to hiding, Liz," he leaned his forehead against hers. "How are we going to explain this? They're going to know we're not from around here."

"No, Max," she shook her head, placing her hands either side of his face. "I was brought to these Canyons from Roswell by some Native Americans. And they saw my tattoo, Max. Our tattoo. And they said... they said I was a Nah-say-do. That they were expecting me. And you, Max. Max, they're expecting you to lead them against the others.

"They expect me to lead them?" Max groaned. "I was hoping that maybe it was just going to be the eight of us. I was hoping that maybe we could have found a way to make Tess and her pals leave."

"Max," she sighed. "I think the days of it being just the few of us are over. You're a planetary King. I don't think you can hide from it anymore."

"Only if you stay at my side, Liz," he shook his head. "Like I said earlier. I can't do this without you."

"I'm with you, Max," she assured him. "Every step of the way. No matter where it takes us."

"Do you want to say hello to everyone now?"

"No," Liz shook her head. "But we should anyway."

As if by a single thought, the colored veil simply vanished. Max was taken aback by the sight that met them and he felt Liz press herself tighter to his body, as though she too was overwhelmed by what she saw. There was a huge crowd assembled in front of them.

To one side, they saw their friends. Michael was there with Maria, Isabel with Kyle and Anders and Raul. Craig Eastman was standing with Pam and Catt just to one side of the other friends. Behind them, a huge assembly of Native Americans had gathered while in pockets around them, looking very nervous, small contingents of American soldiers fingered their guns.

Max took one look at the crowds and took a deep breath. He looked at Michael.

"Give me a sitrep, Michael," he said.

Michael blinked a few times, before he shook his head and gave Max the situation report he asked for.

"We're in the Chaco Canyons, Pueblo del Arroyo, northwestern New Mexico. We have a large contingent of the local Native Americans as well as elements of the United States Armed Forces. It seems that there was supposed to have been a counter offensive but something..." Michael looked over at Richard Madly, "disrupted those plans. After you're departure to find Liz, I regret to inform you I allowed ourselves to get captured and we were brought here. Yesterday evening, Liz arrived in camp, a little ahead of the bulk of the forces you see here. We appear to be in the heart of the resistance. Oh yeah. And they now know we're not from these parts."

"Huh?" Maria shook her head. "We don't see hid or hair of you for a week and the first thing you want to know is a military situation?"

"We're at war, Maria," Liz gave her a smile. "We might as well accept facts and make the best of things."


"Time for the personal stuff later, Maria," Max smiled at her. "Right now, I think these people expect something more from me than a 'Hi, Guys.'"

"Julia," Richard Madly pushed forward. "I insist that you remove yourself from that aliens presence before he completely brainwashes you."

"Uh, Richard?" Liz raised an eyebrow. "I don't know why you would think I would even want to do that, but Max isn't brainwashing me. Oh, and my names is Liz. Julia was a name I used to hide from my enemies. And this is Max. My boyfriend."

"But... but we're engaged!"

"Richard," Liz sighed. "I don't recall you actually asking me to marry you. Now please stop this. I don't love you. I love Max. I always have and I always will."

"But he's an alien!" Madly snapped.

"And he a hundred times the leader you're ever going to be, you moron," Maria snapped. "Look at their hands. Look at how close she is to him. Buy yourself a clue and see if you can see what everyone else does. They're inseparable."

Richard Madly turned several shades of purple.

"You haven't heard the last of this," he spat at Max before turning and heading for his quarters.

"Michael," Max turned to his second in command again. "What's your assessment?"

"We need to get organized. We need to know our full capabilities, and those of these people if they are going to accept you as their leaders."

"We'll need to hold a council of war, then. And we're going to need to speak with this Hash-kay-gi-na-tah."

"And he will wish to speak with you, Max Evans," the old Native elder pushed his way through the gathered throng. "He will be here shortly."

"River Dog," Max nodded. "Good to see you."

"As it is to see you, young Bih-da-hol-nehi. Your arrival was the stuff of legends. The spirits will talk of this for many seasons."

"It, uh... wasn't my intention," Max dipped his head. "Michael, can you organize the council?"

"It has already been done," River Dog turned to Michael. "And we can begin as soon as Hash-kay-gi-na-tah arrives."

"Good," Max nodded at Michael to stand down. "You don't seem too surprised to see us, River Dog."

"I knew that three of you would die. I did not know which ones. And while I was fearful for your friends, I did not foresee their... murders. And that was why I was concerned that Liz was not one of you, that time in the cave. Her life force had already broken the thread. The spirits did not know where she belonged."

"So you were expecting us to be born again?" Michael narrowed his eyes. "You knew about the second set of pods?"

"I did," River Dog nodded. "But I do not understand how it is that your friends would have been woven into the tapestry. How is it that anyone knew their importance to you sixteen years ago, when their mortal bodies were born. At that time, you did not know one another."

"I for one am not questioning anything, River Dog," Max shook his head, pulling Liz tighter in to him. "Anything that gives me a second chance with Liz is fine by me."

"Same here," Liz looked up at him.

"You are here for a purpose," River Dog reminded them. "The first set was meant to be killed. The first set was to draw out your betrayer."

"Tess," Liz stated in a cold, emotionless voice.

"And now, you know who you can trust. Because of that, you will move forward again. You will find a way to defeat our enemies. You will free us of the dark Nah-say-do."

From the back of the large crowd, still watching the young aliens in fascination, a group of horsemen started to move through. People moved out of their way and closed up the gap behind them.

"Here is Hash-kay-gi-na-tah, now," River Dog lifted his arm to indicate the newcomers.

At the head of the small group rode a weather beaten men, in an old Roswell Sheriff's uniform. His Stetson sat proudly on his head while his star gleamed brightly on his breast.

"Well... I'll be," Michael shook his head when he recognized the man. "He's still alive."

"What's going on, River Dog?" the man leaned forward and looked at his old friend, scarcely noticing the group of young people.

Kyle pressed to the front and led his group of friends forward.

"Hi, Dad," he grinned.

James Valenti, one time deputy, one time sheriff and currently the universally accepted leader of the Alien Resistance Movement for all of New Mexico, a weather beaten, battle hardened man who thought he had seen it all took one look at the small group in front of his horse and he did one thing that he had never done in his entire life. One thing no one ever expected to see.

His eyes went wide with shock and James Valenti fainted.

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:15 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 3 Chapter 15

Post by WR » Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:23 pm

Hi Everyone!

Iiiiiiiiii'mmm Baaa-aaack! :D 8) 8) :twisted:

Thank you all so much for both you patiance and your wonderful comments. Now, I am so thrilled that you enjoyed my little Christmas Story, but I know that this is the one you want to see continued. So... aprat from the idea that are literally popping into my head right now, I am focused entirely on Red Shift.

And here, for your delectation, is the latest installment!

Red Shift

Part 3

Chapter 16

Max Evans woke up a new man. For the first time in too many years, he arose without the doubts and insecurities that had plagued him both as Max Evans in his previous life, and as Luke Skye in this one. And it was all down to one immutable fact. A fact that had he only listened to his heart, he would have known all along.

Liz Parker loved him.

She loved him and no other. She had always loved him, even when things had appeared to be their darkest; when he had been so convinced that she had feelings for another. She had only ever been holding on to one heart. It was him.

While he was sorry that it had taken their deaths for him to realize this, he was also wise enough to know that his 'second' death had been pre-ordained. As much as he hated that word, it had been his destiny. Max Evans was always going to die. But somewhere along the line, some external force had seen fit to give Elizabeth Parker this second chance and had gone to a lot of trouble to reunite them. For once in his life... or lives... he actually like the word. Destiny.

Liz shouldn't have died, however. At least, not if he could have helped it. He had saved her life, once, when a gunman's bullet almost took her away before he ever got the chance to know her, but in so doing, had been given the opportunity to openly express his long standing love for her. But that had made Liz an enemy of 'his' enemy. And their subsequent breakup had placed her in danger; he had been unable to protect her. Liz gave her life for him. Was there any truer test of love than that? Max did not want to find out, and neither did he want her to make the ultimate sacrifice again.

This time, he would get it right. This time, as well as everyone else, he would protect Liz Parker with every fiber of his being. But how could he do that while vast numbers of aliens - his own people - were here on the plant, in the open, and looking for them?

As he stumbled toward his door, stifling a yawn and running a hand through his unkempt hair, his thoughts were still jumbled. He would like to have said that he had spent all night long thinking about the military situation, coming up with plans to defeat this latest threat. He would have liked to say that his mind was coming up with plans and tactics with which he could defeat Nikolas and Tess. He would have liked to have said that the book he had bought in Siesta Key and had read cover to cover a dozen times or more had proved invaluable to him.

He could not.

His mind had been on Liz. All night long. They had sat up together in the living room of their shared apartment, holding one another closely while they talked and talked. Well, there was a lot of kissing involved, but they had exchanged a couple of words a few times. And all the while, all he could think about was how much he loved her and everything about her. The way her hair shone, the warmth that radiated from her every time he got near her. How her eyes filled with love every time he looked into them. How she always seemed to smell so delightful. He especially loved the way she looked at that very moment as she stumbled out of the room she shared with Isabel.

They both stopped in their separate doorways, and looked at one another, a shy smile crossing their lips. The shyness in that smile was rather strange, considering how they had both confessed how much they loved the other only hours before.

"Good morning, Max," Liz was the first to break the momentary silence, using her hand to smooth her hair.

"'Morning, Liz," Max returned her hot looks. "Did you sleep well?"

Max was starting to move toward her. Slowly, as though he might scare her away.

"Yeah," she nodded, her own feet moving toward him. "I did, actually. You?"

"Uh huh," his face bobbed up and down. "Me too. I missed you though."

"Yeah," her look was wistful. "I know how that feels."

"You do, huh?" he gave a teasing grin.

They were standing barely millimeters apart, staring into one another's eyes. Their faces started to gravitate toward one another. Both sets of eyes started to flutter shut as their moistened lips parted slightly to meet the other's.

The door at the far end of the room crashed open. Michael, followed by a very annoyed looking Maria entered the room. Max and Liz both closed their eyes, emitted a sigh and moved away, but only slightly.

"We need to make plans, Max," Michael appeared to not notice their closeness.

Max gave Liz a look of pure disappointment before he turned to his second in command. Even though he couldn't help thinking about Liz's request that he be a King, and wanted to order him away, he knew that Michael was right, even if his timing was wrong.

"There's not a lot we can do until we hear back from the U.S. authorities and find out what's going on right now. We can't afford to do something that might interfere with any of their current operations."

"We should be making plans to go back to Roswell," Michael shook his head. "I doubt that would interfere with any 'current operations.'"

"Uh," Max blinked. "Back to Roswell? Why?"

"To find the seal," Michael seemed surprised. "And the Granolith."

"But we don't know where they are," Max shook his head.

"We have to find them before Tess does," Michael snapped.

"Agreed," Max nodded. "But where would we start looking? I mean, Michael... Tess has had a couple of years and she still hasn't found them. And she has an army helping her to look twenty-four seven. If we go down there, all we will end up doing is putting ourselves in danger."

"So you are just going to sit here?" he demanded.

"No," Max smirked. "I'm going to take the time to find out what's been going on."

"Unbelievable," Michael shook his head. "We have to act and we have to act fast."

"And I agree," Max sighed. "But not rashly. Find me some intel on where the Granolith might be and we can make some plans, Michael. But I am not going to chase around, looking in places that Tess has probably checked out a hundred times already."

"You know what?" Michael started moving toward the room he shared with Maria. "I much preferred Luke."

Maria gave the couple a look of apology before she shrugged and followed him.

"Where were we," Max turned to Liz with a smile while reaching out for her hand.

"I think we were..."

Liz was interrupted by a loud and rather demanding knock at the door. They both broke away from each other's gaze, glaring at this second interruption. Before they could even move toward the door, it opened to admit a small group of military men. Had they been carrying weapons, they might have found themselves expelled backwards. Fortunately for them, they were unarmed, and in spite of his hand rising, Max did not fire.

"Uh, Mr. Evans?" the one at the front spoke a little hesitantly. "Could we have a moment of your time?"

It was obvious that the man was more than a little frightened of Max. Or rather, of what Max represented.

"Yeah," he sighed, allowing his forehead to touch Liz's. His eyes flashed the regret he felt at not having kissed her yet that morning. He moved away from Liz and indicated some seats, sitting himself down in one that faced them. "Come on in."

Liz stood beside him, placing a hand on his shoulder, a move of support that did not go unnoticed by the other humans in the room.

"My name is Colonel Riley, Mr. Evans," the man who seemed to have been designated as the leader spoke at last.

"Max," he interrupted. "Please, call me Max. And this is Liz. What was it you wanted to discuss with me?"

"It's... it's your heritage," Riley shrugged. "I mean... the fact that you... and your friends... at least, some of them, appear to be alien."

"Appear to be?" Max smirked. "You mean you can see a difference?"

"No," the other man smiled at the joke. "I mean, having learned of your... differences, we're kind of wondering... we're wondering where you stand in all this?"

"If I told you that the aliens that have taken over New Mexico are my enemies, as well as yours, does that help?"

"That's the immediate assessment," Riley clenched his hands together and leaned forward in his seat. "But what of after? What happens if... when we defeat 'our' enemies? Will we be jumping from the frying pan and into the fire?"

"If you are asking me if I have any plans to conquer this planet, Colonel Riley, then the answer is no." He reached to his shoulder and clasped Liz's hand. "The only thing I want to conquer is Liz's heart."

"Which he has already done," Liz smiled down at him.

"Will you be looking to colonize somewhere?" the colonel eyed the couple suspiciously.

"There are only the three of us," Max shook his head. "Alien wise, I mean. So I doubt you could call it colonizing. We may want to buy houses and settle down, yes. And raise a family, perhaps. But as we are technically hybrids, the chances of any children having any... alien tendencies are rather remote. And with each passing generation..."

The room fell silent again, while the visitors looked at one another, wondering if anyone would think of any additional questions along those lines.

"They said you died," Riley started again. "Jim and River Dog, they said that a couple of years ago, all of you died. And yet, here you all are. Even the ones you say are human. How can that be, Max? I mean..."

I don't have the answers for how the humans among us were reborn, Colonel," Max shook his head. "But I can't tell you how glad I am that it worked out that way. As for us... It's technology that you do not have access to, and trying to explain it might make it seem far more fantastic than it actually is. If it helps, think of us as... clones."

* * *

"That went well," Liz smiled as Max shut the door on the departing officers. "I hope their minds are at rest now. Those were some pretty intense questions. They now know everything about the aliens that we do. I just hope they can make use of it."

"Liz?" Max frowned. "Why does everyone think that I'm using come alien mind control ability on you? I mean... am I not good looking or something?"

"What?" Liz's eyes bulged. Her eyes softened as she realized what he had been trying to suggest. "No, Max. It's not because they think that someone like me would never be attracted to someone like you. I mean, do you even know how many times I thought that I was way out of 'your' league?"

"No way," he shook his head.

"It's just this... different species thing. They don't know you, the three of you, like we do. And when they do get to know you, then they'll never doubt you again. So don't you go starting to doubt yourself, okay? I love you, Max. Warts and all."

"Warts, huh?" he reached for her. "I think someone deserves a merciless tickling for that."

"No!" she squealed, trying to dance away from him.

She almost made it.

"No!" she started to howl with laughter as Max's fingers sought and located all of her sensitive spots.

Liz collapsed to the floor with Max attacking her.

"Sorry," Anders smirked from the doorway as he entered the living room. "Not interrupting anything, are we?

"Get a room," Raul rolled his eyes from behind him.

"Uh," Max looked up sheepishly.

"Did you guys want something?" Liz started to compose herself and tried not to sound too annoyed.

"Uh, yeah," Raul looked at Anders, who looked back at Raul.

"Who are we, Max?" Anders finally spoke after a lengthy pause.

"Anders and Raul," Max shrugged. "Our friends."

"Okay," Anders looked frustrated. "Who 'were' we? How come we haven't got our memories back like the others did?"

"I don't know," Max shook his head, collapsing into the chair with a heavy sigh. "It's like part of my memories are still locked. Parts that I'm not allowed to access, or that have been erased or something."

"Well, whatever's doing it is pretty damn powerful, if even people you knew long ago don't remember us."

"The Granolith," Liz nodded, sitting on the arm of the chair.

"I think it's supposed to be this way, guys," Max gave them an apologetic look. "So many things seem to have been set up so specifically... I mean, look at how much trouble was gone to, just to get me and Liz back together."

"And you still nearly blew it," Anders smirked.

"Miscommunication," Max glared at him. "Don't push your luck, Anders."

* * *

"Are we ever going to have time for ourselves, Liz?" Max sighed, leaning into her embrace to gather his strength.

Anders and Raul had vanished into the room they shared.

"Hey," she smirked. "I did offer to share a room with you. We could have shut ourselves in our room and have all the privacy we wanted."

"Somehow, I doubt that," he sighed. "Liz... It's not that I don't want to share with you. I do. You don't know how badly I want to spend every single moment with you, even when we're asleep. But I know that if we share a room, then we'll share a bed. And if we do that... Liz, I love you. I hope you know that. But there's this little voice inside my head that's warning me not to get intimate with you yet. I'm so afraid that I might hurt you."

"Max," the frustration in Liz's voice was only too evident. "Look at Michael and Maria. In two lifetimes, they have been intimate, and nothing bad has happened to either one of them. And Kyle and Isabel... Besides, we don't have to do anything until we're ready, Max."

"Liz, please," he gave a soft chuckle. "If we slept in the same room, let alone the same bed, there is no way on earth that I am going to be able to resist you. I'm weak when it comes to you, Liz. Yes, you make me stronger. But you exert complete and total control over me."

"Huh!" she pouted. "Says you."

"I just know that there is a good reason for us not to get intimate, Liz," Max's voice was soft and soothing and so filled with love.

"You had so better be worth the wait, Max Evans," she crossed her arms in a huff.

"I promise you," he smirked. "More than worth it. But in the meantime..." he reached across to place a soft kiss on her tight lips. "Making out is good."

Breaking into a smile, Liz started to kiss him back.

"Hey, guys," Kyle entered the room.

"Arrggh!" Liz erupted, throwing her arms in the air and staring up at the ceiling.

"My Dad's kind of hoping to have a word with you, Max. In the main hall with the Elders."

"Do you really think he wouldn't have entered our room to tell me that?" Max groaned softly in Liz's ear.

"Of course he wouldn't have," she turned and started to nibble his ear in return. "He would have been afraid of what he might have seen, wouldn't you, Kyle?"

"You are so bad, Liz," Kyle chuckled.

"I want to be," Liz pouted. "But my boyfriend won't let me."

While Liz retreated to the room she shared with Isabel, Max watched her go, his mouth flapping open and closed in silence, like a fish.

* * *

"Hey, Max," Jim Valenti greeted the young man as if he had spoken with him only yesterday. "That was quite a turn you gave me there."

"Yeah," Max gave the ex-sheriff a smirk. "Sorry about that. But we had no idea that anyone from Roswell had survived. We saw the Sheriff's station... our house..." his voice fell away. "And we assumed the Crashdown..."

"It's good to see all of you. Real good. And since I guess it was your technology, if not your own idea that brought Kyle back to me... I guess I owe you double, now, huh?"

"You don't owe me, Jim," Max shook his head. "While I have no idea exactly how it came to be that Liz Kyle and Maria were... reincarnated... you don't owe me anything. You've repaid that debt and any others, a hundred times or more. Uh... Kyle said you and the Elders wanted to see me?"

"Do you believe in providence, Max?

"As in foresight?" he smirked. "I guess I do."

"The day before the aliens attacked," he looked away. "I had this irresistible notion that day would be a good day to take my friends out for a picnic. I even felt like I had to take them out to the Mesolika reservation. So we're all the way out there when we heard about the explosion. Naturally, we tried to get back, but our vehicles wouldn't start. How 'bout that, huh? Not a one. We couldn't rush back to get caught up in the attack that came later."

"What are you saying, Jim?" hope welled in Max's heart.

"That your parents are alive. All of 'em. And I bet that they'll all have as good a surprise as I did when they see you guys."

"You mean, mom... and dad... The Parkers... And Amy DeLuca..."

"Amy Valenti now," Jim grinned.

It took a moment for that piece of news to filter through.

"Congratulations," Max clasped Jim's hand. "Do Kyle and Maria know?"

"No," Jim shook his head. "You're the only one who knows about the families, too. I kind of figured it might be a nice surprise to all concerned. But yes, all of them are safe and well and still mourning you, I'm afraid."

"We'll have to change that," Max nodded.

"And speaking of change," Jim winked. "Can I say how good it is to see Liz smile again? Damn, it's good to have you all back. Now, we should join the others for this meeting."

Max looked around the open room for a doorway. Apart from the one through which he had entered, there were none. He looked at Jim who just grinned back. The sheriff then bent down and lifted up a hitherto hidden hatchway. Light rose from the hole, through which Max could see a ladder. Jim motioned at the opening. Raising his eyebrows, Max started to climb down.

The chamber below was a large square room. Looking around, he could see the smooth walls, illuminated by smokeless torches had been decorated with strange - even for him - figures and patterns. The floor was a smooth sandstone on which more shapes and designs had been etched. At one end of the room, a small dais had been set. A number of chairs had been placed on this dais, upon which sat River Dog and a number of other older Native Americans. Michael, too, was sitting among them. Just in front of the dais was an open fire, smokeless like the torches. Beyond the fire, a large number of men had gathered, both from the resistance and the military. Conspicuous by their absence, Max could not see Liz, Isabel or even Maria.

"Where are the girls?" Max turned to Jim.

"Ah," Jim look a little uncomfortable. "You see, Max... Women are traditionally restricted from entering a Kiva. Sort of a man only place. And anyway, they're out and about somewhere... talking to the other people.

"I'm sorry," Max shook his head, looking from Jim to River Dog. "I'm going nowhere that Liz or the others are not welcome. We are in this together, and if you can't handle that... That's not my problem."

River Dog looked at his fellow Elders and then back at Max.

"It shall be as you say," he nodded. "But we must for now continue with this meeting. It will take some time to locate the ladies. We will meet in another building in future."

"Speaking of the future," Max continued to look at the Elders. "Can anyone explain to me why all these buildings look like they were built yesterday and not like the ruins I know they are? Did you rebuild them or something?"

"No," River Dog shook his head. "Often, we find that the things which we see are not as we perceive them. Perhaps you saw only ruins because that is all you were permitted to see. In the same way that your friends remember only what it is that they are permitted to remember."

"You mean, like by a god, or something?" Michael snorted.

"Or something," Max nodded, understanding dawning in his eyes. "The Granolith."

Michael's chuckling faded and his smile dropped.

"The Granolith has been setting everything up for us," Max finished. "I think the Granolith might be a little more powerful than we would like to think."

* * *
Last edited by WR on Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.