Alien Friend –
The last few words really summed up the whole story for me. Maria went through it all because she loved Michael with everything she had. I'm sure Michael returns that in spades. That's just what whole story and journey has been about. What would do for love?
Good question. This story answered it, for Michael and Maria. Maria went through hell, because she wanted to save Michael and Michael would do the same. It’s the story of Roswell, that tv series was about extraordinary love stories, ones that you can rarely find in tv, at least right now.
As we stated way back at the beginning, The Man Who Didn’t Belong will have two endings. From this point on, the fic will take the second path and we will be posting Ending Number Two. You will probably notice that the first few of pages here seem familiar and are actually a repost of the part immediately prior to Ending One, Part 1 as well as the first part of Ending One. There are actually several subtle differences from the original post of these scenes.
Ending Two, Part 1 (or Part 77)
He moved to the center of his room and glanced around before moving some of the furniture back and out of his way. He had no idea what was going to happen when he started this process so he wanted plenty of space around him. Once he felt that a sufficient area had been cleared he grabbed one of the disposable cups off of the counter in the bathroom and peeled the plastic wrapper off of it, throwing it on the floor as he bent over to pry the lid off of the bucket.
Scooping up the first cupful of sand he moved back, silently counting off his steps and beginning to create his circle of sand. When he was finished with that he moved the bucket and set it aside before retrieving a bottle of water from the mini refrigerator under the wet bar and the pouch with the stones. He checked all of the doors and windows, making sure they were locked, and then pulled all of the blinds and curtains so that they were tightly closed.
Finally he stood at the edge of the circle and he ran one hand over the lower half of his face as he considered what he was about to do. He shook himself and set the items down inside the circle and removed his shirt, boots, and socks before taking a deep breath and moving to sit in the center of the circle. He crossed his legs Indian-style and rested his hands on his knees for a moment as he brought all of his thoughts under control.
Maria had said that focus was important at this point so he forced his mind to clear of all other thoughts before removing two of the stones and placing them next to him and then taking a long drink of the water. He had no clue what the hell the water was for, but just to be safe, he was including that part of the ritual.
“Okay,” he muttered as he took a stone in each hand and let his wrists rest on his knees. He felt like a complete fool as he sat there, knowing he looked like some moron doing yoga. “Focus, Guerin!”
He focused on the stones and the dreamplane, not knowing what he was expecting, but knowing that the sudden flash followed by desert scenery wasn’t it. He looked around, no longer seeing his room, but the desert. He was surrounded by large outcroppings of rock formations and cliffs and his heart pounded crazily when he turned and the images seemed to tilt for a moment before righting themselves. Just as he began to adjust to the scene everything around him went black and within seconds stars slowly appeared and he realized that he was still in the desert, but it was nighttime. A light suddenly streaked across the night sky and his breath caught in his throat when scenes started to hit him hard and fast.
A ship unlike anything he had ever seen crashing into the desert floor and bursting into flames as explosions erupted around it. A hidden door sliding open and the air filled with the sounds of strange, unrecognizable voices screaming in a language that was almost familiar, cries of pain and desperation as several small, grey beings emerged, struggling to free several pod-like things from the burning wreckage. He watched as they fought against weakness, time, and their own failing bodies to hide the pods inside a cave before the human soldiers came for them.
“It’s weird to see it for real,” a voice commented.
He turned slowly, knowing who he would see, but still unprepared for the shock of seeing himself standing there. He made a face at the younger version of himself dressed in black from his tee shirt to his jeans, spiky hair defiantly remaining unmoving despite the gentle breeze blowing around them. As he opened his mouth to speak the scene shifted back to the place he had first been and his irritation shifted higher when his alternate self stared down at him from a rocky formation several feet away.
“What the fuck is goin’ on?” he demanded. “And why the hell are you here?”
“Not that bright, huh?” his double asked, tone mocking. “You haven’t figured it out yet?” He jumped down from the boulder, feet barely making a disturbance in the shifting sand. “I expected you to be smarter.”
The momentary speechlessness suddenly faded and Michael quickly became pissed off as he turned, following his double’s constant movement. “Don’t play this shit with me, you little … ghost bastard! I’ve got enough to deal with without havin’ you thrown in the mix.”
His double simply stared back at him for a while before slowly walking up to him, not stopping until they were just a few inches apart. “Think, dumbass, think! I’ve been here all along and you know it. You just didn’t wanna accept the truth for what it is.” He leaned back slightly and crossed his arms over his chest. “I think I’ve given you enough clues.”
Michael’s eyes narrowed as he watched his double, horrified and wondering just how long his double had been hanging around. Spying on him. Haunting him. His eyes suddenly widened as understanding hit him right between the eyes. That night, so many months ago, when he had fallen asleep leaning back against the couch only to be awakened by horrific chest pains with the taste of blood on his tongue.
His double smirked. “Bingo.”
Michael’s temper moved closer and closer to the boiling point as he remembered every time he had been assaulted by the strange feeling of illness, the ability to do things like cook, the inability to perform sexually, and he suddenly realized it had been his double’s influence.
“You smug motherfucker!” he screamed, enraged at the man’s audacity. “You stupid, untrained, moronic little bastard! This’s my fuckin’ life!” He paced back and forth as he ranted, uncaring of the fact that he was yelling at himself in some form. “You had no right to come into my universe and fuck everything up! I could kill you for this! I’ve sure as fuck killed for less! I’ve worked for everything I’ve got… I have every right to live my life the way I wanna fuckin’ live it!” He whirled around to face his double and it only pissed him off even more when he saw the calm expression on his face. “Why? Why would you do this to me?”
His double straightened up and a look of sadness entered his eyes. “Never gonna leave ‘er,” he said, the words spoken in a voice eerily calm, but heavy emotions underlined them.
Never gonna leave her… but how? He had been in another universe. How had this other version of himself known how to find him? How had he known that Maria would be here? It made no sense!
Michael paced, wondering how this was all supposed to work when his double just shrugged. Of course, he realized, the little bastard was in his head, he knew what he was thinking!
“When you die, it’s just…” Michael struggled with the words, hesitant to explain the great mysteries of the universe. The memory of dying was still so close and in that moment as he had left one plane of existence for the next everything had suddenly become clear, made sense. The understanding that time wasn’t linear had become known to him in the blink of an eye. The knowledge that the universe as such wasn’t unique along with knowing what could and should happen. He shoved his hands in his pockets and repeated in a very soft voice, “Never gonna leave ‘er.”
Somehow, the words calmed him as nothing else would have. He hadn’t acknowledged the emotion, but he knew he was in love with her, just as in love with her as his other self in that other universe. He would have done the same thing had their roles been reversed. His thoughts turned to speculation as he suddenly wondered if it was him, in fact, that loved her… or was it his double who loved her through him?
“I had no role in that.”
His head snapped up and he glared at his double.
His double shrugged. “You fell for her all by yourself. We are the same, after all. Doesn’t matter what universe it is, Michael Guerin is meant to fall in love with Maria DeLuca. That’s just how it works; the stonewall hasn’t been built that she can’t get past.”
A silent agreement passed between them and when his double held his hand out, Michael accepted the gesture and shook his hand.
His counterpart withdrew his hand when it was released and he took several steps back. “Goodbye, Michael.”
Michael’s eyes snapped open as the dreamplane suddenly blinked out of existence and he found himself back in his room, still sitting in the circle of sand.
Maria opened the door to her hotel room the next morning, stepping back when Michael barged right in without so much as a single word. She watched him as he moved around the room for a few minutes, almost as if he were acclimating himself with the room. His mood was… unusual,
she mused, trying to pin it down. She followed him with her eyes when he sat down on the foot of the bed.
“Did you manage to reach the dreamplane?” she asked.
“The mission was successful,” he answered vaguely.
She frowned when he didn’t elaborate on his response, but she bit her lip as she gave him a few more minutes.
Michael stared at the wall across from the bed, his eyes seeing the last few minutes he had spent with his double in the dreamplane. It hasn’t lasted very long but it had felt like an extended period of time had lapsed while he had been talking to that younger version of himself. He didn’t know what he had expected when he had decided to try and reach the dreamplane, but it hadn’t been witnessing the crash or seeing actual aliens.
His double had gone through so much just to avoid being separated from this crazy Maria girl even in death. He had loved her, still loved her, that much. What did that mean for him? For his life? For Maria and their future, if they even had a future together? How could he tell Maria that her Michael, the man she loved with every fiber of her being, was somehow alive inside of him? Or should he even tell her? Could they go on from this point? She was still clinging to the other man. How could he ever accept that she might not love him the way she had loved the other man?
Maria frowned when he was still silent after nearly half an hour and she wondered what had triggered his pensive mood. He had to have seen or experienced something in the dreamplane that had unsettled him because he was too quiet and distant, much more than normal.
He grunted in response, slowly turning his head to look at her as if he had just realized she was in the room with him. “What?”
“What happened while you were in the dreamplane?”
“Nothin’.” He stood up and glanced around the room. “How long before you’re ready? I wanna get goin’; it’s past time for me to see this Granolith.”
Maria nodded. He wasn’t going to talk until he was ready and there was no point in trying to prolong the inevitable. “I’ll be ready in half an hour. I was just about to jump in the shower.”
Michael stepped out of the rental car and looked around the desert surrounding the large, craggy rock formation in front of them. The only sound that could be heard was the wind whistling around the rocks, kicking up small amounts of sand. “Hidin’ the thing out here isn’t too smart; it’s not a very defensible position.”
Maria rolled her eyes when he went on and on about the location the aliens had chosen to hide the Granolith and the poor scouting that had gone into it. “The path to the chamber is around this way,” she said, taking the lead.
His rant immediately ceased when she walked off and he hurried to follow her. He glanced up at the rocky, overgrown path that led up the side and he grabbed her arm before she could start the climb. “What’re you doin’?”
“Michael, I’ve been up the side of this thing more than once,” she huffed impatiently. “I know what I’m doing.”
He completely ignored every word she said. “I’ll go first.” He followed the path, easily identifying it despite the overgrowth. He reached an area where the ground began to level out and he stared at the craggy wall before him. He felt Maria’s presence as she joined him, but he ignored her in favor of brushing his hand over the face of the rock, jerking his hand back when a translucent handprint appeared. “What the hell?”
“That’s the – “
“Shhh,” he hissed as he stretched his arm out and waved his hand over the rock again, waiting for the handprint and holding his hand over it when it appeared. His mouth dropped open when a ‘door’ in the rock suddenly became visible and it slid back, pausing for just a moment before moving aside.
The ground below his feet rumbled as the door moved and he stared into the dark interior that had been revealed. He pushed the button on the flashlight he held as he stepped inside and waved the beam over the cavern. He turned in a circle, the beam of the flashlight bouncing over the floor and the walls.
“Well, where the fuck’s this thing at?” he snapped when he heard Maria enter the chamber behind him. “You said it was here… and I’m not seein’ any kinda alien artifact that’s gonna answer my questions.”
Maria rolled her eyes at his surly tone. “Have you ever considered being patient?”
“No.” He paused when he realized there was a faint green glow emanating from the far end of the chamber and he followed it. The beam of the flashlight remained positioned on the floor as he stared at the… what the hell were they?
Maria watched him as he slowly approached the pods, his right hand easing towards one of the ones on the upper tier. His expression was one of fascination as he traced over the outer edges of the opening where the pod had been broken through as one of the hybrids awoke and emerged.
He jerked his hand back when he felt an odd sensation graze his fingertips and he glanced at his hand before reaching out to touch the thing again. He moved to the next one before crouching down in front of the last two. One of them was just like the two above, but the last one… the last one was shadowed and contained a small body.
His hand settled over the protective covering and he frowned when he felt a faint flicker of something he didn’t understand. If he were a fanciful man he might have said it had a hint of negative energy to it, but he wasn’t that type of man and he quickly brushed the thought aside.
Maria stared at the dead hybrid cocooned within the dark pod and a feeling of hostility hit her before she could control it. Tess had managed to screw things up in such a way that the damage had been irreversible and they had never fully recovered from her traitorous actions.
“This one… it’s Tess, right? You said Max and Isabel were killed in my universe, so that just leaves her.” Maybe he wasn’t too far off base with that negative energy thought.
“Yeah, that’s her.”
He heard the anger in her voice and he nodded in understanding. The hybrid had taken someone from her, someone who had been a friend, a confidant, and one of the most trusted people in her life. “Where’s this piece of alien technology that spit you out in my universe?”
Maria motioned to the empty pod on the lower tier and he made a face when he turned to look at it. “You’ll have to crawl through that pod. It’s the one Max was in before you guys…” she wrinkled her nose and smirked at him, “hatched.”
Michael glared at her as he crouched down and turned his flashlight to shine inside the pod, illuminating the interior. He made a face as he looked at it, wondering what exactly it was made of and if any of it was going to get on him when he crawled through it. “I may not remember comin’ out of one of these pods, but I can assure you it wasn’t like bein’ hatched.”
“Whatever you say,” she said breezily. She crouched down next to him, one hand on his shoulder for balance. “Are you gonna climb through?”
“Yeah, just checkin’ it out first, is that alright with you?”
“Sure you’re not just chicken? Scared of what might happen when you crawl through and step out on the other side?”
He shook his head at her and turned the flashlight off, shoving it in his pocket and dropping to all fours as he ducked his head into the pod. “This’s disgusting,” he growled, wincing at the odd, spongy feeling beneath his hands.
“Your people made it,” she countered, following him.
Michael got to his feet as soon as he emerged on the other side, wiping his hands on his pants as he started to stand upright. He was barely out of a crouched position when he noticed the odd green light pulsating around him and he lifted his head to stare at the source of the light.
The alien device was shaped like an inverted cone and it emanated a strange humming sound. He straightened up and took several steps forward when Maria hit the back of his right leg with her hand, silently letting him know he needed to move so she could get out.
Maria stood, brushing her clothes off and watching him as he approached the Granolith, his steps measured as he silently assessed the device. He was looking for any threat that the device might pose, determining whether or not it was safe to touch as he moved closer to it with each pass. It took several minutes before he reached out and brushed the fingertips of his right hand over it.
He pulled his hand back and stared at the tips of his fingers. He had felt a frisson of heated electricity as he had touched the thing; it hadn’t hurt, but it was an odd sensation. “So, this’s the Granolith,” he murmured, circling it once more. He made a fist and raised his hand to knock on the device, taking a step back when the color shifted, changing to a deeper green for just a moment.
“What’re you doing?” Maria asked, shaking her head at him.
“Well, how d’you get its attention?”
She walked up to it, standing there for several minutes before speaking. “Granolith?” she called and stepped back as she waited for it to respond.
Michael snorted when the humming sound coming from the Granolith was the only thing to be heard. “That’s how you talk to this hunk of junk?” He walked up to it and thumped his fist against it several times. “Hey!”
“I’m sure pissing it off will make it talk to you, Michael,” she muttered sarcastically.
“Yeah, and your method was workin’ so much better,” he snarled.
“Look, this Granolith has an interesting sense of – “
“It’s not a sentient being, Maria! It’s a piece of alien technology that’s obviously designed to do whatever its creators…” He took several steps back when the light coming from the Granolith suddenly pulsated. “Whoa, what the hell is it doin’?”
“You’ve done it now. You’ve pissed it off.”
“It’s not talkin’ yet.” He stood back and held his arms out at his sides. “Hey, you piece of alien shit, stop hidin’ and talk to me!” He heard Maria snicker behind him and that only pissed him off. “I’m one of the Royal Four and I order you to talk to me!”
Maria couldn’t stop herself from laughing at him. His tone was so conceited and he was so full of himself… and the Granolith was ignoring him. “Stop talking to it like that because it’s only gonna continue to ignore you.”
“It’s a piece of technology, Maria! For it to be ignoring me it’d have to be sentient… you said this thing would answer my questions and so far it hasn’t said a single fuckin’ word!”
“You have returned,” the mechanical voice rumbled.
Michael jerked around to face the device. It had spoken.
He approached it cautiously, walking around it as he tried to determine how it was working.
“You have discovered what I had to offer?”
She paused as she glanced at Michael. Had she discovered what the Granolith had offered?
“Yes, I believe I have.”
“Then you are ready to return.” It was a statement and not a question.
Maria bit her bottom lip. She wanted to go home so badly but what if her actions here hadn’t made a difference? “Will Michael be there?”
“The hybrid has ceased to exist in your universe, young human.”
The pain of loss washed over her as she stared at the granolith. “But… I don’t understand. You said I had been given the opportunity to change the past, present and future.”
“You have succeeded.”
“No.” She shook her head in denial. “No, if he’s still dead then it didn’t work.”
Michael stood back, watching her as she argued with the machine. He could see the devastation on her features at the knowledge that his counterpart was still dead, that her mission had been a failure. Going back to her universe would serve no purpose if the other version of him was dead.
The invasion would still happen at some point but they wouldn’t succeed in fighting the enemy when they were missing an essential member of their defense. She wasn’t facing annihilation in his universe, so why not just stay here? She cared about him, loved him, but he didn’t know if that would be enough. That other version of him would always be there between them and he didn’t know if he could live with that.
“What the fuck kinda choice is that?” he demanded after several minutes.
The granolith changed colors, deepening to a turbulent shade of blue at the hybrid’s tone. “Returning to her universe is not a choice. It is what must be for you to continue the mission. The events here have been set into motion by her presence and actions in this universe.”
Michael shook his head. “That’s bullshit.”
“The human must return to her universe.”
“But he’s still dead,” Maria said, her voice inaudible. “I completed my mission… I did what I was supposed to do.”
Michael faced the device once more, arms crossed over his chest and feet spaced wide as he studied it. “Granolith, explain why you sent Maria to my universe,” he demanded.
“The hybrid she was bonded with was no more. It was necessary to re-establish this connection.”
“So, you what? Just tossed her ass into the first universe where she didn’t exist but some version of her hybrid did?” he asked incredulously. What was this thing, some sort of God-like being?
“The journey between universes is not controlled by the Granolith.”
Michael stilled, perplexed. “What the fuck does that mean?” Either the Granolith had chosen to send Maria to this universe or it hadn’t, and in that case, why was Maria still in HIS universe? If the Granolith hadn’t made the decision to route her to his universe then who had? Or maybe the better question was what had made that decision.
He walked around the machine once more, his critical gaze missing nothing. What exactly was it? A sentient being or simply a means to an end, a pawn used by some other outside force?
The green light pulsated as the Granolith seemed to ponder Michael’s question. “You have formed a bond with the human, have you not?”
“Look, just tell me what we’re supposed to do now!” He didn’t want to think about the bond he had formed with Maria and he sure as hell didn’t wanna talk about it in front of her.
“The time has come for you to make a decision and for the human to return to her universe, impatient one.”
“What?” He just barely stopped himself from kicking the damn thing. Sending Maria back to her universe because he was fed up was one thing. Having this piece of extraterrestrial shit telling him what was going to happen was a different story.
“The human has discovered why she was sent here. Her mission in this universe has reached its conclusion and it is time for her to return. Your mission is just beginning.”
Michael shook his head. “You don’t tell me what my missions are. You mentioned a decision and that implies that I have more than one option… so what are they?”
“The options are simple; it is the decision that requires thought.”
“What options?” he grated out.
“To remain or continue the mission.”
“What the fuck are you talkin’ about?!” Michael asked, taken aback.
“You may choose to remain on your current path or you may choose to continue the mission. The events have been set into motion by the human.”
“And why would I take up some mission just because you say it’s what has to happen?”
“To maximize your potential… to become the protector you were engineered to become. Earth in your universe still poses a threat to those who would seek to overthrow the throne of Antar but as it stands currently, there will be no defense when the attack begins.”
Michael crossed his arms over his chest again and considered what the Granolith was saying.
“Your mission must be carried out to ensure the future of your universe.”
Maria bit her bottom lip as she took several steps to bring her closer to the Granolith, reaching out to touch it for just a brief moment. “Granolith,” she said hesitantly, “I have a question.”
The color shifted to a warm emerald. “Ask, young human.”
“My universe… if I return to my universe…” she swallowed hard before continuing. “Is there any chance my hybrid will be alive? Maybe the granolith in my universe will… change its mind?” Surely he would be alive; she had spent months in this universe, helping this version of Michael and completing what she believed was her mission with the goal of returning home to find her Michael alive and well.
“There is no question of your return to your universe. Upon completion of your mission in this universe you must return.” The Granolith pulsed as the shades of green shifted back and forth from light to dark several times before it settled into its usual color. “It is unlikely that your hybrid will be restored though that decision resides with the Granolith from your universe.”
“Yes, but now you’re saying that whether or not he’s alive depends on the Granolith in my universe… how does that have anything to do with my, my… mission in this universe?!” she asked, her voice rising. The Granolith in her universe would never change its mind. It was nothing like this one.
“Yet I did not say which universe you had the power to change.”
“So, everything that I’ve done has had nothing to do with changing the events in my own universe,” she said, angry because she felt like she had been tricked. The anger began to change into devastation because she had begged that other Granolith to do something, anything to save her Michael, and instead of altering the past, sending her back in time just a matter of hours or days to save him, it had sent her to another universe instead. She had no faith in the Granolith from her universe; she didn’t believe that it would do anything to help her bring him back.
Michael felt his own temper spiking at the conversation between Maria and the Granolith. It pissed him off because in spite of everything that had happened she still thought about the other version of him first.
“C’mon, Maria, we’re leavin’.” Maybe she had to return to her universe, but it would happen when he decided it would happen. He didn’t take orders from this hung of space junk. He didn’t give the Granolith a second look as he motioned for Maria to hurry up, standing back as she crawled through the pod and back out into the outer chamber.