Solar Eclipse M/L Book 1 (ch. 1-34);Book 2 (ch. 1-20) [SAVE]

Finished Canon/Conventional Couple Fics. These stories pick up from events in the show. All complete stories from the main Canon/CC board will eventually be moved here.

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max and liz believer
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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 4:31 pm

Chapter 32

They were all seated around the kitchen table. An alien king, his queen and his daughter, and their protector. She was wrapped up in a bathrobe, her daughter curled up in her lap. Her hand was tucked in his, gripping it tightly. He was worried - having once again been forced to realize the fragility of happiness, and life.
”Why is this happening to her?” he asked the protector, craving answers in order to be able to stop whatever was happening to his love.
The protector shook his head - not possessing any much more knowledge than his king.
”When you told me earlier that Liz had these...premonitions of her attack that revealed themselves in her dream state, I thought that it was just due to the fact that she was carrying Emma - and Emma was the source to it.”
”But Emma didn’t even exist when it all started,” she said, pulling Emma closer to her.
She felt her soulmate squeeze her hand and she welcomed the energy and reassurance he was sending her.
The protector rubbed his forehead with his fingers, an expression of confusion on his face.
”Yes...that’s what doesn’t make sense. And even if that had made sense, it had failed to explain what’s happening now..since you’re not pregnant now. Right?”
She shook her head. She would have known if she had been pregnant.
”Then what’s causing this?!” the king asked, starting to lose control over his emotions. ”She was dying!! We have to stop this! If it happens again it can kill her!”
”Okay,” the protector said and took a deep breath, trying to figure this out. ”This is the first time this has happened in an awake state, right?” He received a nod from her and he continued, trying to puzzle together his knowledge about his planets and his people with the knowledge he had collected about humans during approximately thirty years.

”According to my knowledge, you wasn’t even going to be able to carry Max’s baby. But something certainly changed when Max healed you, and opened up a connection between you. I believe that you two are bonded, something that once again is very rare on our planet. Therefore I have not much information in that area. I have tried to do some research on it these last couple of days, but there is not many who know anything. Not more than I do, anyway. However, I do know that powers can be shared between the connection-”
”What’s pwowers?” the princess’s small voice piped up. Her mother kissed the crown of her head.
”I will tell you later, pumpkin,” she whispered. ”Kira, please continue.”
”But somehow you haven’t used any of Max’s powers. So far you have used a power that Max doesn’t even possess. The power of foresight.”
”So there is a power like that?” the king asked.
”Yes,” his protector answered. ”There are some people on my home planet that have that power, yes. But what I can’t understand is why she is able to possess a power that she can’t get from you.”
”Maybe it’s one of Emma’s powers,” she proposed.
”No, as far as I know powers can only be shared through a connection between bonded individuals - not between a parent and their child. But that doesn’t mean that Emma is not in the possession of foresight. If that is a power possessed by you, Liz, then it can have been inherited to Emma. We know that Emma has inherited Max’s healing powers. There would have been a simple answer to all of this if Liz had been alien. But it always comes down to the same problem. Liz is human.”

”But if it’s a power, than why is it hurting her?” he asked.
”It’s probably due to the fact that she is human, and her body can’t handle the power,” the protector answered.
”But a power is suppose to help you, protect you,” he said, his heart filled with fear for something that was out of his control.
”In an alien body, where the powers are integrated in the DNA they are.”
”But in a human body the powers are treated like a virus, and the powers act like a virus,” the young woman who held the king’s heart whispered.
”Yes. The one thing I could resemble it to would be the human disease HIV. As the powers are progressing and are starting to become more or more rooted in your system your body will not be able to control it and the immune system will break down. Just like under the last stages of HIV-”
”You mean AIDS?” he asked.
The protector nodded.
”Oh my God,” she whispered.

-----------------------------------------------------------.

”Wait here,” the man who had been their escort for the evening said. He left the car and knocked on the door to the warehouse. The knocks held a code to the inhabitants. Maria leaned forward in the seat and looked at the man in front of the warehouse.
”Wow, you would think we were dealing with the president here,” she mumbled.
”In some respects we are,” Michael answered beside her.
”Right,” Maria said and leaned back in her seat again. The door to the warehouse opened, but the door shielded Maria’s curious eyes from perceiving who it was that had opened. She could see their escort talking with the unknown person and then the door was closed again, and the man walked towards the car. He opened the door on Michael’s side and motioned for them to get out.
”It’s clear, sir,” he said. Maria proudly hooked arms with Michael, feeling V.I.P:ish at being the girlfriend of a former ‘vice president’....or second-in-command as the aliens called it.
”Follow me,” the man said and they walked up to the warehouse. He opened the door and the first thing Maria saw was Liz. She shrieked and run straight into Liz’s arms.
Michael motioned inside, shaking his head. He was acting causal, but he couldn’t quite hide the grin that was threatening to break out on his face. The two girls hugged tightly, their voices mixing together as they told how much they had missed each other, asked how the other had been, and so on.

Max stepped up to Michael and gave him a brotherly hug.
”Hi Michael,” Max said.
”Hey,” Michael said and nodded towards the two babbling girls. ”I guess we shouldn’t let those two be separated for too long from now on.”
Max looked at the humans that meant so much to them, as Liz now had started to drag Maria around the warehouse to show her how it looked like.
”I guess not,” Max said smiling.
”Max... Liz looks...wow,” Michael said.
”I know,” Max said softly, love filling his voice.
”Yeah, of course you do. But to you she’s always beautiful, even if she would shave her head and dress in a black garbage bag. What I mean, Maxwell, is that there’s something different about her. Really different.”
Max turned around and followed Liz around the room with his eyes. She was always beautiful in his eyes, and that had never changed - but he knew that something was different about her.
”The connection is open again,” he said.
Michael Guerin, formerly known as a bona fide alien with a stone wall around his emotions, couldn’t stop himself from pull Max into another manly hug. But he was quick on letting go again. He straightened his shirt, and looked somewhere behind Max - somewhat embarrassed that he let his emotions get the best out of him. It was just that he knew how much it had been killing Max that the connection was blocked, that Max was unable to reach Liz. And Michael was just so happy for him.
”That’s really great, Maxwell,” he said.
Max grinned from ear to ear as he nodded.

”Then how did you guys manage to unblock it?” Michael asked, and watched as a red coloration started to spread in Max’s face. He arched on eyebrow.
”Oh, I get it! You did it, huh?! I knew it! Maria was going on and on about how Liz wouldn’t ‘cause she was so sick. But hah, I was right!” Michael had now a large smug draped over his features.
”Do you want something, Michael. Coffee, a coke, a snapple..?” Max said, quickly wanting to change the subject. What happened between him and Liz was private and holy, and he was not going to discuss it with Michael.
”Sure, a snapple would be great,” Michael answered and followed Max into the kitchen. ”So she’s like fully recuperated now?”
Max opened the refrigerator door to retrieve two snapples, but not before Michael had a chance to see his face glaze over.
”Yeah, all her symptoms are gone,” he answered and gave Michael one of the snapples and closed the refrigerator door.
”But....” Michael prompted. He knew that there was something else behind all this.
Max looked innocent.
”Nothing,” he said and shrugged.
”Maxwell,” Michael said, his voice holding a warning note. ”Don’t start keeping information from me again. If there is something else - something alien-related - I think I have the right to know.”

Max inhaled deeply.
”Liz has powers,” he said.
”So?” Michael said, not understanding what could be so wrong with that. Liz certainly had some powers already when she reached for Max in New York City five years ago. So what was the big deal?
”Her body can’t handle it,” Max said.
”What?” Michael sank down on the couch with a thud, eyeing Max for any information on what the hell he was talking about.
”She’s human, Michael. She isn’t suppose to even have powers,” Max explained.
”But she has had powers for a while now, right?” Michael asked.
”Well, theoretically no,” Max said. ”Kira explained to us a while ago that she didn’t actually have powers. She was just tapping in on them through the connection with me.”
”Heavy,” Michael said and opened his coke.
”But now that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.”
”Okay, Max. You’re stalling. Just tell me what it is already,” the impatient side of Michael said.
”This morning she had a premonition...you know, she think she saw the future. According to Kira, that’s a power. But I don’t possess it - neither of us do - so she couldn’t have acquired it from me.”
”Are you saying that powers are just mysteriously popping up inside of her?” Michael asked.
”Something like that,” Max said.
”But that’s good, Maxwell. It’s good that she has powers too so that she can protect herself.”
”No, it’s not,” Max said. He leaned back in the arm-chair, closing his eyes - his face worried.
”Then what?”

”Like I said, it seems as if her body can’t handle the power. Her body can’t accustom itself to the power. Instead the power is making her immune defense turn against her.”
”You’re kidding, right?” Michael sighed. Would this ever end?
”God, Michael. You don’t know how much I wish I did,” Max mumbled.
”What are we going to do about it?” Michael asked.
”I don’t know. Kira doesn’t know. As far as he knows humans are neither able to bond nor get powers from aliens.”
”But now Liz is doing just that. Get Kira to look it up. He’s our damn protector, it’s his job to protect us. And if Liz is acquiring powers - then I think it certainly includes her too.” Michael was getting angry. They were stuck on this planet, and they had let fate play around with them for too damn long. It was absolutely not to soon to take some action. That man who called themselves their protector seemed to Michael as he didn’t know a shit, and it was making Michael really angry. He didn’t like putting his life, his security, and most importantly the people he cared about into someone’s hands that was clearly incompetent at doing his job. He couldn’t understand how Max could trust him.
”He’s trying, Michael,” Max said tiredly. ”He has his men on it, doing research. But this is the first time this has ever happened. They don’t know anything. And what they know they have informed me and Liz about.”
”That’s just crap,” Michael said. ”Why don’t you do something yourself, Max?”
”I wouldn’t know where to start looking, and I don’t feel comfortable leaving Liz and Emma alone. My hands are tied.”
”Are you just going to let her die?” Michael said, and put the can on the table with a bang.
”No, Michael,” Max said angry. ”I will not let her die!!”
”No? Then do something,” Michael demanded, raising from his seat, unable to sit as the feelings of annoyance and anger cursed through him.

”What are you doing?” Maria’s voice interrupting them. The two men were now standing about one meter from each other, looking hardly and challenging at each other.
Max felt a surge of calmness through the connection and turned his head to look into Liz’s chocolate eyes. Obviously she had felt him getting all worked up.
”You aren’t going to start to fight, huh?” Maria asked. ”We’ve only been here for about ten minutes and they are all ready hitting at each other with their sticks. Unbelievable!!”
”Max, what were you talking about?” Liz asked.
”Nothing,” Michael huffed.
Liz eyed him. He was looking at her differently. Like he was...worried about her.
”You were talking about me, right?”
Max walked up to her and encircled her in his arms. He needed her. Needed to be reminded that she was okay.
”Max, I’m fine,” she whispered reassuringly to him.
”What’s going on?” Maria asked, feeling left out.
Liz released herself from Max’s embrace and took Maria’s hand.
”Maria, there’s something I need to tell you,” she said.
”Why do I get the feeling that it’s something bad?” Maria murmured as she sat down on the couch, preparing her body for whatever weird things her already freaked out life was going to be filled with.

------------------------------------------.

Their leader sat behind the large desk, going through every document they had gathered on Zan. Their was a knock on the door, and one of the guards positioned by the door opened it.
”I have a message for Isacha,” a voice said - who the leader recognized as belonging to the highest commander among his men here on Earth.
”Let him in,” he ordered and the commander entered. His normally expressionless face revealed something else for once.
”What is it, Magnin?”
”I have news for you, sir,” Magnin said with a small smug on his face.
”Yes?”
”Sir, we have localized their position,” the man said.
”Then it’s time to put our plans into action.”


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Wed Mar 12, 2003 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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max and liz believer
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Postby max and liz believer » Wed Mar 12, 2003 4:44 pm

Hi!!


If you've come this far... and was stopped by the "TBC" at the bottom of the "last" chapter. Don't despair...:) the story is continuing... at this link;

http://www.roswellfanatics.net/viewtopic.php?t=211


Thanks for reading!! :D


Josephin xxx

Edited to add:

Or you could just continue reading here, because I'm reposting what I've written so far :roll:
Last edited by max and liz believer on Sat Jul 12, 2003 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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max and liz believer
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Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jul 12, 2003 5:42 am

So, I've decided to repost all my other chapters too, since it really is tricky to find all the chapters on the thread where the feedback is.. So here we go. I'm gonna put two chapters in each post...

Hugs,

Jo


<center>_____________________________________________________</center>


Chapter 33


The TV was on and the apartment was filled with the sounds of a hockey game. There was a knock on the door. Maria’s voice blended with the commentator’s voice on the TV, and reached Michael’s unreceptive ears.
”Michael!! Can you get the door? I’m painting my nails!!”
Michael huffed and stood up from his comfortable position on the couch, and moved towards the front door - one eye constantly glued to the screen. The safety chain drifted out of the latch by an invisible force, and then the doorknob was turning.
”Hi Michael!!” her voice chirped in his ears. He released his gaze from the TV screen and look at their ‘guest’ to see if it really was who he thought it was. Yep, it was her. Tess. The one person that had been ‘hanging out’ with them for about a week now. They couldn’t seem to get rid off her. And it was slowly killing both Michael and Maria, since they knew what Tess had been a part of but they still needed to act like they didn’t have a clue. Raise no suspicions, remember. Well, it sucked!

”Hi Tess,” Michael said tiredly.
Tess took the liberty to walk into the apartment and sat down on the couch in front of the TV.
”So, who’s winning?”
”No one it’s seems. It has been dead for ten minutes,” Michael said, standing in the middle of the room, staring at Tess and cursing whatever force that were responsible for putting Tess in his living room when there was a game on TV.
”Tess...did you want something?” Michael asked.

”Yeah, I was thinking that we could all do something together,” Tess said. ”You know, the old gang. I think we need a break.”
”A break from what?” Michael asked, already beginning to get worn out by Tess’s over-energized behavior. He walked into the kitchen to get a bag of chips. He was actually having a break until she walked in.
”Just a break,” Tess said innocently. ”Where’s Max anyway? I haven’t seen him in ages.”
”Well, he’s in his dorm, cramming for exams. You know him - he always took those things seriously.”

”Okay,” Tess said. She knew that Max was in this moment studying as much as she was right now. She knew that Max was with Liz, and that was why he had been missing in action the last couple of days. But she was going to pretend that she bought that explanation to Max’s whereabouts. She wasn’t going to push it and give off the appearance that she was suspicious. This had to run in accordance with the plan. And she was going to stick with the plan this time - and she would in the end get Max, just as she’d always wanted. She needed to get them out of the apartment, out of reaching radius.
”They’re having a rave at the old soap factory,” Tess said.
”Really?” Michael asked. He couldn’t be less interested.
”Yeah, and I’ve already talked to Kyle, and Alex. It would be so much fun if we could all go!”
”Go where?” Maria asked as she walked into the living room, unable to hide the venom in her eyes as she laid her gaze on Tess, sitting on the couch.

”Oh, hi Maria. We were all planning on going to this rave at the old soap factory.”
‘Oh, so now it’s we,’ Michael thought as he poured Tabasco sauce over the potato chips.
”We are?” Maria asked.
”Yeah, wouldn’t it be fun to do something together for once. I’ve called everyone, and Alex is going to ask Isabel.”
Maria thought about it. That sounded like a lot of fun. And she didn’t really need to spend so much time with Tess. Additionally, it meant that she would get Tess out of this apartment.
Michael thought about it. On TV they were playing a hockey game, which he had been just fine watching. He didn’t really feel like going out anywhere. But if it meant getting Tess out of this apartment then it was fine with him.
”But rave? Is that really us?” Maria asked.
Tess shrugged.
”I don’t know. But I’ve never tried it and it would be fun to try something new,” she said.
”Okay, how much time do I have to get dressed?”

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

In an abandoned warehouse, outside of Roswell

”That’s why you’re special, honey,” Liz said, stroking Emma’s hair.
”And it’s not bad special, but good,” Max said - trying hard to believe it himself. This far all his origin had done for him was getting him into trouble, messed up his life - and was slowly killing his soulmate. He received a warning look from Liz, and he could almost hear her in his head, telling him to stop blaming himself.
”You can use your talents to help other people,” Liz said. ”Like when you healed my hand, and when daddy healed my stomach that we were telling you about earlier.”
Emma nodded. Trying hard to understand. Her parents had told her that she was special. That who she was and where she came from made her special - different from others, but different in a good way. That meant that she had special talents, and could do cool stuff. But they had also said that there was people out there who didn’t like her and her parents. That she couldn’t quite understand. She hadn’t done anything to them. She had never been bad to them. But one thing that had come through loud and clear was that she was a princess. Just like the sleeping beauty...or Cinderella.
”Mommy, why don’t we libe in a big cwastle?” she asked, the discussion about talents (as Max and Liz had decided to call the powers) forgotten for the time being.
Liz and Max smiled lovingly at their daughter.

”Soon, pumpkin,” Max promised, and hoped it with all his heart. ”Soon, we will have our own very castle. But not the way you imagine it. It will look like just another house. But it will be really great.”
Emma’s small lips formed into a small pout, disappointment written over her face.
”You see, Emma. Here on Earth, no one knows that you are a princess,” Liz tried to explain.
Emma looked surprised.
”No one knows dat you’re a king either?” she asked her daddy.
Max shook his head.
”That’s why we are going to live in a normal house,” Liz continued. ”But I’m sure you gonna like it anyway.”
”Can I have a dress?” Emma asked.
”Sure,” Max promised, and leaned forward to kiss her forehead. ”Now you have to go to sleep.”

”But I want to know more,” Emma protested, while she could barely keep her eyes opened.
”There’s a new day tomorrow,” Liz said, also kissing Emma’s forehead.
”Sweet dreams,” Max said. ”Nite, honey.”
”Nite, daddy,” Emma said. ”Nite, mommy.”
Liz smiled, and turned off the bedroom lamp.
”Nite, Em.”
Max took Liz’s hand and together they walked out of the bedroom.

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

Liz felt herself drift up to the fringes of consciousness again. She was laying on the couch, her head on Max’s chest, his arms wrapped around her. There was something keeping her from completely falling asleep. There was something tugging at her consciousness, something that wanted to be known. A sense of dread. She pushed her head higher up to Max’s warm neck and breathed in his scent - trying to calm down her senses. She felt Max unconsciously wrapped his arms tighter around her, sensing her feelings of mischief. She closed her eyes anew, trying to surrender her body and mind to sleep.

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

”There’s something wrong,” one of the guards said to his partner.
”What?” the partner asked.
”Can’t you feel that? It smells like smoke.”
The partner looked up at the sky, trying to see the smoke.
”I can’t see anything,” he said after scanning the sky.
”Everything is vibrating with bad energy - it’s like something is bound to happen, like something is awaiting to break the peace.”
”Kaleva, I know that you’re good at sensing energies, but I can’t smell any smoke.”
”Remember Zosima, your sense of smell is not as developed as mine. We need to contact Kira.”

”Are you sure? I don’t want to wake him up if nothing’s wrong.”
”I would rather wake him up one time too many...”
The two guards walked up to the backdoor, and as they got closer to the warehouse even Zosima had to admit that it did smell like smoke.
”Inform Kira, and I’ll inform the others,” he said.
Kaleva nodded and his partner was off in the darkness. Kaleva opened the backdoor - which was directly connected to Kira’s room. Kira was in front of him before he got time to open the door completely.
”What’s wrong?!” he demanded.
”We can smell smoke, sir,” Kira’s guard answered.
”Shit,” Kira murmured, and turned around to notify Max. His primary priority was to get Max, Liz and Emma out of immediate danger.

He opened the door, which led to the rest of the warehouse and his vision was immediately blocked by a thick gray smoke. He concentrated on separating the gas molecules from each other, pulling them apart so that he was able to see something. He pushed up the gas molecules to resemble a wall around him, while he could walk freely in a created lane free from smoke. Having the warehouse memorized to every millimeter he made his way to their bedroom, and opened the door. The bedroom was dark, but the smoke was not as thick in there as it was in the rest of the warehouse. Imagine his surprise when he found the bed to be empty.

He walked up to the bed to make himself absolutely certain that his eyes weren’t fooling him. The bed was unmade - it had been slept in. But now there was no one there. His mind started to think strategically. They could be anywhere in the warehouse, they could also be outside - having noticed the smoke and left. He made his way out of the bedroom and to the bathroom - only to find that empty as well. The smoke was only getting denser, and then he saw the coach - with Max and Liz sleeping on it. He quickly strode up to the coach and shook Max violently by the shoulder. He was difficult to wake up, the smoke had already started to fill his lungs, clogging his senses.

Max opened his eyes, and found Kira’s face hovering over him. Something was wrong. He started coughing, and blinking. His eyes were stinging. When he opened his eyes again, he saw that even though the air around them was clear - the rest of the warehouse was covered in thick smoke. His first thoughts were on Liz and Emma. He bolted upwards, and found Liz snuggled up to him. Feelings of relief flooded through him, until he noticed that Emma wasn’t there.
”Where’s Emma?” Max croaked, his voice hoarse. He doubled over as he was assailed by another violent cough. He shook Liz, trying to wake her up. She came to with a series of rough coughs.
”I don’t know,” Kira said.
Max started to entangle himself from Liz and stood up, staring at Kira. Liz looked at them confused - fear gripping her.

”Where’s Emma?” she asked. She tried to reach out for her daughter through the connection but she couldn’t get through.
”Max, something’s wrong. I can’t reach her,” Liz said.
Max wasted no time as he started to move towards the bedroom.
”I’ve already checked in there,” Max heard Kira yell after him. ”You need to get out. This place can blow up...”
Max ripped the door open and rushed to the bed. Even though he saw that the bed was empty, he still pulled at the covers - hoping against all odds that she was laying under them. Fighting of the feelings of horror, in order to not get slowed down, he kneeled beside the bed and looked under it. He pulled up his arm, and his palm radiated a white glow, illuminating the surroundings. It was empty. He rose again and stepped up to the closet, opening it and searched all the shelves - even though they were too small for Emma to be able to hide in. He scanned the room one last time, before he bolted out of it - heading towards where he thought the bathroom was. He didn’t even bother to take away some of the smoke to make it easier for him. All he could think about was Emma. Something had happened to his little girl. He pulled the bathroom door opened. He searched the bathtub, the space under the sink, and the corner between the toilet and the wall.

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

”Liz, please. You have to get out. I will have my men do this,” Kira begged Liz as he tried to keep up with her as she too had started to search the warehouse for her daughter.
”NO!” she cried. ”My baby’s missing...and I need to find her!!” Her voice was determined, but Kira had never heard her so worried before...he had actually never heard anyone that worried before. He decided that it was no use fighting her, so he trailed after her - helping her in her search as much as he could by keeping the smoke away with his powers. He certainly hoped that the whole building wouldn’t collapse or explode.

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

She felt him move towards her, and she looked up to see the door open. She rose from her kneeling position and run towards him. She crashed in his arms, and his arms went around her. They clung to each other. They were both covered in dust, their hands and faces black. Their hair, clothes, and skin reeked of smoke. But that went them unnoticed. Their daughter was gone, taken from them in the night. Abducted...




Chapter 34


Michael felt the cell phone vibrate against his thigh, and he reached down with his hand to pick it up. He didn’t recognize the number on the display. The music was hammering around him - the volume so high that he barely could hear what he was thinking. He quickly sought out the nearest green exit sign and moved towards it. As he opened the door and stepped outside - the door swinging shut behind him - the music was muffled and he took a breath in relief. He pressed the connect-button and put the phone to his ear.
”Yeah,” he answered.
”Michael, it’s Kira.”
Michael frowned. Why was Kira calling him?
”Tell Isabel to get ready, a ride is on its way to pick you up. Try to not be too conspicuous as you leave. And take Tess with you.”
”What’s going on?” Michael asked.
”Emma’s missing.”

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

The three passengers of the dark Cheva could all see the smoke as a big dark cloud against the clear, dark night sky.
”Oh my God,” Isabel whispered. ”What’s going on?”
Tess was trying her best not to let her emotions shine through. Had everything gone according to the plan? Had Max, Liz and Emma been captured?

There was a large pang, like the sound of a gun being fired, and then the car was driving off the road. The three passengers looked terrified at their driver as he slumped over the steering wheel. Michael reached forward, and took a hold of the steering wheel. He felt something drip on his hand, and he looked down. His hand was gradually being stained with blood droplets.
”Oh shit!” he said.
”What?!” Isabel shrieked.
”He’s been shot,” Michael said, as he crouched down with his head - both in an effort to shield himself from whatever gun shoots might continue to be fired in his direction, and also to remove the dead driver’s foot from the gas pedal.

The car was heading out in the desert - bumping over stones and shrubs. With a shrill shriek it came to a halt. Michael climbed back in the backseat.
”Get down,” he ordered the girls. They complied, pressing their foreheads to their thighs - trying to make themselves as compact as possible.
In a crouching position, Michael scanned the surroundings.
”It’s clear,” he said and opened the door on his side. Just then he was knocked to the ground by an invisible force.

Isabel pulled the door close with her powers as she saw Michael slump on the ground. She motioned for Tess to open the other door and get the hell out of there. She had to help Michael. She saw Tess step out of the car, and then Tess was on the ground as well.
”No, please!” she cried. ”I did my job! I got them out of the apartment!”
Isabel pulled herself backwards, away from the opened car door. There was a crackle of energy, and the next thing she knew she was looking at a Tess that seemed to be on fire. There seemed to be electricity running through her, and her skin appeared was turning scorching red. And then there was Tess’s animalistic cries. Isabel’s couldn’t breathe as she witnessed how Tess was slowly melting - and then she was gone. A pile of dust everything that was left.

Isabel couldn’t move. She couldn’t see the attacker. All she could think about was that Michael was out there - with someone that had melted Tess - and Isabel was pretty exposed too. Her head jerked up, as she heard the sounds of energy jolts being fired. She heard someone cry out and then everything went silent again. Isabel could hear the blood pumping through her veins. Her breathing was labored and she was still unable to move.
”Vilandra,” a voice said, and then a face showed itself through the open car door.
Isabel gasped and suddenly got her mind working. At the same time as she was moving backwards in the backseat - until she felt the other door against her back - she put out her hand in front of her and fired. At the instant that Isabel fired, a purple force field was put up in front of the person - absorbing her energy jolt.
”What do you want?” Isabel demanded, her voice much calmer and authoritative to realistically represent her inner turmoil.
”Don’t worry, princess,” the man said. ”I’m on your side. I’m here to take you to your brother.”
Isabel furrowed her forehead.
”And why should I trust you?” she asked suspiciously.

The man reached out his hand towards her, and she instinctively shrunk back. He stopped in his movement and instead took his other hand to pull up his sleeve. He waved his hand over the arm, and their was a short flash - and then a symbol appeared. It was their symbol. The same symbol they had seen on the orbs, and the same symbol that had been on the pendant she had found at Atherton’s home.
”It means that I’m loyal to the king - King Zan,” the man explained.
”Tess was also suppose to be loyal to Zan, but she wasn’t,” Isabel said. She had a good feeling about the man. But she’d had a good feeling about Tess too when she had arrived to Roswell - so she wasn’t so sure she could trust her instincts when it came to aliens.
”How do I know that you’re just not mindwarping me into making me believe that I’m seeing that symbol, when I’m really not?” she asked.
The man searched her face, and realized that she needed more convincing. He put his hand in his pocket and picked up what looked like an ordinary stone. But then he waved his hand over it, and it turned into a communication device of some kind.
”Sir,” he said into the communicator. ”Come in, sir. We have a situation here.” Isabel didn’t like that it was referred to as a situation - it gave her the creeps.
”Kaleva? Where are you?” Isabel could hear Kira’s voice asking.
”We’re about two miles from the target location, sir,” the man Kira had called by the name of Kaleva answered.
”What happened?”

”They’re were attacked, and Ava was killed, sir.”
”Are Vilandra and Rath okay?”
”Yes, sir. The situation is taken care of. Although I need to convince Vilandra of my identity. Could she talk to Zan, sir?”
”Yes.”
The communicator went dead, and Isabel and the man stared at each other. Isabel had already been fairly convinced of the fact that the man wanted her no harm, since she had heard Kira for herself. But she wanted all evidence she could get. And a fake Max would never fool her.
”Isabel?” the communicator spoke.
The man offered Isabel the stone and she took it.
”Max?” she asked.
”Isabel, you have to go with the man. Trust me, it’s safe,” Max said.
”Max, what’s going on?” Isabel asked. Michael hadn’t told her anything, and neither had anyone else. She felt completely in the dark - having no clue to what was happening.
”It’s extremely important that you and Michael go with that man and come here. I need you.”
”But Max...”
”No, Isabel,” Max said, his voice harsh. ”We’re not discussing this any further right now. There is no time.”
Isabel might not know in full detail what was going on, but by the sound of her brother’s voice, she knew that she should expect the worst.

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

Isabel stepped out of the car, her eyes wide as she scanned the exterior of the warehouse, and its nearby surroundings. There was smoke boiling out of its every opening, the sky above dark. There were people running around outside the warehouse, but Isabel only had eyes for her brother. He was standing a few meters away, his back towards her, talking to what appeared to be one of Kira’s men. Isabel only had to take one look at Max tense stance to know that something was horribly wrong. Michael stepped up beside her, rubbing his forehead with his hand. He had a pounding headache after being knocked down.

“Max!” Isabel yelled, and started to walk quickly towards her brother.
He turned around immediately as he heard her voice. Isabel’s steps faltered a little in speed as she looked into his taut face.
“What’s going on, Max?” Michael asked.
“I need you two to search the building,” Max said. Isabel stared at him.
“Max, you better tell me what’s going on right now,” she demanded.
“I want you to search after Emma,” Max said. His voice was cold, emotionless, and he was giving them orders as if they were his soldiers.
“Haven’t you commanded all of your men to do that already?” Michael asked, his voice tight as he grew increasingly angry with Max’s bossiness.
“I need you to do it,” Max said, “I trust you.” His stone face fell for a fraction of a second, then he tiredly covered his face with his hand.
Isabel reached out and put a hand on his shoulder in an act of support.
“We’ll do everything in our power to find Emma,” she said. Isabel took away her hand and Max looked up into her face.
“Thank you, Isabel,” Max whispered, his voice cracking.
Isabel smiled weakly and then took a firm grip on Michael’s shirt.
“Come here, Michael,” she said.
”Yeah, yeah,” Michael huffed. Honestly, he didn’t have a problem with searching after Emma. He loved that girl already. She was like a niece to him. He had only for a second there fallen back into his resistance to be bossed around when it came to Max.

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

They searched until the sun started to rise above the horizon. They searched as the sun made its ascent on the sky. They searched as the sun started its descent – acknowledging the end of another day. They were all searching – Max, Michael, Isabel, Liz and Kira and his army. Later even Maria, Alex and Kyle joined them. But Emma was nowhere to be found.

Liz stumbled to the ground. Her limbs ached, her head throbbed, and her throat was dry. But the physical ailments were nothing compared to the pain she was feeling in her heart. She closed her eyes and for about the million time since her little girl had disappeared, she concentrated on their connection, trying to reach her. The tears started to slide down her face, causing streaks to be formed in the dirt on her cheeks. She couldn’t reach her.

She felt him sit down beside her, and she felt his strong arms encircle her. She leaned into him.
“Can you reach her?” Max asked.
Liz shook her head. They grew silent. It seemed hopeless. They had searched for almost twenty-four hours – searched for anything at all. Any clue. But there was nothing. Max was certain that Emma was in the hands of their enemies – and it was slowly killing him that he had been unable to protect her. He tried to block it out – tried to shut off his feelings. Otherwise he was certain that he would not be able to move on. He would be incapable of leading any kind of search, and he would fail Emma once again.
“Max, don’t,” Liz whispered, and looked up at him with her tear-streaked face. Max looked into her eyes. The eyes he always found comfort in, and calmness. They were so different now. At the same time as they were still the same eyes as they had always been, they seemed colder – like life had vanished.
“They have our baby girl, Max,” Liz whispered, her voice cracking with emotions, “and we can’t get her back if we let guilt win.”
“I failed her, Liz,” Max said.
Liz too felt that she had failed her daughter. If only they’ve slept in the same room, Emma might still be with them. If only she had went to check on Emma when she had felt that deep sense of dread simmering through her body. But she couldn’t let that thinking drown her. She had fought that kind of thinking for a big part of her life – when every day was a struggle of sheer willpower to go on. She knew how that kind of thinking could destroy a person.
“Max, we have to think about her. We have to concentrate on her.”
Max swallowed – forcing down the sobs that threatened to erupt in his throat.

“Max, Liz! We’ve found something!”
Max and Liz eyes broke contact as the searched out Michael running towards them in the darkness.
“What is it, Michael?” Max asked, not being able to stop the hope from awakening inside of him.
Michael crouched beside Max and Max felt something cold being placed in his hand. He looked down and found himself looking at a stone – barely small enough to fit in his palm, with the appearance of amber. Its surface was shimmering. It looked as if water was floating over it. But that wasn’t possible – since the stone was completely dry.
“What is it, Michael?” Liz asked, her voice strained as she stared at the stone in Max’s hand.
“One of Kira’s men said it looked like a communicator,” Michael answered.
“It’s not communicating,” Max said in a low voice.
“No,” Michael shook his head, “we couldn’t get it to work either. Maria suggested that we should give it to you.”
“There definitely is something different about it,” Liz said and moved her hand to feel the texture of the mysterious stone. As soon as her hand brushed against the surface, an hologram sparkled up in front of them. Liz jumped back – startled – and her hand moved away from the stone.
“Liz, I think you need to touch it too to get it working,” Max said and gently took her hand in his. Liz looked into his eyes, and then she felt the cold stone against her fingertips once again and a white hologram appeared in front of them. She diverted her eyes away from Max and they both looked up at the hologram. Liz inhaled sharply as the image of Nicolas appeared on the screen. She could feel Max’s anger seething through the connection.

“Max. Liz,” the hologram of Nicolas said – looking straight at them. “I see you found the stone.”
“Nicolas,” Max breathed, his voice clouded in hatred. But Nicolas was neither able to hear nor see Max, since it was only a recorded message.
“I believe that you by now have noticed the absence of your child. She sure is beautiful, Max. I was planning on taking Liz as well – I could have had some fun with her – but I guess the plans changed.” Max pulled Liz closer to him. “By now you’ve probably been enlighten about the death of your mate, Max.” Max shivered, and took an even firmer grip around Liz. His fears were lessened a bit as Nicolas continued, and Max realized it wasn’t Liz that was being discussed. “Tess was always a weak individual, and she was not to be trusted – neither in this lifetime nor in the lifetime before.” Nicolas smiled smugly. “But now that problem is out of the way. I guess you are only happy about her death, Max... Now, I’m sure you are interested in what I have to say about your daughter. Yes, she’s with me. Unfortunately for you, she is not within your reach. Not within your reach at all I must say.” Nicolas smug was pure evil and gloating. “Our ships were loaded earlier today – as you were still searching I presume,” Max’s heart stopped, “And by the time you receive this message we are already on our way to Antar – with your daughter.”



<center>END BOOK 1</center>

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Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jul 12, 2003 5:47 am

BOOK 2



The little girl clasped her hands over her small ears – trying to block out the horrifying cries that were surrounding her. But the sounds were too strong – too high – too deafening. They reached into her soul, urging it apart – shredding her tiny essence into sore pieces. There was a loud crack and she heard her mother scream. ‘No no no no no no no,’ she repeatedly chanted in her head. Her body was frozen in fear, her closed eyelids trying to stop the shocking images from entering her pure and innocent mind. She could still feel her mother’s hands on her as she urged her daughter under the bed to hide as the hard pounding on the door was thundering around them. She brought up her hands to her mouth to stop the sound of her sobbing from leaving her, and make her mother’s captor aware of her presence. Next there was the deafening silence as the massive wooden door slam shut. Tears were trickling down her cheeks, her breath catching in her throat as she lay completely still for some time anticipating foreign hands to grab her and drag her out of her hiding-place. But the moment never came, and she soon realize that she was alone. It was only her and the eerie silence.




Chapter 1


He spread his wings and started to gracefully flap them up and down. The air became trapped beneath his feathers, causing him to lift off the surface. His speed increased, and he silently broke through the air. The murky green of the sky was reflected on the back of his body, making it more dull red - almost brown - than otherwise. Beneath him floated a river, its water brown and sluggish. His journey took him over hills and woods, mountains and marshes. As he neared his destination, he relaxed the pace of his wings and let the wind softly carry him towards the ground. He glided down and positioned himself on the bulky branch of an old tree. The tree was old but strong. It had endured changes during its growth. It had lived through uncountable battles, as it several times had eluded the hand of death, which had made it a visit on so many occasions. Its bark was wrinkled with age, its leaves reeked with the misery, which had been absorbed into its very existence. He clasped his claws into the bark and his eyes darted around his surroundings. Surroundings that were familiar to him - as the old tree was an old friend that could be trusted to stand there every time he decided to leave and return.

But there was something different in the air. He felt it with his every sense. He lived through the air. He breathed it, used it as transportation, but mostly he listened to it. The air spoke of many things that were yet untold to the world. It crept into every corner of every house. It crept into every cavern of every old tree. It crept into the most hidden cave at the bottom of a forgotten mountain. It crept into every living creature. It knew things. The air was full of whispers, and if you learned to listen to it - it could either strengthen your trust to the world and its inhabitants - or shatter it. He crooked his head to the side and listened to the humming carried by the wind. Humming that were not heard by anyone who wasn’t paying attention. Something was about to happen. He blinked with his eyes several times. Then his peak opened and he let out a hoarse cry - an attempt in warning the world of the impending changes.

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

She bolted upwards, having been awaken from her sleep by the drilling cry of a bird. She immediately noticed his absence to her side. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and rose from the hard position on the ground. She felt the tickling in her legs as the blood was given the permission to flow back through the veins and arteries of her stiff limbs. She moved the cloth that covered the exit aside and stepped out. The ground was shimmering in the color of green. Would she ever get used to the sky being green instead of blue? She missed the light blue color of the sky. It was calming. The green sky was menacing. It was alien in more ways than one. It wasn’t home, and she knew in her heart that it would never be. Her eyes sought him out, sitting down by the river side. The ground was hard under her bare feet as she made her way over to him. She paused a little, standing right behind him.

”I couldn’t sleep,” he said, as he sensed her presence.
”I can’t sleep without you,” she said softly. Even though she could normally sleep, she often wished that she had his insomnia. That meant no dreams. That meant no endless searching and pain. But she also knew that his way was just as damaging. That meant too much time of thinking, too many opportunities for self-blame. She slowly sat down beside him, leaning into him. He gave her a weak smile, and then his eyes drifted to her feet.
”Honey, why aren’t you wearing any shoes?” he asked, his voice bearing the slight hint of scolding.
”Oh, I forgot,” she said absent-mindedly.
He nodded. He knew just how difficult it was to go on living, to do all the everyday stuff - even though the wasn’t as much ‘everyday’ anymore.

“C’mere,” he said and pulled her into his lap. She cuddled up close to him, pulling her feet under her body. He could feel the cold from her feet penetrating through the fabric of his pants – radiating through his skin. He held her close – to keep her warm.
“Tell me something,” she said. She felt the drowsiness of sleep starting to claim her as his warmth was starting to enveloped her.
He smiled. He knew what she wanted to hear. They had made an unspoken ritual out of telling stories of the world they had left behind them – of the people they missed.
“You remember when Emma saw snow for the first time?” he asked and felt her nod against his chest. He had never personally experienced it – but she had caught it on camera and he had been able to see it later - on that day when she had given him one of the best gifts she could ever give him. A part of his child’s childhood.

“She was so amazed. She was standing by the window – looking out, and she couldn’t grasp what those fluffy white things were.”
“She thought it was cotton, that someone had ripped into small parts.” She said, and he could hear the smile in her voice.
“And she kept looking upwards to see if there was someone sitting in the tree outside the window – throwing all the cotton down on the ground,” he continued.
“She loved it. I will never forget how she looked when she got outside and touched the snow – and it vanished in her warm hand. She has always loved the snow....”
The silence spread around them.
“It doesn’t snow here, does it?” she asked sadly.
“No,” he answered.
They fell silent again, both deep in thought – trying to push away the feelings of guilt and grief.

Soon he could hear her breathing even out, and he realized that she had fallen asleep. He sat there for a while – letting the silence whirl around him. He had never experienced a silence so intense as the one inhibiting this place. It was as if there were no living creatures around them. It was as if they were all alone. He could hear the wind murmur. A language that could not be interpreted nor understood by him. He closed his eyes, and listened to her breathing. It had a calming effect on him. But he couldn’t find the peace he so desperately sought for. The peace that would enable him to close his eyes and sleep. He inhaled deeply and carefully entangled her arms from around him, moving her to the ground. He didn’t want her to sleep outside. It wasn’t really cold. Not freezing. But he could literally feel her body temperature decreasing in the wind that chilled her skin.

With her fists still stubbornly clutching his shirt, he rose and gathered her in his arms again. She was exhausted. She was sleeping a lot. But her sleep was troubled by horrific dreams, and her sleep didn’t give her much relief nor relaxation. It didn’t offer her the rest she so desperately longed for. He carried her to the small tent. Concentrating slightly on the fabric of the opening of the tent, the cloth was pulled to the side and he was able to step inside. In the middle of the tent, a blanket was spread out on the ground. Under the blanket a material resembling hay was spread out – in order to provide some sort of softness to the sleeper. He gently positioned her body on the bed and she whimpered in her sleep as he pulled away. He needed to sleep – but he was unable to. He also needed her – and he happily laid down next to her and cradled her close to his body. His mind – as on countless times before – started to drift to that place in his mind where he had tucked all of his memories.

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

”Liz, I’m going to Antar, and Michael and Isabel are coming with me.”
“Of course you’re going to Antar,” she answered. “And I’m coming with you.”
He silently looked at her for a second, and then he shook his head.
“No, Liz. You’re safer here.”
“Are you kidding me? Don’t pull that crap on me, Max! She’s my daughter too. I raised her. I have a connection to her. You can’t expect me to just sit back here on Earth and wait for you to come back. What if you don’t come back, and I never get to see her again...or you. No Max. I’m coming with you. You are not leaving me behind!”

“Liz.” His voice was careful, as if talking to a hysterical person. “Listen to me. We don’t know if you are able to survive there. What if the atmosphere is hostile to your body?”
“In that case Max, it should be hostile to you too. You’re body is completely human. The only thing alien is your blood, and some parts of your DNA structure. All of which are interior differences. And if you were destined to return to Antar and free your people – then they wouldn’t have given you a body that couldn’t survive on Antar. That doesn’t make sense.”
“But they had to make a body that would fit in with the population on Earth.”
“Max, have you ever thought about why they chose Earth? Probably because Earth is similar in appearance, atmosphere and people to your home planet.”
He nodded. She was right. But he still didn’t feel comfortable with her coming with him.

“Liz. Don’t get me wrong. I want you to come with me. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be apart from you again.”
“Then let me come with you,” she said simply.
“You will be safer here. Even if the atmosphere isn’t harmful to you – the inhabitants certainly are. I have enemies there, Liz. And they will do anything to get to me.”
“They’ve taken our daughter, Max. I have to come with you. I will go crazy if I have to wait here on Earth – doing nothing. I need you, Max, and I need her. Don’t leave me here.”
It wasn’t really a plea – it was more of a warning. Liz had made up her mind, and Max realized that he couldn’t stop her. He was actually relieved that she was coming with him. He didn’t know what decisions he would make if she wasn’t with him. Without her, he was a bleak replica of himself.


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

She could sense the presence of someone else in the room. She slowly opened her eyes. It was the man. The man who had been here before. The only man she had met.
“Hi there, Emma,” the man said.
She didn’t answer.
“Are you going to talk to me today?”
She looked down at her hands, which she had folded neatly in her lap.
“You know, you are going to be here for a long time and it’s always good to have friends when you’re at a new place. Otherwise it will get so lonely. Will you be my friend?”
“I want mommy,” she said.
He smiled, and she shrank back in the bed. That wasn’t a smile. That wasn’t what she knew to be a smile.

“Your mommy isn’t here. This is your home now. Do you want to play?”
“I want mommy,” she repeated.
She didn’t want to look at him any longer. He frightened her.
“If you play with me...than maybe your mommy will come by later.”
She looked up at him – hope filling her heart. Would mommy come here?
“And daddy?” she asked. If she could get mommy here, she wanted daddy too. Daddy was strong. He could take her home.
“And daddy too.”
She had to think about this. She didn’t like the fact that she had to play with that man, but she did want to see her parents. Her small heart won over her feelings of unease and she nodded.

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

“What’s the plan, Maxwell?” Michael asked.
Max looked over the table, searching Liz’s eyes. She gave him a weak smile. He sighed and rubbed his forehead.
“I’m not sure, Michael,” he said. “I’m not familiar with the environment – and I’m not familiar with the palace.”
“You think she’s being held in the palace?” Isabel asked.
Max nodded.
“Khivar wants her close,” Kira said.
Liz shivered.
“We have to carefully study all the blueprints we can find of the palace. We have to try to infiltrate some of your men, Kira, in the palace,” Max said.
“It will be difficult. The security is high. We need to find someone with great mind powers – that is able to withstand the check up and convince them of his loyalty.”
“What are you talking about?” Michael asked.

“They are doing a mind check on everyone who’s about to work at the palace. They go through all your memories and makes sure that there isn’t any traitorous thoughts. That there isn’t any loyalty to Zan. We need someone who has strong mind powers – who can fight the inspection and hide the memories that can betray him of his true intentions of being there. You, Max...or Zan, had great mind powers in your former life. However, even if you were able to develop them the inspectors know you...”
“Can’t we change our appearances?” Michael asked, thinking that molecular manipulation should be able to be done to a face.

“Theoretically, it’s possible,” Kira answered. “But I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a rather painful state. You can say that the body can’t recognize its new cells....their new positions, and it gradually shuts down. Brief manipulations have been conducted, but if it goes on for too long...you can die. Even if it was possible, and Max was to change appearance – I doubt it would work. Max...or Zan... has a powerful essence – they would recognize that something was different with him. He has the royal seal, and it can be dangerous to have when you have enemies.”
“Do you have anyone with great mind powers?” Max asked Kira.
Kira nodded.
“I can think of a few candidates. But they probably have to train some before. This has to be done correctly. It’s a hazardously thin line we’re threading, Max.”

“I want to start train my powers as well – we all need to do that,” Max said. “And I need those blueprints.”
“There’s something you should know about the blueprints,” Kira said. “They may not be completely accurate. The palace is constantly rebuilt. That’s one of the ways to heighten the security. They haven’t been able to stop blueprints from being spread – so they started to change the palace instead. The older the blueprint, the more inaccurate.”
“They’re changing the palace the whole time? How do they do that?” Isabel asked, confusion written over her face. It was not that easy to rebuild. That would mean that the palace was a constant construction area.
“They have their ways,” Kira said.

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

“Emma, listen to me,” the man said. “If you want to meet your mommy and daddy again, you have to fix this. It hurts...”
Emma looked at the wound on the man’s hand. He had frightened her when he had took a knife and had pressed it against his skin – slicing it like a piece of bread. She couldn’t understand why he would do that to himself, and then ask her if she could fix it again. If he didn’t want to be hurt, why had he done it? She didn’t feel like helping him. She didn’t like him. But even if she had wanted to help him – she didn’t know how to. She understood what he wanted her to do. He wanted her to heal his wound, like she had done with her mommy when she had burnt her hand. But Emma had never stopped to wonder why or how she had been able to do that. She just had. She had felt her mommy’s pain and she had wanted to make her feel better again.

Then there was that feeling of caution that was an almost natural part of her personality. Her mother had told her that she had to be careful. Her mother had not been afraid with what she could do, Emma knew that. But her mommy had understood that it wasn’t something that other people should see. She had told Emma that she was special. That was what made her able to do that. And then her daddy and mommy had told her that she had...special talents. But they had also told her that bad people wanted to do bad things to her if she told. The talents were a secret. Her daddy also had special talents...and mommy, and it was their secret. She didn’t feel comfortable with revealing that secret. She might be only four years old – soon five – but she wasn’t stupid. Their secret was something she held close to her heart - something that she shared together with her parents - and she wasn’t about to let some scary man find out about her secret.

She firmly shook her head, announcing that she wasn’t going to heal him.
“I can’t,” she answered, a stubborn look on her face.
The man eyed the determined little girl. She was a clever girl, but she wasn’t so good at lying – which she was. Lying. But unfortunately he needed proof. He could right now say that Emma probably had inherited healing powers, but he would never be completely certain. He needed to assess just how powerful she was. He needed to know how big the threat was. Knowledge was power, and he just had to be a little more persuasive in his actions.
“Emma, I’ll give you one last chance to think about this. I would be very happy if you could heal my hand. You know, make me feel better.”
Emma remained silent, looking down at her hands again. He waited patiently, then he nodded.
“Okay, let’s get you to another room.”
She looked up at him – the fear sharply displayed in her eyes. His voice was cold, and it made her shiver. Suddenly she wanted very much to reveal the secret, to heal him, but she didn’t know how.



A/N: The dialogue within * means that it is spoken in Antarian....

Chapter 2 (mild NC-17)

*What if she isn’t able to heal?*
*She’s Zan’s heir, and he has the ability to heal.*
*Yes, but healing is a recessive gene – that’s what’s making it so rare.*
*There’s something about her. She has the same aura about her that Zan had as he was younger. I’m almost positive that she has inherited the healing powers.*
*Then why didn’t she heal?*
*Because she’s a stubborn child?*
*She’s four - in human years. We offered her to meet her parents if she healed you. That would have convinced any child – especially if it is held against its will by people it doesn’t know. If she could heal, she would’ve.*
*Maybe it’s the block that shut down her powers. Maybe we’ve been wrong to where the healing powers are localized in her brain, and the block is preventing her from tapping into them.”
”We can’t remove the block – then she will contact her parents.*
*It’s not certain that she even has a connection. Her mother is human.*
*Yes...but we can’t risk that.*
*Just for a little while.*
There was a pause as the suggestion was pondered.
*Okay, but then you really have to have her co-operate with you – otherwise we are taking a great risk for nothing.*
*Yes, of course.*
*And we don’t inform Khivar of this – not until we know that it has worked. Because if it doesn’t, and he finds out – he’ll have us slained.*
The other man swallowed convulsively and nodded.

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

She felt his lips brush against her forehead, and she slowly opened her eyes.
“Hey,” he greeted her softly. “How did you sleep?”
He was leaning over her, a gentle smile playing at the corners of his mouth. To see her waking up in the morning always made him smile.
Liz yawned, and then gave him a small smile.
“Actually pretty good,” she answered.
Max nodded.
“I could sleep tonight too,” he said.
Somehow this made Liz worried, and she bolted upwards from her horizontal position, almost knocking Max over. He looked at her – surprise etching his features.
“What?”
“I don’t know,” Liz said. “That just make feel so uneasy.”
Max frowned. He had learned to trust Liz’s instincts – they were often right.
“You haven’t been able to sleep for more than one hour tops since... “ She left it unspoken – to difficult to voice. “And now suddenly you can sleep – and on top of that I have a good night – free from dreams.”
Max sat down beside her on the ‘bed’, and took her hand.
“Try to reach out for her,” he prompted.

Liz closed her eyes and focused on the little brown-haired girl, with the deep and warm amber eyes. She focused on her sunny smile and her pearling laughter. She gasped as she felt her. She felt Max squeeze her hand – but he was far away. She was deep in her mind, trying to reach into her daughter’s mind. But she couldn’t get in. She crashed back to reality. She opened her eyes, and inhaled sharply as her lungs were filled with air.
“What happened?” Max asked – concern mixed with hope in his voice.
She swallowed and then lunged herself at him, curling up against his warm chest. Max could feel her conflicting emotions through the connection – the most evident being relief. He held her tightly to him – trying to calm her by shoveling his own feelings of anxiety to the side and focusing on sending her calmness.
“I felt her, Max,” Liz whispered.
“You did?” Max asked, his whispered voice cracking with emotion.
“But I can’t get inside her mind. She isn’t letting me in. But she’s alive....and she’s not in any pain.”
Max closed his eyes, feeling a part of his heart springing to life again as the much longed after feeling of relief started to take away some of the guilt that had infested itself in his whole being. They sat there in the silence and held on to each other, as their daughter was being pounded with questions some miles away.

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

The man looked at the little girl who was curled up in one corner of the room – her eyes stubbornly squeezed shut.
“Why can’t you help me, Emma?”
She didn’t answer. She hadn’t given him an answer to anything he had said to her, since they had taken her out of that isolation cell. He began to wonder if it had been an effective decision or not to ‘punish’ her like that. She seemed more detached – more introvert. He was getting increasingly agitated that she was reaching out to her parents. He had to do something. He turned to the communicator that was put in the wall and called one of his men to bring the test subject.

Emma looked up as she heard the door open. Her eyes went wide as she saw a little puppy being handed to the frightening man.
“Look what I’ve got, Emma,” the man said and held up the puppy to her. The dog had been retrieved from Earth. They didn’t have dogs on Antar.
He could see the interest flash in her eyes – and he could see how desperately she tried to not show her excitement. They didn’t have much time – far too much time had already passed. So he moved his hand to the dog’s head, and squeezed. The puppy started to whimper, and Emma stood up quickly – moving towards the puppy. There was still caution in her steps – but her eyes were fixed on the puppy. She could feel its pain course through her body – she could feel it just by looking into those beautiful brown eyes.
“Stop it!” she cried. “You hurting him!”
He stopped and removed his hand, but there was now a wound on the top of the puppy’s head – above its head.
“You hurt him,” Emma said – tears shimmering in her eyes.
“You can make him feel better,” the man said. Emma looked at the mean man. She couldn’t understand why he would hurt that little puppy. It hadn’t done anything to him. But she could make it feel better, and that was what she was going to do.

She didn’t like the fact that she had to step closer to the frightening man – but her compassion for the little dog made her move her short legs. Her eyes were fixed on the puppy, and she failed to notice the smug that crept over the man’s face as he realized that she was going to do it. She looked into his sad eyes, as she slowly put her small hand over his ear – covering the wound. The dog whimpered some, then Emma removed her hand. The man looked down as Emma removed his hand. He had seen the glow radiating from her hand, and now he could no longer see any trace of the wound that was once on the top of the puppy’s head. He had never personally witnessed a healing, and he was awestruck with the powers of this little girl. Emma looked up at him with sad eyes.
“Don’t hurt him again,” she said. The man looked at her – not being able to hide the surprise that flashed by in his eyes. Her statement wasn’t a plea, but an order and the authority to her voice was clearly registered. He squinted his eyes in dislike and then put his hand to the side of her head. Before she could react he had formed the connection that would once again close the connection with her mother.

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

“No,” Liz said slowly, devastation in her voice, moving away from Max’s embrace.
“What? What?” Max asked, his heart missing a beat at the agony in her voice.
“I lost her,” Liz said slowly. “I lost her.”
Max searched her face and tried to push away the feelings of nausea that threatened to claim him. It had almost been better if they hadn’t gotten any contact with Emma. To have been able to experience hope, to just have it squashed again just as quickly was more painful than he could ever imagine. As he pushed back his feelings to the place in his mind where he could store everything that he couldn’t bare to deal with, he was able to focus on the emotions he felt floating through the connection. The feelings of disappointment, failure, and guilt from Liz.
“Honey,” he said and gently put a finger under her chin to direct her eyes to him. But she kept staring at some point behind him.
“I couldn’t hang on to the connection,” Liz said, her voice colder than Max had ever heard it and it chilled him to the bones.
“Liz, you did everything you could. Your powers aren’t as advanced yet. Don’t blame yourself,” Max said softly.
“What if they hurt her, Max?” Liz asked – her question turning Max’s blood into ice. “What if they kill her?”
“No, Liz,” he whispered. “We are not going to let them do that. We are going to find her. Do you hear me? We are going to find her, and bring her home.”

A sob erupted from Liz’s throat and she nodded slowly. It frightened Max that Liz was starting to doubt. Of course the doubts and insecurities were always present, but Liz never broke down. She always kept up a brave exterior – even though she knew that Max could feel the truth through the connection. It was more often Liz that comforted Max, when he was being devoured by guilt for not being able to protect his daughter from harm. He put his arms around her, pulling her closer to him. He planted small kisses at the side of her neck. He could feel her calming down through the connection, but only to quickly be replaced by something else. She pulled out of his embrace again, and locked her lips with his. He could taste her salty tears on her lips, as his passion for her (which was always to some degree there) flared open.
“I need you,” she whimpered in his mouth. Her desperate and lonely plea did weird things to him. He cradled the back of her head with his hand and angled her head so that he could get more access to her mouth. He felt the deepest sense of wanting to protect her, of wanting her. Wanting her to be safe, and happy. His lips brushed over hers, sending sparkles through their bodies. Their tongues tangled together, their hands rooming over their bodies. They were trying to find solace to the loneliness that was creeping into their bodies. Tears were still running down Liz’s face as she put her hands at Max’s hip, took a hold of the edge of his shirt and started to tug it upwards. Their lips only broke contact long enough to remove the article of clothing. Liz’s lips left Max’s and moved downwards. The stubble on his chin tickled her lips as they brushed over the texture, making her want for him even deeper. She needed to feel him. All of him.

“Liz,” he groaned as her lips touched his bare chest, warming his insides with her feathery touch.
His hands had crawled under shirt, caressing her back. His movements were restless. He needed to feel all of her - at the same time. He pulled out his hands from under the shirt, Liz gasping softly at the loss of his warm hands on her bare skin. He took hold of her shirt and pulled it upwards. She stopped loving his chest with her lips and lifted her hands upwards to help him to remove the shirt. She had nothing under the shirt and the shirt was quickly forgotten as soon as it left Max’s hands and floated to the ground. His hands found their way back to cradle her face, his thumbs gently moving against his cheeks. He started to kiss her tears away, gently trying to remove the traces of bitterness and hopelessness. His gently kisses made more tears well up in her eyes, and she sought his mouth out again. His hands fell to her bare back, his caressing heating her body. She unconsciously scooted closer to him, and they both gasped as her bare chest came into contact with his. The touch was electrifying. Their kisses became more passionate – grew more urgent. Max’s warm palm skimmed back and forth over her smooth skin, leaving a trail of fire in its wake. Their bodies were gradually heating up, and their breathing grew shallower - faster. Their feelings matched each others through the connection, the connection serving to amplifying the already intense emotions. They needed the comfort only the bonding of their bodies could provide. They needed to feel whole – complete.

Max kissed Liz’s last tears away as he lowered her down on her back on the mattress. Their hands never stopped touching. They needed each other in every way, and every touch was able to bring them some console. Max’s hands were strong and powerful hands. They had the ability to heal, but also to protect. The gentleness of his hands and his soul never stopped to amaze her. His palms spread a tingling warmth wherever they touched and as his lips followed the movements of his hands over her soft belly a charged current coursed through her body, making her hunger for him even greater. She moaned as he raked his teeth gently across a spot just below her ribs. Her breasts ached after his touch, her nipples painfully hard. His lips were caressing her skin with open-mouthed suckling kisses, while his thumbs were stroking the edge of her breast ever so tenderly. But it was driving her crazy.

”Max, please,” she whimpered, her body screaming out for him. Her plea was loud and clear in his mind, and he lifted his head to look at her. Her eyes were closed, some traces of tears still present in the corners of her eyes. Her mouth was slightly open, her lips red and swollen. Her hair was spread out around her face, but it was her face that caught him. It was the expression of pure pleasure on her face that in that moment made him want her more than he had ever wanted her. His hand moved to the side of her breast, the feathery touch making Liz arch her back up against Max - her head tilting backwards - a moan escaping her beautiful lips. He moved his hand slowly up over the swell of her breast, feeling the small tremors going through her body - feeling her feelings combined with his through the connection. It was a marvelous feeling. He could feel everything she was feeling, and she could feel everything he was feeling. They were one more now than in any other time. The only time they could really feel each other on this plane of fulfillment was when they were joined - when they were making love. And right now they needed to feel that connection more than they had ever needed before. His thumb brushed over her nipple, and they both gasped at the electric thrills jolting through their bodies at the contact. Images of their life together started to flash in front of their eyes, making their need for each other increase. Their feelings were bringing them to a climax just by the contact of their minds stimulating the other.

Liz’s hands dove into the dark soft curls that covered his head, urging his mouth down to hers. Their mouths came together in a silent explosion of need, their tongues seeking each other out and they were feeding on the taste of the other. Max leaned down on Liz - feeling her nipples brush against the hard planes of his chest - as he rested most of his weight on his elbows. The touches were sizzling, filled with electricity. He was pulling her close to him, as if he wanted to absorb her into his very flesh - his hand gently kneading her breast. Liz put her arms around him, her finger nails brushing against his skin making him shudder with lust.
”Liz,” he moaned, and his lips left hers to travel down her neck - brushing over her collarbone. Wanting to taste every millimeter of her. Nothing went unexplored under his touches. But Liz needed him now - she couldn’t wait any longer. Her body was aching for him. She needed to feel him inside of her. She needed him to complete her. His lips reached her breasts and he left hot trails of kisses along the soft skin - deliberately avoiding the dark nipple. His breathing matched hers, the quickening of their hearts acting simultaneously.

Liz’s hands moved down Max’s back to the edge of his pants, and found their way inside his pants brushing over his firm buttocks. God, she needed him. This strong man, with the gentle heart but powerful soul. The intensity of her need for him almost frightened her. He groaned her name as he felt her small hands touch him, the groan making his lips vibrate against her breast, making Liz arch her back against him again. He took her nipple in her mouth and she almost came right then.
”Max, ” her voice a raspy whisper. The tip of his tongue flickered over her nipple, making her breathing almost painful. She lifted her upper body, her movements urgent as she tried to remove Max’s pants. Max’s lips left Liz’s breast, the loss of his heat making her whimper. He put his hands over hers and took over the task of removing the last piece of clothing. His hands moved to her pants and pulled them down. Their movements were now urgent, the need for the other almost too much to bear. Max positioned himself at her entrance, and before he entered her he caught her eyes.

”I love you,” Liz whispered, her breathing shallow.
”My love,” Max whispered and captured her lips in a soft kiss that was in sharp contrast to the turmoil and intensity of feelings riveting through their bodies. He entered her slowly, his control being on the edge of unnatural. He wanted to love her slowly, gently. He needed her to feel all his love for her. He needed her to feel that she was his whole life. He needed her to feel his reassurance that everything was going to be all right. But he also needed to feel her love. Their bodies moved together, their minds melting together along with the movements of their bodies. Their bodies moved faster as they the pressure was increasing, and they tumbled over the edge almost simultaneously - both crying out as the waves of pleasure went through their bodies. Max collapsed on Liz, his arms around her. She pulled him close to her - their bodies molding together. He was still inside of her - still connected - and they soon feel asleep.

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Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jul 12, 2003 5:49 am

A/N: Just a quick reminder - The dialogue between * is spoken in Antarian...



Chapter 3

The halls were towering in front of her - their ceilings painted in the lightest blue, capturing the green glow of the sky outside in perfect harmony. Still, the same halls - with their supporting pillars lining the walls - were menacing to her. They were menacing because of everything they stood for - everything they represented: wealth, power, authority, greed, suppression, parsimony... death. The soft thudding of the soles of her shoes bounced off the walls, intensifying with each instant of impact. There were few Antarians in these halls. Antar was appearing increasingly desolate. Its inhabitants were hiding. Hiding from the very same things that resounded through these halls.

There were doors lining the hall on her left. On her right the upper part of the wall was replaced with a silverish substance that caught the light of the red sun and let it spill over the stone floor. A soldier from the King’s command guarded each door, their bodies frozen in position as if they weren’t even alive. But if you would try to sneak past them you would instantaneously be penetrated by one of their deathly strikes. The King’s men were strong and powerful. They were trained to be their best - but so was she. That’s why she had been summoned today. The Livenders had commanded her presence, and she could do nothing but comply. She reached the door at the end of the hall. This door was larger, and its dark appearance menacing. The bulky guard immediately stepped up to her as she approached the door.

*Your business here?* he huffed.
*I am to meet with The Livenders,* she said, her head taking on the correct angle to show her respect for the guard but at the same time not show insecurity or fear.
*Have they requested your presence?* the guard asked, a hint of hostility in his voice.
*Yes,* she answered.
*What is your name?*
*Serena.*
The guard put out his hands and let them hover over her, seeking out her essence - verifying her nature.
The guard announced, *You are free to enter the realm of The Livenders,* as he removed his hands from her body. With a wave of his hand the door disintegrated. She stepped through the slight mist that worked as a protection against intruders and found herself in a large room. The high ceiling was supported by pillars that were covered in the most rare and beautiful colors she had ever seen. The floor was black stone and the rays of the sun spilled over it - making it cascade in beams of soft red. There were no walls. It was as if she were outside. Nevertheless, she knew that it was all just an illusion - a creation of powerful minds and hands. There were walls, but just as in the hall you could see through them. In contrast with the walls in the hall - these walls appeared to be non-existent from the inside - but appeared to be stone walls seen from the outside.

*Emotival Serena,* a deep voice greeted her and she turned around to face the source of the voice.
The man was about her height, with dark eyes - almost pitch black. His features were strongly marked in his face. His lips were long and thin - his mouth quite big. She could read his calmness and subdued authority.
*Livender Laiko, master,* she responded, casting her eyes downwards while bowing her head slightly.
*I’m pleased to have you here.* His deep voice echoed in the nearly empty room. *Let’s move into the Lower Chambers.*
*Yes, master.* She followed him across the large floor into a little more restricted space where lumrosas were hovering in the air. She had heard some about these lumrosas. They were used to sit on - like chairs. As you sat on them, you could hardly feel that you were sitting - it was as if you were flying in the air.
*Take a seat, Emotival Serena,* Laiko said, waving his hand in the direction of the lumrosas.
Serena sat down on the hovering green lumrosa, feeling it shift under her weight - as if it were accustoming itself to her and her body. It was an amazing feeling. It was as if the lumrosa became a part of her, a part of her body.

*Time is of great importance, so I will inform you promptly of my reasons for summoning you.* Laiko positioned himself in the lumrosa across from Serena.
*Thank you, master.*
*You have been brought here in light of your reputation. Khivar has requested your assistance on a very delicate matter. Since you are known for your capability to register emotions, the King has found you a suitable match.*
Serena waited patiently for him to continue. She had a feeling this was something big. If the King himself had requested her, it must be a very important matter.
*We want you to take care of a child,* Laiko said.
*Excuse me, master?* she said in an inquisitive tone. Had she understood him correctly? Was the ‘delicate matter’ her baby-sitting?
*The prominence of this child is of high significance,* Laiko continued. *However, since the child arrived she has shown close to no co-operation. The King believes the child needs a female.*
*A female, master?*

*The child needs a substitute for her mother,* Laiko answered.
*Is the mother dead, master?* Serena asked, already feeling sympathy for this child.
*Yes,* Laiko answered. Serena furrowed her eyebrows slightly at this. She had sensed a flicker of deception in his emotional radiation. Her suspicion and curiosity were peaked to say the least. What was so special about this child?
*The child needs...uhm...love, * Laiko said. *Considering your own loss, you are even more qualified for the matter.*
*Yes, master,* Serena said, her thoughts swirling around in her head.
*Will you accept the offer?* Laiko asked.
Serena didn’t even need time to think about it. This whole matter intrigued her. She wanted to know what child they were talking about.
*Yes. Thank you, master,* Serena said.
*Then I thank you for your co-operation. You will be compensated in accordance with your accomplishments with the child.*

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She was surprised to find the door to be of a peasant quality. It did not disintegrate under the touch of the guard, but was instead unlocked and swung open inwards. She was prompted to go into the room, and the door swung close behind her, leaving her alone. But she wasn’t alone. The room was fairly small. It had a little bed, and a small wooden table with one little chair by one side of the room. There were no windows, but the room was nevertheless bathed in light. There were spotlights lining the edges of the ceiling where it met the walls. Serena had to blink repeatedly before her eyes grew accustomed to the intensity of the light. She was immediately struck by the emotions that were simmering in the room. Her eyes tried to seek out the source of the feelings - the child she was supposed to meet. She saw her sitting in the corner, behind the little wooden chair. Her knees were pulled up to her chest - her face hidden behind her knees. The little girl was dressed in a white dress, her bare legs looking pale in the white light. Her dark hair cascaded down her back, some of it shielding her face. She didn’t even look up as the sound of the door closing echoed through the room.

Serena slowly approached the small figure, and she winced as she saw the little girl flinch and press up even further against the wall as Serena stepped closer. Serena could both see and feel how frightened the girl was. What had made her so frightened? She kneeled beside the girl, although she left some distance between them. She didn’t want to frighten the child more than she already had.
”Hey,” she said softly. The human word felt unnatural on her tongue. She had been going through an intensive course to learn the Earth language American. She had been surprised to say the least to find out that the little girl was from another planet. However, as her eyes took in the appearance of the little girl she couldn’t see anything different about her from ordinary Antarians. She didn’t know much about Earth, but she would certainly try to find out as much as possible after this visit. She needed to know what kind of environment and culture this girl had been brought up in.

The girl didn’t look up but Serena could feel that her feelings were changing; some of her fear was dissipating.
”How are you feeling today,” Serena asked slowly, trying her best to form the words correctly.
The girl lifted her head slightly, and Serena could see the girl looking at her through her dark bangs.
”I see that you have a beautiful dress on today,” Serena continued. “Do you like dresses?”
The girl shook her head and Serena was happy that she had been able to trigger a response.
”What do you like to wear?”
The girl didn’t answer, but Serena wasn’t going to give up.
”I like dresses,” Serena continued. “But I want them to have a little more color. I love blue. Which color do you like?”
The girl nodded her head slightly.
”You like blue too?”
The girl nodded again, stealing another peek at Serena. The girl’s emotions were easy to access, but they were so multilevel that they were somewhat tricky to interpret.
”What else do you like?” Serena asked. She didn’t expect to get an answer, and was surprised to hear her little voice.
”Mommy,” she whispered.
”Mommy?” Serena repeated, as she quickly tried to find the word in the vocabulary she had learnt. “Your mother?” She asked the first word she could think about.

The girl nodded again.
”You know what?” Serena said, “I liked my mother too.”
The girl tilted her head up and Serena found herself looking into the most beautiful eyes she’d ever seen. There was such depth in them, and an innocence that left her dumbfounded. They were of a color that she’d never seen in Antarian eyes. Antarian eyes were either green, light blue or black - never brown. These were brown with flickers of gold in them. The hurt and sadness she saw in those expressive eyes broke her heart and she wanted to take that little girl in her arms and hug her. Assure her that everything was going to be all right.
”I want my mommy,” the little girl said.
Serena felt tears stinging her eyes. The little girl’s mother was dead, and she obviously didn’t know.
”You miss your mommy, huh?”
The little girl nodded, tears forming in her eyes. “I want to go home.”
”I miss my mommy too,” Serena said.
”Your mommy’s gone too?” the little girl asked.
Serena nodded, scooting a little closer to the girl and felt some sense of joy and relief in her heart when the girl didn’t flinch as she moved closer.
”Yes,” Serena answered. “My mother died when I was little.”
Serena was amazed to feel sympathy flare through the little girl’s emotions. That this tiny girl could feel such genuine sympathy towards a grown up - a stranger - was beyond her.
”Were you as small as I am?” the girl asked tentatively.

Serena nodded. “Yes,” she answered. “You miss your mommy?”
The girl nodded her head.
”What’s your name?” Serena asked.
”Emma,” the girl answered.
”Emma,” Serena repeated, tasting the Earthly name on her tongue. “That’s a beautiful name. I’m Serena.”
”I’ve never heard that name before,” Emma said.
Serena smiled at her matter-of-fact tone. This girl was strong.
”No, it’s an unusual name,” Serena said, thinking that it was an alien name to an Earth girl. “It was nice meeting you, Emma.”
Emma’s head shot up, and fear flashed in her eyes.
”Are you leabing?” she asked.
Serena quickly got her mind around Emma’s mispronunciation of the word and answered in her best calming voice. “No, I’m not leaving.”

The relief she could feel oozing off the child was extremely intense. What had happened to this child? Her inquisitive mind was already going over all the different things that were wrong with this picture. Why would people on Antar be so interested in a child from Earth? And more importantly, why would a child be taken from Earth to begin with? Had the mother died on Earth or had she died here? If the latter alternative was true, why had they traveled here? Was it common knowledge on Earth that there was life on other planets? Was Earth as developed as Antar? In that case, why weren?t there more Earth habitants coming to Antar? And why was this little girl locked up in the palace with a guard and double locks on the door? Why did her room remind Serena of a laboratory with its strong lights and bare furniture? She had got to find more information on this. She felt the strongest urge to help this child.

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

She could feel his warm lips touch her forehead, brushing over her closed eyelids and stopping to linger at her lips that were curling up in a small smile.
”Morning,” Max said, as he could feel her wake up through their connection. She opened her eyes and smiled at him.
”I love waking up this way,” she murmured.
”Well, you don’t hear me complaining,” Max answered. “Are you hungry? Michael made breakfast.”
Liz curled up closer to his body, letting out a sigh of contentment as she felt his arms tighten around her.
”I guess not,” he said, planting a light kiss on her temple.
”I just wanna stay here for a while, and forget about everything,” Liz said. Max knew exactly what she meant. Neither one of them wanted to think about the fact that they were really laying on a thin mattress, positioned in a little tent, which was located someplace out in nowhere on a foreign planet in a foreign solar system.
”Hey! Are you awake in there?” Michael?s voice grunted outside the tent. They could see the contours of his body moving outside the tent, towards its opening.
”We’ll be right there,” Max answered.
”Okay, food’s gonna be cold, you know,” Michael huffed.
”We’ll be right there!” Max repeated.

Liz giggled as they watched Michael?s shadow disappear from the tent. “He’s getting a bit sensitive in old days, isn?t he?”
Max smiled, looking deeply into her eyes - once again mesmerized by her beauty - as he removed one of the strands of her dark hair from her forehead.
”Yeah, I’m actually starting to miss the whole I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-what-anyone-else-says attitude.”
He leaned down to give her a soft kiss. Liz closed her eyes, relishing in the taste of his lips.
”I guess we should get going,” Max said. “We have a long day ahead of us, and we should probably start off with a healthy breakfast.”
Liz sighed, hating the feeling of reality trying to seep into her dream world.
”You’re right,” she said. She knew that she had to do this. She was going to practice with her new powers. She had never tried to control them before, but she knew that she had to practice so that she could later use them to save her daughter. It was going to a long day all right. A very long day.




A/N: This chapter is somewhat out of the ordinary... the fic will be returning to its original "style" in the next chapter :)



Chapter 4

Let me tell you a story. Like any good story it has princes, princesses, kings, queens and villains in it. It could even start with “Once upon a time...“ But this isn’t a fairy tale. There are certain elements that might tell you otherwise, such as the fact that the main characters in the story have powers. Yes, that’s right. They can do all these cool stuff just by thinking about it. If they one day wake up and take a look in their closet and they don’t like what they see, they can just wave their hand and they suddenly have a completely new wardrobe. And homework...well, that’s no problem. See, with their advanced minds, homework is no biggie! They can just skim through it once and they will remember it forever. But this story isn’t just about powers - you’ve probably already figured that one out.

This story goes way beyond that. Let’s go back in time, about eighty years. We travel through space, gracefully avoiding all of the planets (hey, it’s going really fast here, okay?!) and we suddenly find ourselves on a green planet. Well, that’s what it looks like on the outside, because the atmosphere consists of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and a lot of other trace gases. Some of you might stop here and think... Isn’t that the same gases that the atmosphere on Earth consists of? Well, right you are! However, on this far-away planet, the composition, and more specifically, the amount of the different gases is different from Earth. For instance, the gas called oxygen that is so important on Earth for metabolic reactions to occur is not as abundant on this planet.

The lack of oxygen has of course some ramifications on the appearance of the habitants. Due to the lack of oxygen, the processes in the body aren’t able to work as fast. Result; the inhabitants are smaller in height. However, they are also more healthy-looking. They have rosier demeanor than Earthlings, since more red blood cells (the ones that binds the oxygen and transport it to the different areas of our body through the blood) are produced to bind as much oxygen as possible. Otherwise, they are pretty similar to Earthlings. The importance of this similarity will show itself later.

So, let’s move on. We are now on that far away planet, and it’s a really exotic place. Let’s call it Antar. The sky is, as mentioned, green and the sun is red. The sun in this solar system is dying - but the inhabitants of this planet have existed for a long, long time. Let me put it into perspective. When the very first humans started traveling out from Africa to spread across the Earth’s surface, the Antarians had already invented highly advanced technology. However, there are some differences here of course, and this is where the royalties come in. We have our beautiful queen, and our handsome king. They are actually getting to rule the whole planet. Not just some part; they have to make decisions that affect the whole planet. We’re talking big responsibilities here.

As Earth is putting a time of hierarchy behind them, Antar is actually embracing the idea. We have the peasants: the poor people feeding off of the land, barely making it through the day. They live in cottages in their fields. We have the bourgeois - well, let’s call them that for now. They are in the middle class. They are often working in the defense sector, or as counselors to the royalty. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of the poor. Not all are peasants - some are fishermen or foresters. Also, there are the separatists… but I will come back to them later. Finally, we have the royal family. They are at the top of society, of course.

Remember this beautiful royal couple I mentioned? Well, they had two children; one boy and one girl. The boy was quiet and shy, whereas the girl was talkative and outgoing. They were as different as night and day, and sadly they never really got along. They couldn’t understand each other. It wasn’t just sibling rivalry. No, it was something much deeper than that. They grew up in the confines of the palace. They never really understood what was going on outside those walls. This is where the bad guys come in, the villains. Yes, we have to have a villain. See, there were other planets nearby. Since traveling through space was not as much of a problem anymore, another planet could be compared to another country to us Earthlings. Traveling to the neighbor planet was like traveling across the country border to the neighbor country. Quite simple.

But there was a war going on. There was a lot of politics in it too, but I’m not going to go into that. Notice how in every story there’s an arch-villain. Take for instance, another alien: Clark Kent, also known as Superman. Sure, he had a lot of enemies. Many wanted that guy killed, but the person who hated him the most was Lex Luther. Tumtada dum!! The arch-villain. Well, in this story there is also an arch-villain, by the name of Khivar. He wanted power. He wanted wealth. He wanted control. And he wanted Antar. He actually already had his own planet, but I guess that wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted more. Greed is an ugly trait, and it’s one not only possessed by humans. So he started to form a plan. He gathered men. He trained them. He made their hearts as cold as stone. He made their minds as sharp as a needle. While his men were being trained for battle, he was preparing for the ultimate goal: to bring down the king of Antar and his successors.

One day he actually succeeded. He killed the king. Remember the quiet and shy little boy? Well, he was now about eighteen in Earth years, so when his father was assassinated, that boy was in line to be the next king of Antar. But a king can’t rule alone; he needs a wife. On another planet close by there was a young girl who had just turned sixteen. The boy’s father, the king who was assassinated, had planned with his wife to have his son marry this young woman. It politically advantageous to unite the two planets through marriage; the girl was of royal blood, so through marriage the couple could rule both planets and would have more resources. The king died before he could see his son marry, but his wife wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip out of her hands.

At that moment in time, there was an even larger reason for the son and woman to join in marriage, as they were on a brink of war. They would have more men to fight on their side if they were to join the two planets. The boy was called Zan. The young woman was called Ava. Their marriage was to bring peace to not only their planets, but to the whole solar system. They were to make decisions side by side to stop the advance of the enemy. However, they were still children in many ways. They had never directly experienced the world outside the walls of the palace. What they knew they had acquired through learning programs, emotionless machines. They knew almost nothing of the world they were about to rule. The story takes a bad turn from here on out, but it isn’t over yet...

I also mentioned Zan’s sister. Her name was Vilandra, and she was very beautiful. Stunning. The men took one look at her and she captured them forever. She was everything you would expect from a princess. She had the beauty, she had the intelligence; she even had her white stallion. But this princess wasn’t like the princesses we love from our precious fairy-tales. She wasn’t a Cinderella, or a Snow-White. She didn’t find pleasure in helping children, or talking to animals. She watched her brother grow up, and the jealousy inside of her grew along with it. She wanted fame. She wanted attention. She wanted everyone to look at her, to admire her. She wanted them to want to be her, and to envy her. But most of all, she wanted power, because that was what was going to make her famous.

She had no greater interest in making boring decisions about the welfare of the planet. No. She was going to marry and let her husband rule, so that she could stand by his side and be envied. She could dress up for all the parties, and could feel the admiration from the women and men around her. She was going to marry Khivar. Yes. That was her plan. They both wanted the same thing. They wanted Zan out of the picture. Vilandra wasn’t aware of the fact that Khivar had actually murdered her father. Being the cunning villain that he was, Khivar had hidden his tracks well - making the assassination appear as if it was at the hands of the rebels. Yes, a form of separatists. Vilandra wasn’t completely evil. She was too blinded by jealousy and greed. She didn’t really wish her brother’s death but, sadly, she didn’t realize that until it was too late.

With those ominous words we move on to a happier occasion. At least that’s what it looks like on the outside. It was the day of Zan and Ava’s wedding. Let me tell you something about Zan. He never really wanted to be a leader. He wasn’t interested in power or wealth. He felt as if he were meant to do something else with his life. He wanted to go out among the people. He wanted to see the world, to experience the world, to drink in the world. Ironically, this was what made him a true leader. He was born a leader, not only by title, but also by his essence. He wanted a better world, and what better place to do that from than from the throne? But there was a void inside of him. He never truly felt alive. He missed something in his life - something he knew he was going to recognize as soon as he saw it. He was certain of one thing. The sixteen-year-old girl that was to be his wife wasn’t it.

You see, as in most stories where there are kings and queens, princes and princesses - we also have arranged marriages. Zan didn’t really have a choice. He had been secretly betrothed to Ava as a young man. You might think that now that he was the king he would be able to take that rule away and not marry Ava. But he also needed support. He needed someone to stand by him. He couldn’t rule by himself. He felt that his sister was turning away from him, and his mother was so persistent that he marry Ava. He didn’t have the will or strength to fight. He didn’t have anything to fight for. The wedding was beautiful. It was truly spectacular. Several Antarians were there to see their new royal couple because they had doubt in the capacity of these young people, but they were willing to let the new rulers prove them wrong.

I want to tell you that everything turned out all right. That perhaps Zan and Ava did learn to love each other, and that Zan found a purpose in his life. But I can’t. Vilandra was sneaking off in the middle of the night to have secret meetings with Khivar. They whispered plans in each other’s ears under the covers. They made plans for Zan’s destruction. The only support Zan could find was in his best friend Rath. He was the only one Zan trusted. Zan ruled well. He did everything by the book, as his father had told him, as the machines had taught him. But there was no feeling, and the planet was falling apart.

In one last attempt to bring his kingdom together, Zan suggested that Rath would take Vilandra as his wife. Rath accepted the request out of loyalty to his king. Vilandra protested - loudly. I guess you could say that the marriage was the final drop that made it all spill over. The plan was to kill Zan and Ava at a party. Everything turned into a big mess, ending with far more casualties than just the two planned. Vilandra, realizing what was going to happen to her brother, rushed straight into the line of fire. She died. Zan was hit by the next blast and was instantly killed. Rath died trying to protect Ava, after having failed to reach his king in time. Ava was killed shortly thereafter. Now, I know that in fairy-tales the good guys always win and the bad guys always lose. Well, this time the bad guys won. But just for then.

See, researchers had found that there was a planet similar enough to Antar in both atmosphere and in the appearance of its inhabitants. Guess which planet? I give you a clue. You’re on it. Yes, that’s right. Planet Earth. So an advanced plan was being formed. Actually, this plan had been under construction so to speak, since the older king had been assassinated. Because Zan was the last living heir to the throne, he was very important. As long as he lived, Khivar couldn’t take over the planet. Khivar knew that, so he had Zan murdered. However, Zan’s men also knew that. Without their king’s knowledge they started to experiment on humans.

Oh, right. I guess I should tell you about that one as well. You know all those people that we have thought were a bit crazy because they were talking about alien spaceships coming in the middle of the night and taking them away and doing experiments on them? Well, those aliens were Antarians doing research. But the researchers weren’t bad guys. They actually put the humans back. What? Wasn’t that nice enough? Well, they did have a planet to save. After acquiring enough information they found donors to provide genetic material to mix with the royals’ essences. They were going to create hybrids. And get this. They were going to look exactly like humans, so that they could grow up among humans. Hiding in plain sight, right? Well, that was the plan…

So, the royal four - as they were now called - were sent to Earth in their new forms, growing in pods. There were actually eight pods....hmmm.... Well, that was the safety plan. One set was made to look exactly like the original one, but it was made more alien on the inside. They were hidden away in New York, in the United States, on Earth. The other part stayed in Roswell. Oh, I forgot to tell you about that one. I pretty much suck at telling stories... Have you ever heard of an alien crash in Roswell, New Mexico? There was supposedly a crash in 1947 that was covered up by the military. They claimed it to be a weather balloon that fell. Yeah right! Guess what?! It was our aliens arriving. Something went wrong on the craft, and they hit ground with tragic repercussions. Several of the passengers were killed at impact, but some survived and were able to hide the pods. Now, they sent one set to New York, as I blurted out earlier, and the other one was hidden in a cave in Roswell.

Are you still with me? Remember that thing Zan was searching for? That he felt that he was missing? He found it. One regular day in 1991 he stepped off a yellow school bus - in his nine-year-old body - and saw her. Now we are coming to the princess part of the story. Where the prince falls head over heels in love with the princess. Okay, there actually weren’t any princesses or princes any longer. They were just normal school kids. Zan didn’t remember anything from the life he had lived on another planet. His name was now Max. Max Evans. And the greatest joy of his life was to sit in a restaurant and watch a dark-haired waitress in Star-Trek uniform all day long. Her name was Liz. Liz Parker. The girl he had loved ever since he first saw her that day. So...did Max get his Liz? Let me just say that there was some complications. Some very big complications. But this story is far from over yet...

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Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jul 12, 2003 5:58 am

Chapter 5


*We have received news that Zan is back on Antar.*
*What?!* Aldonis exclaimed. *I thought Zan was dead.*
*Zan isn’t dead. He’s been hiding on planet Earth ever since the assault on the Royal Family.*
*Then why haven’t we been informed? Why is it that we haven’t heard anything of this until now? We have heard nothing of his arrival until now.*
*It has all been kept very secret. Hardly anyone knew of these plans, but we have received word that Khivar is aware of them.*
*How is this even possible? Zan died. I saw it with my own eyes. The energy strike hit him straight in the stomach, and almost ripped him apart. There is no possibility that he can be alive.*
*There were some researchers working in secret on a highly advanced and elaborated plan to save our planet from destruction by taking care of his essence.*
*His essence?*
*Well, I don’t completely understand it myself, but basically Zan’s essence; his soul, what defined him, was mixed with Earthling DNA and he was recreated into a human being.*
*So Zan has lived on Earth all these years? Why hasn’t he returned earlier? People have been dying here. People are still dying!*

*I don’t know what has kept him away for so long. The original plan was to have him hide on Earth until he had reached maturity and had trained his powers and then return to free us from the horrors of Khivar. But I guess something went wrong.*
*Where is he?*
*We are trying to locate him as we speak, but he seems to be hiding carefully. We don’t think he’s alone.*
*Who’s with him. Other loyalists?*
*No, it is under my belief that Rath, Ava and Vilandra were also recreated.*
*You mean that the whole Royal squad has been recreated and are on this planet right now?*
He received a nod as reply.
*Then it is of great importance that we find him as soon as possible and prepare our men for action. This can be what we have all been waiting for, for years.*
*There is still hope.*

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

*Hi honey,* he greeted her as she walked through the old wooden door. The house was small and plain, but they wouldn’t want it any other way. There were several reasons it served them to keep it that way. It was a way for them to hide out in plain sight. They blended in with the poor people, and there were no suspicions raised against them. They were both involved in the Loyalist movement. They were both being trained to be able to stand up to the soldiers of the king, to break through the monarchy and bring peace to a starving planet.
She placed a lingering kiss on his lips and smiled tiredly.
*Are you okay?* he asked, concern etching his face.

She sighed as she sat down across from him. *You will never believe what happened to me today.*
His curiosity was peaked. *What?*
*I was summoned to the palace..*
*The palace? Why?* He was suddenly worried about her. What did the men in the Palace want from her?
*They wanted me to take on this...uhm...case.*
*You’re working for the Palace?* he asked.
She gave him a faint smile. *I guess I am.*
He rose quickly, frustration oozing off him. *I can’t let you work there!* he said forcefully, his fists clenching at his sides.

Watching him with worry, she answered *I have to.“
She knew that he was worried about her, and she knew that she was putting her life at stake just by putting one foot inside the palace.

He turned around, fire blazing in his eyes. He was angry. It was that familiar anger that so easily could put its claws in him. He wasn’t angry with her. It was the whole situation. The way they were living. She was the only bright light in his life, and he wasn’t going to just passively watch as they pulled her away from him. Because if she were working at the Palace, it wouldn’t take long until they found out where her loyalties lay. And it was no secret that Khivar didn’t think highly of people who sympathized with his enemies. He had shown this many times to the people. He had burnt down whole villages at night; whole families burning to death as the smoke prevented them from waking up and escaping. Only to prove his point of what it meant to stand up to him.

His voice softening somewhat as he saw the sad look in her eyes, he said *I don’t want you in there.*
*I know...but I can’t let this mission go,* she said slowly, wanting him to understand. Needing him to understand. She needed to have him on her side in this. She wasn’t prepared to not have his support, but she wasn’t prepared to give up on what she had been assigned to do at the Palace either.
*Why?* he asked her, wondering what could be so important to her to risk her life for.

*The case concerns a little girl....a human girl...from the planet Earth.*
She was surprised by his reaction. She had expected him to look at her in disbelief and start to question her sanity, but there was only interest in his eyes. Almost excited curiosity...but also fear.
*From Earth?* he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.
*Yes,* she answered, trying to figure out his reaction.
*Why would there be a girl here from Earth?* he asked her. *And why is she at the Palace?*
*That’s what I want to find out,* she said. *I just took an intensive course this morning to acquire her language to be able to communicate with her.*
*You’ve met her?* he asked, his voice raising in intensity.
*Yes...she looks just like an Antarian,* she answered.
*How old is she?*
She shrugged her shoulders. *I’m not sure... maybe two moontravels.*
He looked surprised. *She’s that small?!*
She thought about it some more and then nodded. *Yes, if the aging process isn’t different on Earth I’m certain she must be of that age... What’s going on, Aldonis?*

He rubbed his forehead, his green eyes momentarily lighting up as he came to kneel in front of her. He took her hands in his and looked her into her eyes.
*Serena, we have strong evidence to believe that Zan is here on Antar.*
*What?! Zan? As in Zan, the King?* Serena was astonished. Was Zan alive?
*Yes,* Aldonis answered, excitement in his eyes. *He’s been on Earth all these years, preparing to help us.*
*Are you serious?* she asked, her mind still trying to gasp the information.
He nodded. *Don’t you think it’s a little suspicious that as rumors are going around that Zan has returned, a human girl turns up at the Palace?*
*You don’t think they are connected somehow?* Serena asked, thinking about the terrified little girl who had already captured her heart.
*Nobody knows why Zan decided to return now...and why he hadn’t come any sooner. What if this little girl has something to do with his arrival. Why would the Palace be so interested in a human girl anyway? There must be something special about her.*
Serena stared into her mate’s eyes, as her thoughts were lingering on the girl with the amazing eyes. She had known deep in her heart already from the very first glance at her that she was special. Was she connected with the long lost King? And in that case...how?

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

The translucent image of Liz’s body started to disintegrate into the humid breeze.
“Did it work?“ Michael asked, startling Max.
Max turned around and faced Michael.
“Yeah,“ he answered before he brushed past Michael to get to Liz.
“Where are you going?“ Michael asked.
“I need to check up on Liz,“ Max said over his shoulder.
“But it worked, right?“ Michael asked, trailing after Max to the tent Max and Liz shared.
Max didn’t answer as he disappeared inside the tent. Michael followed close by and found Max kneeling beside Liz’s still figure on the ground. Michael was worried for a second that something had gone wrong, but then he saw Liz move under Max’s hands.


“Come back to me,“ Max said gently, unable to hide the hint of guilt and worry in his voice. His fingertips gently brushed against her forehead, where there was evident perspiration from the strain of the astral projection. He could feel that she was all right through the connection, but she was exhausted. She had tried too hard. She had pushed herself too hard. She needed to sleep, but she wasn’t asleep right now. She was floating in some state between sleep and consciousness, and Max was afraid that some part of her was still left in the astral projection. He could see how she struggled to open her eyes, making her eyelids look very heavy. He was staring at her, longing to see those beautiful brown eyes of her that would tell him that she was okay.

“Yes, honey. That’s it,“ he coaxed, “You can do it. I’m right here.“
Her heavy eyelids slowly slipped away, and she looked up at him.
Relief marked his features as he said, “That’s good, Liz.“
He kissed her lightly on her forehead, before he trapped her eyes with his to stop her from sinking down into that semi-unconscious state again.
“How are you feeling?“ he asked.
“Really tired,“ Liz said slowly, her words carrying a little slur due to the difficulty to form words in her exhausted state. Her eyelids blinked heavily, and she yawned.
“Liz, I need you to concentrate on me,“ Max said.

He was terrified that she would fall back into that comatose state. He needed her to fall asleep, but he was afraid that she needed his help to be able to do that. Her eyes rolled back in her head, before her eyelids fell back down. Max could feel her fall back from the connection, and he was surrounded with the feeling of how it had felt before, when their connection was blocked. He quickly tucked his hand under her head and lifted it up, shaking her by the shoulder with his other hand while he simultaneously tried to keep the connection from slipping away in his mind.
“Liz! Liz! Look at me!!“
Michael moved inside the tent and hunched over Liz’s form on the bed. Max gave a start as Michael clapped his hands hardly together above Liz’s face. The sound jerked Max out of his concentration and he looked angrily at Michael.
“What the hell are you doing?“ he demanded.
“I was waking her up,“ Michael answered matter-of-factly, and pointed at Liz. Max turned his head back to Liz and found her looking at him again. Max firmly gathered his concentration. He wasn’t going to let her slip away from him again.

“Look into my eyes, Liz, and let your mind go blank,“ Max said slowly, careful that she heard his every word and understood what he was saying. She moved her head slightly, indicating that she had heard him. But she was just so tired. Max didn’t waste any time, and soon he was deeply connected to her. He was deeply agitated as he found the disrupted and torn state of her mind. She had pushed herself far too hard, and she didn’t know how to come back from the use of powers. She didn’t know how to turn it off - and now her mind was dispersed, some of it disappeared in the connection to Max, where her mind had linked with his. Some of her mind was still inside of Max’s, and that was wrong. He focused on pulling her mind together, of molding the parts together. As he pulled out of her again they both gasped at the loss of contact. But as Max looked into her eyes again he found the presence and consciousness in her eyes that he had missed earlier.
“Now, get back to sleep,“ he urged her gently. She yawned again as her eyelids fell down. She was asleep even before she had finished the yawn. Max leaned down and kissed her on the forehead before he pushed himself to his feet and signaled for Michael to go outside.

“What was that, Maxwell?“ Michael asked as they walked away from the tent.
“She pushed herself too hard,“ Max answered, “She was in the astral projection for too long and she couldn’t pull her mind back together.“
Michael looked at Max sternly. “She can’t push herself that hard.“
“No, she can’t. But don’t say anything about it to her,“ Max ordered Michael. He didn’t want Michael scolding Liz for something that she hardly had any control over. Not yet.
Michael stared at him. Didn’t Max know that Liz would kill herself if she kept doing this?
“I’m going to talk to her,“ Max said, “But I’m guessing that she already knows that she went too far. She doesn’t need a lecture.“
“Fine,“ Michael huffed. They walked in silence up to a little area further away where there were a lot of stones piled up. This was their ‘training area’. Under comfortable wordless communication they started to practice their powers, molding their movements together into a gradually improved complete fighting unit.

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

Max tried his best to be quiet as he walked into the tent. It was now growing dark outside, and he was exhausted. He had been practicing his powers the whole day, and he barely had enough energy to do simple things, like heat a cup of water. Liz was lying on the bed, her body still recuperating from the astral projection that could have had disastrous ramifications. He pulled off his shirt and kneeled over the bowl of manipulated water in the corner of the tent to wash his face. Next he made his way over to Liz. He pulled the blanket away and crawled down beside her. She immediately shifted position as she felt him beside her, and curled up against his side. Max put his arm around her and pulled her close, planting a kiss at the crown of her head, relishing in the scent of her hair.
“Are you okay?“
He was surprised to hear her soft voice. He was obviously a lot more tired than he thought, having missed to feel her waking up through the connection. “Yeah, I’m just tired. How are you feeling?“
“Better, but still tired,“ she murmured, her warm breath brushing against his bare chest. She had positioned herself with her head on his shoulder and her fingers were now idly moving over his chest, drawing invisible unintelligible figures.

“I’m sorry about earlier,“ she said. “I guess I wanted too much.“
“You aren’t ready for that much yet,“ he said softly, capturing her moving hand with his and lacing their fingers together. They lay there in silence for a while, almost too tired to fall asleep.
“I want her here too.“ His voice was barely above a whisper. He could feel her sadness through the connection. “But you can’t help her if you wear yourself out.“
“I could say the same thing to you,“ Liz whispered, and Max could hear the weak smile in her voice. She was right. Again. He had pushed himself a little too hard today as well. They both wanted their little girl back, and they were both willing to do whatever it took to make that a reality. Nevertheless, they had learnt today that they should probably slow down some. Wearing themselves out to the brink of unconsciousness was not the solution.

<center>__________________________________</center>


Okay, let’s review, shall we?

This is what has happened so far. As a consequence of Future Max arriving in Liz’s bedroom one night, Liz sets out to try to have Max fall out of love with her. Even though Max’s trust in Liz and what they once shared was badly wounded when he had to witness Liz in bed with Kyle, Max continues to watch over Liz. Liz is suffering from nightmares, and she’s almost always suffering from excruitiating headaches. Being Liz, she’s trying to put up a facade that everything is okay. But Max isn’t fooled. He tries to convince her to connect with him. She’s afraid to let him do it because of what he might find out about Future Max, and thereby everything she has worked for - all the hurt she has been going through - would be for nothing.

However, as we all know, the bond between Liz and Max is powerful, and it doesn’t take long for them to get together again. Liz realizes that she feels better in Max’s company. It’s as if the headaches which are constantly plaguing her vanish whenever he’s near. But then something goes very wrong.

Nasedo and Tess are working on finding a way home, and at the same time make their allies happy. These two conditions both involve the Granolith, which they need Max in order to activate. But to have Max activate it, he has to be willing to let go of his Earthly life, and he is not ready to ever let go off Liz. So Nasedo and Tess tries mindwarps to damage the bond between Max and Liz. They are unsuccessful. Hence, another plan takes form. Nasedo shapeshifts into Max, and plans on raping Liz while impersonating Max. Liz would never forgive Max for something like that. They didn’t count on the strong connection between Max and Liz though, and Liz has somehow been reliving the moments up to the rape in her nightmares, so she’s more or less prepared. But something goes wrong, and Nasedo hurts Liz so badly she almost dies.

Tess mindwarps Max, Michael and Isabel that they are seeing the dead form of Liz, while Liz is really held prisoner, unconscious, in a motel room with Nasedo. Everyone believes that Liz is dead, and so does even Max. Liz escapes from Nasedo and Tess, and starts a whole new life in Santa Fe. She suffers from amnesia; she can’t even remember her own name. And she finds herself pregnant with a child, without having a clue to who the father is. Four years pass, and eventually Max meet up with his daughter - Emma, which leads him into finding Liz again. Her memories start to come back to her. But she’s sick. Really sick, and she isn’t getting better even though Max tries healing her.

During Liz’s absence a new protector has showed up - Kira. He is the real protector to the four squad. Nasedo was an imposter. By compiling facts about what has happened, and what Kira knows about his race, they reach the conclusion that Liz is sick because she’s (involuntary) blocking her connection to Max.

Okay, is it all starting to come back to you? :D I’ll go on either way... lol

They are concerned about their safety. Kira has men all around the US, and they are reporting that their enemies are preparing for something. When she was unaware of her identity, Liz received a strange phone call, the person asking things about her daughter. Since someone are after them, Max, Liz and Emma goes into hiding - at a warehouse. During their short stay there, Max and Liz make love and the connection flare to life between them again. Liz’s body slowly starts to heal itself. But then one night, Emma is taken from them, and they find out that she has been taken by Nicolas, to Antar.

So, we leave for Antar. Phew...this ”summary” is getting long :wink:.. Not too much has happened yet on Antar. We have learnt of a person named Serena, who has been assigned to work with a mysterious human child held at the palace (Emma). Her mate, Aldonis, is the leader of the group loyal to Zan (or Max). Both Serena and Aldonis are part of this secret organization to free the planet from the ruling of Khivar. Liz is trying to connect to her daughter through the connection they share, but she can’t get through. The connection is blocked. Michael and Isabel are also on Antar, and Alex and Maria are left behind on Earth. The hybrids are living in a small camp together with Kira and some of his men, trying to organize how to free Emma, and get them back to Earth.

Oh, and not to forget! Tess is nowhere in sight, because she melted - at the hands of the people she worked for...

And then there are some slight problems. For instance, they are on a foreign planet, without any knowledge about the language or the people. Max feels helpless because he can’t make any decision without knowledge, leaving him at the mercy of Kira, who he is almost forced to trust completely in. He has no other choice. Then we have Isabel and Michael. While Liz and Max have each other, they are alone, and they are starting to realize how much the humans they were close to (Maria and Alex) mean to them. On top of all this, there is a development of Liz’s powers, that Max healing somehow brought forward. The problem is that she can’t control her powers, and the one and only premonition she had (before going to Antar) almost left her dead...


So, there are still many things to be dealt with.... :D



Chapter 6


The air felt heavy and fluid. It stuck to his clothes, to his bare arms, to his face. He twirled around, laughter echoing around him. His heart was slamming in his chest so hard it felt as if it wanted to get out. But it was trapped inside of him, just like his mind was trapped in the confines of this body.
Daddy!!
He turned around, his eyes fervently searching for her, but he was still alone. The laughter around him grew in intensity and there were whispers growing louder and louder. He put his hands to his ears, the sharp sound of the loud whispers slicing his hearing.
“No!! Noo!!“ Suddenly the laughter was close, behind him. He turned around and tumbled backwards as he looked into a pair of coal black eyes.
“Where’s Emma?!“ he asked the man.
The man just laughed at him. Max took a hold of the collar of the man’s shirt. “Where is Emma?!!“ The man stopped laughing and stared at him.
“She’s dead.“



Liz woke up to the sound of his agonizing whimper. She opened her eyes, and found him lying on his side, his back facing her.
“Max...“ she said.
She could hear him mumbling, his legs restlessly moving around under the covers.
“Max!“ This time more forcefully.
“Noooooo!!“
His agonizing cry made a part of her heart go numb, and she quickly put her arms around him, pressing his back into her chest.
“Max!“ she said loudly in his ear. “Max! Wake up!“
She heard him take a deep breath and then he relaxed his tense body against her. His erratic breathing evened out and Liz closed her eyes against his shoulder, warm tears running down her cheeks.

<center>---------------------------------</center>

Serena pushed the door open to the small windowless room. The little girl was sitting by the small table, crayons spread out on the table surface. She looked up with fear in her eyes as the door opened, but when she saw who it was some of the fear disappeared and was replaced with curiosity. Serena felt the girl’s eyes on her as she turned around to close the door.
“Hi Emma,“ Serena greeted.
The little girl gave her a faint smile and without a word she returned her attention to the drawing in front of her.
“What are you doing?“ Serena asked.
“Painting,“ Emma said.

“What are you painting“ Serena asked, cautiously moving closer to Emma. She was still afraid that she would scare the little girl. She came up beside Emma and peeked down at her paper. It was the work of a child to be sure, but it was not difficult to see what it was supposed to be.
“Is that you?“ Serena asked, and pointed at the short figure Emma had painted. Emma nodded. The figure consisted of a round head with black long hair and a round body with arms. Emma had actually not painted any legs, only the feet, which she had put directly on the body. The figure made the corners of Serena’s mouth to move upwards. It looked really cute. But her smile grew faint as she saw the two larger figures standing at the little figure’s side.

“Who is that?“ she asked Emma, although she could already guess the answer.
“That’s mommy,“ Emma explained, pointing to the figure who looked like a copy of the little figure, only bigger, “and that’s daddy.“ She pointed on the figure standing by the little figure. She had drawn her family.
“You don’t have any siblings?“ Serena asked.
Emma shook her head. “No. Only me, mommy and daddy.“
Serena kneeled down beside the table and searched out Emma’s eyes from under her bangs when Emma ducked her head.
“You like your mommy and daddy very much, huh?“ she asked.

Emma nodded her head. There was so much Serena wanted to ask her about her parents. But she wasn’t sure Emma even knew the answers to those questions. Serena wanted to have the information that could confirm what she and Aldonis had been discussing the other night. That Emma was somehow related to Zan. The most logical relation being that Emma was his child. If she was, then Serena was afraid for the little girl’s safety. She was the heir to the throne in case of Zan’s death, and Khivar certainly didn’t want an heir to the throne.

The only reason Serena could think of that Emma would be of any greater importance to Khivar was that he would train her into becoming the ruler he wanted to replace him. Khivar wasn’t married, and he didn’t have any children of his own. There were, however, rumors going around that there were many bastard children out there, children brought into the world through rape. Their mothers were often concubines or servants to Khivar who he had come upon during his fits of anger and subjected them to his physical urges. It would be in Khivar’s interest to raise an heir that would continue to rule Antar as he had.

Serena searched the girl’s innocent face and wondered if she was really a princess. But she was human. Did that mean that she didn’t have any powers? Everyone on Antar is born with the capacity to develop powers, but without training that potential often sank into oblivion. On Antar only royalty and men of command had powers. Serena had powers, but only because she had been trained through the Loyalists. If this little girl was half human, or even more than half human because Zan was mostly human, did she know how to bring forward those powers that ordinary people on Antar had such difficulties to access and utilize without training? The Levitars hadn’t said anything about Emma having any powers, but on the other hand they had given her almost no information on anything. Should she just ask Emma or should she wait? She watched Emma for a while as she added black color to the hair on the figure portraying her mother.

“Your mommy is beautiful, isn’t she?“ Serena asked.
“She’s pwetty,“ Emma said. “She lubs me.“
Serena concentrated on translating what Emma’s child language meant.
“Daddy lubs me too,“ Emma continued. Loves...that what she meant. Love. Love was a rare concept on Antar. For ages it had been judged to accompany one of those strong feelings that needed to be restrained in order to enhance and develop one’s capabilities to the fullest. Love was never discussed. Even though it was a difficult emotion to actually retain, that didn’t mean it wasn’t present. However, Antarian children were never told about love. They were instead taught about loyalty. You were loyal to your parents, but you didn’t love them. As she watched the dark-haired little girl, her heart once again went out to her. She had obviously been taken from a loving family. Serena hoped with all her might that Emma’s mother wasn’t dead as the Levitars had told her.

“When was the last time you saw your mommy?“ Serena asked. To her surprise, Emma’s eyes lit up, excited about the memory.
“Mommy was putting me in bed,“ she said. “And daddy too. And she told me that I was special.“
“You were special?“ Serena asked.
Emma nodded enthusiastic.
“How were you special, Emma?“
Emma opened her mouth to answer, but then she stopped herself. Serena could literally see the excitement disappearing from her eye, like a lamp had just been switched off. Emma liked the woman who was kneeling there on the floor beside her. She was the nicest one of all the people that had come into this room, but she couldn’t tell her why she was special. It was her secret. And those other people – like that mean man - had known about her secret and he had hurt that puppy. She didn’t want that to happen again. She didn’t want the woman to know her secret.
“Emma?“

Emma looked down at her paper in front of her and put her drawing away, only to reveal a new white piece of paper underneath. She took a blue crayon and started to draw. She didn’t want to answer any more questions. She just wanted to draw. It was fun to draw. She could draw everything she remembered. In the world of her drawings and her imagination, she could do whatever she wanted. She could be wherever she wanted, and she could be with whoever she wanted.
Serena observed Emma closely. Emma was obviously reluctant to answer her questions. She decided to let it go for now. Hopefully Emma would trust her enough to tell her later.

<center>----------------------------------------------</center>

“Michael! Michael!“
Michael jerked his head towards Max, and snapped, “What?!“
“What the hell are you doing?!“ Max strode up to him and, looking past Michael, saw a fire feasting on the dry shrubs and trees. The thick smoke filled the air and blended with the sparking sound of fibrous twigs breaking and turning into ashes.
“What does it look like I’m doing?! What you told me to!!“
Max stared at him, balling his fists in anger. “I didn’t tell you to blow up the entire site. Don’t you realize that by doing that you are sending out a beacon to everyone to just come and find us!“
Max stretched out his hand in front of him and, with a subdued whizzing sound, the oxygen to the fire was cut off, which put an end to the blazing conflagration.
“You just want us to practice on blowing up small stones, Maxwell!! How do you think that we are going to be able to protect ourselves from our enemies if we haven’t been taught to use more energy?!!“

“I didn’t say small stones,“ Max said, “I said not to do anything too conspicuous! And then you almost set an entire forest on fire! I’m sorry if I don’t agree with your idea of being conspicuous!“
“Don’t you fuck with me,“ Michael said coldly.
Max furrowed his eyebrows in anger. “What the hell is wrong with you?!“
“Nothing, oh fearless leader,“ Michael sarcastically replied and walked off without another word, leaving Max staring at his back. The anger was simmering down and was replaced with frustration over this whole situation.

<center>---------------------------------</center>

The water on Antar was probably one of the things that Liz had the most trouble getting used to. It was thicker than Earth water, and you couldn’t drink it. Sometimes Liz would have this indescribable longing for water. Just to feel its cool and refreshing texture on her tongue and feel it running down her throat. Water was something you took for granted if you had access to it everyday. Liz had acquired a new understanding for people living in countries were fresh, and especially, clean water was scarce. She still had not figured out what the people did on Antar to keep clean, because this water wasn’t really something you could wash yourself with.

Max manipulated the structure of Antarian water, trying to make it similar to Earth water. Trying to take away its gelatin structure and make it thinner, but it was difficult. They had constructed a substitute for a bathtub out of some kind of metal. Max would help Liz carry the water to the tub and fill it up. Then he would change the molecular structure of the water molecules - rearranging the covalent bonding - and lastly, he would heat the water to a comfortable temperature. The whole process was pretty tiring for Max, and Liz’s baths became increasingly rare because she didn’t want to wear Max out.

Nevertheless, Liz felt greatly in a need of a bath today. Actually, she would much rather have a warm shower at home on Earth, but the greenish water was the next best thing and she would take it. Max was off to practice his powers somewhere and it was getting late. The three moons in the green sky were slowly becoming more and more evident as the green turned darker and the red sun descended. Liz had to carefully focus her vision to be able to see in the growing darkness as she made her way from the river to the little tent that served as the ‘bathroom’. Some of Kira’s men were nearby. One of them was walking behind her with two buckets of the heavy water. They had been intruding on her personal space the entire day and it was beginning to get to her, even if it was because Max had ordered them not to let her out of their sight for an instant. She was irritated, and it felt as if all of her nerves were on the outside of her body. It was only a matter of time before she snapped. She walked into the tent and poured the sluggish liquid into the tub. The other man stepped up behind her and poured the contents of his two buckets in the tub as well.

“Can you please change the structure of the water?“ Liz asked him. The man looked at her confused.
“What do you mean, my lady?“ he asked.
Liz let out a frustrated sigh. It wasn’t just that he was calling her ‘my lady’, which made her feel twice her age, but since her level of patience wasn’t very high at the moment, it annoyed her greatly that he couldn’t understand that simple request.
“Make it into the same structure as Earth water,“ she clarified tightly.
“Yes, my lady,“ the man answered, and put his hand down in the water. His palm started to glow and then the area surrounding his palm became more translucent. The area grew larger and larger and soon the water had a texture more similar to Earth water. Liz dipped her hand into the water to feel its structure.

“It’s cold,“ she said. “Could you please heat it?“
“Yes, my lady,“ the man answered flatly and Liz had to stop herself from strangling him. God! Couldn’t they stop with this ‘my lady’ crap already?! She had begged them a thousand times (just today) that she wanted them to call her Liz and nothing else. But she had to give up since they obviously couldn’t understand that simple request. The man removed his hand from the tub and Liz put her hand down in it, only to quickly pull it up again with a squeal.

“It’s too hot!“ she cried. Aliens weren’t as sensitive to hot and cold as humans were. Max’s body was basically human. However, he often wasn’t as susceptible to cold as Liz was.
“Sorry, my lady,“ the man mumbled, feeling the negative energy coming off of Liz in waves. He really didn’t want to upset her. If he upset her, than he was sure he had to deal with Zan...and he really didn’t feel up to that.
“Problems?“
Speak of the devil... The man turned his head towards the opening of the tent and saw his leader standing there with a grin on his face.

“Max! Could you please heat this water to a normal temperature?“ Liz asked, glaring at the man. The man eased away, hoping that he hadn’t upset the king. The man didn’t know this king though. The man had known Zan, not Max. If he had known Max, he would have known that Max wouldn’t punish anyone for something as trivial as this.
“Could you leave the two of us alone please?“ Max politely asked the man while stepping into the tent.
“Of course, your Highness,“ the man said, bowing his head slightly in respect before he hastily scurried out of the tent. Max only shook his head in amusement. That poor man looked really frightened.

“How did you manage to scare him like that?“ Max asked Liz, stepping closer to her. He had been feeling her increasing annoyance through the connection the entire day and so he had hurried home. He knew that she was near her breaking point.
“It’s about damn time you showed up!“ Liz said and pointed toward the tub. “I really need a bath. Where have you been?!“
“Sorry, Liz. I guess the practice took a little longer than expected,“ Max apologized.
“No kidding,“ Liz said under her breath, pretending to be interested in the tub. She needed to calm down. Max looked at her, feeling her inner turmoil. Without taking his eyes of her he put his hand in the scalding water and lowered the water temperature.
“Better?“ he asked Liz. Without looking at him, Liz put her hand in the tub.
“Much better,“ she answered. Max frowned as she pulled up her hand again. It was unnaturally red.
“Liz, did you burn yourself?“ he asked.
“Well, the water was pretty hot. I wasn’t expecting it, so I put in my whole hand. That stupid alien can’t do anything right!!“
“Let me see,“ Max said, stepping closer to Liz.
Liz put her hand behind her back. “No, Max. It’s nothing.“

Max searched her face while trying to figure out what was going on with her.
“Just let me see,“ he said again. There was a pause as Liz juggled with her emotions. Then she sighed in resignation and stretched out her red hand to Max. Max tried to capture her eyes but she kept looking into the tub. He sighed and carefully took her hand.
“Let me heal it,“ he said.
Liz pulled her hand away. “No, Max. It’s okay.“
Max stared at her. “Okay. What’s wrong?“
“Nothing,“ Liz answered. “Now can you please go outside? I need to take a bath.“
“It’s because of me, right?“ Max stated. Liz looked up at him. “You don’t want me to use my energy so much.“ He could feel from their connection that he had made the right conclusion.

“Liz, it’s only a burn. It’s not a problem for me to heal.“
“Yes, Max. It’s only a burn. I can live with it,“ Liz said and turned away from him, starting to unbutton her shirt. Max looked at her back, knowing that she was making this his cue to leave. But there was something else to this. He knew it. He stepped up behind her and put his arms around her waist. His hands captured hers, stilling her movements.
“Liz. Tell me.“
There was a pause.
“I don’t want you having any nightmares,“ Liz said. Max leaned his chin on her shoulder, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her closer against him.

“Honey, I don’t have any nightmares,“ Max said, and he actually thought he was telling her the truth.
“Yes, you do,“ Liz said, and Max could hear the tremble in her voice. “Every time you come back from training and you’re exhausted you have these nightmares. You toss around...you’re so scared, Max.“
Max just stood there completely paralyzed. He wasn’t even aware of the fact that he had any nightmares.
“It hurts me so much to see you like that...and you don’t even remember it. It’s so terrible that your mind represses it.“
“Liz...“ Max said, his breath catching in his throat.
“When you don’t wear yourself out, you don’t sleep as deeply, and you don’t have any nightmares. I don’t want you to use anymore of your energy.“
Her voice was trembling from emotion, but her statement was firm and adamant.
“Please Liz. Let me heal you.“
“Max, I can handle it.“

He couldn’t bear seeing her hurt. But he also knew that she couldn’t bear seeing him hurt either. He took a deep breath and planted a soft kiss at the crook of her neck.
“Okay,“ he said, releasing his grip on her. He could feel her relax through their connection, but under the feelings of relief he could also feel a hint of the pain the burn was causing her. He moved his hands to her tense shoulders, starting to rub them. A small moan of pleasure escaped her lips as he applied some healing warmth to her sore neck. She tilted her head slightly forward, giving him a better access to her shoulders. He started to rain light but lingering kisses over her neck, his hands moving under the fabric of her shirt.

“Can I join you?“ Max asked huskily, his warm breath floating behind her ear. Liz tilted her head to the side, coaxing him into continuing his healing touches with his lips and hands.
“Mmmm, I think I’m in a desperate need of a full body massage,“ she breathed, already losing herself in him.
“Yes, I agree. You need to relax,“ Max said, his hands moving lightly down her arms, barely touching her. She could feel the heat of his fingers even through the fabric. His hands changed direction, wrapping around her again and coming to a stop on top of her hands, which had stilled in their task of unbuttoning her shirt as Max’s otherworldly massage began. He slowly removed her hands from the buttons, his mouth tasting the soft skin of her neck, and began the task of unbuttoning her shirt himself.
“Relaxation is not exactly what I had in mind,“ Liz said.

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max and liz believer
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Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jul 12, 2003 6:01 am

Chapter 7


Roswell, New Mexico, Earth


“We don’t have to do this, Nancy,“ Jeff said to his wife.
“No, it’s okay. I think I need to do this,“ Nancy answered, taking a deep breath as she opened the door to her daughter’s room. “It’s been five years, Jeff. I need some kind of closure.“
“We can always do it later,“ Jeff said, feeling that he himself wasn’t so sure about this.
“I think this is the right thing to do,“ Nancy said. “We have to realize that she’s...gone.“ Her voice hitched in her throat as a sob broke up to the surface at the memory of her daughter’s fate. Raped and then killed, and only seventeen years old. She had to take a deep breath to control the emotions that swirled up to the surface as her husband put his hands on her shoulders in an act of consolation. She had to stay strong. They had to do this. They would feel better after they’ve done it.
“Meg and Stan will be here in a week, and the room has to be ready by then.“
“We can always let them sleep in our bedroom, and we can take the extra mattresses. Or they can stay at the motel like they suggested.“
Nancy turned around and looked her husband firmly in the eyes. Her eyes were shimmering with the moisture of unshed tears, but her face was determined. Jeff knew that expression far too well. His daughter used to have that expression too. Her wife had reached her decision, and that was final. His only child’s room, after being a sacred, almost untouched haven since her death, was to be transformed into a guest room. The decision left them with great emptiness, hurt and sorrow in their hearts, but they knew that they had to do it. It was time to accept the truth. Their daughter wasn’t coming back. They needed to let go of the past.

<center>-------------------------------------------------------</center>

Antar


“Max, I need to talk to you,“ Kira said, walking into the tent.
Max turned around, his fingers still entwined with Liz’s.
“Oh... Excuse me. Did I interrupt something?“ Kira asked, eyeing how Max slowly disentangling his fingers from Liz’s.
“No, we were just trying something,“ Max answered evasively.
Kira caught Liz’s expression momentarily before she turned her face away. She was crying.
“I’ll be right with you,“ Max said, reaching his hand out behind him, grabbing Liz by the hand again.
Kira nodded, and left without a word.

Max turned around, pulling Liz into a tight embrace. “It’s okay, love,“ he whispered to her. “We’ll try later, okay? It was only our first attempt, and we were interrupted as well.“
He could feel her nod against his shoulder, her tears wetting his shirt.
“I can talk to Kira later,“ Max said.
“No,“ she whispered, feeling her voice would quiver. “You should go. I’ll be fine...maybe Kira has some news.“
Max pulled away slightly from the embrace. Liz was keeping her unseeing eyes locked on a spot on Max’s chest. Max put his two fingers under her chin and gently pushed her face up towards his. Her eyes were glittering from her tears and her bottom lip was trembling slightly as she tried to regain her composure. Max tenderly brushed away some of the tears lingering on her cheeks with his thumbs.
“I’ll be right back,“ he promised softly.
She swallowed, a sob hitching in her throat, and nodded. The expression in his eyes gave her the reassurance, comfort and strength she needed. He leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on her forehead.
“I love you,“ he whispered.
A sob escaped her lips and she nodded again.
He gave her a tender smile and then he was gone.

<center>-----------------------------------------</center>

“What is it?“ Max asked as he entered the bigger tent. Kira turned around at the sound of his voice.
“We have acquired some new information.“
“What kind of information?“ Max asked, caution in his voice. He stepped further into the room.

Kira took a deep breath. “On Antar, there’s a whole network of Antarians who are loyal to Zan. They call themselves Loyalists. Their parents were loyal followers of King Zosima - Zan’s father...your father. During their lifetime King Zosima was assassinated, and young Zan was placed on the throne. The followers to king Zosima almost automatically decided to be loyal to the new king as well, and their children grew up with the same belief...even though King Zan was assassinated merely three Earthly months after his coronation. Those children are now adults, and they are more or less active in a secret underground community to re-establish peace on the planet and remove Khivar from the throne.“
“Okay,“ Max said slowly, somewhat overwhelmed by all the instant information, “Do they know that we were sent to Earth?“

“According to the recent information given, rumors have been spread, and they know that you are alive. There are even some rumors about the possibility that you are actually here on Antar.“
“If they know about it, then our enemies and Khivar know too,“ Max said slowly.
“Yes, unfortunately so.“

<center>-----------------------------------------</center>

“Hey.“
Startled by the soft voice, Isabel turned her head towards the opening of her small tent and saw Liz standing there.
She forced herself to smile. “Oh, hi Liz.“
“Are you okay?“ Liz asked.
“You don’t beat around the bush, do you?“ Isabel asked sarcastically, re-focusing her eyes on her hands. The mattress sank down as Liz moved to sit down in front of Isabel, folding her legs into Indian style.
“We haven’t talked much recently,“ Liz said slowly.
Isabel sighed. “Why are you here, Liz? Did my brother send you?“
“No, Isabel. I have a mind of my own, you know.“
“Really, well sometimes it doesn’t seem that way.“
Silence lowered itself over them, like a thick suffocating blanket, and for the first time since Liz had sat down in front of her, Isabel moved her eyes to look at the person her brother would sacrifice everything for. She expected to see hurt in Liz’s eyes, but she only saw compassion. And it aggravated her even more.

“What’s wrong, Isabel?“ Liz placed her hand over one of Isabel’s. Isabel immediately shrugged it off and raked her hands through her hair with a frustrated sigh.
“Liz, I’m not Maria! I don’t need your reassurance, or comforting words!!“
“Isabel, I’m just trying to help!“
“Well, I don’t feel like talking! Okay?!“
“I know that you miss Earth, and everyone there.“
Isabel closed her eyes at Liz’s words, swallowing deeply.
“I know you miss your parents, and Alex…“
Tears started to fall from Isabel’s closed eyelids.
“Isabel, I want you to know that I’m here if you ever want to talk...about anything. Girl power, you know?“
Isabel gave her a sobbing chuckle. Liz smiled compassionately. “Okay?“
Isabel nodded, tasting the salty tears running down in the corners of her mouth.
Liz put her arms around Isabel and pulled her towards her. “Come here.“
Isabel held her tightly, sobbing against her shoulder. “I’m so...sorry Liz. I didn’t mean to blu...blubber all over...you.“
“It’s okay,“ Liz whispered, “Blubber away.“

<center>--------------------------------------------</center>

Max closed his eyes with a sigh, rubbing his forehead. By now, Kira recognized the action. Max always did it when something was deeply troubling him.
“Why haven’t you told us about this before?“ Max asked, his voice a little sharper. They could’ve saved so much time if Kira had just told them about this before. Who knew what had happened to Emma while she had been waiting for them to rescue her?
“We weren’t sure if there were still Loyalists out there-“
“I need to be informed about everything anyway,“ Max said, his voice increasing in intensity. How was he supposed to find Emma and protect Liz if he wasn’t given all of the information?
“I wasn’t sure if I was to confuse you with more details-“

“What?! I need to know everything you know!! I need to have all of the information, otherwise I have no control here. I don’t recognize this world and I don’t remember this world! I don’t understand the language. The information you can give me is all I have. And everything is important. Any piece of information might make the difference! We’re lost without information.“
“Knowledge is power,“ a voice said calmly from the opening of the tent.
They turned around to find Michael standing there.
“What’s going on?“ he asked, stepping further into the tent as he was suspiciously eyeing Kira.
“Good Michael. You’re here. I couldn’t find you earlier, and you should hear this too,“ Kira said. “Where’s Isabel?“
Michael shrugged his shoulders.
“Do we have any contact at all with these...Loyalists?“ Max asked.
“Loyalists?“ Michael asked.

“Antarians loyal to Zan,“ Kira answered shortly, before turning to address Max’s question. “We actually have gotten in contact with one of the Loyalists. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.“
“Wait. There are more Antarians out there who are on our side?“ Michael asked.
“Yes,“ Kira answered.
Michael snorted. “Well, that’s certainly good to know. It never crossed your mind to inform us of this minor detail a little sooner?“
The sarcasm in his voice was sharply noticed by both Max and Kira. Kira was starting to realize that he certainly had made the wrong decision when deciding not to inform Max, Michael and Isabel about this. He met Max’s adamant facial expression, demanding answers, and he sighed.
“You should know that this...uhm…organization has extremely tight security. Just much security as there is at the royal palace. Loyalty to Zan is punishable with death, hence everyone involved are extremely careful about revealing their loyalty. In public they lead normal lives, and even though Khivar knows that there are rebels working against him, he has no faces or names to work with. And the Loyalist would like to keep it that way. The person who has contacted us is the leader of the Loyalists, and my men have confirmed his credibility to me. He is to be trusted. But thus far the attempts to contact us have not been reciprocated from our side and I have come to ask you what we should do, Max.“

“Arrange a meeting.“
The three aliens turned around to see Liz standing in the opening of the tent. Her eyes were tired, but her stance and expression spoke of strength. As on cue Michael and Kira turned their heads to look at Max.
“Liz...“
“Max, I think we should do this. What do we have to lose?“
“Your life, maybe,“ Michael said sarcastically.
“What about Emma’s life?“ Liz retorted.
“We don’t know if we can trust this person,“ Michael protested.
“As I understand it, we know more than we’ll ever know,“ Liz said, “And if there is some chance that there are people out there willing to help us, then I think we should take it.“
“What if he’s a traitor, ready to turn you in when you show up at the meeting,“ Michael pointed out, “Then neither one of you can help Emma.“
A pained expression flashed over Liz’s face.
“Michael, shut up,“ Max said. “Liz’s right.“

Michael sighed, throwing his hands in the air in frustrated resignation. “Of course. Liz is always right,“ he said with venom in his voice.
Max turned to look at Michael. “What the hell’s wrong with you?“
“This isn’t a stupid show off game, Maxwell! You can’t just play your king card, shout orders around and expect everyone to just follow every little movement of your damn pinkie finger!! And now you’re listening to Liz, who knows absolutely nothing about our world or our people-“
“Michael. Stop it,“ Max said, a deadly warning to his voice.
“I’m so sick of this, Max!! I have people here on this planet who want me to be the king! I don’t know why I’m sticking around here at all!“
“What are you talking about?!“
“I’m talking about me being fed up with sitting on my ass and just watching everything pass me by!! Everything’s always about you and Liz! Maybe I didn’t even want to go to this pla-“
He stopped himself abruptly, his heart speaking before his mind.

“Then leave, Michael,“ Max said. He really didn’t need this. He had enough problems as it was.
“No, Max,“ Liz said, stepping closer to the two testosterone-loaded males. “Michael. I’m grateful everyday that you decided to come with us. You’re right; you didn’t have to come here. But no one forced you either. It was your choice. You miss Maria, even if you would never admit it,“ she watched loneliness pass over Michael’s features before they were quickly repressed back behind his stone wall exterior, “I do too. I miss Maria, and I miss my parents, who I haven’t seen in almost seven years. I’m fortunate to have Max with me everyday. We are all hurting in one way or another. You can do as you like, Michael. No one controls you,“ she shot a pointed look in Max direction, who looked very confused by the underlying meaning of her look, “and you can do whatever you want. If you want to go home, I think that Kira can arrange something.“

There was a pause as Michael met Liz’s eyes, reading the sincerity, gratitude and love in her eyes. He swallowed, feeling slightly guilty for his outburst.
“No, I’m staying,“ he said.
Liz smiled, and pulled him into a hug. Slowly, his arms went around her waist, returning her hug.
“Thank you,“ she whispered in his ear. “Thank you for helping us.“
“No problem,“ Michael said gently, not knowing how to control his feelings.

<center>--------------------------------------------------------</center>

“Damnit!“ Nancy cried out in frustration as she stumbled over the bucket of soap and water standing on the floor. The bucket made some stumbling spins before it decided to stay upright and prevent a very wet accident.

However, Nancy’s attention wasn’t on the bucket doing a little balance dance on the floor, but rather on a part of the tile wall that had connected with her elbow, stopping her fall, but sending jolts of pain through her whole arm as the sensitive nerves in her elbow were hit. The tile wall didn’t have a smooth surface any longer as one of the tiles, the one Nancy’s elbow had hit, had been pushed in, revealing its mobile state. Nancy slowly put her fingertips at the sides of the tile and started to pull it outward. With the tile out of the way, a black hole revealed itself to her.

A hole in the wall.

But her sudden surprise and the pounding of her heart in tight anticipation wasn’t due to the fact that there was a small hiding place in the wall, it was due to the brown leather-bound book lying in it.

Her hands were shaking as she reached inside the chilly hole and retrieved the book. Her movements were filled with trepidation as she slowly cleaned off a layer of dust from its surface. Her breathing had quickened. Even though the book lacked a title, she knew who the author was. She had seen that book on countless occasions when her daughter had been alive. It had been on her lounge chair out on her balcony, on her bed, or her desk.

Nancy had never touched it of course, because it was a private book. She couldn’t deny that she had been tempted several times to take a look in it. Tempted during moments when her daughter had been acting strangely. A memory of her daughter climbing through her bedroom window in the middle of the night flashed through her mind. That was when her daughter had also been caught skipping classes and making out with Max Evans. Her need to protect her daughter from the dirty minds of teenage boys and all other troubles she could get herself into made her itch to read that book, to find out if her suspicions were true. But she never had. And she had failed to protect her daughter.

She slowly lowered herself to sit on the edge of the bed, her body feeling numb as her mind was going a hundred miles per hour. She took a deep breath and opened the cover, the only obstacle standing in the way of her and her daughter’s private thoughts. The last thing she had left of the daughter she had felt she had really lost during the last year of her life. She almost dropped the book as her brain processed the first words.
“JEFF!!!!“ she yelled, her voice frantic, on the verge of hysterics. Written with black ink in her daughter’s handwriting were eighteen words that made her world lurch on its axis and start moving in the wrong direction.

Journal Entry 1: I’m Liz Parker, and five days ago I died. After that, things got really weird.




Chapter 8


Maria nervously knocked on the door to the Parkers’ residence. Why had they been so eager to meet with her? Why did she feel like things were about to change drastically - again? And why did she feel like she was about to reveal something that wasn’t hers to tell?

The door flew open and she was faced with a rather pale looking Jeff Parker. Maria had only seen him like this once before. On the day of Liz’s funeral. Her first thought was that Liz was actually dead this time, but before her mind got the chance to trigger a barrage of uncontrollable, upsetting, and revolting emotions, the logical and cautious part of her (which had become more and more evident since she had found out about the existence of the Czechoslovakians) calmly reminded her that Liz’s parents still didn’t even know that Liz hadn’t died that night five years ago... No, it had to be something else.

However, as Jeff waved her inside and she caught her first look of Nancy Parker, she knew that whatever was going on was something big. And then her eyes fell on the book lying in Mrs. Parker’s lap and her heart almost lurched to a complete halt. It was Liz’s journal. Before she had any more time to contemplate this horrific realization, Jeff told her to sit down. She hesitantly sat down, trying to avert her eyes from the diary and concentrate on acting innocent and ignorant of whatever they had to say. But it was as if the diary had a special impact on her, and it kept pulling her eyes towards it. It was the same diary that Liz had been hysterical about when she discovered it was missing a couple of years ago.

She had arrived at Maria’s doorstep in the middle of the night, telling Maria that her journal was missing. At first, Maria hadn’t thought it was such a big deal. Sure, you write down every thought, every embarrassing feeling in them, but so does every other teenager who keeps a diary. Maria didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation until Liz explained that she had written everything in that journal.

Everything.

About Max. About his, his sister’s and best friend’s unique origin. Unless Liz had pulled out all of the pages from that diary after that incident, Maria was pretty convinced that the book lying on the couch was basically a ticking time bomb. All of her various feelings and thoughts finally summed up to one phrase that kept running through her mind; Have they read the diary?

“Hi, Mrs. Parker,“ Maria said lightly, but the trembling on her voice gave her casualness away.
“We need you to read something,“ Mr. Parker said, giving his wife a nod. Maria swallowed loudly as Mrs. Parker stood up and walked over to her, placing the diary in Maria’s lap and then turning it to the last pages. Maria looked up into Mrs. Parker’s eyes and she felt shivers running down her spine at the signs of despair and hurt she saw there. She took a deep silent breath before she gathered all of her concentration to focus on the last pages Liz had written in her journal five years earlier.


I feel like I’m falling. Falling into a bottomless hole, with no ladders or ropes to help me out. With no light to put warmth back into my dark existence. Ever since Future Max came to me and told me that I had to give up the love of my life, and with that the greatest reason for me continue living, my life lost its purpose. The only remnants of what used to be my heart are painful shreds that are burning and stinging as if they had been drowned in corroding acid, and it gets worse every time I have to tell Max another lie. Every time I have to deceive him I also destroy a piece of what I am and what I believe in. But that’s not even the worst part. Despite the fact that I’m so tired, so very tired, that sometimes I just want to lie down and cry myself to sleep, to not only sleep for a few restless hours, but for an eternity, death scares me as it is now following me around in everything I do. In every painful breath I take.

I’m dying.

I know it. I can feel it deep in the core of my being. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. Last week I fainted from the mere exhaustion my worn-out existence has forced me into. Not even Max was able to bring any light to the dark nightmare that starts in the nights and stretches into the traitorous lights of the next day.

Max.

My efforts paid off, I managed to push him away. I can even live with the fact that I’m dying if it meant that I didn’t have to see that hurt in his eyes. The hurt
I put there. And yesterday, my heart soared as a saw something in his eyes that I hadn’t seen there in a long time. Life.

My mind keeps pushing him away, wanting to protect him. Wanting to protect him from hurt, because truth is,
I’m the one who hurts him the most. But the last remnants of my still-beating heart beg him to listen to me. To listen to that voice inside of him that I’m convinced knows that I didn’t sleep with Kyle. To listen to what we used to be - our love. The love neither one of us can let go off. We are both hurt, and that love has been put through more trials than imaginable, but it still lives on. I can still feel the small fluttering in my heart as I see him, even though my mind is screaming at me to push him away to prevent the end of the world.

Under all of that hurt and despair in his eyes, the eyes that used to hold so much gentleness and warmth but now are so lifeless that they scare me, I can still see a small, although damaged, part of that warm love that used to shine through his eyes so brightly. The light I crushed to death because
he asked me to. A future version of him, but him nonetheless.

His faith in me that he somehow manages to cling to dazzles me. I keep pushing him away, showing him that I don’t need his help. Trying to make him understand that he has a destiny that doesn’t include me, a destiny with Tess. That doesn’t stop him from continuing to spend all of his free time at the Crashdown, watching me as I work. The intense gaze of love is gone, but I can still feel his eyes on me. He watches over me and it makes me feel safe, protected beyond comprehension. It doesn’t matter how much I try to push him away because my heart gives me away. And Max still knows my heart. He always has...and probably always will.

Yesterday I blacked out in the middle of class. Biology class. Which meant that Max was right there beside me. It didn’t take him long to connect with me and search for my lost soul in my mind. And I realized once again how he keeps risking everything to keep me safe. We were in the middle of class and so there were several people around, but that didn’t stop him from entering my mind, falling unconscious as well. That is one of the reasons I still love him and will always love him, for his incredible unselfishness and caring for the people around him - for me. He risked everything for me even when we didn’t really know each other. Starting with dissolving a life-threatening bullet inside of me.

He pulled me back. His love for me lead the way and I was dragged out of the dark pit my mind had ventured into. After class he wanted to heal me. I was so scared of the thoughts of dying that kept invading my body, leaving me in a paralyzed state of numbness. Knowing that he had the power to make everything better, I gave in, my mind for once too tired to object. But as we were in the Eraser room together, the memories of a happier time too strong and overwhelming, the realistic part of my being gained strength and started to come up to the surface. Max was so close. Jolts of electricity I’ve never experienced before went through me as his hands brushed the sides of my breasts as he lifted me up on the counter. I didn’t want his hands to leave me, but we weren’t where we had once been. There were too many conflicting emotions between us, too many obstacles to overcome, too many hurtful memories.

He pulled away, but only to ask me for permission to connect with me. His hands protectively cradling my face made me want to escape the harsh reality and seek refuge in those eyes of his that, for the moment, were not cold. The hope shining in them was so clear. I could feel his...essence surround me, his scent filled not only my nose, but every pore of my body, my whole body smelled him. That’s when my mind awoke, filling me with memories of what Future Max had told me about Michael and Isabel dying, and I pulled away. The confusion and hurt in Max’s eyes was too much for me to bear, and I hastily run out of the room - leaving him behind me.

And now I’m more afraid than ever. Will I die alone? Will I die without ever having the chance of feeling Max’s lips on mine again? Will I die without feeling his love wrap around me? Will I die without ever getting the chance of making love to him? My heart cries - bleeds - for the life I’ll probably never have.


Hesitantly, Maria looked up from the pages and she could see the dried stains from Liz’s tears as she had tried putting her painful feelings into words. They knew everything, Maria concluded as she met their intense gazes. She shifted nervously in her seat, their unwavering focus making her squirm. Finally, Maria met their eyes without blinking, wondering how much she should tell them.

<center>------------------------------------------------------</center>

One week earlier


“So, how do we do this?“
“I’m not quite sure-“
“You’re not quite sure. Well, that sounds just great.“
“Michael, let him speak.“
“Sure, Maxwell...“
“Kira, please continue.“
“Well... The Granolith was constructed in such a way that only let it be activated by the king and queen together.“
“But I thought that I was the only who could activate it.“
“Okay...’activate’ is probably not the correct word... um... You, Max, activate the essential parts of the Granolith, but you need your queen to be able to activate the whole apparatus.“
“By ‘queen’, you mean Tess?“

“Yes...“
“Well, that is a problem. Tess is dust.“
“Yes, Michael. I’m quite aware of that. That’s why the Granolith has a backup mechanism.“
“What does that mean?“
“Whoever the king decided to bond with would also be able to activate the Granolith. Since there was always the risk that Ava might perish during the incubation during the journey to Earth or before the memories had gotten a chance to fully awaken, this backup was built in to further guarantee that the king returned.“
“What if Max died?“
“Well, that wouldn’t be good. Without the king, the survivors would be trapped on Earth because the king is the only one that is able to activate the Granolith.“
“Does this mean that Liz would be activating the Granolith with me?“
“Yes.“
“Okay, we should get started. The more time that elapses, the more of an advantage Nicolas gets.“
“Yes, I agree with Max. So, how do we do this?“


<center>----------------------------------------------</center>

“I-I don’t even know where to start,“ Nancy said, her voice trembling.
“Have you read Liz’s diary?“ Maria asked, although she was pretty convinced that she already knew the answer to that question.
Mr. Parker nodded in confirmation.
“I don’t understand,“ Nancy said hoarsely.
Maria swallowed, and took a deep breath.
“Liz isn’t dead,“ she whispered.
“What?!“ Mr. Parker said, bolting up from his seat. Mrs. Parker turned pale and looked as if she were about to faint.
Maria was looking at them, trying to decide what to say as the last thing Michael had said to her before leaving Earth flashed through her mind.

You have to keep our secret safe, Maria, and remember that I’ll come back to you.

He hadn’t said that he loved her, but she knew that promising her that he would return was the same as a love declaration in his book. Michael had always wanted to return to his home planet. He had never considered Earth his home. He had been convinced that he didn’t belong on Earth, but that he was wanted on his home planet. The fact that he was willing to give it all up just to return to her spoke volumes about his love for her. She wanted to keep their secret so much, and she would have, if it weren’t for the fact that the Parkers had obviously already found it out. Now they only needed her to confirm what they had read.

“She’s not dead...but she’s not here either,“ Maria said.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?“ Mr. Parker asked.
“She’s...uhm...away,“ Maria stuttered, her nervousness growing under Mr. Parker’s scrutinizing gaze.
“Maria, please tell us. What’s going on?“ Mrs. Parker pleaded with her. “Jeff and I have spent the last thirty six hours reading the most unbelievable tale. And the most dazzling thing about it is that it isn’t even a fictitious story. It is a description of the secret life my daughter was presumably leading. However, we don’t know if our daughter was going mentally insane or if we should really believe this. You were her best friend, Maria, and you’ve known us since you were old enough to speak. So please, Maria. Tell us what happened to our baby girl.“
Maria looked deeply into Liz’s mother’s eyes, knowing that she owed them the truth. The truth Liz probably had wanted them to know.

“You’ve read about the shooting, about Max healing her?“ Maria asked. The Parkers nodded silently.
“I don’t know what Liz has written in her diary, but knowing her I would guess that she has documented most of it. So I’m gonna start where Liz diary ends. Five years ago Max and Liz broke up. Well, they weren’t really together at the time, but Max was trying to convince Liz that he loved her and that he didn’t care about Tess Harding.“
“The new girl, right?“ Mrs. Parker asked.
“Yes,“ Maria answered.
“Before you continue, I need to know something. Is Max really an...an alien?“ Mr. Parker asked, the disgust evident in his voice.
“Yes. Yes, he is. And so are Michael and Isabel.“
“My God,“ Mrs. Nancy gasped, covering her mouth with her hand.
“Has Max hurt Liz in some way?“ Mr. Parker asked.

“No. Well, at least not physically,“ Maria said, “I strongly believe that Tess messed with Max’s mind somehow.“
“I don’t understand,“ Mr. Parker said.
“It’s complicated. I don’t know how much you know about Tess and her powers.“
“Um...well, we’re still trying to get used to the fact that there are actually aliens around with powers, and one of them was dating our daughter,“ Mr. Parker said.
“Right,“ Maria said and took another deep breath, rubbing her forehead with her fingers, “I guess you should make yourself comfortable. This is going to be a long story.“

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Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jul 12, 2003 6:04 am

Chapter 9


Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

The rhythmic sound of the clock reverberating trough the room was broken by a sigh escaping from Maria’s lips as she leaned back into the sofa. How did she manage to end up in this situation? This wasn’t her place to be. Liz should be telling her parents this, or at least Max. Not her. Not Maria Deluca, also known as hurricane Deluca. She wasn’t good in these situations. This was Liz’s department. She was calm and collected. She would know what to say. She would say the right things. She would be able to reassure her parents that everything was okay, even if she had been dating an alien, making out with an alien, and eventually having sex with an alien. Maria visibly cringed at the last thought. How did you tell your best friends’ parents that their daughter had been having sex with an extraterrestrial, and that they had created a child? Which now was on another planet. You didn’t tell parents that. Her life was just a big joke. How did she end up in this mess?

Right. She tiredly rubbed her forehead with the back of her hand. She had demanded to know what Max had done to Liz the day of the shooting. Whatever had possessed her to do that? She could’ve lived a normal life, happily ignorant of the fact that there were aliens living among them. But she also knew that she wouldn’t have traded a single second of the life after the shooting. Even if everything was more or less fucked up, she had found some great friends in the Czechoslovakians. In fact, she doubted that she could find better ones anywhere else.

But as she looked up at the Parkers sitting across from her, she couldn’t help but curse whatever forces had put her there. Well, she might as well get it over with. She took a deep breath and mentally steeled herself for whatever would come after she opened her mouth.
“How much of what Liz has written in her journal do you actually believe?“
Mr. Parker cast a glance at his wife before taking her hand and squeezing it lightly.
"Everything she had written in the journal sounded so crazy, but why would she lie in her journal? She must have believed that it was the truth. But she’s talking about alien enemies, kings and princesses, conspiracies, alien hunters, the FBI... And all of this is supposed to have been taking place while she was living in our house, under our roof, and we didn’t even notice it.“
Mr. Parker closed his eyes, a pained expression crossing his features. “If what Liz is saying in that diary is true, then we have failed as parents.“
“Jeff-“ Mrs. Parker voiced softly. Her husband turned and looked at her, struggling with his emotions.
“What kind of parents were we if we couldn’t even protect our child?“

Mrs. Parker dropped her eyes, a strained sob escaping her lips. Mr. Parker gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. He didn’t want to hurt her, but all this was eating him up inside. How could they have been so blind? He couldn’t deny that he had seen changes in his daughter during the year after the shooting in the CrashDown, but he didn’t think more about it. Why hadn’t he? Had his child’s life not mattered to him?
“All those ‘camping trips’ she went on. Why didn’t we look more deeply into what she was really doing? She could’ve gotten...killed.“
“Mr. Parker,“ Maria interrupted. She didn’t want Liz’s parents to break down before they had heard the whole story. “This isn’t your fault.“
“Maria, we are her parents. It was our responsibility to take care of her, to look after her. How could we do that if we didn’t know what people she spent her time with and where she was when she wasn’t at home?“

“Liz got very good at hiding. We all did. It was necessary to lie to you.“
“Why?“
“Don’t you understand?“ Maria asked softly. “We were only trying to protect you. The secret we carried was lethal. We were trying to keep you safe by keeping you in the dark. The less you knew, the better. But we never thought it would get so out of hand.“
“The things Liz wrote in her diary,“ Mrs. Parker said, her voice cracking with emotions, “the way she describes Max Evans. If she only felt a fraction of what she described, the love between those two was far more deep and marvelous than I could ever imagine any love to be.“

She had thought about that a lot. Even though there were some elements of alien conspiracies and FBI in her daughter’s writing, it was still mainly the diary of a teenage girl. And what she had written about her feelings about Max, even without the added alien tendencies, had stunned her mother. She had been intrigued with the love her daughter described. By reading the diary many pieces had fallen into place, and she had gotten an explanation for a lot of things that had happened.

Despite the fact that her husband didn’t seem to believe what Liz had written, Mrs. Parker knew that his daughter’s words had affected him just as much as they had affected her. And no matter how much he tried to rationalize it, his daughter couldn’t have been clearer in explaining what had happened to her. Mrs. Parker looked at the dogged jaw of her husband and knew that the main reason for him being so persistent in making Max into a monster was because he was feeling guilty. Guilty for not being there for his daughter. For not being a part of her whole life, but only the part she let him be a part of.

Maria smiled at Mrs. Parker’s description of what was between Max and Liz.
“Believe me, when you see them together, you know. You know that Max would never intentionally do anything to hurt her. That he would die protecting her and she would do the same for him. I saw them together and I saw them apart, and when they are away from each other it’s like they are two halves of a whole. They complete each other in ways I can’t even begin to fathom. So know this, Max is not a threat. He’s probably more human than anyone you have ever met. I have to admit that I was a little freaked out when I learned that there were aliens on Earth and that I actually ‘knew’ some of them, but after you’ve gotten to know them you will realize that they are no threat. They were raised human and all they want to do is survive. To lead normal lives.“

“Liz mentioned that in her diary. That Max had this deep longing to be normal.“
Maria nodded, a sad smile on her lips. “He wanted to be a normal boy, a boy who could have a normal relationship with the girl he loved without putting her life in danger. It was always about Liz. He would sacrifice everything for her. He would even give her up just so that she could have a normal life, away from him and all of the alieness.“
“Then why didn’t he?“ Mr. Parker blurted out.
“Jeff!“ Mrs. Parker exclaimed.
Maria could understand his reaction. He wanted to keep his daughter safe at all costs. “Like I said, it’s like they aren’t complete without each other. Max could’ve walked away, but that would have been the same as writing him a death sentence. Liz had every chance to pull out, to just say no, but she didn’t. She didn’t want to. She wanted Max.“

“So...Max healed her,“ Mrs. Parker whispered, still amazed and humbled by that miraculous fact.
Maria nodded slowly. “Yes. Please try to put this into perspective. Max, Isabel and Michael had been living their entire lives in fear. They knew that they were different and that if the wrong people found out, bad things would happen to them. They could be tortured or maybe even killed. So they hid. They were always the outsiders. They just blended into the background. But that day in September, when that gun went off and Liz got shot, everything changed. Max could have chosen to stay hidden, to stay sheltered, but when he realized that Liz had been shot, there wasn’t a choice to make. In some ways he gave up his own life that day. But he once told me that if he hadn’t saved her that day, his life wouldn’t have been worth anything. He considered his life worthless if she wasn’t in it. “

Liz parents sat in a stunned silence. It had been difficult to take in everything Liz had written. The feelings she had talked about in her diary were so big, so deep, that they took on surreal proportions. But hearing Maria talk about it, confirming what they had read, somehow made it all more real. Everything started to sink in.
“But Max was captured?“ Mrs. Parker asked, her heart aching as she remembered her daughter’s terrified words describing the event.
Maria looked down at her fidgeting fingers, the memories of those nights flashing clearly though her mind. She had never been more terrified in her life than she had been when she found out that Liz was kidnapped, and it had all spiraled out of control when Max was captured and held by the vicious and cold-hearted Agent Pierce.
“After the shooting, everything snow-balled. First, an FBI agent infiltrated our high school.“
“Ms. Topolsky?“ Mr. Parker half-stated, half-asked.
“Yes. Everything Max, Isabel and Michael had fought so hard to keep hidden was revealed when Max decided to save Liz’s life.“

Mr. Parker shook his head. This whole situation was crazy. FBI-agents! And however much he wanted to, he could still not get over the fact that Max Evans was an alien. That boy had been sitting in their restaurant for as long as he could remember. He had always known in the back of his mind that Max had been in love with Liz. Max had practically followed his daughter around. That’s when it hit him. Why had it never bothered him that Max Evans had been staring at his daughter for years? Was it only because he never did anything, that he didn’t seem to be a danger? No. He could suddenly see it all so clearly. He had somehow unconsciously trusted Max.
“He will protect her. He always has,“ Mr. Parker said slowly.
His wife looked up questioningly at his complete turn-around about Max. “Jeff?“

Mr. Parker turned and looked at her, taking both of her hands in his. “Nancy, for as long as I can remember Max Evans has been...watching over our little girl, and I let him. It’s as if I just knew that I could trust him. Maria, what did they do to him in captivity? Were they studying him?“
“I guess they were,“ Maria answered, “I don’t really know what happened. Max never talked to me about it.“
“Liz didn’t write much about it in her diary either,“ Mrs. Parker said absent-mindedly, “That must have been a horrific experience.“
“Liz was really upset about it and I only saw her reaction. I hope Liz talked to Max about it but I’m not sure that she did since she walked away from him only a day later.“
“She was afraid,“ Mrs. Parker said, trying to defend her daughter’s actions.

Maria held her hand up to stem Mrs. Parker’s protests. “I’m not saying that what Liz did was wrong, I’m not saying that what she did was right either. She wanted to give Max time and space. She wanted him to make up his mind about his destiny and Tess. Also, I think that she couldn’t deal with being there. Max had kissed Tess a week earlier and Liz had just learned that Tess was his bride in his former life. She wanted him to have choices. She didn’t want to force herself on him. She truly loved him and she didn’t want him to pick her because she was around, because she was the safe choice. If he chose her, she wanted it to be because he wanted her, not because he wanted to prove to himself that he didn’t want Tess.“
“Tell us about Tess,“ Mrs. Parker said, “Liz didn’t say much about her in her diary.“

Maria snorted. “I can understand why.“
“What did she do that was so terrible?“ Mr. Parker asked. “If I understand it correctly, Max is just as much to blame.“
“I don’t know about Max and why he did what he did. You’ll have to talk to Max about that. But I do know that Tess was playing mind games. She was good at manipulating - in the human way - but her powers were also essentially about the mind.“
“You keep referring to her in a past sense. What happened to her?“ Mrs. Parker asked.
“She’s dead,“ Maria sighed.
Mrs. Parker took a deep shuddering breath and leaned back in the sofa. They were just teenagers and yet they were dealing with all of these terrible things, things that could kill them.
“What happened?“ Mr. Parker asked. He wasn’t sure he really wanted to know, but if they were already stuck in this he might as well know everything.

“Tess was raised by one of the protectors, Nasedo. He was sent to protect the royal four: Max, Isabel, Michael and Tess. But when he came to get them from their pods, Max, Michael and Isabel were already gone. The only one left was Tess. Now, Nasedo was more or less on the bad side.“
“How could they sent him to protect their royals if he was the man Liz describes?“
Maria shook her head. “I have no idea. The aliens who planned this trip to Earth seemed smart enough to recreate the essence of their precious royals but not smart enough to double-check who they sent with them. The ship even crashed. It just seems as if they should have stayed in the laboratory.“
“So Nasedo raised Tess?“ Mrs. Parker asked.

“Yes, unfortunately. Nasedo taught her how to use her powers more than the others and brought out her alien side. That is how Tess differs from the others. Max, Isabel and Michael were all raised as humans. They instinctively knew that they needed to hide their alien side to stay safe and survive so they never really worked to improve their powers. Max and Isabel both can basically control their powers, but Michael’s emotions were always somewhat uncontrolled and that affected his control. That’s why Nasedo had taught Tess that emotions were a weakness and that’s probably why Tess was always so cold. She couldn’t understand other people’s emotions. She didn’t care. Everything she did was according to an underlying plan to get what she wanted. She definitely didn’t care about humans. I imagine that Nasedo found Tess to be a good student. He really succeeded in devaluing a human’s life in her eyes. Nasedo taught her that she was Max’s bride and so the main objective in her life was to get together with Max. Imagine her surprise when she found Max was in love with Liz. Since Max wasn’t really so eager to cooperate with her, she had to use her gerbil mindwarps.“

“What’s that?“ Mrs. Parker asked.
“She could plant things in your head, make you see things that weren’t there. She could rearrange your memories or even remove them.“
“But it still takes two to tango and as I’ve understood it from Liz’s journal, Max wasn’t completely uncooperative when he kissed Tess.“
Maria shook her head. “No, he definitely wasn’t. I will not defend Max’s actions. I don’t even want to try to justify them, but I know that Tess played a big part in that one too.“
“It seems pretty unbelievable to me,“ Mr. Parker snorted. “I hope Max wasn’t blaming it all on Tess.“
“Well...“ Maria hesitated. Max hadn’t really denied that he had kissed Tess, but maybe that was because he couldn’t since Liz had seen them. Maria hadn’t really thought of that before. Would Max have told Liz that he had kissed Tess if she hadn’t confronted him about it? Or would he have kept lying about it? Maria didn’t know, and it wasn’t really her business.

“Mr. Parker, I can’t really answer that. I could only offer you speculations and bits of what Liz and Max have told me, but I won’t do that because I would probably skew the truth unintentionally. But that incident isn’t really important anymore.“
“It’s important for us to understand what kind of person Max is,“ Mr. Parker objected.
“Max has changed a lot in the recent years. He’s not the same person he was before, so I don’t know if that is even relevant anymore. Tess, on the other hand, was no saint. She worked for the ‘bad guys’, and she was evidently killed by the people she worked for.“
“That’s terrible,“ Mrs. Parker said. Maria could do nothing else than shrug her shoulders. She didn’t have much sympathy left for Tess. Not after all the years she had robbed of Max and Liz, as well as everything she had done after that.
“Maria,“ Mrs. Parker said, silencing her husband with a stern look. This wasn’t really what she wanted to talk about. She wanted to know how this all fitted together. How it all led up to her daughter dying, but not really dying. She was tired of being kept in the dark. She wanted to know about all the things that Liz hadn’t written in her diary. There were five years that she still didn’t know about. What had been going on if her daughter hadn’t been dead? Where had she been, and why hadn’t she contacted her parents?

“Please, tell me. Was Liz held captive by the FBI?“
Maria’s eyes widened in surprise. “What?“
“She was missing for five years, Maria,“ Mrs. Parker continued. “Where was she?“
Maria relaxed some. “In Santa Fe.“
“What was she doing in Santa Fe?“ Mr. Parker asked.
Maria dropped her eyes, fingering one of the buttons on her skirt. “Raising her child.“
Simultaneously Liz’s parents bolted up from their seats. “What?!“


Chapter 10

Maria took in the freaked out expressions on Liz’s parents’ faces. Oops. Maybe she shouldn’t have just blurted it out like that.
“Liz has a child?!!“ Mr. Parker cried.
“Um...yeah,“ Maria answered quietly.
“Oh my god,“ Mrs. Parker breathed, sinking back down in the sofa.
“Is Max the father?!“ Mr. Parker demanded to know.
Maria swallowed and nodded.
“She had sex with an alien?!“
Maria cringed at how absurd that sounded.
“Mr. Parker, please...“ she tried, looking up into Mr. Parker’s fierce eyes.
“How could he take advantage of her like that? What if he had hurt her?!“ Mr. Parker was now pacing the floor in an upset manner and stopped abruptly once he had processed what he had just said. “God! He didn’t hurt her, did he? Was it he who somehow raped her?“ He raked his fingers through his hair, trying to fit all the pieces together, but nothing fit. “How could he?! I trusted him with my daughter!“

“Jeff…“ his wife pleaded. But he wasn’t listening. Max Evans had slept with his baby girl and he wasn’t even human.
“What does that baby look like? Is she normal?!“
“She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen,“ Maria said softly.
Mr. Parker stopped.
“Tell us about her,“ Mrs. Parker said, tears shimmering in her eyes.
Maria gave her a faint smile. She wished that she could give them more than just a description, but she would do her best for now.
“She looks just like Liz and she’s a lot like Liz in her behavior too. She’s very caring and quiet. But she’s so smart and so warm. She’s an incredible four-year-old.“

“Is she...normal?“
Maria nodded, her small smile growing warmer. “Yes, she is. She’s perfect.“
They both relaxed and Jeff slowly lowered himself down on the sofa, feeling the anger running off him. “We have a grandchild,“ he mumbled.
“Yes,“ Maria answered, but her smile died on her lips as she thought about what she had to tell them next. That their grandchild was now the one held captive. That would probably tear them apart. When she saw a glow she hadn’t seen in their eyes since Liz ‘died’, she really didn’t want to say anything. She wished she could just say that Liz and their grandchild were just fine. But she couldn’t lie any longer.
“Let me tell you about what happened after Liz stopped writing in her journal,“ Maria suggested.
Silently, Mr. and Mrs. Parker nodded.
“First, you need to know about the Granolith.“

“I think Liz mentioned something about it,“ Mrs. Parker said thoughtfully. Mr. Parker nodded in agreement.
“I don’t know much about it either. Liz was better at understanding that scientific stuff.“
Mrs. Parker gave her a sad smile, a smile that a couple of years earlier would have been a proud one.
“All I know is that it was supposed to get Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess home when they were ready. It is some kind of spaceship, but it can also be modified to become other things.“
“That was the time machine, right?“ Mr. Parker asked.
“Uh-huh. That was really confusing,“ Maria said.
“Yes,“ Mrs. Parker agreed. When she had read what Liz had written about a future version of Max coming back from the future to stop the end of the world, she had really feared that her daughter had finally gone crazy. Why would a world end just because two people loved each other? It seemed highly unlikely. But there it was, in black and white in her daughter’s familiar handwriting.

“As I’ve understood it, the Granolith is very powerful and the enemies of our aliens wanted it, along with Nasedo and Tess. Max is the only one that can activate the Granolith and hence Nasedo and Tess needed him on their side, and preferably together with Tess. The only way they could get Max to let go of Liz was to get rid of her. I don’t really understand their plan, but they didn’t kill Liz. They just made us believe that she died-“
Mr. Parker raised his hand to silence her, confusion draped over his face. “Wait a minute. What do you mean? How could they make us believe that she was dead?“
“Mindwarps. I told you they were powerful. Tess forced images into our heads that made us see Liz as dead.“

“But we buried her, she was in the coffin...“ Mrs. Parker protested, utterly confused.
“It was all a mindwarp,“ Maria stated.
“How could she do that?“ Mrs. Parker asked.
“She doesn’t have a conscience-“ Maria started, but Mrs. Parker cut her off.
“No, that’s not what I meant. How can you mess so much with somebody’s head. How does it work? She must have so much power and…and it was all directed at Liz.“
Maria nodded. “Liz couldn’t defend herself. Nasedo and Tess attacked her that night but they didn’t kill her. They took her to a motel and were planning on keeping her there. After a while Liz regained consciousness. She doesn’t know how long she was out, but when she came to, she was alone. She managed to hide the fact that she was awake from Nasedo and Tess, and then she escaped.“
Mrs. Parker shook her head from side to side, trying to understand what Maria was telling them.

“Why didn’t she come home?“
“She couldn’t remember,“ Maria answered.
“She couldn’t remember?“ Mr. Parker repeated.
“She suffered from amnesia for five years. She didn’t even know what her real name was. She didn’t remember you. She didn’t remember me. She didn’t even remember Max. She was alone, fearing for her life, and pregnant.“
“Oh my God,“ Mrs. Parker sobbed, burying her head in her hands, “She was all alone, Jeff. She was out there on her own. She must’ve been so...so lost and we weren’t even there for her...“
Mr. Parker rubbed her back in an effort to offer her some consolation as he turned his eyes back on Maria.
“What changed? Since you know all this, you must’ve found her.“
“Yes, we found her. We found Emma first and through her we found Liz.“
“Emma...“ Mr. Parker breathed as if the name were sacred, “Is that her name? Is that our granddaughter’s name?“

Maria smiled. “Yes. She was on a field trip in Roswell and she met Max at the UFO center. We found out her last name and then tracked her down in Santa Fe. And then we discovered that Liz was really sick.“
“She was sick?“ Maria cringed at Mrs. Parker’s broken voice as she looked up from behind her hands. Maria wondered how much more she could load on them on one time.
“Well, Max and Liz have this connection. They can...um... melt their souls together. See into each other’s souls. Literally.“ Mr. and Mrs. Parker shared a confused look and Maria decided to just get it out. “When Max healed Liz he didn’t just make a connection with her. He bonded with her. He sort of...married her...“

“He married her?“ Mr. Parker asked incredulously. He wasn’t sure how he was going to react any longer. This just kept getting weirder and weirder and he was afraid that they hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface.
“Well, sort of. But in many ways it’s stronger than a marriage. But this bond, as far as I’ve understood it, makes it impossible for them to live without each other. Since Liz was separated from Max for five years, her health deteriorated.“
“So, what you’re saying is that Max was responsible for her being sick?“ Mr. Parker asked.
God, Maria thought, he’s worse than a lawyer is at twisting words. “No, not really. Actually, if he had been with her, she wouldn’t have been sick.“

“But still, he is indirectly causing her illness by not being there,“ Mr. Parker argued.
Maria sighed. “Max wanted to be there. He was beating himself up for not being there when Liz gave birth to their baby and helping her raise their daughter. But he couldn’t. He thought she was dead just like everyone else did.“
“Jeff, don’t blame Max. I don’t think he understood what was happening either,“ Mrs. Parker said. Maria shot her a grateful look before returning her eyes to Mr. Parker. “If you knew what Max is like, you would know that he is already paying for what happened, whether it was his fault or not. He’s a master at blaming himself and he would have died from kicking himself to death if Liz hadn’t stopped him.“
Mrs. Parker actually smiled faintly and Maria relaxed some. So far, so good. Now it was just the bad part left.

“Umm...“ Maria scratched behind her ear, “As you might’ve noticed Liz and Max aren’t here, and neither is Emma.“
“Yes, where are they?“ Mr. Parker asked, feeling uneasy at Maria’s obvious discomfort. Whatever she was about to tell them was something bad.
“Well, one of Max’s enemies is called Nicolas,“ Maria said.
“Yes, I remember that,“ Mrs. Parker mused.

“He was willing to do practically anything to get revenge on Max and eventually kill him,“ the words were flying out of her mouth now. She wasn’t sure she would be able to get everything out if she didn’t get it out all at once. “Because it was difficult to get to Max, he targeted Liz and Emma instead.“ Maria heard Mrs. Parker gasp, but she continued, not letting anything stop her now. “He kidnapped Emma and he took her to Max’s home planet, Antar. Max and Liz used the Granolith to go after them and that’s were they are now. On Antar, trying to save their daughter.“

Maria anxiously looked up as the unnerving silence enveloped her and was met by two very shocked parents. She chewed on her bottom lip, and sank further down in the armchair. This was not good.

<center>--------------------------------------------</center>

Antar

He gently shook her shoulder, trying to rouse her from her sleep.
*Serena.*
It wasn’t difficult. Serena instantly opened her eyes, her whole body preparing for combat. She was a trained soldier and was ready to fight at any second of the day. She was already half way out of the bed before her mate’s hand stopped her.
*Relax, Serena. Everything’s okay.*
She exhaled a breath that contained a lot of pent up tension. *Where have you been? It’s the middle of the night.*
He stroke one auburn strand of her hair away from her face and smiled. She hadn’t seen him smile in months and it warmed her to her very core.
*They have agreed to meet with us,* he said.
*’They’? You mean, his majesty?*
He nodded. *So we have a lot to do. We have to make this meeting really safe and really plan what we are going to do.*
She swung her legs over the edge of the bed. *Then we should get started.*

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max and liz believer
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Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jul 12, 2003 6:07 am

Chapter 11


As she stepped into the well-lit room, she couldn’t find her anywhere. Confused, she looked around the room, feeling the beating of her heart quicken in fear. Quiet sobs drifted through the air, making her turn her head towards the bed. She quickly walked over there, and looked under the bed. There she was, lying on her side, her knees pulled up to her chin. Serena flinched as she saw the tears moving down the chubby cheeks. What had they done to trigger such a primitive reaction?
“Emma,“ she said softly.
At the sound of her voice the girl curled up even more, trying to make herself as small as possible.
“Go away,“ she sobbed.
“Emma, why are you sad?“
“Go away, I want mommy.“
“Please come here and talk to me. You shouldn’t lie under the bed.“
“They hurt me,“ the little broken girl whispered, “I hate needles. I hate needles. Mommy always holds my hand, but mommy didn’t come. Mommy didn’t come.“
“Emma, sweetie, come here,“ Serena coaxed.
But the girl just shook her head and wiggled further away from Serena’s outstretched hand.
“I want mommy! I want mommy!“ she cried.
Serena flinched at the intensity of Emma’s demand. With a long look at the dark-haired girl, Serena rose and quietly left the room.

<center>-----------------------------------------------------</center>

Liz could feel his gaze caressing her back. She could feel it move from her shoulders, down along her back, over her bottom, and to her legs. His gaze was like a burning fire, making goose bumps spread out over her skin.

She turned her head and found him standing in the opening of their tent looking at her. “See anything you like?“ she teased.
“Uh-huh,“ he answered, and she felt her heart flutter as she witnessed his amber eyes darken. Seeing him standing there, just looking at her without a word made her crave to know his inner thoughts, his inner feelings. The parts of him that were only accessible when they made love. The feelings she usually picked up from him were not there today. He was blocking their connection. But the knowledge didn’t sadden her, but made her heart beat faster in anticipation. She had no clue to what he was going to do, and that heated her body in ways only he could.

“Care to elaborate?“ She stepped closer to him, flirtatiously darting out her tongue and slowly wetting her lips. She watched Max’s eyes move to her lips and his eyes grew even darker.
“Mmm...“ Max said, clueless of what Liz was talking about.
“Mmm what?“ Liz asked, taking a step closer to him.
“You are so beautiful,“ Max murmured, looking down at her when she stepped up to him. Liz felt her face flush from the intense way those words floated over his lips. He could turn the simplest of words into something incredibly beautiful. She looked up into his eyes, letting the love she found there run through her and wrap itself around her essence.
“You look pretty good yourself,“ she breathed, slowly rising on the tips of her toes, moving closer to his lips. Her eyes fluttered closed as he moved his hand to her cheek, his fingertips diving into her dark tresses. Her breath caught in her throat as she felt the heat radiating from the surface of his soft palm into her cheek. The act was so simple, yet made her feel so cherished.

“I love you,“ he mumbled, and she opened her eyes to look into his. She stilled in her movements as she saw how his eyes were shimmering with unshed tears. Her forehead creased in concern and she slowly brushed away the dark bangs from his forehead with her fingertips. The movement caused electricity to shoot through their bodies and Liz leaned closer against his body, letting his body heat flow into her.
“Are you okay?“ she whispered.
“I love you so much,“ he whispered, his voice cracking. She didn’t have time to answer him before his lips softly touched hers. The kiss was so soft, so tentative that it brought tears to her eyes. Their lips softly moved together, sending electrical currents through their bodies. The salty taste mixing into their kiss caused Liz to pull back slightly. Her heart fluttered with pain as she discovered the reason for it. Unrestrained tears were trickling down Max’s cheeks.

“Max...“ she whispered. She slowly kissed his tears away, but he burrowed his hands in her hair and angled her lips back to his. The gentleness of the former kiss had been washed away. Max forcefully melded their lips together. Liz pulled him closer. She could feel the ache in her stomach burning and intensifying. She needed more of him. His tongue forcefully demanded entry into her mouth and she willingly granted him it. Their tongues brushed together, swirled around. Tasting each other, exploring, trying to satiate a need that couldn’t be satisfied. She whimpered as he pulled her closer, devouring her. Her hands crawled under his shirt and restlessly moved over his taut muscles. She moaned impatiently as his lips left hers and started a descent down her jaw line. She pressed more firmly up against him, trying to subdue the ache coiling in her abdomen by desperately rubbing against him.

“God, Liz...“ Max groaned, sucking on the sensitive skin of her neck in a possessive manner. Marking her. Branding her as his. Neither one of them were aware of the fact that they were still standing in the opening of the tent, partly visible to the outside. All they were aware of was the feeling of the other under their fingers, of the other’s taste and scent.
“I need you...“ Liz moaned, “I need all of you.“
Max groaned as he felt her small hand move within his boxers. “Liz...“
“Please Max...“ He knew what she was begging him of. He just wasn’t sure he could handle it. The movements of his hand caressing her bare skin under her shirt momentarily stilled as he was assailed by the images hidden deep in his mind.
“Max?“ He jerked his head to find her looking at him. Her hair was tousled, her lips swollen and red, her cheeks flushed. Her eyes worried. “What is it?“
He shook his head, but she stilled his movements with her confused look. “Talk to me.“

A faint sob escaped his lips before he had a chance to stop it and he buried his face in the crook of her neck. Her heart stung as she buried her hand in his hair, holding him close. His tears were soaking her sweater.
“I’ve failed,“ he whispered brokenly.
He tried to pull away from her, but she just tightened her grip on him. “No, Max. You haven’t failed.“
“They might be hurting her.“
Liz felt the ever-present knife jabbed into her heart twitch. “We’re doing everything we can.“
“No. We aren’t. We could be out searching for her right now. Instead we’re stuck in this place doing nothing. God, I feel so helpless. I’m supposed to be this great king, and I can’t even protect my own child.“

“Max, stop it. This isn’t helping her at all. Someone once told me that she needs us to stay strong. Maybe you should take your own advice, Max.“
“I saw her, Liz,“ Max said, his voice cracking.
“What?“ Liz whispered.
Max pulled back slightly to look her in the eyes. Tears welled up in Liz’s eyes as she saw the devastated and forlorn expression on his face.
“In my dreams.“
“You remember them.“ Somehow she didn’t really want to know what his dreams were about. He was so frightened when he had them. She could hear him crying out in anguish in the middle of the night. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know about something that could frighten him so much. But he needed her. He needed her to listen. And he had been there for her so many times that she couldn’t deny him that, even though her torn heart cried out in protest of being exposed to any more torture.
He nodded and softly placed his hand against her cheek, brushing away her tears as his own were rolling down his cheeks.

“I don’t want to tell you about them.“
“I need to know, Max. I can’t let you take all that on your own shoulders. You have to let me take some of it. You need to talk about it.“
“I can’t...“
“Then show me.“
His eyes widened and he began shaking his head. “No, I can’t show you.“
“Max…“
“No,“ he said firmly, “I don’t want you to see them. Liz, these images have plagued my sleep ever since Emma was taken from us and I don’t want you to have them too.“
“Please, Max. Then tell me. This is eating you alive.“
He dropped his eyes, his fingers idly playing with her sweater. “I love you so much. I would never hurt you.“
His voice was barely above a whisper.
“Max, look at me.“
She put a finger under his chin and forced him to look at her.
“I know you wouldn’t hurt me, Max. I trust you with all my heart. You are the kindest man I know and I love you more than you’ll ever know.“

He nodded, looking at her intensely, as if she would disappear if he blinked and clinging to her with fresh tears streaming down his face, as if she were his only link to sanity.
“Tell me.“
Max closed his eyes and pulled her into his arms again, holding her close. Letting the smell of her essence, of Liz Parker, fill his nose. He could feel the beating of her heart through the connection, could feel the sorrow and concern for him in her beautiful soul. What had he ever done to deserve her?
He opened the connection a little, like a door being left ajar, and he felt her tremble in his arms from the intensity of it. A strangled sob escaped her lips and he moved his hands under her sweater. The need to feel her skin was immense. Overwhelming. And then he started talking.
“I can hear her calling for me. But I can’t see her. I can’t help her. They are all different, the dreams. But in every one of them.... I can’t find her. And it always ends the same way.“

As his voice died in her ears, she whispered, “How?“ Fearing the knowledge.
“There’s this man who laughs at me, and says that she’s...dead.“
Her greatest fears were coming alive. “What if it’s true, Max? What if she’s dead?“
He pulled her closer to him, their bodies almost melting together.
“I can’t feel her any longer,“ Liz sobbed, “What if our little girl is dead? What if she was all alone when she died, hoping that we would save her and we never came?“
“I’m sorry,“ Max said, “I swore that I would protect you, both of you.“
“We have to find her, Max. This is killing me. I don’t know how much longer I can live like this.“
Max lifted his head from the crook of her neck and pushed her hair back from her damp face. Slowly, he started to kiss her face.
“I would die just to keep you safe,“ Max said, kissing the outward signs of her heartache away.

She sniffled, bringing her lips to his. The emptiness inside of her was tearing at her, slowly ripping her apart. He was what kept her together and she needed to feel his love. She needed to have him inside of her, to feel all their emotions blend into the connection, melting their souls together.
“Make love to me, Max,“ she whispered.
Without a word, his warm soft lips moved down her neck and she gasped as his tongue moved out and tasted her skin.
“I can’t wait. I need you now,“ Max whispered.
She quickly started to unbutton his shirt. “Yes...“

He pulled her sweater over her head, releasing her lips only for the amount of time it took him to remove the piece of clothing. Their kisses became fierce, passionate, their hands restless on their heated skin. Liz pushed Max’s shirt off his shoulders and started to fiddle with the button on his pants as Max’s lips closed over her aching breast. She gasped at the contact, momentarily forgetting what she was about to do. Max moved their burning bodies backwards, his body pressing up against hers as their hands continued to touch, trying to calm the raging fire inside. Liz fell on her back with Max on top. Neither one of them felt the hard ground beneath the thin mattress as Max removed his pants, and just as quickly afterwards started to place kisses all over Liz’s flat stomach. God, her taste was intoxicating. A man could get addicted to the scent and taste of Liz Parker. And he was undeniably an addict with a strong need for his fix.

As his mouth continued its travel over her skin, his hands worked on pulling down the zipper of Liz’s jeans. Who said that men couldn’t do two things at the same time? Liz arched up against his hand as the back of it lightly brushed over her aching core. With some otherworldly help, Liz’s jeans were swiftly removed. Liz locked her hands around Max’s neck and pulled him towards her lips. Their bodies pressed together as he lowered himself on top of her, his lips and tongue doing to her mouth what his body wanted to do to her body. Electricity sizzled in their veins and arteries, penetrating every cell as her soft breasts pressed into his hard chest. Skin against skin. Liz pressed her body against his as much as she could, but the frustration erupted within her as their underwear was still an obstacle preventing them from melting into one. They were both too absorbed in each other, in the feeling of each other’s skin, in their scents, that neither wasted a thought of how the underwear magically disappeared from their bodies as Liz’s frustration grew.

Max hard erection brushed against her wet folds and she pushed her body up against him in an attempt to feel him complete her. Max kissed her cheeks, her jaw, her forehead, her neck, her noise, her closed eyelids, before finally tasting the sweet taste of her warm lips as he laced his fingers with hers and slowly started to push inside of her. In the midst of all the unbound emotions, heightened feelings, and heated kisses, Liz felt the deepest sense of inner peace as Max started to slowly move inside of her. Max’s fingers pressed deeper into the back of Liz’s hands as the rhythm was building up between them. This was home. This was where he belonged. Connected with Liz.

They both gasped when the connection flared open between them. Their feelings mingled together, seeking out its partner, becoming one. Liz opened her eyes and met Max’s. It was the most beautiful thing she could ever experience. Feeling Max inside of her, being a part of her, and at the same time be granted a look at his inside and feel all of his feelings. Hear his beautiful thoughts float around in her head.

She was suddenly struck with a deep fear, shooting through the connection like a knife cutting into flesh. Max’s movements stilled somewhat, and he worriedly searched her face. Being so deeply connected with her, he wasn’t sure if the fear was his or hers.
“Please...don’t leave me, Max. Don’t ever leave me,“ Liz said, her breathing erratic from their lovemaking.

A pained expression flashed over Max’s eyes and the feelings that transferred over the connection affirmed for Liz that she had nothing to fear.
“Liz, you are my life. I can’t exist without you.“
She nodded and smiled weakly. “I just needed to hear that.“
He returned her smile and slowly disentangled his fingers from hers, lightly brushing them down her arms that were resting above Liz’s head. The light brushing over the sensitive soft skin of the underside of her arms caused goose bumps to spread over Liz’s body. His warm, strong hands came to rest gently against the sides of her breasts as he lowered himself to gently mold his lips to hers.

“Without you,“ he started to kiss down her neck, “I’m lost.“
“Show me,“ Liz breathed. Max didn’t need a second command. He started to move his hips again, feeling the warmth of her walls close around him.
Liz could feel the pressure building up between them, their energies feeding into their bond, waiting for release. Liz wrapped her legs around Max’s waist in a desperate attempt to bring him even closer. She could feel the ache in her abdomen increasing as Max thrust faster into her, steadily bringing them both to the brink.
“Oh Liz...“ Max moaned as he felt her tightening around him.

“Max...“ she gasped as she felt her insides tighten around him, increasing the friction. Her world spiraled and she felt weightless as release coursed through her whole body. The intense warmth spread all over her body, as wave after wave of intense pleasure racked her, making her tremble under Max. He was not far after, the intense feelings of his own orgasm mixing with hers through the connection. With a deep feeling of contentment and relaxation, Max lowered himself down on her, placing soft kisses over her damp face. Their bodies were still connected, the bond between them fully open.

That’s when they heard it. Whispering at the back of their heads. Their eyes met with shock as they realized what it was.
“Mommy… I’m scared.“
Emma.




Chapter 12


“Michael? What are you doing here?“
“We found Emma. We’re back.“
She looked at him with surprise edging her features. He could see that she was having trouble believing him.
“You did?“ There was tentative hope lingering in her voice. As if she was too afraid to hope what she so badly wanted to believe.
“Yes, Max and Liz went over with Emma to the Parker’s. They are probably all meeting now.“
Tears were glistering in her eyes as she watched him with an expression of amazement on her face.
“Oh my Go-“ Her shocked voice was muffled by his shirt as she flung herself in his arms. There lips hungrily sought each other out.
“I’ve“ kiss “missed“ kiss “you“ kiss “so much.“

“I’ve missed you too,“ Maria mumbled against his lips and he felt his heart soar at her words. He had never loved her more than in this moment. She had never looked more beautiful than she had done when she had opened the door, even though her hair was tousled with sleep and she wore old pajamas with pink elephants. There were no words to describe how fiercely he had missed her and that was not just due to the fact that words often didn’t come to him easily. He was, however, planning on using other methods to show her just how much he had missed her. How much she meant to him. How much he loved her. How he couldn’t live another day without her.

There were no words exchanged as they stumbled into the house. Michael swiftly closed the door behind him with his foot, his lips still locked with hers. Her taste was making him delirious, teasing him into wanting even more. He couldn’t get enough of her. His hands sprawled over her back and he pulled her as close to his body as he could. Somehow, they made it over to the couch and fell over the armrest. Maria moaned in disapproval as Michael fell on top of her.
“Michael Guerin,“ she panted between his heated kisses, “Have you gained some weight on Antar?“
“Don’t talk,“ Michael grunted.
“Mr. Smoothtalker,“ Maria said sarcastically. But he knew that she didn’t want it any other way. Her small hands moved under his shirt, pulling at it desperately.
“Too many clothes, too damn many clothes,“ Maria moaned.

He had to agree with her there. What stupid guy had came up with the idea of wearing clothes anyway? Clothes were highly overrated. That’s when having special abilities came in handy. Especially the ability to push molecules apart and make obstacles like these disappear into thin air - literally.

But before he could do anything she was hitting him in the chest.
“Maria? What?!“
“Michael!“
He stared down at her. Her eyes were looking at him angrily. Would he ever understand what the hell was going on in that head of hers? Women...
“Maria! What are you doing?“ he grunted.
“Michael!“
And suddenly it wasn’t Maria’s voice any longer. It grew a little darker and a little more annoyed than angry.


His eyes snapped open and instead of Maria’s green eyes, he was staring into Isabel’s brown ones. He quickly cleared his mind from the dream, but he couldn’t stop feeling Maria’s lips pressed up against his. “What’s wrong?“
“Max and Liz have called a meeting,“ Isabel answered. Her voice was short and he could hear the streak of annoyance that had been following Isabel around more and more the last couple of days. Being on Antar was slowly changing them. Antar was changing them. It was taking away their humanity bit by bit, and without their human counterparts to guide them back, they were getting lost. The only one of them who had been more or less unaffected with the changes was Max. He had Liz.
“In the middle of the night?“ Michael growled.
Isabel pulled away the thin sheet that was covering him. “Yes. Now, get your ass in gear. They’re waiting. And they are not happy.“

Michael growled again, despite himself. This just sucked. What could be so important that they had to wake him up in the middle of the night? In the middle of one of his Maria dreams to be precise. ‘Well,’ he thought as he rubbed his tired eyes with the back of his hand, ‘maybe there might just be some action for once.’

His annoyed behavior was completely washed away though, when he and Isabel entered the main tent. Glowing orbs were placed all over the place, their light trying to break through the thick, sticky darkness. Everyone seemed to be there: all of Kira’s men, Kira himself, and Max and Liz, of course. Michael didn’t even have to look at Max’s face to know that this was big. That something had indeed happened.
“Maxwell. What’s going on?“
Michael met his best friend’s eyes and he had to look away from the intense look he found in them. His eyes moved to Liz who was sitting beside Max, clasping his hand as if it was the only thing keeping her sane.
“There has been a change of plans,“ Max said. His voice was slow, but if Michael was not mistaken, it carried a new strength, a new determination. What the hell was going on here?

No one said anything. Everyone waited for Max to continue. He slowly rose from his seat and, with sinking hearts, they all watched the reluctance with which Liz let go of his hand. He seemed to have the same problem letting go of her.
“We are re-scheduling the meeting with the Loyalists. I want it earlier.“
His voice was firm and it left no room for arguments, but Michael wanted to know the reasons behind this. Kira seemed to agree with him.
“Max, that could be dangerous,“ he said, rising from his seat.
“I know,“ Max answered, looking at him, “But there is no longer any choice.“
“It takes several days for a secure meeting place to be set up,“ Michael said, “Kira told us that earlier, Max.“

Max turned his head towards him and Michael could see in his eyes that there was no use fighting him. He would do this.
“Not if it’s only one person,“ Max said quietly.
“What?“ Isabel exclaimed. Michael could see confusion and fear crossing over Liz’s face. She obviously hadn’t been informed of that little detail either.
“Max, you can’t meet with them alone. You could get yourself killed,“ Michael said in a hopeless attempt to change his mind.
“There is no time to organize a big meeting and I need to meet with them now. I need to see if we can form an alliance with them right now. Time is running out, Michael.“
Michael stared at Max and then turned to Kira for help, but Kira was silent.
“Kira. What do you have to say about this?“ Michael asked. He needed someone on his side to force Max not to do this. This was an impulsive decision and Max wasn’t impulsive. Something always went wrong when Max was impulsive.

“If the meeting needs to be put in action earlier than we had planned, then the same security can’t be established. The only way to be able to create some security in that short time is to make the meeting smaller. Max going on his own is the best solution.“
“What? You’re agreeing with him?“ Isabel asked grimly.
Kira shook his head and turned towards Max. “You can’t do this on your own, Max. You need a couple of guards and-“
“I’m going with you,“ Michael said firmly.
He met Max’s eyes and he could see relief flash in his eyes. “I was hoping you would say that,“ Max said.
“Count me in too,“ Isabel said.
Max looked at his sister. He had already anticipated that she probably wouldn’t want to be left out either and as much as he had tried to let the protective brother side in him win, he knew that if they were placed in possible danger Isabel and Michael were the people he trusted the most and they had been training their powers most together. They were most in sync.

Max nodded in answer to Isabel.
“Max, this isn’t like you. What happened?“ Isabel asked.
Max glanced over his shoulder in Liz’s direction as if he was seeking out her comforting presence.
“They’re hurting Emma,“ he said.
Isabel’s eyes widened and her gasp was drowned behind her hand. “What?“ she breathed. Of course, they should’ve anticipated as much; little Emma was in the hands of their enemies and she was defenseless. However, being faced with the cold certainty in Max’s voice sent chills down her spine.
“How do you know?“ Michael asked.

Max turned his head and looked in Liz’s direction again, this time letting his gaze linger at her face for a longer time, as if he was drawing strength from her. “We heard her. She somehow tapped into our connection.“
“I’ve always had a connection with Emma,“ Liz spoke up. Her voice was so small and weak. So unlike the strong Liz they knew. “But it was stronger from her side. She could always read my feelings through the connection. Tonight, Max and I was connected and she somehow tapped in on our connection.“
“Probably because we are stronger when we are connected,“ Max filled in, “and that made it easier for us to hear her.“
“You haven’t been able to contact her before?“ Isabel asked. The three of them had had sessions where they had tried to use Isabel’s sleepwalking abilities to reach Emma, but it hadn’t worked. Isabel knew that Max and Liz had continued trying on their own, but their efforts been just as unsuccessful.

Max shook his head. “No, it was as if something was blocking her. Blocking her connection to us. But for some reason that block was missing today.“
“Or she was stronger,“ Isabel said.
Max nodded. “Exactly.“
“So, she’s in danger?“ Michael asked.
“She told me that she was scared,“ Liz said, “and then she was just gone. But we could feel...pain as she said the words.“
“We have to do this now, before they do something serious to her,“ Max said.
Isabel nodded. “Yes, let’s get working.“

“Kira, contact the loyalists and tell them that the meeting is off and instead we are going to arrange a smaller meeting. I only want to meet with their leader, but he can have some of his people with him as long as it is safe.“
Max, Michael and Isabel were soon deep in conversation about how to plan the meeting. Liz was standing on the fringes of the group, her mind desperately seeking any contact with Emma. But Emma was gone. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Max had heard her too, Liz might have wondered if she had imagined it all. But they were hurting her and Liz wasn’t going to let anyone hurt her little girl. From the determined glances Max shot in her direction during their planning, she knew that Max was not going to let anyone hurt Emma either. Not if they could help it.

<center>----------------------------------------------------</center>

Serena took a deep breath before she stepped into the palace. She needed to calm down. There was really nothing to worry about. Yeah, right. She was just going to more or less demand that Livenders let her take Emma outside. She wanted permission to take their precious captive out for the day because she knew that Emma was withering away there in her room. Even though Serena had never met Emma outside captivity, she had been able to sense her carefree and joyous spirit on their first meeting. It was like a faint trace of the girl she once was. But lately, Emma had become withdrawn. She hadn’t spoken a word to Serena since Serena had found her crying under her bed. She couldn’t get through to her any longer. Either she was almost catatonic, staring off into the air, or she was crying for her mother.

Serena didn’t know what they did to her while she wasn’t there. From the pieces of information she got out of Emma during her upset crying, she could tell that they were sampling her blood and maybe even scanning her brain. She didn’t know what they were looking for. They already knew that she was human. Maybe there were looking for traces of Antarian in her. Maybe they were trying to determine if she had any connection to the king, to Zan.

As Serena walked through the huge halls and stepped up to the guard, she was more determined than ever to help Emma whether she was Zan’s daughter or not.
The same bulky guard she had met with when she had been assigned to Emma’s case was staring menacingly at her.
*What’s your business here?* he huffed.
She took a deep breath, wondering if he had to follow a certain script when he talked.
*I am to meet with The Livenders.*
*Have they requested your presence?* the guard asked, hostility in his voice.
Serena ducked her head slightly, giving off the impression that she was no threat. *No,* she answered.
The guard frowned. *What is your name?*

*Serena.*
And then the same process as before followed. The guard’s hands hovered over her so he could determine that she was telling the truth about her identity and could look for any trace of deceit. Serena focused hard to block her thoughts about the loyalists. The guards were well trained and their minds’ were powerful, but so was hers and obviously she was able to resist him successfully again since he pulled his hands away and nodded.
*You are free to enter the realm of the Livenders.* With a wave of his hand the door behind him disintegrated and she stepped inside. The only difference from last time was that this time another guard stepped out of the shadows and followed behind her. This time she wasn’t expected.

The man she had spoken to last time stepped out of the Lower Chambers and greeted her with a small nod of his head.
*Emotival Serena.* He waved the guard off with his hand and Serena could sense the guard’s presence moving to the back of the room. He didn’t leave the room, but he gave them privacy.
*Master Leiko,* Serena answered.
*What is your reason for being here?*
*My apologies for interrupting,* Serena said.
*Is everything to your acceptance?*
*Master Leiko,* Serena took a deep breath, *I have something to ask of you.*
*Yes, Emotival Serena.*
*I believe that the little girl, Emma, is in the need of outdoor activities.*

The master nodded. *Yes, I’ve heard some rather disturbing news. Is there any progress?*
Serena shook her head. *Negative, master. That’s why would I consider a change of environment to be of good use.*
Master Leiko looked at her, his expression pensive. *Our interest lies in progress with the human, so whatever can further facilitate a development we fully encourage. However, this is not a decision for me to make on my own. I will consider your request and talk it over with the Elders.*
Serena smiled. *Thank you, master.*

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Postby max and liz believer » Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:12 pm

Chapter 13


“Hello, Emma. How are you today?“
The girl didn’t answer. She just kept staring at the wall. She was sitting Indian-style on top of the white bedspread, clutching something to her chest.
“What do you have there?“ Serena asked softly. She slowly approached the girl, afraid that she would frighten her if she moved too quickly. She was afraid that somewhere along the way the confidence she had been able to ignite in the girl had dissipated and now she had to get it back. Otherwise she wouldn’t be able to help her.

Emma didn’t answer so Serena slowly knelt in front of her and looked up into her face. The little girl’s hair had grown and her dark bangs were brushing the upper corners of her large eyes. Her eyes, formerly so warm, had turned vacant, empty. It chilled Serena to the bone to look at the girl and not be able to see her soul anymore.
“May I look?“
Still there was no answer. Serena slowly reached for what Emma was clutching to her chest. Emma didn’t react, didn’t utter one single sound of protest as Serena took the fabric away from her.

It was nothing, Serena noted as she looked down at what Emma had clutched so dearly to her heart. It was only a shirt. A piece of clothing. A white shirt that belonged to the palace, which meant that it couldn’t hold any good memories for Emma, only fear and isolation.
“Emma, why are you holding this?“ she asked, searching the little girl’s face.
Emma wasn’t looking at her. She was looking past her. Serena moved into her line of vision, but still she did not react. It was as though the girl was looking right through her.
“Do you want me to leave?“
Serena was desperate to get some kind of reaction out of her - any at all - so that she would at least know that she was alive.
No answer.

“You want me to get you anything? Is there something you would like?“
No answer.
“I read something about candy. Do you want candy? Or ice-cream?“
No answer.
“Emma,“ Serena gently brushed the bangs out of Emma’s eyes, “I want you to know that you can trust me. I’m your friend. And I’m going to take care of you until your mommy and daddy can take care of you.“
The jerk of Emma’s head in her direction was so forceful she jumped in surprise. Emma’s eyes bore into her very soul.
“Mommy?“ Her voice was so small and lonely, Serena wanted to resort to her primitive reflex to cry, which she hadn’t done since she was a child.

“Yes, honey. Your mommy is looking for you,“ Serena’s voice trailed off, knowing how dangerous it was to talk about this here. She looked into Emma’s eyes and gently, trying not to scare her, pushed into her mind. Emma’s eyes widened as she realized what Serena was doing and she tried to pull away, but Serena hushed her softly. Made her feel safe.

Emma, listen carefully to me. Your mommy and daddy are looking for you and I’m going to help them find you. But first you have to be a good girl, okay?

Emma nodded. Serena could feel her confusion ripple through the connection, but for the first time Serena understood the depth of this girl’s bravery. She was so strong.

The men here are not nice, but as long as you do what they tell you to do they will not hurt you.

Serena certainly hoped that she was giving Emma the truth. Of course, she couldn’t know for sure what the men in the palace would do to Emma, but she knew for a fact that they would be easier to control if Emma cooperated.

You are not alone, Emma. I’m here to take care of you until your parents find you. Do you understand?

Emma nodded.
Serena smiled. “I’ll be back again tomorrow, Emma. Good-bye.“
Emma nodded and Serena could feel her confused, but relieved, eyes follow her until the door closed behind her.

<center>---------------------------------------------------</center>

*Tonight.*
Serena closed the door behind her and frowned at his voice. *Tonight?*
Aldonis stepped out of the shadows of the poorly lit room and took her hand, pulling her further into the house. Cradling her face in his hands he easily formed a connection with her.

*His Majesty has requested to meet with us tonight.*
*So soon?*
*There’s been a change of plans. It’s not entirely safe, that’s why we have to cut down on the number of guards.*
*What triggered this sudden change of plans?*
*I’m not sure. But I got the feeling that things are slowly turning worse. Has something happened to the human child? Because if there is some connection between His Majesty and the child that could be the reason for this abrupt rescheduling.*
*Actually, lately she’s been more withdrawn. I can barely get in contact with her. Do you think that she is somehow communicating with His Majesty?*
*Is she capable of doing that?*
*I don’t know. But I formed a connection with her today and I had no problem doing it. It was as if she was prepared for the connection. I got the feeling that she is used to mental connections. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if she was in fact connected to someone.*
*Maybe we’ll find out that tonight.*
*Is everything ready for the meeting?*
*Almost. I’ve contacted Londror and he’s preparing the men.*
*Where?*
*We’ll meet in the Mnordi Forest.*
*Good. I’ll get my things.*


Aldonis pulled out of her mind and Serena casually walked into the kitchen area.
*How was your day?* Aldonis asked lightly.
*Just fine,* Serena answered. *I made some progress.*
*That’s great,* Aldonis said.

<center>-------------------------------------------------</center>

Max gently placed a kiss on Liz’s lips and slowly pulled away from her, his arms still locked around her trembling body. “I’ll be okay.“
“I know,“ Liz whispered, wishing that she could believe it.
“Don’t go anywhere. Stay inside and don’t go anywhere alone.“
“I know,“ Liz whispered again, neither of them really paying attention to what they were saying. Their attention was focused on the feeling of each other’s body.
“You have to do this,“ Liz said, “I wish I could come with you.“
“So do I,“ Max said and they both knew the truth of that statement. Max looked into her eyes, ascertaining himself of the fingerprint of her soul. Burning her image onto his retina, as he had done so many times before. “I love you.“
“I love you,“ Liz said slowly and captured his lips. Her hands moved into his hair and pulled him closer, her whole essence whimpering under him. His warm hands slowly traced the contours of her cheeks as his lips were loving her skin.
“Come back to me,“ Liz said as he pulled away from her. He rested his forehead against hers and murmured.
“I’ll always come back to you.“

“Max,“ Isabel’s gentle voice made Max and Liz inhale deeply with the realization of their separation. Max was only going to be gone for one night, but they were all painfully aware of the risky nature of the meeting. Of everything that could go wrong.
“It’s time,“ Isabel said and watched Max and Liz pull away from each other. Their limbs slowly separated, changing from one whole to two smaller parts. Lastly his fingertips left hers and with one last glance at her, Max turned and walked out of the tent with his sister.
Outside, he captured one of the head guards. “Don’t let her out of your sight for even a second, even if she commands you to leave her alone, don’t.“ Liz did know the seriousness of the situation, but Max knew that she could be very stubborn and very particular about her privacy, “I don’t care if you make her believe that you are leaving her alone and then continue watching her, or if you openly disobey her, just don’t for a second leave her alone. Do you understand?“
“Yes, Your Majesty.“
“Good.“

<center>---------------------------------------------------------</center>

It was a cold night. It was one of those nights when the darkness felt like it was suffocating. It crept into every pore and filled them with utter emptiness. Max, Michael and Isabel were walking in the middle of four guards that surrounded them as they slowly and soundlessly walked through the forest. Max’s senses were sharp as he gazed into the darkness around him. The advantage of darkness was that it was good to hide in, but unfortunately it was also very effective in hiding enemies that could be lurking behind any of the trees.

No sound escaped Michael. His ears and eyes were like that of a hunter. Even though the setting was unruly unnerving, it was the first time Michael had ever really felt content. This was what he was meant to do. This was when his powers became the most useful. He had never had any power that was special to him. Max had been able to heal. Isabel had been able to dreamwalk. And Michael had been able to blow things up. But so had Max and Isabel. He had never really had a power that was his own. They had always figured that it was because he had never gotten the chance to develop his powers as well as Max and Isabel and that was why his personal power hadn’t shown itself yet. But now, walking in this foreign dark forest to a meeting with allies on an alien planet, he really knew why. He had never discovered any power specific to him because there had never been a situation on Earth that had demanded him to use those powers specific to him. They were all about hunting, about protection and about hiding. He noticed that he had no problem seeing through the darkness. His eyes almost worked like those of a cat. He could see better in the night than he could in the day. His hearing worked like that of a dog and he could hear even the faintest of sounds. That was why he, just seconds before Max slumped forward, could hear the buzzing sound erupting from Max’s head.

“Max?!“ Isabel hissed as she watched her brother stumble, his hands immediately flying to cover his ears as if he were trying to block out a piercing sound. But the forest was completely soundless.
“Max? What do you hear?“ Michael whispered.
Max stumbled over to a tree, his face contorted in pain.
“It’s them. They’re here,“ Kira whispered to Michael.
“What are they doing?“ Michael hissed, as his eyes scanned the terrain surrounding them, trying to look for their hidden enemies.
“They are making contact. They are probably verifying his true nature right now.“
“They can do that? Without touching him?“ Isabel asked quietly, her fearful eyes moving over the dark tree trunks that suddenly seemed so much more menacing.
“Yes,“ Kira answered. Just then, Max straightened up. As he looked up at his friends, his eyes were cloudy, but they quickly sharpened as he focused on the people around them.
“They are over there,“ Max said, his voice strained as he pointed towards a point behind Michael. Michael swiftly turned around, his body tensing in apprehension. But he couldn’t see anything.
“Where?“

He barely got the syllable out before he was on the ground, an invisible force holding him down.
“There,“ Max answered and with Max’s words they all watched the air shimmer in front of them. Out of the darkness contours started to take form, morphing into humanoid figures. But from their length and their composition it was clear that they were aliens.
The man at the front of the group bowed his head lightly. “Your Majesty,“ he said in broken English.
Max heard Michael grumble as he started to rise from his position on the ground.
“My apologies for treating you that way, Rath,“ he continued, while straightening up which revealed his intense blue eyes which sparkled in the darkness, keeping a firm gaze on Max.
“Yeah, well...“ Michael huffed, feeling a bit offended that they had caught him off guard.
“Mindwarp?“ Max asked.
“Yes,“ the man answered. “It’s an honor to finally meet you, Your Majesty. I’ve heard a great deal about you.“
Max nodded. “What’s your name?“
“Aldonis.“
“Are you the leader?“
“I am the leader of the Loyalists.“
Max ignored the curious looks from the men standing behind Aldonis. “How do we know that we can trust you?“

“I have information you might be interested in,“ Aldonis said and Max watched to his amazement as a woman walked up beside the man. She was the only woman there. “This is Serena.“
“Your Majesty,“ Serena said, bowing her head. Her eyes were filled with awe as she straightened up and met Max’s eyes. There was a flash of recognition in her eyes. And she knew. She recognized his eyes far too well.
“I work at the palace. I think you would call me a spy,“ she began, her voice low and melodic. Max immediately felt some sort of faith in her. As if she were to be trusted. It was something in the way her eyes moved over his face and the way she held herself that told him that he could trust her. Max remained quiet and let her continue the story.
“A couple of days ago I was assigned to work on a new case,“ Serena continued, “A very special case. They had brought in a human...“ Her voice trailed off as she saw the emotion flicker through Max’s eyes.
“A human?“ he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.
“Yes,“ Serena answered, “A child... Your child.“
“Oh God,“ Max murmured. Was it possible that this woman had direct contact with his child? That she met his child on a daily basis. “How is she?“
Serena met his eyes head-on. “Not good. She has become isolated and she’s closing herself off.“
“But you meet her? Every day?“ Max asked. The desperate need to have some hope to cling to was evident in his voice.
“Yes,“ Serena answered.

“Your Majesty-“
“Please, call me Max,“ Max said, his eyes traveling to Aldonis.
“Max,“ Aldonis corrected himself, “How can your child be human? And why isn’t Ava with you?“
Max sighed and anger flashed in his eyes. “Ava was a traitor. She died on Earth, by the hands she had so willingly served.“
“She turned to the enemies?“ Aldonis asked, surprised.
“Yes,“ Michael answered, “And she almost managed to kill Liz.“
Aldonis frowned in confusion. “Who’s Liz?“
“The mother of my child and the woman I love,“ Max answered, possessiveness flashing in his eyes.
“Love...“ Aldonis mused.
“They are connected,“ Kira clarified.
“But she’s completely human?“ Aldonis asked.
“Yes,“ Max answered.
“That’s why,“ Serena said. “That’s why I could connect so easily with your daughter even though she is human. Because of the connection you share with your monrè.“

“Monrè?“ Isabel asked.
“The one you connect with,“ Serena explained.
“We don’t have much time,“ Max interrupted, “I need to know if you are willing to help us get my daughter back.“
“Yes,“ Aldonis answered firmly.
“Then let’s get down to business,“ Max said.


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