Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 57 8/22/20 (WIP)

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dreamon
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Re: Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 52A 3/8/20 (WIP)

Post by dreamon » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:20 pm

Thanks for another great part! I’m intrigued to see what Cal is going to say.

Also, as a person who loves angst I can’t wait to see how Max confides in Liz about the whole Tess situation.

As always I’m looking forward to reading more!
I have a few dreamer challenges in mind if you are looking for ideas so pm me!

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Re: Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 52A 3/8/20 (WIP)

Post by clueless » Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:39 pm

Thank you for another great installment!

I hope you and your family are safe and healthy with this covid19 craziness going on.

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Re: Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 52A 3/8/20 (WIP)

Post by Flamehair » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:14 am

clueless wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:39 pm
Thank you for another great installment!

I hope you and your family are safe and healthy with this covid19 craziness going on.

I hope for everyone of you that you and your family stay safe
big prince Leo Alsandair Aidyn Galahad Colin 12.08.2007
little prince Robin Faramir Gawain Diarmad Finlay 18.05.2009

little princess Eowyn Morgaine Nevialani Caitlin Valerie 15.05.2012

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Re: Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 52A 3/8/20 (WIP)

Post by behrinthecity » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:29 am

Flamehair wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:14 am
clueless wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:39 pm
Thank you for another great installment!

I hope you and your family are safe and healthy with this covid19 craziness going on.

I hope for everyone of you that you and your family stay safe
clueless, Flamehair and to all readers on this site, I hope all of you and your families are staying safe and well. Please take care, avoid crowds and stay home as much as possible. 🙏

Part 53 in next post!

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Part 53

Post by behrinthecity » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:49 am

Thank you all for your patience.

keepsmiling7- Thank you for your super prompt comments! And yes, Max surrendering was definitely the ultimate martyrdom. This part will give an answer to your question... at least somewhat. :p

dreamon- Thank you! For what Cal is going to say-- wait no more! As for Max revealing the truth about the observatory to Liz that will come later. :twisted:

clueless- Thank you for the feedback and wishes.

Flamehair- Thank you for the wishes.



Previously

[From Control]

Laid out on his doorstep, Cal had never felt more drained. The damaged ship had sucked whatever energy he had for that brief moment of hovering. That pitiful show only spurred the loathing and resentment burning in his system. It was the only thing giving him the strength to speak through his laboured breaths. "I destroyed my life for you tonight. All for nothing. Because of you, everything I've lived for is gone.” Seeing his callow king leaning above him, his meagre apology underlying the call of his name, Cal pushed on, “It's how you've always been your majesty-- selfish and ungrateful.” Through hooded eyes he thought he spied a tear on Max’s cheek. A solitary droplet signifying a flicker of regret and rare empathy. Cal’s voice was low and defeated, his sorrow seeping into every word. But Max’s uncomprehending face sent the flare of hatred to push himself up into a stooped position. “Being your protector might be encoded in my genes. But after tonight, I'll never stop hating you.” It was a vow he intended to keep.

[From Part 27]
…all Max could focus on was the darkness closing in around him. He wanted to struggle, to physically push it away, but somehow he couldn’t… his body, his thoughts frozen.

Then in the distance he saw something flash.

The occurrence was so brief that he could not process what had happened, but then it appeared again… and this time it stayed.

It was a light, building upon itself, its glow intensifying with every moment passed.

Blue began to reach out towards him, ridding him of the darkness but not his fear.

Caught between two hells of blinding light, he remained captive within his mind. He was unable to speak, to move, to awake from this nightmare.

And then a low voice spoke, filled with a lust for power, for vengeance.

Kill them.

“No!” he managed to cry out into the dark blue haze, averting his gaze from the still building light.

Destroy them. Live once more.

“I can’t. I won’t,” he continued to protest, attempting to shun the monster that strengthened every day.

Unleash the power you once wielded— the power you still hold.

“I’m not like that. I’m not like you!” he screamed back, his desperation and fear evident.

The voice remained silent after his outburst and he began to breathe a sigh of relief, but before he could release it fully, white flooded his senses.

[From Part 28]
Things were finally shifting into place. The past months had been difficult despite his extraordinary advantages. At times Cal was surprised by his ability to get in as far as he had. The security had advanced over the decades and even in the past few years. The government was no longer taking any chance of an infiltration. Fortunately, there were still tiny cracks in the system that they never thought to consider.

A smirk briefly appeared on his face as he marvelled at the humans’ ability to trust, even when their job was exactly the opposite. But then perhaps it was more due to their lack of questioning anything they saw or were told. At that thought he flashed on the memory of seeing the Unit’s prisoner shivering in his tiny cell. Even now the sight of his fallen… king affected him, a tense frown weighing heavily on his smooth features.

He stared out into the dark night, his mind lost in the memory and under his conflicting emotions. He hated putting himself at such risk, but then after all he had seen he had to help—he just wished things could move faster. But he knew that to succeed he needed reinforcements. After months of searching and waiting, they were here and soon they would be ready.

The memory continued to play out in his mind, the image of his king shuddering before curling into an even tighter ball. If only he had arrived sooner at the army’s base, perhaps he could have stopped it all then. But his powers could only do so much. Even now, there were areas that he could not access on his own, particularly where that general would leave for after his meetings with the Special Unit head. He had given up for the moment on discovering the inside of that base, hoping that when his plan was implemented, he’d finally be able to infiltrate it. Instead he focused his attention on the Unit. Just a little longer and everything would be in place.

He released a sigh as he remembered how he ended up outside the warehouse. He had been observing his king in the observation room, when the door opened and instantly his expressionless mask was in place again. “Agent, take over the North-west perimeter.”

With hardly a glance at the man he wished to incinerate on the spot, he had nodded and replied, “Yes, sir.” Then in quick strides he left the room, his eyes briefly turning back to the containment room. In that glance he saw the sight that haunted him now, a pale ball trembling in a corner. As he paced the North-west area of the warehouse grounds, the thought that had repeated in his head as he had left the observation room, resounded once more. Just a little longer.

[From Part 36]
Red digits burned into his brain.

2:06.

They had two minutes to live.

But somehow, the numbers no longer flashed, each second ticking by until their doom.

He sensed his hand still raised upward, palm outstretched towards the timer. And though the numbers had not moved for several seconds, he could not tear his terrified gaze away.

His breaths were shallow and harsh to his ears, and he could feel sweat beginning to drip down his forehead. Yet, he could not move.

“Kyle?”

His body flinched in reaction to his name, but he remained facing the timer. So focused on the small screen, he was only vaguely aware that the actual bomb itself was not in sight, just thin wires disappearing into the wall leading to who knew where. All he knew was that wherever the bomb was hidden, it would destroy them all if his powers failed. And though the numbers stood still, a part of him feared that if he were to look away time would move again, racing to kill them all.



As Max had quieted, Kyle had returned to his careful watch on the bomb. After several more flickers, he realized that the ‘6’ had begun to shift. His eyes had widened as slowly a ‘5’ appeared in its place. His heartbeat had pounded in his ears then, blocking whatever was transpiring between the others and Max. All Kyle could focus on then, was the timer. He had waved his shaky hand at it and for a moment the number flickered in place before stopping on ‘2:05’. Just as he had released a breath of relief, the numbers began to shift again.

Kyle called out to the others, his voice filled with worry. “Umm… guys, just so you know, the numbers are slowly starting to change. I don’t think I can keep it up for much longer.”



As they fled the warehouse the last image of the red digits remained permanently etched in Kyle’s mind.

1:06

[From Part 43]
Turning to Cal, Kyle questioned, “What about the bomb? If you were there, why didn’t you remove it?”

Briefly startled, Cal took a moment to answer. Then with a shrug he replied, “It wasn’t real. I ensured things only looked real. Nothing more.” Having turned back to the others, Cal missed the steely glare upon Kyle’s dark, reddening face, as well as the clenched fists by Kyle’s sides.

Kyle was the first to move, rushing out the door without a word. Running down the pathway, he turned his head from side to side searching for Cal.

He was gone.

“Da—” He cut off his frustrated yell, suddenly aware of how quiet the street was, thunder rumbling in the distance. Breathing heavily, he lowered his arm. His fists clenched tightly as he suppressed his anger at Cal. With an exasperated huff, he stalked back into the house, past his confused friends and out into the backyard.

Releasing his fists slowly, he finally noticed a few sparks of green. Satisfied that he would have some release, a cold smile crept upon his infuriated face. Taking in the brick wall at the back of the yard, he raised his hand, palm out.

Nothing happened.

He couldn’t take it anymore. He let out the expletive cry he’d cut short earlier, falling to his knees, pounding a fist into the mucky ground. All that worry… all his energy focused on… on… nothing! As he thought again of Cal's deception, his eyes narrowed, the fury no less abated.

[From Part 47]
Curled up in the corner of the bathtub, Max continuously shook, his hands covered, once more, by jagged green light, struggling to still his jerking head.

All three of them called out to him but only Michael’s voice was strong enough for Max to hear. With great difficulty, Max lifted his head, his hands lowering to hug his knees.

His eyes were completely black.

Michael gasped along with Isabel and Liz, soon following it with a barely audible curse. Having somewhat expected this, he recovered faster than the girls. Stepping forward, he never registered the slight physical change in Max—the regal lifting of his chin, the narrowing of his eyes and the raising of his left hand.

Michael flew back, accosted by a shimmering green shield. He landed heavily against the bed, quickly helped to his feet by Isabel and Liz.

“What the hell was that?” Maria cried out, having just joined the others in the room with Kyle.

All three turned to her, their eyes filled with fear. Only Michael’s was devoid of confusion. With another glance at the energy shield flickering in intensity, its shade turning increasingly blue, he answered, “That’s not Max.”

[From Part 48]
Eyes shut tightly, Liz blindly walked through the energy shield, her left hand raised. Her heart pounded, each earnest and fearful beat urging her to continue forward, to believe that her plan would work—that she would be able to bring Max back.

Her grandmother’s words echoed in her mind, lending her strength. That strength helped her ignore the discomfort of penetrating Max’s shield. Though Kyle’s freezing power had weakened the shield’s defensive force by slowing the movement of its electric particles, she still felt the slight shocks from the continuous currents. With each step forward, the shield molded around her, pushed by the small energy blasts she sent into it.

Immersed in the shield, she held her breath, while sending one last blast to push through.


PART FIFTY-THREE

The doorbell rang.

Unable to move from his spot, Max stared wide-eyed at the door. The last time he had seen Cal, he had nearly caused the shapeshifter to die and surely had burned any bridge he may have had with the reluctant protector.

Michael strode to the door, throwing a puzzled look at Max. Peering through the peephole he released a weary sigh. Opening the door slightly he quickly ushered Cal in.

Slightly put out, Cal muttered, “Good to see you too, Michael” as he straightened his jacket. Looking up, he laid his eyes on Max.

Max had crossed his arms in front of his chest as a meek form of defense.

“You’re awake,” Cal breathed.

Max’s arms dropped, ever so slightly, in surprise at the quiet statement. With a confused nod he waited for Cal to continue.

Instead, the former Hollywood director looked at Michael almost in accusation.

His hands already up as he started to move further in the room, Michael retorted, “Hey, you didn’t leave us any way to contact you.”

Cal nodded silently, accepting his earlier folly. Looking once more at a wary Max, he wasn’t sure where to start. Witnessing Max’s suffering had gone a long way in dampening his burning hatred for his former king. He had come here with a specific purpose, but seeing Max able to stand on his own two feet, while his clothes swallowed his starved body whole, Cal drew a blank.

But then something knocked some sense back into him.

Stumbling a couple of steps back, he glared in the direction of his attacker.

To his befuddlement, Kyle Valenti stood in front of him, face red and fists ready to land another punch. But the brief shock and confusion wore off quickly.

Sparing a disdainful glance at Kyle’s fist, Cal merely flicked his hand to shove the football player against the wall.

Fortunately, Max had formed a shield to catch and buffer Kyle. Stepping in between the two warring men, Max directed his words at Cal. “Stop.”

Any power thrumming in his fingertips dissipated as Cal registered the command. The decades of resentment he held for Max and Antarian royalty were dredged up by the simple order. Blood roared in his ears as he was once more at the mercy of his king’s whims.

“You are not to hurt any of my friends or family. That includes Kyle Valenti…” He added everyone else not directly related to him for good measure: “…Maria Deluca and their parents. Is that understood?”

Cal answered with a surly, “Yes.”

Max turned to Kyle, “you okay?”

“Yeah, thanks. But what the hell is he doing here?” Kyle jabbed an accusing finger at Cal.

Stoking Max’s curiosity, he once more eyed Cal who stood tensely in place. “I’d like to know the same thing,” Max mused.

Finally regaining his senses, he stepped towards Max. With a look of grim determination he stated, “We need to talk.”

Max’s eyebrows rose at that. Turning to Kyle and Michael, he silently communicated to give him and Cal some privacy.

With narrowed eyes, Kyle shot a parting glare at Cal as he joined the others in the kitchen.

His eyebrow raised at Kyle’s fury, Michael stood in place with arms crossed daring both Cal and Max to have him leave.

Releasing a drawn out sigh, Max addressed Michael directly. “I want to talk to him alone.”

A bit startled at the implied request, Michael studied Max’s face. Seeing the tension and guilt in Max, he realized that Max wanted to clear the air between him and Cal. This was a personal chat.

Giving a meaningful glance at both Cal and Max, Michael commented, “I’ll be in the next room” and then strode back towards the heavenly aroma of syrup and pancakes.

Once alone Max acquiesced to Cal’s earlier request, “Go ahead.” His arms returned to their defensive pose in front of his chest.

Helping himself to a seat on the couch, Cal dryly groused, “Your hospitality knows no bounds.”

Eyes flickering back out the window, Max muttered, “Guess I’m out of practice.”

Shamed by the subtle reminder of why Max was out of practice, Cal bit his tongue to hold back his natural inclination for cocky retorts and flippant observations. Settling back against the cushions, he observed Max for a moment. With a sigh, he gestured to the seat beside him, “Max, come sit.”

“I’m fine,” Max stubbornly replied, all the while doing frequent checks out the window.

“The area is secure. No agent or enemy is anywhere near here,” Cal reassured Max.

Slightly taken aback at the statement Max gaped at Cal. Then with the slightest shake of his head his expression signalled that he doubted what Cal had said.

“Sit and I’ll tell you what you need to know,” Cal again coaxed Max to join him.

Still darting glances out the window, Max gingerly moved to the couch. He sat at the edge; his hands fidgeting.

“How are you?”

The question was spoken so softly and quickly, Max wasn’t sure if Cal had actually spoken. But then Cal met his gaze, his dark eyes shining with concern.

Perplexed, Max non-committedly answered, “I’m okay.”

Cal scoffed. Tilting his head back briefly, he seemed to straighten up where he sat. His signature grin hinted at a return to his slick personality. “Well, being conscious is a marked improvement,” he drolly commented.

Max side-eyed Cal as he wondered again on what had transpired between Cal and the others. Before he could say anything, Cal added, “Have you eaten anything solid?”

Max’s earlier thoughts were forgotten in his confusion over the odd question. His mind stuttered as he came to a disturbing realization, “You were there?” The question was forced out in a shaky breath.

“Yes,” Cal admitted sombrely.

“Who were you?” Max asked morbidly.

“Many different agents,” Cal answered off-handedly.

“Show me,” Max requested.

Shaking his head, Cal began to protest, “It’s not important, Max…”

“SHOW ME!” The yell was not that loud in Max’s strained voice, but it was a resolute command.

Instantly, Cal’s hackles were raised and without thinking he shapeshifted into the last agent he was. Only at Max’s look of horror did he regret his thoughtlessness.

“That was…” Max’s voice was breathless, as if he had been punched in the gut. But then a sudden strength and anger took over his voice, “you?!”

Suddenly, Cal found himself slammed against the wall, a green shield pressing upon him and cutting off his air.

Max was standing his arm outstretched to hold Cal in place. His eyes were black and head tilted to the side. “You. I should have known. It wasn’t enough you ruined my coronation, but this… the torture and humiliation? Max Evans may have refused to fight back, but you’re dealing with me now.”

Cal futilely pushed at the shield, gasping for air, a spark of recognition, fear and resentment glittering in his eyes. He heard faded voices shouting in the background as his vision began to cloud.

“Max, you’re not a killer! Stop!!” Liz pounded against the shield that blocked them all from entering the living room.

“No, he isn’t,” Max’s voice was a low threatening rumble.

Her eyes wide at knowing Zan had taken over, she gestured to Michael for them both to start blasting the shield in front of them.

With irritation, “Zan” turned to them, his shield on Cal faltering slightly.

Cal gulped in the much needed air, but he remained imprisoned against the wall.

“Max, don’t do this. He saved you,” Liz pleaded, her hand splayed against the shield.

The fathomless darkness of Max’s eyes flickered for a moment.

“Believe me, Max. He saved you.” Liz repeated.

Amber irises began to appear in the black orbs. With a glance at a struggling Cal, Max’s hand wavered.

A moment later he lowered his hand.

Cal summarily dropped to the ground wheezing; his hands ineffectually reaching for his throat. He was unaware who helped him back to the couch, but started to regain awareness when Max handed him a glass of water.

His throat burned as he sipped the water. All the while he eyed Max warily, who was once more sitting nervously, head bent, and hands fidgeting.

As he placed the glass on the coffee table, he heard a hesitant, “You okay?”

“I’ll live,” Cal answered shortly.

“Do… do you want me to heal it?” Max timidly offered.

With a heavy sigh, Cal shook his head; wincing at the movement.

“I’m… I’m sorry.” Max was now facing Cal, but his eyes kept returning to the floor.

“How long has your alien side been coming out?” Cal’s voice revealed tired disappointment. Once again, Max had not heeded his words and embraced his alien side. He wondered how he could stop him before he lost everything all over again.

Max clenched his hands into fists. “I don’t know… I was still in there when I… felt it—heard it. But I guess because my powers were disabled it didn’t have any power to physically take over.”

Surprised at his answer, Cal replayed his memories of seeing Max in the white room. All that time Max had kept his alien side at bay. Perhaps that was what the constant shivers had been about—barely suppressed power.

Cal dared a comforting hand on Max’s arm.

Dragging his gaze from the floor to Cal’s hand, Max stated, “You helped rescue me.” After a pregnant pause, he asked in a bewildered tone, “Why?”

With two pats on Max’s arm, Cal answered, “I am your protector, after all.”

At Max’s skeptical look, Cal continued, “I may hate you Max, but…” he trailed off remembering the horrors he had witnessed.

“I deserved it, though.” Max admitted in a monotone voice.

Cal looked at Max sharply, “No, you didn’t. What they did to you—that was inhumane. That…” Cal took a breath to dial back his emotions.

Max bit his lip at Cal’s retort. He had callously told his protector he’d never be human, and yet… he seemed upset over what had happened to him. To Max’s astonishment, Cal seemed to believe he hadn’t deserved that punishment.

Cal’s tone was matter-of-fact as he declared, “Anyway, they’ve been neutralized. They won’t be hurting any of you ever again.”

There was a hitch in Max’s breathing.

“You killed them?” Max’s voice was shaky.

“Most. The low level agents who had family have conveniently forgotten anything to do with you.”

Max closed his eyes. Could it be true?

“The general is still alive, however.”

Max met Cal’s eyes for once. His expression was strained. Subconsciously, he rubbed the back of his neck.

“He believes you’re dead. He won’t be coming after you.”

Max breathed shallowly, waiting for Cal to continue… to reveal the catch in all of this.

“But that’s not what I came here to talk to you about.”

Max held his breath in apprehension.

“We need to talk about your son.”

Max let go of his breath. The moment of truth had come. He wondered what absolution he could get for what he had done to Cal in his desperate search to reach his son.

Nervously, he began to ramble, “I met him. Tess brought him back—”

“That’s not your son,” Cal stated firmly.

“What?” Max once again sounded like he had been sucker punched in the gut.

The look on Max’s face was that of a lost kid. Cal loathed himself for what he had to reveal, to further shatter the broken child in front of him. Max may have had to grow up faster than he should, but in moments like this, his youth and innocence still shone through.

Cal released a breath as he chose to tell his tale. “I felt when you died, Max. After reading what happened, I focused on my sense of the royal seal expecting it to lead me to Isabel or Michael. Instead, I met a young human toddler.”

“Yes; Tess told me that he was human.” Max still stubbornly clung to his belief about his son.

“I checked him, Max.” The meaningful look he gave Max was met with one of growing disquiet. “Save for a dormant seal that I have no idea how he got, that kid is not the progeny of you and Tess. And I must warn you— that mark will lead others to him.”

Max sat there stunned, body leaning forward, his fidgety hands now tightly clasped. She had lied to him again.

And he had inadvertently condemned the child to alien attacks.

“It was meant to only be a memory” Max weakly defended, utterly distraught at his error. “Maybe I can undo it?” Desperation tinged every word of Max’s proffered idea.

Pity flashed in Cal’s eyes. “I can arrange for you to visit him,” Cal offered.

Max’s eyes widened in hope. “Really?”

Cal’s trademark smirk stretched upon his face. “In fact, the man who will help us do just that will be coming here shortly.”

The look on Max’s face clearly expressed his doubts on the wisdom of that plan.

“You can trust him. I made sure of it.” Cal asserted, his typical brash confidence back in full force.

Max moved to speak, but he found himself at a loss for words.

“Before he comes, I need to let you know about other developments.” Cal spoke in a discreet, serious tone.

Max remained silent, only gesturing for Cal to continue.

“Kivar has mobilized his army to come to Earth. He wants to eliminate you all.”

Speaking more to himself, Max uttered, “Because Tess showed up without us.”

“My intel didn’t mention Tess.”

Kivar doesn’t need a reason, a voice muttered darkly in Max’s mind. A sigh escaped Max, as he ran a hand through his hair. “How long do we have?”

“Fortunately, he’s coming by ship due to his army. It will be years before they reach Earth. Even then, you all will need to train. He’s not taking chances this time.”

Max absorbed the information, his eyes revealing an aged weariness. It never ends, he thought.

“Even with training how could we face an entire army?” His voice was hushed at the daunting inevitability of facing, quite literally, an alien invasion.

Cal leaned back, his patented smirk stretched wide on his face. “I’ve already enlisted help.”

Once more, Max was left perplexed and speechless at Cal’s reply. But before he could respond, he heard the doorbell ring twice in quick succession.

Just as Cal opened his mouth to speak, Maria strode towards the door muttering under her breath.

Latch on the door, she peeked out, and asked, “Who is—” she cut herself in surprise. Exasperated, she exclaimed, “Michael, what are you doing?” All the while she unlatched the door and opened it wider.

A man stood in the doorway, face uncertain as he nervously brushed at his tawny brown hair.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. The name is Fields; Matthew Fields. I’m here to see General Lang.”
Last edited by behrinthecity on Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

keepsmiling7
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Re: Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 53 3/22/20 (WIP)

Post by keepsmiling7 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:43 pm

Why did you leave us there??
Of course Cal was glad to see Max suffer.
Interesting actions between Kyle and Cal.
So Max and Kyle had a little chat......
I don't like it when Max becomes Zan.... the alien side isn't Max Evans that I like.
Max's son not who he thought he was and now Cal has enlisted help when Kivar arrives.
Seems like we will be having lots of action soon.
Thanks for the update!

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Re: Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 53 3/22/20 (WIP)

Post by dreamon » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:59 pm

You have no idea how much I needed to read this! I’m going out of my mind out of boredom so if you want to post more I’d appreciate it :wink: :wink:

Anyway, I did not see that Kiver twist coming! What an added surprise.

Well I hope you and your family stay safe!
I have a few dreamer challenges in mind if you are looking for ideas so pm me!

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Re: Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 53 3/22/20 (WIP)

Post by Flamehair » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:25 pm

Finally I had time to read the last parts :-) I'm quite busy now with three kids to homeschool

Great parts :D And now Kivar is coming. Wow. I hope they will have enough time to prepare for that time. And Tess Baby isn't Max Son? I wonder who the real father is.

Hope you and your family all are healthy. Stay safe
big prince Leo Alsandair Aidyn Galahad Colin 12.08.2007
little prince Robin Faramir Gawain Diarmad Finlay 18.05.2009

little princess Eowyn Morgaine Nevialani Caitlin Valerie 15.05.2012

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Re: Scars of White (AA, CC, MATURE) Part 53 3/22/20 (WIP)

Post by clueless » Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:50 pm

Thanks for another great read! I didn’t see the Kiver scenario popping up. and the Michael clone - curious too see the story there as well.

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Part 54

Post by behrinthecity » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:35 am

Hi everyone. Apologies for the delay, have not been feeling well these last couple of weeks. Thankfully, nothing related to the pandemic, but it's been tough wanting to get on the computer. Anyway, after resting quite a bit, I finally got my way here. Hope you're staying safe and well!

keepsmiling7- :twisted: Sorry for leaving you waiting on that cliffhanger longer than intended. Were you able to guess more about Fields in the mean time?

Actually, Cal did not enjoy Max suffering at the hands of the Special Unit at all. As he said, he may hate Max, but what the Unit did was inhumane.

hehe well Kyle had a lot of pent up anger over the fact he labored over freezing that "bomb" for nothing. So now he got his release. And I'm sure all of the characters at some point have fantasized at punching these protectors.

Yeah, I think Max is with you on that too. He tried so hard to keep his alien side back.

dreamon- Thank you for your comments! I wish I could just only work on this story, but alas working in academia, I still have to work during the week. But I come bearing gifts today with Part 54! Hope you've been able to find something to do to beat the boredom. I can definitely relate to going stir crazy being home ALL the time. Thank you for the good wishes. Hope you and your family are staying safe and well.

And glad you liked the Kivar twist.

Flamehair- I can imagine! No worries on taking your time. I hope you all are staying well. Thank you too for the kind words and wishes.

He is, but he's coming the slow, scenic way. ;) As Cal said, it'll be years. So he's to be in the sequel. Max and the others will definitely have time to train and prepare as Cal plans to do with them.

And Parts 55/56 will go into Baby Zan's parentage.

clueless- For the Kivar twist-- I am setting the seeds for the sequel, which I had planned for this story back when I first started Scars. So rest assured, Max and the gang will get this reprieve to heal for the remainder of this story. As for the Michael-"clone" this part shall answer that!


Previously

[From The White room]
Michael’s hands were clammy as he followed Nasedo down the hall. He may have managed to alter his fingerprint, but the rest of his disguise could easily fall apart if someone looked closely at his face. Hearing footsteps coming towards them, he quickly bent over the drinking fountain. Realizing his throat was parched, he briefly revelled at the cool water, all the while hoping the agent would move on.

“Fields. You're the new agent, aren't you?”

Michael looked up, hoping this agent hadn’t actually met Fields before. “Yeah, good to meet you.” He shook his hand.

“You sure picked a hell of a time to show up,” the agent remarked with a knowing smirk.

[From Part 9]
The young agent stared through the one-way glass as the shivering occupant was prepared for transport. The tremors the ice treatment had brought on him had subsided slightly but not enough. Especially now that the blanket he had provided him had been removed. Though he was the enemy, the agent couldn’t help but feel some pity and concern. He suspected those feelings were exactly why he was sent to wait here instead of helping the other men in there.

“What the hell was that agent?” The head of their unit barked at him, startling him from his reverie.

He immediately jumped at attention and stammered out, “What was what sir?”

“You know perfectly well what I mean agent. You are to follows orders and only them. Where did I say to provide tea?” He menacingly spat out.

“I’m sorry sir, it was just that I was trying to follow your order of keeping him alive and he was going into hypothermic shock.”

He stared hard at the agent for a moment. Then with deadly calm, “That’s strike two agent. Never even suggest the possibility that thing is remotely human. It is a merciless killer, do not forget that.”

“Yes sir. I won’t. This will never happen again.”

“No it won’t. You are dismissed from the unit. Go home.”

[From Part 14]
He quickly emptied his locker and ensured his gun had plenty of ammunition; just in case. As he vacated the room, he saw a general walking in his direction. He stood in place hoping the general would do the usual curt nod and continue on his way, but instead the general addressed him. “Still alive?”

The young agent gaped in shock at the blunt question, unsure if he should answer. “I saw what you did, I admire it. Nice to know there are still some decent men in your unit.”

Not sure why he felt compelled to be honest with this general the agent corrected him, “It’s not my unit anymore.”

“Oh? Well then perhaps you’d like to help me. Here.” He handed him a card discreetly which after a slight hesitation he took. “If you believe in true justice, give me a call.”

[From Part 21]
Michael picked up his coat that he had used to rest against, dusted it and put it on. As he put it on he noticed a slip of paper fall out. He picked it up and noticed the strange writing from the last message. All it said was, “Safety comes in numbers.”

What the hell? He was not in the mood for these messages and looking around the once again deserted highway, he didn’t understand how it got in his coat. Who was following him and were they friend or foe?

[From Part 28]
Taking Maria’s tote bag he started off towards the parking lot. Maria smiling in gratitude quickly fell into step with Paul and started asking him questions. Kyle though was left still standing by the platform with the huge pile of suitcases—all of which were Maria’s, save for the one duffle bag being crushed underneath them all.

[From Part 41]
He couldn’t help the doubt that shrouded his guilt for his part in ‘interrogating’ the prisoner. All the files he had been privy to, had been instructed to memorize, still caused his stomach to squirm with dread of alien invasions and more corpses seared by silver. This internal war had been raging within him for nine months now, and he still had found no resolution.

Perhaps if he came face to face with the alien, he would know.

But a part of him was afraid he wouldn’t live past hello. Hell, he probably wouldn’t be granted the chance to utter a word.


Curious, he reached for his binoculars and focused on the floating strands. Gradually the profile in the window sharpened, revealing an angelic face. She was beautiful and young, but as he continued to adjust the lenses, he noticed tears welling up in her eyes. She slowly blinked and the tears were gone, but the shadow of sorrow remained cast upon her face.

Slowly, he lowered the binoculars, his gaze already lowered in sympathy and… shame. For hours he had been thinking the worst of the ones he followed, and though he had learned time and again looks were deceiving, there was something so vulnerable on the girl’s face—something that tugged painfully at his heart.

God, how he missed his wife… his son.

He blinked a few times himself ridding his eyes of the building mist. As his sight cleared he noticed the SUV now stood before the booth, the officer approaching.

His fingers drummed against his steering wheel as he waited, his thoughts drifting to the girl’s face. She had seemed so familiar, but his mind had yet to form the connection to who she could be. A small smile briefly lit his face as he thought of his little sister, the dark eyes of the girl so similar.

The prisoner’s face flashed in his mind again. His eyes too were very similar…

Could it be?

Had he found the other… targets?

His breaths became shallow. Shakily, his hand patted his jacket checking his gun was still there. His stomach clenched and his heart squeezed painfully at the thought of causing any harm against the occupants of the car…against kids.

He had to do what was right… what was for the greater good.

The frightened eyes of the prisoner flashed yet again in his mind, followed by the tearful face of the girl in the window. Returning to the present, he narrowed his eyes at the car clock, realizing they were taking far too much time at the booth. Lifting his binoculars once more he saw the suspiciousness in the officer’s eyes.

The harsh reprimand from his ex-superior cut through his thoughts.

It is a merciless killer, do not forget that.

His face hardening with determination, he exited his car, and ignored the shouts and honks as he walked towards the SUV.


What happened?

“He distracted the guard. The Royals are safe.”

The officer didn’t make any calls?

The shadowed figure turned to his companion who had continued to observe all occurring by the toll booth. Receiving a slow shake of the head, he answered into the phone, “None that we saw. The others are still monitoring the lines.”

Good. When you cross the border, head to the next rendezvous point. It seems we can trust him after all.

[From Part 50]
Jim returned to the living room. They all stood with their arms crossed over their chests, their faces concerned and expectant. Jim couldn’t seem to stop fidgeting with the edge of his shirt, which had untucked itself.

Phillip prodded, “Who was on the phone?”

Looking up, his gaze somewhat bewildered, Jim uttered, “Uh…” he cleared his throat, while moving a hand through his flattened hair. Finally he spoke, “Someone who can take us to our kids.”

[From Part 51]
Isabel’s image strengthened before him and Max focused on her nonstop assurances, “I promise you they were here and… somehow they’re going to meet us. They must have been flying somewhere because Dad said something about landing.” A bright smile flashed upon her face, only belied by the shiny film of tears in her eyes.

[From Part 53]
“I can arrange for you to visit him,” Cal offered.

Max’s eyes widened in hope. “Really?”

Cal’s trademark smirk stretched upon his face. “In fact, the man who will help us do just that will be coming here shortly.”


PART FIFTY-FOUR

A few minutes before…

Fields pulled up the cul-de-sac once more consulting the address he had written down. Glancing at the street number on the quaint house before him, he exited the car.

Tugging at the edge of his shirt to straighten out the crease from driving, he paused in the driveway. Why did the General tell him to come here?

After dealing with the border patrol, the General had called him to relieve him of his tracking duty. He had magnanimously given him a reprieve, telling him to rest at a hotel; room already paid.

And then last night the General told him he would be able to reunite with his family. There was just one last task at the address he stood before now.

Resolutely releasing a breath, he moved towards the door, briefly pausing at an odd sensation of being watched. Surreptitiously, scanning his surroundings, he did not notice anyone and so continued forward. Pressing on the doorbell twice in quick succession, the door soon opened, the latch still engaged.

But somehow the girl who answered seemed to think she knew him.

The door opened wide before him under the misbelief he was someone named Michael. He awkwardly corrected her. At her irked reaction he immediately shifted his gaze past her spying the General… and the prisoner.

His jaw slackened.

He was unsure if he was still breathing, but somehow he managed to follow the General’s instruction to come in as he beckoned him forward.

Self-conscious, he massaged his wrist blocking the scar of his three year old injury that was fully exposed by his short sleeves. For once he missed his uniform. Gulping as he stood before them, he continued to gawk at the prisoner—at Max Evans.

Perturbed at this Fields’ staring, Max looked to Cal for guidance.

Bemused, Cal stood up and clasped a hand upon Field’s arm. “You made it! Shall I do introductions?”

Minutely shaking his head, Fields began to snap out of his stupor. “You’re Max Evans,” he breathed.

Regarding him strangely, Max wordlessly nodded. How did this man know him? The casual pastel polo and khakis the man sported gave no clue. Though, his uncanny resemblance to Michael was certainly peculiar.

With an exaggerated roll of his eyes, Cal pushed Fields into a chair, and decided to fill in the blanks.

Nonchalantly, Cal made the introduction. “Max, this is the agent who was fired for showing you kindness.”

Immediately, Max tensed. In vain, his brain urged his increasingly numb body to run. All he could focus on was that this man was an agent of the Special Unit. He had been fooled. What was Cal playing at—he cut off his train of thought as he registered the rest of Cal’s sentence. fired for showing you kindness…

It didn’t take long for Max to place the man within his haunting memories. In there, if he wasn’t being jeered and physically injured, he was treated with cold indifference. But there was a memory that slipped at the edges of his memory. Disoriented and fighting for breath, his desperate mind had imagined Michael providing him warmth.

“The blanket… the hot drink?” His voice held a breathless quality as he thought out loud.

Fields affirmed humbly.

The tension receding slightly from Max’s body, he watched Fields’ face closely. The longer he stared, the small differences between this man and Michael became more apparent. His eyes were ever so slightly set wider apart, his face seeming fuller and rounder despite the same square jaw. Hearing Cal clear his throat loudly, he shifted his attention to the shapeshifter.

“So, I hired him. He’s been helping me set the plans to rescue you and ensure the others stayed safe.”

Fields turned to the General in surprise. That was the mission the whole time? To do literally the opposite of what his old job had required of him? Suddenly aware of agitation building in him, he dismissed his earlier thoughts and wondered why he was even upset. After what he had done, seeing Max alive and free in front of him somewhat eased the guilt that had kept his stomach twisted in knots for the past year. It never had sat well with what they had been doing to him. The words General Lang had told him in their first meeting echoed in his mind—true justice. Realizing the other occupants of the house must be Max’s family—the youths the Unit had declared traitors— the corners of his lips lifted slightly as he silently agreed that he and Lang had achieved just that.

“It was kismet that he is the adopted uncle of… Zan.” Cal shot a meaningful look at Max.

“Xan? You mean Xander?” Fields asked, flummoxed. “What about him?”

With a slight shake of his head to gesture towards Max, “He’s the one who gave him up for adoption.”

Eyes wide, Fields dumbly asked, “Xander is an alien?” Worst case scenarios began to flash in front of his eyes.

“He’s human,” Max declared. “It’s the main reason I gave him up. He deserves to live a full life, free from danger… free of persecution.” Max’s last few words were edged with anger at the unfairness of all he and his loved ones had faced. And especially at the idea that because of him a young child—a baby really— would be equally mistreated.

Abashed by his role in all Max had faced and what he had just thought about his nephew, Fields could not hold Max’s gaze.

“And that’s why I asked you here, Matthew. We need you to take us to Zan.”

~~~~~
Minutes earlier


Michael hovered between the kitchen and living room. Despite Cal’s attempts to keep things sotto, Michael caught every word. His mind spun at the thought of fighting a full-fledged alien army.

And who had Cal enlisted to help him? Were they Courtney’s gang? They were the only slightly friendly aliens they had come across.

Michael’s thoughts were interrupted at whatever Maria had started to nag him about. She looked at him expectantly. But having no idea what she had said, he could only respond blankly, “What?”

The doorbell rang, saving him from her wrath. As she angrily strode to the door, he chose to exit out the back and swing around to the front to see who was at the door. Spying a man dressed in decidedly casual clothes, Michael feared the worst. Clearly the agents had finally learned to be covert and had found them. How long did they have before the rest of the Unit descended on them? He had to warn everyone.

Upon hearing the agent’s reply to Maria though, Michael stopped himself. Why did that name sound familiar?

Eyeing “Fields” carefully, he searched his memories. And then it hit him. His disguise to rescue Max the first time. He had been the new agent Michael had pretended to be. Studying him more closely, Michael was amazed at how similar they looked. No wonder that other agent believed he had been Fields. Perhaps his lineage was connected to the Duprees. Though that was something he could worry about later.

He quickly snuck back to where he had left the others. Maria was in mid-rant, “Ma’am, is he for real?”

Liz had her intentionally patient face on, but kept glancing out to the living room. Catching her eye, Michael silently communicated that he would go and check things out directly.

Entering the room, he heard Cal announce that this guy would take them to Zan. Quickly intervening, he grabbed Max’s arm and hauled him into the guestroom.

“Are you seriously going to trust this guy? He was an agent!” Michael bit out in a taut whisper.

Max, in an equally low voice replied, “Was being the operative word.”

Michael eyed Max incredulously.

Quick to pacify, Max added, “Just because I believe he’ll help me meet Zan, doesn’t mean I trust him.

Uncomprehendingly, Michael asked, “Why do you need to meet Zan, anyway? I thought you wanted to keep him as far away from you… us…” Michael gestured around them. “…this.”

His head bowed, Max feebly admitted, “I unintentionally marked him with the seal.”

Michael blinked; his face blank. A myriad of questions fought to be asked, but he didn’t know where to start. Finally, he stuttered out, “Wh-what?”

A wry smile would have appeared on Max’s face if he wasn’t so sick with concern over what that innocent child could be facing. His eyes still downcast, he slowly shook his head, “It doesn’t matter. I’m going to remove it. Then the boy will be safe.”

Michael placed a hand heavily on Max’s shoulder. “You think a young kid is going to be able to handle that?” His voice was laced with the remembered searing pain of Max taking back his seal.

“It’s just a memory I need to remove,” Max murmured.

Still uncertain, Michael regarded Max. Seeing the layers of guilt weighing on Max’s frail frame, Michael relented. “Okay.”

Shooting his head up, Max’s astonished gaze roved over Michael’s face. Seeing the steadfast support in his expression, Max let loose a sigh of relief. With a curt nod, he expressed his thanks non-verbally.

Stepping back to the living room, Max noticed Michael was still at his side. Having briefly met the concerned gazes at everyone else, Max quietly urged Michael to fill them in. With a half-hearted glare, Michael stubbornly refused. He was going to listen to Cal’s full plan and make sure Max didn’t naively agree to anything.

With slight exasperation, Max pointedly ignored his new bodyguard and addressed Fields. “Would you be willing to let me meet Zan?”

Understanding in his gaze, Matthew answered, “Yes. Cal filled me in. I’m sorry you didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to him before. I’m sure my in-laws won’t have a problem.”

Maintaining a poker face, Max did not reveal the lie Cal had clearly told the ex-agent. Instead, he thanked him sincerely. After shaking hands with the man, he turned to Cal. “When do we leave?”

Holding up a finger, Cal stepped into the kitchen and asked everyone else to join them.

It didn’t take long for everyone to settle in the room, each one eyeing Fields uncertainly.

“Ah right, everyone meet Matthew Fields. He’s been helping me—well all of us,” Cal commented offhandedly.

Fields sheepishly waved his hand at the gang. His eyes kept darting to the fellow who looked so much like himself—Michael… Guerin, he surmised. He gulped slightly at the hardened edge of suspicion in the man’s eyes.

Clapping his hands together, Cal quickly got everyone’s attention again. “Now, I have assured this place is safe, but arrangements need to be made on how you’ll live out the rest of your lives,” Cal paused giving each of them a meaningful look.

Max’s chest tightened at the confirmation that his presence was once more irrevocably altering everyone’s life. But Liz, who had come to stand by him, grabbed his hand; her steady grip warm and comforting.

“So as safe as this place is, it’s best you all come stay at my place in Vancouver. Your parents are already there waiting.”

That got everyone’s attention. Kyle and Maria shared a glance, wondering if Amy had officially joined the ‘I know an alien’ club. Max looked at Cal with equal parts hope and fear.

Sympathy flickered in Cal’s eyes as he took in Max’s expression. Deciding to get things moving, he summarily announced, “So get packing. The plane is ready to go as soon as you all are.” Turning to Fields, he confirmed, “did you bring your things?”

Fields affirmed with a curt nod.

Everyone moved to their respective rooms to collect their things. Only Max remained standing in the living room looking lost. It’s not like he really had any belongings.

Liz quickly came to his rescue. Linking her arm around his, she reassured him, “We’ll make sure you’re packed. Go take a shower.”

Smiling at Liz with fondness and gratitude, he leaned down for a quick kiss.

Moments later as he trekked upstairs, Max heard Cal speak to Liz. “I have something for Max to wear when he sees Zan.” Darting an apologetic gaze to Liz, Max silently conveyed he would explain to her later. Thankfully, she gave a subtle nod in affirmation.

Having noticed Max listening in, Cal addressed him directly. “We’ll get you a proper wardrobe once we reach my place. But for meeting Zan, I strongly suggest you wear what I got you.” Eyebrows furrowed, Max gave Cal a wary nod before recommencing his trek upstairs.

Twenty minutes later

The first to be ready, Michael strode back into the living room; his backpack slung over one shoulder. Cal was leisurely pacing in the kitchen as he spoke into a cell. The agent sat in the living room nervously drumming a random beat on his knees. With a quick glance upstairs to confirm it was just him for now, Michael sat facing his approximate doppelganger.

“All ready?” Fields asked amiably though his voice was strained by his lingering fears.

Ignoring the question, Michael openly studied the agent with a stony expression.

“Did you hurt Max?” Michael’s voice was a low growl.

“I…” Fields mouth went dry as he struggled to come up with a response.

A thunderous anger flashed in Michael’s eye as he repeated menacingly, “In there, did you hurt him?”

With a heavy sigh, Fields decided to be forthcoming. “My role was mainly to restrain and guard. Though I did not initiate any intentional infliction of pain, regrettably, I most likely did.”

Michael was slightly taken aback by Fields’ honesty. But it wasn’t enough to dispel his suspicions. “Will you hurt him?”

“No. I promise you, I am no longer a part of the Unit. I am not interested in joining it or anything like it ever again.” Matthew’s eyes widened in a beseeching gaze for Michael to believe him.

For the moment Michael accepted the answer choosing to continue his interrogation of the former agent.

“How did you manage to slip notes in my pocket without me noticing?”

Not expecting the question, Fields owlishly blinked a few times. Then with a self-deprecating laugh, he answered, “Sleight of hand. I used to do magic as a hobby. She’ll tell you differently, but I know it’s how I got my wife to love me.” On autopilot, Fields did an odd motion with his hands before producing a business card for Michael to take.

Eyebrow arched, he took the proffered card, noting that it said LANG. As he looked back at Fields, the question already on the tip of his tongue, Fields explained, “That’s General Lang’s card. He gave it to me when I was let go by the Unit.”

Returning the card, Michael wondered out loud, “How did they not try to kill you?”

Fields’ eyebrows rose at the brash question. With a small shake of his head, he sighed. His mind already replaying that moment in the observation room, he swallowed thickly. With a low voice, he admitted, “Felding owed me.”

Under Michael’s glower, Fields mentally warred with himself on whether he should divulge further details, but finally he realized it didn’t really matter. His tenure with the Unit was something to be forgotten. His voice lacked his natural affability as he slipped into the default briefing mode when working for the FBI. “I was on medical leave at the time Pierce had the Unit disbanded. My lack of active involvement allowed me the freedom to help with transfers and ensure no one else was ruined by the scandal.”

Michael processed the information for a few minutes, grateful at the coincidental timing that when he masqueraded as this guy he had been sick. Though how did the system not make some mention of it when he and Nasedo entered the secure area? His face now softer as curiosity gradually took over his suspicion, “May I ask, why were you on sick leave?”

With a grimace, Fields answered, “Basketball injury. Fractured my wrist; had to get emergency surgery. Happened the day before I was set to show up. Don’t even think I met most of the team until a year ago.” As he spoke, he revealed the scar he had been trying to hide earlier.

Though much had faded over the years, Michael could still see the odd paired dots on either side of a somewhat jagged line.

“Looks painful,” Michael remarked without thought.

Fields tucked his arms into a defensive pose across his chest. “Yeah,” he reluctantly affirmed.

The two lapsed into silence. Fields averted his gaze, uneasy with how much he had shared already. Michael, on the other hand, felt his tension recede with how forthcoming Fields was.

Not known for his tact, Michael pointedly asked, “Are you related to the Duprees?”

Fields scrunched his face in bewilderment, his hands dropping to his sides. How did this kid know that name? “Uh… I’m second cousins with Laurie. Do you know her?”

“We’ve met.”

Fields waited a beat for Michael to continue, but upon realizing he wasn’t going to he commented, “I’ve only ever talked to her when she discovered we shared a great grandparent. Seemed like a sweet kid, but well wedding, a kid and then job relocation…”

“Yeah,” Michael commented in understanding. His features became serene as he remembered Laurie; his stonewall crumbling.

Fields’ eyes widened as his mind finally put two and two together. Sputtering, “Are we related?”

Michael barely held back an eye roll. But taking in the building panic in the former agent he decided to take pity and answer seriously. “I share the same DNA as Laurie’s Grandfather.”

“So does that ma—”

“I wouldn’t worry about the technical term. Just know there’s no alien DNA in the Dupree family or yours.”

Fields visibly relaxed though his eyes still held many questions.

Before he could ask any, Michael spoke quietly, “Thank you for watching out for me. For helping us get Max back.”

Fields bowed his head, shoving his hands in his pockets. He didn’t feel deserving of the gratitude. Shaking his head, Fields quietly stated, “It was the least I could do.” It seemed he was about to speak more, but his shame silenced him.

The conversation did not pick up again due to Isabel coming down the stairs dragging a suitcase. Michael got up swiftly to help her. As he brought down her case, the others quickly filed into the room with their respective bags. He noticed Max’s shoulders were slightly slumped and that he was avoiding Liz’s concerned gaze. But before he could ask them what happened, he was distracted by Maria’s voice.

As she entered the room with Cal, Maria professed her gratitude, “Thanks for getting all of my things in your car. If I had known we’d be flying, I’d have packed lighter.”

Kyle and Michael shared a look, both biting their tongues.

“Don’t worry about it. The jet can handle the weight.” Turning to everyone, he announced, “Let’s go!”

Author’s Note: For those interested in my writing process—I actually had originally planned to use Fields’ wrist scar as his identifier, sort of like the Man in the Yellow Hat in the Curious George book series. But I had forgotten to include it and when I realized it, I had already posted quite a few parts with his character so I decided not to go back and edit it in. However, for the story itself, I had always planned on explaining Fields’ absence in the White Room episode. Hope you all found it plausible! Also: A tiny shout out to my friend who has that kind of scar, though due to a different reason.

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