Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT) – COMPLETE

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Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT) – COMPLETE

Postby memory_echo » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:11 am

Image

Title: “Hell’s Gate”

Rating: ADULT for extreme violence (I’ll make a note of this scene before I post it) and character death

Disclaimer: Written for love, not for profit. Although in my heart, these characters do not legally belong to me. They belong to: Melinda Metz and Laura Burns who created them, Jason Katims who developed them, 20th Century Fox Television and Regency Television who produced them and the WB and UPN who broadcasted them. The songs I used were "Bad Moon Rising", "Childhood's End" and "The End" and they belong to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd and the Beatles respectively.

Summary: Set in “Four Aliens and a Baby”. Liz and Tess are on their way to the Base. Liz has been procrastinating with all of her "anger and hatred" for months now... Is that why she knowingly got in a car with a consummated killer? Or was it there some other sinister purpose that forced Liz into that car?

Pairings: Conventional Couples, but Liz's POV will prevail throughout the story.

Author's Notes: Maria's speech to Liz at the Crashdown in "Four Aliens and a Baby" inspired me to write this story. I agree with Maria that Liz needs to make a decision about her life once and for all.

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank behrbabe (for the magnificent banner), fmecs and BringMeBack from the bottom of my heart. Your priceless contributions and feedback made this story possible.

Feedback: I'd love to read what you think of this story.


Part 1: "I Need a Favor..."


I must be dreaming, Liz thought. Tess’ words felt insubstantial. Still, she couldn’t help but feel nervous about them. She looked around… everyone else was fast asleep. What can I do to buy some time? She went to the bathroom at brisk pace to pour water over her face.

“Ready?” Tess asked, startling her.

Liz looked at the mirror, but she only saw herself. Where had Tess been? She wiped her face with the towel and murmured: “Ready.”

“Let's go.”

Liz started walking after Tess. When her brain finally caught up with her legs, she stopped and took a deep breath. This could be her last chance... But she wasn’t ready... Ready for what, anyway? She needed more time to assess the situation she found herself in. “I'll get the key to the Jetta,” Liz said, looking for some clue in Tess’ visage, but it was vacant as always. She rushed to fetch the car key, trying to hide her growing anxiety. Going by the living room, she glanced at the clock. It was 00:30. Then, she looked at her friends, at Max… they all seemed lost in peaceful dreams, and she wondered if she would ever see them again... She grabbed a little tape recorder that she and Max had used for a school project and stuffed it in her pocket, before turning away from them. She noticed Tess’ predacious look as she picked the key up in a frantic movement.

She dangled the key in Tess’ eyes. “Where are we going?”

“All in good time,” Tess replied with a puzzling smile.

This is gonna be a long night, Liz thought.

As soon as they were on the open road, Liz felt her nervousness increase exponentially. Why did she ask me, of all people? Is she planning to kill me in the desert? To calm her jumbled nerves, she turned the radio on.

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like we're in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.


Liz felt a sickening nausea lodge itself in the pit of her stomach and turned the radio off. She clutched the steering wheel and focused on the lines by the side of the road – the last remnant of order in her world. Where does she want to go, anyway? Liz asked herself.

“You do know that there are checkpoints all over Roswell, right? They’ll never let us out of here,” she said.

Tess looked over and Liz thought she could discern a smirk on the alien’s face. “You’re an ordinary human, driving alone in a modest Jetta. Who would want to hurt you?”

For Liz, it became increasingly harder to focus on the road while chills ran through her entire body. Less than a minute later, they saw a checkpoint ahead.

As soon as she saw them, Tess said “Just keep driving, don’t worry about those guys. Remember, I’m not really here.” She then leaned back on the seat and closed her eyes.

Liz saw a soldier waving at her with a flashlight to pull the car over. As soon as she stopped the Jetta, the man approached her with a German Shepherd. Liz tensed up, but she didn’t look at Tess. The man and the dog were strangely quiet.

“Have you seen this woman, miss?” He asked.

“Sorry, I’ve never seen her,” Liz said, simply. She paid close attention to the man’s demeanor. His face and his attitude were unnervingly still. Three more men with three more dogs approached her, exhibiting the exact same behavior. Liz felt even more disturbed by the vacant and listless look in the dogs’ eyes – they just panted peacefully as if the Jetta wasn’t there…

“Okay, you’re clear to go through,” the man said.

“Thank you,” Liz smiled. She started the car, took a deep breath and drove away, quietly. The darkness deepened without the town’s streetlights. Tess’ instructions kept coming, but with no hint about their final destination. As they moved on, the white lines disappeared from the increasingly narrow roads. Liz swallowed hard; the headlights alone did not provide her with enough sense of security against the hazards of the night. Having Tess sitting next to her was the final straw. She didn’t dare look at Tess, but she fretted over what was going on in her mind. Are her eyes closed? Is she mindwarping me? What could it possibly be about? Thinking about the likelihood of Tess killing her seemed to block her lungs. What am I doing in a car with a killer, she kept asking herself. She’s gonna mindwarp me into seeing a deer crossing the road or something, so I'll swerve and hit the car against a tree, said a nagging fearful voice in her brain. Instinctively, she lifted the foot off the pedal. Don’t panic, okay? There are no deer in Roswell. Thoughts are neither good nor bad, but merely what you do with them can have consequences in the real world. She wants something from you. Don’t let her know you’re afraid, don’t give her anything. Liz took a deep breath. There was nothing more reassuring than the voice of reason. She glanced at the digital clock near the steering wheel: it displayed the right time. This is my only grasp on reality if she tries to mindwarp me, she concluded.

After another turn, it became obvious where they were headed – the Air Force Base.
Last edited by memory_echo on Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:53 am, edited 12 times in total.
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 2, 7/16/2014

Postby memory_echo » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:40 pm

Hi everyone!

Thank you so much for your feedback!

begonia9508, when I first watched this episode, this scene freaked me out as well. I was sure that Liz had been mindwarped. Then, I had to accept that something very different had happened in that car, and I got even more curious…

keepsmiling7, I think you'll find this moment to be a test of character for Liz.

saori_1902, I'm glad you liked it! :)

I would like to share something with you, sort of like a 'behind the text' knowledge. The first music I thought of for when Liz turns the car radio on was 'Landslide' by Liam Titcomb. Unfortunately, that song came out in 2012, so it couldn't have been on the radio in 2002… That song's lyrics really inspired me to start writing this story. 'Bad Moon Rising' is vintage, radio-friendly, and evocative enough for Liz to fear for her future.

And now, here's the second part.

Enjoy!


Part 2: I'll kill you if you'll kill me!


Liz stopped the car at the top of a hill, overlooking the Base. “Are you gonna tell me what we’re doing out here?” She asked, clutching the wheel so Tess couldn’t see her trembling.

“I thought, maybe, you’d like to finish what you started back in Michael’s apartment…” Tess said.

Liz did not understand the implication of that statement; with her face sheltered by the darkness, it was difficult to know if the alien was serious or mocking her. Slowly, but surely, she reached into her coat pocket and pressed ‘Rec’ on the little tape recorder.

“I never thought you’d make it this far; I felt sure you would just blast me out of the speeding vehicle as soon as we left Roswell,” Tess chuckled.

Liz studied her for a few seconds… Is she busting my chops to provoke an instinctive reaction or is she just looking for a good excuse to kill me in self-defense?! Liz knew she couldn’t show weakness or get emotionally entangled with a manipulator like Tess. She decided to change the subject. “Did you mindwarp the dogs, too?” She asked, using a firm voice.

“I had to! Otherwise, the soldier’s mindwarp would’ve been disrupted. And then, where would we be?”

I’d be safe at home, sleeping in my bed, Liz thought.

Tess laughed. “Nothing bad will happen to any of them, if that's what you're worried about.”

“How many times would you have to mindwarp them before they suffered permanent damage?” Liz asked, swallowing the disgust that was simmering inside of her.

“Why do you care about them?” Tess asked, curious.

“What you did was-”

“You’re angry about Alex, not them, so why don’t you just ask the right question?”

Her blunt statement startled Liz. Can she read my mind? “Why did you pick on Alex?” She asked, looking straight at Tess.

The alien girl shrugged: “He was the best with computers, I guess…”

“He never wronged you in any way for you to treat him like that!” Liz added in a more incensed tone, feeling her heart pounding in her chest. So much for not getting emotionally entangled with the mindwarper, she scolded herself.

Tess rolled her eyes and said in a defiant tone: “By that reasoning, I should’ve picked on you. You could’ve easily decoded that book.”

Liz’s breath caught in her throat. “That would’ve been the most logical thing, wouldn’t it? You would’ve killed two birds with one stone!” Liz said.

Tess cocked her head, confused.

“It’s what Herbert Spencer termed ‘the survival of the fittest’,” Liz added.

“Meaning you,” Tess concluded with a knowing smile.

“Jeez, did I say that?!”

“No need to,” Tess sighed. “If I thought I could get rid of you for good, I would’ve killed you,” Tess said in a somber tone.

Liz gulped slowly. “You very nearly did,” she said, while every fiber in her body was ordering her to run, and fast, knowing that showing weakness would only mean a quicker death.

“What are you talking about?”

“Come on, do I really need to refresh your memory about Las Cruces?”

“What about Las Cruces?!”

“The bomb in Leanna’s room?... If it hadn’t been for Michael, you would’ve gotten what you wanted…”

Tess shook her head. “I don’t know what that means, but I’m glad you didn’t die, ‘cause I wouldn’t have lived two seconds after you did,” she added.

Liz arched her eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

“If you had died, Max would’ve killed me without so much as a question,” Tess said, without a hint of doubt.

“Max would never kill anybody,” Liz argued, firmly.

“He was ready to kill me in the Granilith chamber… heck, he would’ve killed me now, if I hadn’t told him the baby and I were linked!”

“I don’t believe you,” Liz muttered.

“Fine.” Tess sighed, anticipating her reaction. “But Max loves you more than life itself. You believe that much, right?”

If Max had said those words, she would’ve felt enraptured; if Maria had said those words, she would’ve felt incredibly grateful for her support… But handed down by Tess, those words seemed sinister…

However much she tried, Liz could not fathom where Tess was headed with that statement, but she was certain she would not come out of there alive, unless she figured it out quickly.
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 3, 7/18/2014

Postby memory_echo » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:37 am

Hi to all!

saori_1902, Liz has a tough challange ahead of her. And I had the same feeling about the fact that they don't talk about Alex at all… So, I took that mission upon myself...

Here's the third part.

Enjoy!

Part 3: (Un)real Intentions


“Do you know what Max has been doing for this past year? Trying to find his son. The one he made with you,” Liz swallowed hard, trying to contain her anger. “You took Max from me to fulfill that little plan of yours… you gave him his first-born child… even that you took from me!” She muttered, in a barely controlled rage. “Can all the love in the world trump that?”

“‘Course it can, you idiot!” Tess said, with that same enigmatic expression. “What makes you think I gave him anything he wanted?”

“You gave him-”

“All I did was sleep with him!” Tess shrugged. It wasn’t the first time Liz had heard Tess use those words and she was as confused now as she had been back in Copper Summit.

“All you did?!” Liz asked. “It may have helped your cause, but it took two for that. Why he slept with you is still a mystery to me.”

“Why did you sleep with Kyle?” Tess asked in a quizzical tone.

I didn’t sleep with Kyle, you moron, Liz thought. But from her expression, it became obvious that Tess didn’t know the truth. Liz took a deep breath (thrilled to discover that Tess couldn’t read minds after all). She could feel the tension building... This must be what playing poker with the Devil would feel like, she mused. She knew that knowledge was her only trump card, so she had to stay calm and make sure the alien remained in the dark.

“That was a very different situation,” Liz said, lowering her gaze.

“No, it wasn’t. You were feeling bad about me and Max, Kyle was conveniently there and you went for it. So, you spent the night together. I don’t see a difference!” Tess replied.

“It wasn’t like that at all.” Liz said, matter-of-factly.

“Really, did he force you?”

“What?! No!” She said, horrified. Admittedly, it was difficult to imagine a scenario where she and Kyle would actually hook up, but Liz knew Kyle enough to know he would never cross the line with her; so, such an intimate moment shared under the pretense of ‘pity’ was impossible for her to imagine. “We knew exactly where the road was leading us to when we chose it. We both did exactly what we wanted to do.” She said, firmly.

“Good for you!”

Liz searched her eyes, but couldn’t find any trace of good intention in them. No semblance of anything at all. She didn’t know exactly why she had said that… didn’t know what she wanted to hear from Tess… Something hopeful, maybe, she mused. She stole a glance at the clock: no mindwarps so far, she thought. This isn’t working: Tess’ mind moves as erratically as a flying saucer… She felt like a gazelle escaping a cheetah’s claws: if she wanted to live, she would have to run faster, jump higher and zigzag her way to freedom.

“Why are you here?” Tess asked, tilting her head, inquisitively.

“What do you mean?” Liz said, confused.

“I mean, why did you come here with me?”

“Because you asked me to!” Liz replied.

“Really, is that all?” Tess probed. Liz gulped, feeling all of her blood rushing to her feet. “You could’ve said ‘no’… you should’ve said ‘no’! After all, you hate my guts and this isn’t even your car – you have absolutely no reason to be here.” Tess mused. She straightened up in her chair and stared at her rival. “You drove all the way up here on your own free will. The question is: why?”

Liz was trying to figure that out herself, but she promised herself that when she did, she would never surrender the answer to Tess.

“Why are you so curious about my motives?” Liz asked, in the calmest tone she could muster.

Tess rubbed her forehead and shrugged, as if wondering what she should say. “Excuse me if I don’t believe in your altruism but, as you humans say, there’s no smoke without fire… I mean, for someone like you to do me such a favor without having to be mindwarped… well, it never happened with anyone before, not even with Max!” Liz stole a glance at her, wondering if the alien was tricking her in some way. “So, you can see why I am more than a little confused about your motives,” Tess added. “What question do you want me to answer?”

Too many questions for a single night, Liz thought. But, of course, she knew that asking any question meant that she had to trust her answers…

“You wanna know what really happened between me and Max,” Tess asked, cutting through Liz’s thoughts.

She saw stars for a moment, as if she had been poked in the eyes. Tess’ poison dripping words were a wretched trap. Insulting, really! Did she imagine that the mere mention of Max would make Liz crumble at her feet, desperate to know what he refused to talk to her about?! Would that elusive answer feel similar to those moments in “E.R.” when the characters were involved in some gruesome, nauseating procedure that she was, by an unfamiliar spell, unable to look away from? She stole a glance at the alien: Tess was perfectly still, as if waiting for her inevitable ‘yes’. Liz thought that, in spite of the risks, she would be remiss to waste such a golden opportunity. She gathered her nerves and leaned over in her seat.
Last edited by memory_echo on Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 4, 7/19/2014

Postby memory_echo » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:00 pm

Hi, fellow roswellians!

saori_1902, Liz wouldn't be Liz if she wasn't searching for answers, don't you agree? ;)

Here's the fourth part.

Enjoy!


Part 4: Involuntary Memories


“I want to know what you did to Alex. Every last detail.” She said in a commanding tone, emphasizing every word.

“Don’t you know that one, already?” Tess chuckled. Liz didn’t lose her icy glare. “Okay, so what kind of theories are whirling in that little head of yours,” Tess asked, still smiling. Liz ignored the alien’s condescending tone, focusing on not letting her emotions get the best of her.

“Did you mindwarp Alex to take him to Las Cruces, or did you just start the mindwarps to make him think he had been in Sweden?”

“The mindwarps were just to make him think he had been in Sweden,” Tess parroted.

Liz shrugged. “So, how did you convince him to translate the book? Post-hypnotic suggestion?”

“I guess you could call it that,” she agreed.

“But how could you do that to someone from such a big distance?”

“I asked him to translate the book before he left… And we both had cell phones, so…”

Liz sighed. Who was Tess trying to fool, anyway?! She felt like she was the fool for even trying to get some honest answers… “He applied to a scholarship in Sweden. He was accepted. He told us he was going. He showed us the itinerary,” Liz growled under her breath, “you mindwarped him about Sweden and then you sent him to Las Cruces instead.”

Tess’ eyes darted outside for a few seconds before she looked back at Liz: “Yes.”

How do you pull the truth out of a hostile alien killer? Liz wondered with a deep exasperated breath. “I assume you made him research everything he could about Sweden, right? Forced him to assemble his own puzzle, so he’d have a plausible story to tell his teachers, his family, his friends.”

“Any other way wouldn’t make the story believable,” Tess said, nonchalantly.

Liz nodded slowly. It’s like she’s talking about the weather, she thought, horrified. She massaged her temples gently, taking deep breaths, trying to relax, fighting to think through the wave of anger rising inside her. “So what happened?”

“What do you mean?” Tess asked, shaking her head the slightest bit.

“Alex broke out of the mindwarp. It failed its purpose.” Liz said, knowing the answer.

“Mindwarps are just temporary,” Tess explained.

Liz was slightly taken aback by her words… She looked around and tried to gather her thoughts; the last time she had been in that seat, she had been terrified, running from the FBI with a very traumatized Max right next to her; she could still feel her heart drumming in her temples, feel the metallic smell of Max’s blood in the air… It was a night she would rather forget… if she could, but everything about that car reminded her of it. “Looks like Alex had a madeleine all of his own,” she murmured, thinking of the Thai food he ate non-stop while he was in Las Cruces.

Tess frowned and cocked her head. “A what?!”

“Madeleines, you know, the cookies?... Marcel Proust?... In Search of Lost Time?...” Tess’ silence was a stark example of her total lack of understanding. Liz rolled her eyes: “Never mind,” she sighed. “Human literature… it wouldn’t interest you! Memories are strange, aren’t they?” she added, to keep the conversation going.

“The human brain is strange,” Tess mumbled, looking out the window.

“If you had better control over Alex’s hippocampus and right superior occipital cortex, he could still be alive,” Liz said, bitterly.

“Human memories are like infinite mazes of Russian dolls… They’re impossible to control for extended periods of time.”

Not really. You’re just stupid! And your stupidity kills people, Liz snarled mentally, enjoying the privacy of her own maze. She thought briefly about explaining to Tess how the Thai food reminded Alex of Las Cruces, how the shirt reminded Maria’s mom of the UFO Center incident, and how the mirror reminded Kyle of Alex’s last moments, but she decided to keep all of that to herself.

“Alex didn’t remember the truth just once, did he?” Liz asked.

“No,” Tess muttered.

Liz took another deep breath (how many had she taken already?) and shook her head. “No, of course not. If it had been just once, maybe you wouldn’t have killed him…” She felt her heart constricting painfully in her chest and her brain turning into mush. She had spent a year trying to assemble the pieces of the puzzle: talking with Kyle, reading the police report, doing research on mind control, cult mentality and neurological damage, and now she was at a loss about what to do next. She had too many unanswered questions, yet she couldn’t formulate a single one… All the air left her. She glanced at the clock, but there was no change that justified her growing panic... Interminable seconds later (or so it seemed), she managed to gather her thoughts. She understood Tess’ need for secrecy, the need to skulk around, but-

“Where does Jennifer fit in all of this?” Liz heard the alien girl swallow hard and straightened herself in the seat, confident that she had touched some sore spot.

“Jennifer befriended Alex in Las Cruces,” Tess said, simply. Silence loomed as Liz waited for the rest of the story, but she felt Tess’ reluctance in telling her what had happened.

“What about Leanna?” Liz insisted, losing her patience.

Tess looked out the window and sighed.

Liz lowered her head… She really doesn’t want to talk about this… the answer must be in what happened in Las Cruces, she thought.
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 4, 7/19/2014

Postby memory_echo » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:07 am

Hello, my fellow Roswellians,

Thanks for your wonderful feedback! :mrgreen:

keepsmiling7, Liz's search was something that I missed in season 3.

saori_1902, I'm glad you're enjoying the story! I agree with you that it's very hard for Liz, but she was never one to turn away from difficulties.

begonia9508, Yeah, Liz's patience will be tested to its limits…


The fifth part comes with a warning and a question for you to consider.

Enjoy!


Author's Note: This part contains extreme physical violence. If this is upsetting to you, please don't read any further.


Part 5: Death Wish


“Leanna was there to make sure I kept my end of the bargain,” Tess mumbled.

“Kivar sent her?”

Tess nodded. “Kivar wanted me to bring the Granilith back to Antar.”

And Max, and Michael and Isabel, Liz added, feeling the rage cloud her thoughts again. She swallowed her disgust and kept her mind on the more pressing topic. “Leanna was part of your little mindwarp with Alex, wasn’t she?” She hissed.

“I thought Leanna could keep Alex from sliding into the truth, but… after a while, it stopped working…” Tess explained.

Because Leanna was not Leanna, Liz mused, finally understanding the depth of that simple sentence. She also understood the reason behind ‘putting Leanna in Sweden’ with Alex.

“You thought that if you forced Alex to build his own itinerary and added Leanna, the mindwarp wouldn’t break so easily,” Liz said.

“That turned out to be a huge miscalculation,” the alien sighed, nodding slowly.

The theatricality of her words infuriated Liz. Alex’s life didn’t matter to her, his suffering didn’t matter to her, his death (however much accidental) didn’t matter to her!

Liz swallowed her anger and continued. “So, how did you kill him?” She growled, dangerously.

Tess just sat there looking at her in silence for a while. From her expression, Liz concluded that the alien could do a demonstration of her powers if she kept asking questions…

“I don’t know,” Tess finally murmured.

“You don’t know?!” Liz repeated, incredulous.

“His brain didn’t have enough time to recover from the mindwarps, I don’t know…” She repeated.

“Maybe because you mindwarped Alex too much for too long; maybe that killed enough of his neurons to disrupt the neurotransmitters; maybe that made his levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine drop dangerously; maybe that justified his depression – the one that made you go to that suicide idea... Have you ever heard of acetylcholine? It’s a neurotransmitter essential for short and long-term memories. Its low levels accounted for all his confusion over what was true and what wasn’t. Maybe you killed enough of his neurons to make him drop dead!” She said, in a suffocated scream, feeling the bile rise in her throat.

“Maybe you’re right,” Tess said, in a lifeless tone. Her cold voice fanned Liz’s rising flames of rage; all she could think about were Kyle’s words on how distressed Alex was in his last moments and how he just dropped to the floor and laid there with his eyes open… She felt the blood pounding furiously and painfully in her brain…

Oh, she knew it could’ve been different: Alex could’ve been doomed to spend the rest of his days in a bed, as a drooling vegetable; he could’ve actually put a pistol in his mouth, according to the police report (that she knew by heart), or he could’ve just slipped into a coma and never come out of it… She knew it could’ve been worse: she knew that Alex was no longer in pain, no longer suffering… so why did the blood still pound so mercilessly in her brain, hurting her eyes, torturing her? Why couldn’t she just let Alex rest?

Could Tess ever feel the kind of agony she put Alex, Kyle, Max and her through? Would Liz ever let Alex rest if she did? How could she ever recover?

She felt her stomach flipping over itself and shifted uncomfortably in her seat. As the nausea and the urge to hurl grew, she felt the familiar folded blade in her pocket. The little knife had been with her since Max returned it to her; after all this time, she was so accustomed to its presence it was barely noticeable. The pocketknife only made the blood roar louder in her ears, demanding restitution.

Tess studied Liz for a long moment, before announcing, in the supreme placid tone: “The funny thing is the translation wasn’t so important after all…”

“Funny?!...” Liz repeated, feeling her mind darken…

Liz wasted no more time. She pounced, seizing Tess’ throat, slamming her repeatedly against the window: as the shards of glass pierced her scalp and the warm blood trickled down to her hands, Liz took her sweet time crushing her windpipe, waiting for Tess’ fingers to stop their futile struggle, smiling as the light faded out of the alien’s eyes…






Ok, take a deep breath!
My question is: what would've happened to Tess in Michael's apartment had Max not stopped Liz?
Is Liz capable of killing someone? That's the million dollar question that rattled in my brain when I was writing this story…

What do you think?
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 5, 7/21/2014

Postby memory_echo » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:45 pm

Hello, my fellow Roswellians,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback! :mrgreen:

keepsmiling7, I'm curious, so what do you thing would've happened if Max had not stopped Liz when he did?

begonia9508, I agree with you that everyone has a breaking point and even the best people might do a stupid thing… Maybe because I read Lord of the Flies many years ago… And I agree with you about Tess' nature :twisted: , but why would Tess want to mindwarp Liz, in your opinion?

saori_1902, isn't it kind of funny that everyone seems to want that, but nobody wants Liz to get her hands dirty?


Here's the sixth part.

Enjoy!


Part 6: Dancing with the Devil


“It was only useful for the Granilith.”

Liz could barely hear anything over the maddening thudding of her heart… Tess’ voice seemed to reach her from beyond the grave… The sound was so dull, Liz had to wonder for a moment if she had gone deaf... And yet, Tess was still sitting across from her, still enveloped by the night’s darkness, free from scratches, sitting near the intact car window, looking at her with an expression that Liz took for inquisitiveness.

She tried to take a deep breath and looked at the clock – five minutes had passed… How did I lose five minutes, she asked herself, feeling the cold rush of adrenaline. How did she make me lose five minutes? The question broke in her head, again and again, like ocean waves... the answer loomed dangerously in the back of her mind like a storm cloud.

Liz slid her hand in her pocket; the knife was still there. Gently, without letting Tess realize anything, she put her hand to her nose, (as if to scratch it) inhaling her fingers. She couldn't smell blood…

“Anything else?” Tess wondered, letting out an impatient sigh.

“What?” Liz said in a whisper of a voice, waiting for her heart to return to normal.

“Do you want me to tell you what really happened between me and Max now?” Tess asked again, with that same inquisitive smile.

Liz could barely believe the nerve of the alien. She’s experimenting on you. She has you right where she wants you, Liz’s nagging little voice said, just waiting for you to take the bait before the attack. Don’t do anything stupid. Nothing can bring Alex back. She’ll end up getting away with manslaughter and you’ll rot in jail for murder 1… She inhaled deeply and glanced at the clock again – another three minutes had vanished without her knowing how. Is she mindwarping me again? Liz took another deep breath, trying not to think about the absolute joy she had felt at the sight of Tess dying in her hands… That wasn’t real, she told herself, maybe none of this is… maybe I’m still sleeping on the couch… or maybe I’m just part of Tess’ nightmare…

When her heart recovered its right rhythm, Liz thought she needed to continue to zigzag, in order to avoid the alien’s taunts as much as she could. “Do you want to know why the Germans voted for Hitler?”

Tess looked at Liz, at a loss.

The perfect misdirection, Liz thought. Without giving the alien time to recover, she leaned in closer to her and whispered, as if sharing an absolute secret: “You see, the Germans lost the big war. They were humiliated, they lost their jobs, they lost their homes, they were starving to death… Then Hitler came along and promised to give them everything they had lost; he gave them back their food, he gave them back their homes, he gave them back their jobs, and he restored their national pride,” Liz nodded with a knowing smile.

“What does any of that have to do with Max and me,” Tess asked, more confused.

Liz shrugged and gave up her metaphor; Tess’ question proved exactly why they had been doomed to repeat History:

“Forget it, Tess. I know why Max slept with you.”

Tess shook her head and chuckled: “You said you didn’t…”

“I lied!” Liz said, enjoying Tess’ surprised face. “I don’t need you to tell me-”

“Max didn’t sleep with me,” Tess spat out.

Liz blinked unawares for a few seconds… At first, she thought her ears had deceived her. Is this another mindwarp?! But Tess didn’t have her enigmatic smile anymore. It was probably just another trick… but what if it wasn’t? Max told her that he had felt disoriented during that period, the baby didn’t look much like him... Maybe it was possible that Tess lied to him about the pregnancy, maybe-

I slept with him,” Tess spat out again.

Liz exhaled her frustration, angry for thinking – for a second – that it was possible… “Semantics… that’s your argument?”

“Why not? It works a lot better than your bizarre Hitler comparison,” Tess replied with a big smile.

“I don’t see the difference…” Liz said, with a resentful snarl.

“Then, you’re not as smart as Max thinks you are!”

At that moment, Liz knew she was walking on a tightrope: Tess was playing tug of war with her, and as soon as she had enough rope, she would let it go without warning, and Liz would fall…

Tess continued: “I mean, I knew it all along, but he would’ve never believed me if I told him. It would take a complete idiot to stand to lose everything by doing what you did to Max for a year. Abandoning him right after he was tortured by Pierce; ignoring him for three months; continuing to ignore him after you came back; sleeping with Kyle just because you could; treating him like crap at the Prom; accusing him of killing Alex…”

Liz could feel her heart drumming manically in her ears again. The nerve of this hypocrite!, getting all moral on me all of a sudden, as if she has any handle on the Truth, she thought.

“He tried to talk to you, you didn’t even have the decency to let him speak – you’re an idiot, that’s what you are! You had him right where you wanted him and you shot yourself in the foot, like those wuss soldiers who are too scared to go to war. You wouldn’t have lasted a day on Antar, I tell you! Whatever was going on between the two of you, you had no right to make any decisions for him! I mean, do you have any idea what all of your crap put him through? Worse than that, is that you stuck around to trample on what was left of his heart after you slept with Kyle!”

Tess’ incensed tone was turning Liz’s anger into terror; as the adrenaline coursed through her bloodstream, she wondered what Tess was so upset about, all the while knowing that an angry Tess was even more dangerous and unpredictable...

“And what really drives me insane is that Max was still in love with you, after you crushed his heart so many times!” She finished.

You seemed so eager to stay beside him to pick up the pieces, Liz wanted to say, but she thought it wiser to keep her mouth shut. Tess’ anger terrified her, confused her and surprised her, all at once. Who would’ve figured, she thought, she may have a heart after all

Tess sighed and shrugged. “But hey, I can’t really complain, now can I? You helped me out a lot. I never thanked you for all you've done. How rude of me!”

Tess had switched from anger to… irony?! All in the time that took for Liz to gulp down her own rising hatred. Her mocking words eroded Liz’s soul, already frayed by the pain of her past deeds. Yes, despite the evil intent of Tess’ actions, she had been (inevitably) Tess’ biggest accessory in Max’s destruction, however much it pained her to admit it… She sighed, mired by her guilt and shame.

“So, it's my fault he slept with you… Is that what you're saying?”

“If consequence and fault were the same thing, would you humans need two words for it?” Tess asked in an ‘I don't remember saying that’ tone. Then, she added in a somber voice: “Anyway, the shoe fits, doesn’t it? You look guilty enough… If you’re so smart, how can you not know the difference?” Tess let out an exasperated sigh and leaned forward, forcing Liz to lie back in her seat. “Max didn't sleep with me, I slept with him… He’s such a soft shell, you know? I should’ve just asked him! I should’ve just said ‘hey Max, if I don’t return to Antar with you, Michael, Isabel and a proper heir to the throne, Kivar is gonna kill me’. He would’ve helped me out! Then, I would’ve just given him a magazine and a cup… it would've been less humiliating for both of us.”

“What makes you think I believe anything you say?” Liz snarled under her breath.

“What makes you think I care about what you believe in?” Tess replied in a lighter tone.

She’s pulling my leg again, Liz thought, what other possible reason could she have for saying these things to me?

“Do you imagine I would be here… talking to you… if I didn’t know what I was talking about?” After a few dead seconds, Tess lowered her head. “That’s alright, you don’t have to say anything.”

Liz gulped, feeling nauseous; Tess’ timbre had changed yet again… but to what?... It’s not rage, it’s not sarcasm, it’s not jest… A resigned voice would be too much to ask from someone like Tess… Could mindwarps be merely auditory, instead of visual?

“Have you really not been paying attention to everything that’s been going on, or are you just playing me for a fool”, Tess asked in that unknown timbre.

Maybe I haven’t… Besides my beating heart and the darkness, I don't know anything anymore, Liz thought. She glanced at the clock – when was the last time she had looked at it? Another ten minutes had vanished into oblivion… Whatever game we are playing, Tess is winning…

“Are you being intentionally dense or are you really that blind that you can’t see it for what it is?”

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about…” Liz murmured. Or if any of this is real, she added to herself.

“I’m talking about what you and Max have… that thing, whatever you humans call it… that thing that people would die to have… that people would kill to have!…”

Liz felt a pang in her chest – Tess’ ominous words thundered in her head and she acknowledged that her demise had never been nearer... As she wondered what Tess would say next, Liz met her gaze; the alien’s neutral eyes only increased her fear… Could she still entertain the thought of getting out of there alive?

“That thing… that I came here to recover… that was rightfully mine…”

“You mean Love,” Liz asked, unable to conceal the terror that lurked in her voice.

“Do you think I would be any different?... That I wouldn’t do whatever it took to get it back?” Tess asked, in a tone that Liz now took as being the last speech she would ever hear on this side of the grave. She just looked down and swallowed hard, unable to think or move a muscle.
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 6, 7/22/2014

Postby memory_echo » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:57 am

Hello, my fellow Roswellians,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback! :mrgreen:

sarammlover, I also thought Liz had been mindwarped when I first watched 'Four Aliens and a Baby'. I was scared that for Liz and so sure that she would start tapping her fingers by the next episode… and then, she didn't. I was forced to rethink that entire conversation. Regarding their verbal struggle, I agree with you. I think that Liz is very emotional and conscientious and, no matter how intelligent she is, it slows her thought process down, compared to Tess, who has no such worries.

saori_1902, I'm glad you liked it! Liz is still struggling to understand what is going on...

keepsmiling7, that's the problem with Tess – we never know what to trust about her words… But their conversation is far from over.

begonia9508, I agree. It was equally hard to write, I assure you. I just felt it was a road I could no longer ignore. Regarding the mindwarp, I think Tess is just curious about Liz's motives for getting in the car with her.

Here's the seventh part.

Enjoy!


Part 7: Crying Wolf


“I've fought, and I’ve bullied for this thing from the first day I got to Roswell… and for what? For an endless pursuit of some thing I couldn’t possibly achieve? Do you know what that feels like?” Liz raised her eyes, tentatively. “It aches. You feel helpless. Humiliated. Furious. It’s maddening, I tell ya.” Tess growled. “It was maddening to try to open Max’s eyes to the truth… maddening to keep trying after he refused to see it… And I did try… I tried with all my might! I wanted to show Max that his destiny lied with me… I was certain that as soon as he saw me, he would…”

Liz arched her eyebrows; she wanted to ask Tess why she thought Max would immediately recognize her, but she was too afraid to anger her further with such questions. Tess went on with her speech in a tone that Liz imagined as thinly veiled remorse... but how could she know for sure? The alien could easily be mindwarping her.

“He was almost remembering me when we got to the Pod Chamber, until he went off on a rant about some guy named William Atherton… if I hadn’t insisted so much, he wouldn’t have remembered anything… I tried to explain to him what our destiny was and he just took off as if I had handed him a death sentence…”

It was nothing but, Liz mused.

“If it wasn’t for me, he would have never gotten out of that White Room… but, how did he thank me?... he didn’t even look me straight in the eyes after he pushed me away in the Pod Chamber! He only tried to be nice to me after Nasedo died, and even then, the further the distance, the better he felt about it… When I offered to teach him how to remember our world, the cold reluctance in him was painfully palpable… His coldness towards me was even worse after you slept with Kyle… I tried to be there for him… but he wasn’t interested in anything I had to offer. When we were in New York, he protected me from Lonnie and Rath…” She said, with a nervous laugh. “I thought he had remembered, that maybe the summit had helped him remember about us…” She shook her head, slightly. “But I realized that despite my best attempts to comfort him, the only two things on his mind were the Granilith… and you.”

Liz glanced at the clock: it was normal. She felt her blood turn to ice in her veins. She gulped, trying to breathe, and she put her hand on the door’s handle. She’s gonna kill me if I don’t leave, she’s got nothing to lose anymore, she thought.

“I gave him a sweater… on that day that Brody went crazy, remember that?” Liz nodded, as calmly as she could. “He treated me as if I had offered him a bomb, or something…” she snickered. “I think I knew, even then, that Max would never admit his love for me… I mean, even Larek remembered how we had met back on Antar, how we had fallen in love there… even when Max heard the story from someone other than me, he refused to acknowledge it! Oh, when he came up to my bedroom that night, and told me he had remembered me, I just wanted to leap with joy… But his eyes… his eyes didn’t lie… I realized that he believed our past because I had showed it to him, not because he felt it… Even so, I kept hoping that Max would remember the truth, sooner rather than later, and then everything would be all right… Do you have any idea how it felt when he told me he was going to the Prom with you? No, I’m sure you don’t… you were too busy shattering his heart again, weren’t you?”

There’s that angry tone again, Liz thought. She looked out the window, trying to contain her pain over what she had said to Max on the night of the Prom. She wished she could’ve just told him that she had lied about Kyle, that she had been a fool for staying away from him for the entire summer, and that she just wanted to stay with him forever. The memory of how much it had pained her to say those words to Max shook her and made her dizzy. She swallowed her tears and faced Tess again.

“What happened between you that night really destroyed everything; Max was not the same after that… he was even more displeased about the idea of our past life than before… displeased about the idea of being alien! I don’t know if it was in spite of what he remembered, or because of it. You would think that after a few memories, he’d give up on this miserable excuse for a life he called planet Earth and rethink his options, but everything you did to him created nothing but a self-loathing alien. And he remained that way right up until I left! I was forced to watch as he accumulated more and more feelings for you – old and new, positive and negative – always increasing ... I couldn’t wait for him to remember our past life on his own any longer, I had only one chance to justify my whole existence... I had to take it!”

Growing up would have been better than kissing Kivar’s ass, Liz thought, realizing that Tess was talking about her and Max sleeping together. “And so, you mindwarped him to make him sleep with you?”

“He was sinking on his own, thanks to your handiwork! Why would I volunteer to be his executioner? I only had to make him believe the baby was sick… I knew everything would be lost if I didn’t,” Tess continued. “Then again, maybe things wouldn’t have been so difficult if he hadn’t gone with you on that wild-goose chase in Las Cruces, only to end up kissing you in the Jeep. That kiss was only the last of a long list…”

Tess’ words made Liz clutch the door handle with renewed fervor. Wishing she had misheard the last moments, she hoped she had enough strength in her legs to slip out of the car and hide in the surrounding bushes, before Tess decided to stop talking and get rid of her for good…

“He stored that memory in his mind,” Tess continued, “as he stored every other emotion about you… I think ‘hoarding’ is the right term for what Max does: he hoards every sight, every sound, every scent in his brain,” she said in her now familiar unknown tone. It was a mere shadow of her former tones: not quite angry, not at all pleased. Each word rolled slowly off her tongue as if she was dragging them out of her… It was bizarre! Was it even real?... Liz didn’t want to stay in there another minute to find out, but she feared that Tess wouldn’t let her leave; she feared that Tess would kill her at the faintest provocation… “That’s what Max has been doing every day since he got off of that bus when he was a little kid,” Tess continued. “The first time he was ever happy was when you smiled at him on the playground,” she said, fixing her eyes away from Liz. “The first time he was ever unhappy was when he saw you laying on the floor of the Café on the day you got shot… He was so distraught about your grandmother that he wished he could give one of his brain hemispheres to her if it would spare you that suffering… Just how ecstatic he was the first time you two kissed and he finally got to hold you in his arms...”

Liz’s fear melted with the alien’s slurred words; she lacked the strength it took to swallow the hatred that speech conjured up in her. How dare Tess desecrate her most sacred memories? How could that monster commit yet another blasphemy? The barely contained rage mingled with the terror that had long seized her; she was shaking uncontrollably, while one unmerciful thought pounded in her brain. There’s only one way to shut her up… Hoping against hope that Tess wouldn’t move, she closed her eyes, clutched the pocketknife, felt her heart do a back flip and tasted the bitter nausea reaching her mouth, while the alien went on with her lit up speech, fixing her gaze on the far horizon.

“How he enjoyed living the dream of being with you, and doing fun things like learning how to play pool… and how it took every ounce of his strength not to climb back up the ladder after you kissed him… The relief he felt when he got drunk and managed to finally tell you everything that had been stuck in his throat for so many years… To know how surprised he was – well, incredulous, at first – when he learned how you really felt about him…”

Liz didn’t want to hear any of it anymore! She wanted to stop Tess from contaminating all of her memories with Max… She looked at the clock and felt a cold, sharp shock at the base of her spine. No lost minutes. The hatred and anger burning through her veins got mixed with the humiliation that numbed her muscles... She fixed her gaze at the clock and wondered how many seconds it would take her to unfold the blade and plunge it into Tess’ coronary artery… how many times she would have to plunge the knife to shut her up, how many seconds it would take for her to just bleed out…

“Do you have any clue how he felt when you abandoned him in the Pod Chamber… after you told him you loved him… and that you were going to make your own destiny? Do you know that he spent every moment after that wondering when you were going to come to your senses and come back to him? Every single minute… until you returned from Florida. Do you think he blamed you for what happened with Kyle? No! For a long time he wanted to believe you were innocent, he wanted to believe that Kyle had forced you in some way, had done something to you… even after you admitted it to him… but don’t think he suffered any less by trying to absolve you in his mind and in his heart… Don’t think he didn’t torture himself wondering if you had ever loved him at all…” Tess shook her head, chuckled softly, stared at Liz with a haunted gaze and murmured in a tremulous, bitter voice: “You know… I will never get my husband back… but you sure as hell don’t deserve his love.” After that, she inhaled deeply, stared back at the horizon and just kept on talking...

Liz could hardly understand her words over the maniacal beating of her heart. She could feel the cold stabs of adrenaline through her body each time Tess made a movement (however subtle); her hand still clutched the pocketknife, as the rage and the spew threatened to overpower her. She squeezed her eyes shut, and tried not to think about Tess’ words... Each word was like a bullet (she knew how much those hurt!) She realized now there was no way to prevent Life from fading between her fingers... How had her existence become such a heavy burden? Throughout her life, all she had had to do was follow the rules and Logic, and everything would be okay. But Logic was missing from her present life. It had been since she dove head first into the alien abyss. Each decision she made, like bars of a gate, was an attempt to shield herself and her loved ones. To keep Hell away. But nothing worked the way she wanted… Lately, it seemed that she could peek at a better world through that gate and she wondered on which side of Hell she had been all this time… Had she really made the right decisions? Or was the pain and suffering they had caused proof she was wrong about everything? Those bars felt so heavy in her hands… How could she ever get out of the Hell she had built for herself?...
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 7, 7/24/2014

Postby memory_echo » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:46 pm

A big hello to my fellow Roswellians,

As always, thank you for your wonderful feedback! :mrgreen:

saori_1902, I'm glad you liked it! I hope you like the next one even more. :wink:

begonia9508, I agree with you that Tess played the destiny card too heavily, which set her to fail, because she forced intimacy on Max. I always thought that the reason Tess didn't respect Liz was because Liz 'wasted' Max's love – the only thing Tess ever wanted… Liz's motives would be irrelevant in Tess' eyes… It's like someone who is starving witnessing another someone waste food in a restaurant…

keepsmiling7, I was always curious by the line "He had these flashes that I saw and they were always of you"… I always wondered what Tess had seen exactly… Liz never heard about Max's feelings this way before. This is a totally new perspective (humilliating, even) for her. Hearing this from Tess is like explaining math to a cauculus teacher, LOL, but I think Liz is humble enough to admit how much she hurt him, despite noble motives. In this case, I think Liz sadly embodies the saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

Behind the Text: As I was writing this story, I started seing Tess as this strange mix between Sisyphus and Tantalus… She was doomed, really. Doomed to try to make Max fall in love with her, only to fail every time – like Sisyphus was doomed to roll the boulder up a hill. And while she is pursuing this useless task, she witnesses the formidable love between Max and Liz… and is forever denied the same feeling for herself – like Tantalus was forever deprived of nourishment.

Here's the eighth part.

Enjoy it and have a great weekend!

Part 8: The Yield Sign


Please, don’t move, please, Liz begged, unsure if she was addressing Tess or herself… Desperate to preserve the purity of the blade, she traced her thumb over the inscription in a slow, deliberate movement, and her breath caught in her throat at the emotion those words evoked. It remained the only moment of her relationship with Max that Tess hadn’t fouled with her vile tongue. It took all her strength of spirit to let her mind wander to a more pleasant feeling, to recall the day she had offered it to him…

It was shortly after they kissed for the first time… They met at the mall when they were both doing their Christmas shopping. Their meeting was just a happy accident (then again, maybe it wasn’t a coincidence), when Liz saw Max with a bunch of Christmas presents, She had decided that she couldn’t wait ‘till Christmas Eve to give him his present… Max had been happily surprised to see Liz there too, but his beautiful eyes had glimmered with unshed tears when Liz gave him the little box with the engraved pocketknife.

“You say that we don't belong together, that I’ll be in danger if we’re together, but the truth is, you are the one that Valenti is constantly watching… you’re the one who needs protection.”

“You’re giving me a pocketknife for protection?” He had asked, surprised.

“Not just any pocketknife, Max… This is the same knife my grandmother gave my grandfather, before he was deployed for Germany… Grandpa Walt told his sweetheart that she shouldn’t waste her life waiting for him to return… he knew there was a good chance he wasn’t coming back. So, she gave him this pocketknife and told him that, no matter what happened in Europe, as long as he kept the knife with him, he would stay protected, and he would return to her… and she would wait for him for as long as it took… Yeah, Grandpa Walt told me this story many, many times. He said that this knife never killed a Nazi. He just kept it in his pocket as a good luck charm, because it reminded him of her”, she said with a huge grin.

“Liz…” Max started, shaking his head.

Before he could refuse her gift, she added: “My grandparents were married for over forty years. This was the last object my Grandmother gave me before she passed away… she wanted me to find true love and be happy… ”

“Liz, she gave this to you-”

She raised her hands: “Just don’t… lose faith in us yet, Max…” She placed the pocketknife in his hand and he held it for a while, gazing at the engraved words “Max & Liz 4 ever”. Eventually, he closed his hand over it. Something in his gesture kept hope alive in her heart that it wasn’t over between them.


“That kiss in the Jeep… So much longing, so much passion... I've never felt anything like it, not even when Nasedo taught me the memory retrieval techniques...”

Memory retrieval techniques… Memory retrieval techniques…

Liz opened her eyes slowly and mumbled: “What did you say?”

“If you didn't hear it the first time, I'm not gonna repeat it!” Tess replied, looking out the window.

That thought overrode everything: it overrode the force with which she clutched the pocketknife, it overrode the weakness in her legs, it overrode her deranged heart, the cold sweats and tremors that jabbed her body, it overrode the ocean of hatred that flooded her soul... One thought... a single thought thundered in her brain, over and over... How can Max’s memories be stronger than her own?

As if by magic, thoughts flocked to her mind, as naturally as ever. Each one allowing her to breathe a little deeper. As she filled her lungs with air, she asked: “Did Nasedo teach you these memory retrieval techniques?”

Tess turned around with an exasperated sigh and looked at Liz: “What did I just say?!”

“And you taught them to Max?…” Liz mumbled again.

“Yeah, well, he wasn’t a very cooperative student…” Tess mumbled back.

He didn’t really believe those were his memories, Liz thought.

The thoughts kept coming to her at an incredible speed. Liz knew now that the year she had spent doing research and talking to Max and Kyle had not been in vain. They told her to forget about it, to move on with her life, that she couldn’t undo the past, but she kept fighting for answers, and now her puzzle was completed!

Now, the question is: does Tess want to see the picture, Liz mused.

Feeling her confidence return to her, she decided to let the alien figure that out herself.

“Do you want me to tell you what I know?” Liz asked.

Tess studied her for a while, before finally muttering: “Sure.”

Liz swallowed hard and straightened in her seat, abandoning both the door clutch and the little blade. She knew she had to be careful, she knew the danger wasn’t over yet, especially because her body was still out of control.

“Okay”, she started in a small voice, “stop me when it sounds familiar… You don’t remember your past life.”

Tess looked at her, as if waiting for her to continue.

“Is that all?” She asked, impatient.

“Am I wrong,” Liz asked, wondering if she could’ve somehow miscalculated.

“I’m not saying anything until after you’ve said everything,” Tess replied, leaning back in her seat and crossing her arms.

“Fair enough”, Liz said, taking a deep breath. “I’ll tell you a story… that happened long ago on a distant planet… A planet wrecked by social and political upheaval, on the brink of annihilation. Its destruction meant that four other planets would fall into oblivion as well. Everything was at stake. And the recently crowned king… well, let’s just say that his lineage hadn’t been popular for a few generations… But this young king had an idea to save the five planets from certain death. It was a wild idea, a crazy idea, but a small group of followers stood by the king, ready and willing to do whatever it took to save the five planets. The king’s plan demanded a complete change in the status quo of every inhabitant… he wanted to change everything in one generation. He refused to listen to those who told him that such a radical change would take several generations to take hold, that his plan was so idealistic that it was unfeasible. He had nothing but a small group of loyal supporters to help him realize his plans – less than a thousand strong. But these Antarians were willing to do whatever it took to ensure the king would succeed on his mission to save his galaxy. Since most of the king’s supporters were intellectuals and scientists, they came up with a way to enforce his plan. They genetically enslaved a tiny group of villagers and forced them to be the king’s enforcements as well as his most private guards and his eyes and ears throughout the kingdom. Every one of these guards, these shapeshifters, hated the royal family, because most of them disagreed with the orders, but they had no choice but to obey him. After the royal family’s assassination, a group of five shapeshifters were assigned to protect the royal four here on Earth. The fallen king’s supporters were still strong against Kivar’s opposition of the majority of Antarians. After the regicide, the shapeshifters demanded their independence, so the loyal supporters rushed them into the ship to squash their rebellion. In vain, of course. Right before they left Antar, Kivar reached out to Nasedo and promised to free all the shapeshifters in exchange for an heir to legitimize the throne and eliminate the opposition from the supporters of the royal bloodline… And you know how this story ends…”

Liz mumbled the last sentence and cleared her throat, waiting for Tess’ reaction. She took a deep breath... Her speech tired her, she was surprised she managed to talk as much as she did… She glanced at the clock and saw the minutes changing…

Why is Tess so quiet, she thought. Another stab of adrenaline shook through her body when her eyes caught the alien’s blank stare.

Liz thought she could discern a smile forming in Tess’ lips when she mumbled: “Congratulations, You’ve found your answer!”

Liz gulped and said: “You don’t seem surprised…”

“You wouldn’t be either, if you had just made the trip from Antar,” she declared, flatly. “How could you possibly know this story if you never left this planet?”

Liz couldn’t believe her luck; Tess was really in the dark about Kal Langley! What could be more perfect? She could turn Tess’ ignorance to her advantage… She could… “The irony here is: if you hadn’t gone to Antar, I wouldn’t know about any of this,” Liz said, enjoying Tess’ quizzical eyebrow. Her life was within her grasp once more; yet, Tess’ tone seemed to spark something in her, something she couldn’t refuse… “There’s another shapeshifter in California… He told Max everything. He thought that he could live his life in peace if he stayed far away from the king… Very nearly made it, too!” Liz confessed, under her breath.

Nasedo taught her memory retrieval techniques… The thought burst into her head again. Nasedo was the linchpin between the old royalty and the cloned royalty.

“What?” Tess asked, shaking her head.

Liz snapped out of her musing when she realized that she had been staring at Tess the entire time. She gulped, fearing what could come next, but she couldn’t help herself. “Can I ask you something?” She muttered.

“Yeah.”

“When did you find out about Nasedo’s deal?”

Tess took a deep breath. “Well, Nasedo always told me about my past life and helped me remember it through the memory retrieval techniques, but he only told me about the deal when we got to Roswell.”

“He guaranteed immunity for you, if you cooperated, didn’t he?”

Tess shook her head and chuckled. “Is that what the other shapeshifter told Max?”

“No,” Liz said, without further explanations.

“Are you done?” Tess asked.

“Not yet,” Liz replied. “Those memories aren’t real, they’re not yours; if you really remembered your past life, those memories wouldn’t just fade away…” Liz explained, calmly. “Do you know who Elizabeth Loftus is?”

Tess shook her head. “I have no idea…”

“Well, she discovered that nobody needs special powers to make someone remember something that never happened. Therapists did it all the time in the eighties. I guess that if Nasedo had told you that you had been abused by a satanic cult, it would’ve been a lot worse for you. Now, I’m done.”

“So, Nasedo lied to me about my past life all these years: is that what you’re trying to tell me?” Tess snarled.

Liz gulped, fearing that she would upset Tess. “No, not at all, that’s not what I said… I was trying to… What I mean was: Nasedo groomed you for years to use you as a torpedo to destroy your own kind,” she said, as calmly as she could.

Her mouth was dry, she understood the danger of saying such things to a consummated killer… but in some bizarre way, she didn’t think that was as important as telling Tess the truth. “He used you,” Liz said, emphasizing every word. She waited for Tess’ reaction – for an eternity, it seemed – but none came. She couldn’t believe it. Doesn’t she understand what this means? Is it possible for her to take all of this information so nonchalantly? How can she just ignore the fact that she never had a life of her own? Does she have any feelings at all? She thought, each question exasperating her further. “Why aren’t you angry,” Liz finally asked her.

“Why are you?” Tess asked, tilting her head.

“None of this had to be this way,” Liz said under her breath. The words came out of her lips so fast, it took her several seconds to process what she had said. Those words didn’t really feel her own… Did her foreign sense of remorse for Tess’ lack of fortune in life belong to her? Or was it being induced?
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 8, 7/26/2014

Postby memory_echo » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:32 am

Hello, my fellow Roswellians,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback! :mrgreen:

saori_1902, I, like you, was always curious about the pocketknife. I always thought it was a strange gift, unless it had some story behind it. I'm glad you liked it! :D
I'm not too fond of that kiss either, but do you know that proverb: "One spoon of soup in need has more value than a pot of soup when we have an abundance of food"? That's how important that kiss was to Tess…

Here's the ninth part.

Enjoy!


Part 9: Behind Enemy Lines


“Whatever happened in the past doesn’t matter anymore,” Tess said, in a grave tone.

Liz couldn’t shake the feeling that none of those words were real – Tess would never say something like that! The clock told a different story, though, and she decided to continue the conversation as if Tess’ statement was truthful.

“Okay, so, do you want to tell me what we’re doing out here?” She asked the alien.

Tess cocked her head. “Haven’t you guessed that one yet? Really?!”

Liz looked at the Air Force Base situated down the hill; they had a perfect vantage point over it and were secluded enough to hide themselves from the soldiers… They were just there, like a crocodile, with only their eyes above water, waiting for the wildebeest to come drink… Liz felt nauseated. “You can’t do this!” She muttered, horrified.

“Why not?”

“Because you’ll get killed if you show up there, or worse!”

“Oh, I won’t make the same mistake twice, believe me!”

Liz felt ill by Tess’ words. She couldn’t be serious, could she?!

“I’m gonna do what I have to do,” Tess added, adamantly.

“Why?” Liz forced herself to swallow her nausea once more. “Your plan isn’t going to work, it’s just insane!”

“I’m not asking your opinion, or your blessing,” Tess replied in the same tone.

“No, you’re not thinking this through; you killed a bunch of soldiers when you got here and all you did was attract more attention to yourself… What makes you think that it’s gonna work this time? You can’t kill the entire US army! What about your son?”

“The soldiers are not after him, they’re after me. He’s safe with Max.”

“You’re not thinking this through,” Liz repeated, shaking her head. She put the key in the ignition and said: “We’re going back to Isabel’s place.”

Tess came down on her like a raptor, ripping the key out of her hand. Liz leaned heavily against the door. She’s faster than I thought, Liz mused, aghast that she had dropped her guard for a second. “Are you doing this for me, or are you doing this for Max?” Tess asked, smirking and dangling the car key in her forefinger.

Liz took a deep breath, trying to control her disgust. “Max doesn’t want you ending up in that room,” she said, gripping the steering wheel and fixing her eyes upon it.

Tess sighed. “Max isn’t here. Who are you trying to impress?!” Liz faced her once more. She was still smirking. “I’m going over to the Base to fix my mistake and you’re going back to Isabel’s apartment,” Tess said in an eerie calm tone.

That sounds like a veiled threat, Liz thought. “Are you asking me to condone mass murder?” She asked through gritted teeth.

“If I did, I would want you to stick around,” Tess replied, emphasizing the words, as if she was talking to a dim-witted child. “But don’t go just yet,” Tess added. “I have a few questions for you first.”

“Questions?” Liz muttered.

“How did you know the Granilith would be dangerous in the wrong hands?”

There’s no way I’m telling you about that, Liz thought. “Max told me,” she said, the words leaving her in haste.

“Really?!... because he certainly seemed very surprised that you even knew about the Granilith!”

“Well, he said it and I heard it… he probably forgot about it, but I didn’t… Anyway, if it’s such an important device, it doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to understand that Max’s enemies would use it against him if they could.”

Tess tilted her head and stared at her with squinted eyes. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re a lousy liar?”

Liz swallowed hard. The speech was jumbled; of course she could see through it. “Look, it would take too long for me to explain it to you, okay? Max told me about the Granilith… he just doesn’t know he did. Let’s just leave it at that.” It’s not the truth, yet, it’s not a lie, Liz mused.

“Fine… What about Alex?” Tess pressed.

Liz exhaled, exhausted. “What about him?”

“How did you know it wasn’t suicide,” she mumbled.

Tess’ words weighed on her like never before. It pained her to hear his name from her lips: it was as if Tess was twisting some imaginary blade in her heart by simply uttering his name. The hemorrhage that had started with the death of her friend seemed to get stronger as time went by… She had little strength left to stave off the tears, but she swallowed the pain that was choking her and the tears that pricked her eyes – she would never surrender that to Tess!

“You wanna know where you screwed up?” She muttered, bitterly. Tess’ gulp was answer enough. “This was the car where I learned how to drive,” Liz started. “Do you want to guess who taught me?”

“Alex?”

Liz nodded, slowly. “He taught Maria and me everything we needed to know about the road before we took the test and got our licenses. I knew exactly how he drove and it didn’t fit with the police file.”

“Yeah, but how did you know it was… not an accident,” Tess insisted.

“When Valenti told us that the car had swerved into the other lane, I discarded that hypothesis, because Alex would never make that kind of maneuver. When I talked to Valenti about the defaced photograph and he told me about the suicide hypothesis, I discarded that immediately. Only someone who didn’t know Alex at all would even go there. Yes, he may have been clinically depressed, but if he really wanted to kill himself, he would’ve never bought those concert tickets. Besides, for those of us who knew Alex, and knew what he was like behind the wheel, there’s no way he could’ve made that maneuver and risked someone else’s life. Following this train of thought, if we discard those hypotheses, there’s only one left to explore, and it spells murder, not accident.”

“But you still didn’t know it was me… you thought Kivar had killed him…”

“Well, I was obviously wrong on that one!”

“What I don’t understand is how did you find out?” Tess insisted.

“Why are you so interested in this? You know what, I’ll answer you with a question: why didn’t you kill Alex right after he translated the book?”

“Why would I do that?!”

“It’s what Nasedo would have done…” Liz shrugged.

Tess let out an annoyed sigh. “It was an accident! How many times do I have to repeat this?” She said, in a raised tone.

“Keep saying it ‘till I believe it,” Liz replied raising her voice as well. She felt the rush of adrenaline return, blazing through her body, intensifying the inferno that was consuming her soul, and she started trembling again. If I don’t die at Tess’ hands, I’ll die of a heart attack. “Nasedo believed that every human who knew too much about the aliens should be extinguished,” Liz said, trying to control her voice. “Why didn’t you do as he taught you?”

“I already gave you the answer; believe whatever you want,” she snarled.

“It wasn’t an accident…” Liz muttered, echoing her former accusation. “It was incompetence.” Did you lose all sense of self-preservation, you fool, her conscience screamed at her. “You mindwarped Alex for two months, destroyed his brain and robbed him of his life… And you have the nerve to tell me that it was an accident?! How could you not see this coming?!” She bellowed.

In retrospect, it was difficult to miss Alex’s gradual demise. Liz still replayed the scenes in her mind, asking herself how she could have missed such easy clues… All she needed to do was pay attention to her best friend, rather than focus on her own unsolvable problems with Max… pay attention to Alex while he drummed his fingers on his base guitar (a sure sign of brain damage)… and he could have lived. Max would’ve healed him the same way he healed Brody. It would’ve been so simple!... How many times did she wish she could’ve ended her friendship with Alex around the time he was hurt because she was lying to him about Max? Too many to count… After they were arrested together, she should’ve kept lying to him… She would rather have lost him to a lie than to the alien abyss!

“You’re an incompetent hack, who can’t even translate a book without getting someone killed.” Liz finished. She never thought she would be able to speak her mind so bluntly and so loudly.

Tess’ eyes bored into hers with a menacing glare. This is it, Liz thought, she’s just gonna swat me like a mosquito…

“You’re right,” Tess said.

“Right about what?” Liz gulped, thinking about the not so remote possibility that Tess lied to her about not being able to read minds. She wasn’t going to give her that chance. “Do you know why Kyle agreed with me when we were in Alex’s room?” She asked, determined to say everything she had always wanted to say, regardless of the fact that she had to bellow just to hear herself speak through the rush and the mad drumming of her heart.

Tess shook her head.

“He was the only one – other than you – who knew the answer.”

“Maybe,” Tess replied, “but I thought Kyle had agreed with you because you guys had slept together and he didn’t want to lose his passport to other such opportunities.”

“I’m sure Max saw it that way, too,” Liz snarled. “So, if Kyle was the only one with the right answer, why didn’t you kill him?”

“Why would you even say something like that,” Tess asked, apparently offended by Liz’s question.

“Because he knew something he wasn’t supposed to know… By all intents and purposes, you should’ve gotten rid of him, you know, kinda like mobsters get rid of rats.”

“Is that what you would've done?” Tess asked.

“It's what anybody with half a brain would've done,” Liz insisted. “The mindwarps were just temporary, you said so yourself. Why would you take such a huge risk with Kyle? Did you really think you could get away before his mindwarp came undone? Com on, Tess: not even you are that stupid!”

“Why are you insisting on this?”

Liz shrugged. “It's an anomaly. It doesn't add up with who you are...”

“Who you think I am,” Tess corrected. “Because you think I'm this vicious slaughterer who would kill anyone who crossed me!”

Bingo! Liz thought. “Prove me wrong, then… Stop stalling and answer the question!”

“I would never-”

“Why? Why not?”

Tess didn’t blink; she just gulped and glared at her like an animal, hunted, cornered, facing its end.

Liz could see the tension in the alien girl; the way her nostrils flared in what she imagined was red rage and they just stayed there… for a long time… locked in place…

Liz never looked at the clock; she just kept her eyes on her target, refusing to back down, even if that meant her downfall. She didn’t know how much time had passed, when she thought about the eerie silence in the car. She realized that Tess wouldn’t take her eyes off her either, but she was determined to stay strong… stronger than she’d ever been. Tell me about Kyle… tell me why you didn’t get rid of the only witness who could incriminate you, Liz thought, hoping her eyes would convey her thoughts. This was the only time she wished the alien could read her mind.

And then, Tess dropped her head. When she looked at Liz again, the fire was out of her eyes. The tension was all still there, though… but Liz didn’t need a translator for that one.

“You didn’t kill him… You mindwarped him, but you didn’t kill him” Liz murmured “because he was the only one you couldn’t touch?…” Her words, though soft, seemed to cut through Tess like a meat cleaver. The alien looked at her hands and took a deep breath. Only then did the tension start lifting.

“So… let me see if I get this straight. You’ve waited your entire life for this one event, for an heir that could grant you immunity from Kivar’s fury; then, something goes wrong and somebody ends up dead; so, even though you’re left with one opportunity to fulfill your lifetime mission, you ruined it all because you couldn’t hurt Kyle…” Tess gulped again and cowered in her seat, keeping her eyes away from Liz. “You must have known exactly the risk you were taking by leaving Kyle alive to finger you…” Liz insisted, using a calm tone this time.

“Yes…” Tess said in a strangled voice, refusing to face her opponent.
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.

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Re: Hell's Gate (CC, Liz POV, ADULT), Part 9, 7/28/2014

Postby memory_echo » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:46 am

A big hello to my fellow Roswellians,

As always, thank you for your wonderful feedback! :mrgreen:

keepsmiling7, I'm happy you liked the pocketknife story I came up with!
I think Tess believes Liz about Nasedo, she would just never make a big fuss of that fact.

saori_1902, The last chapter will deal with what happens post-explosion.

begonia9508, did you like it when Liz turned the tables on Tess?
I don't think Tess is stupid, she's just not the alien mastermind I thought she was when I watched the show…

Here's the tenth part.

Enjoy!


Part 10: Sometimes you lose


Who are you and who am I
To say we know the reason why?
Some are born; some men die
Beneath one infinite sky.
There'll be war, there'll be peace.
But everything one day will cease.
All the iron turned to rust;
All the proud men turned to dust.
And so all things time will mend.
So this song will end.

Pink Floyd - Childhood’s End


She could barely hear the alien’s faint reply. First, she thought she had misheard it. Then, she wondered if Tess was lying to her… It was so annoying that she could never rule that possibility out; it poisoned her entire thought process! But her posture… the fact that Tess was avoiding her gaze, almost with her back turned, told its own little story. Tess may be an alien, but she still had human genes and human body language. And that universal language was infinitely more enlightening. And because of that, Liz was perplexed. This was something she didn't think she’d ever see. She really had touched a nerve... maybe the only one!

She really does have a heart, she thought, amazed, feeling as if a load had been lifted from her. Now I know why I got in the car! Okay, now I have two choices: either I let her go, or I keep pressing that little shame button of hers. Maybe she’ll reconsider and go back to Isabel’s apartment with me. Actually, there’s a third way...

Liz took a deep breath – her first real one that whole night. “So, is Zan really human?”

Upon hearing her son’s name, Tess lifted her head, as if Liz had hammered her knees.

“I suppose you don’t believe that one either…” she murmured.

“Should I?” Liz asked, cocking her head.

“Kivar wasn’t interested in a little pure-bred human who happened to be the spawn of two half-breeds,” Tess said, calmly.

“Because he hates humans, or because the baby doesn’t have the royal seal?”

Liz really had to smile when Tess blinked in silence for a few seconds with her mouth opened. “How do you know about the seal?”

Liz scratched her head. “That is a story way too complicated to tell right now… all you need to know is that if something happens to Max and he dies, the royal seal will pass on to Michael.”

“But why Michael and not the king’s direct heir, or any of they royal four?” Tess asked, confused.

“I don’t really know,” Liz replied. “I imagine the people who engineered and sent you here knew the royal four very well: they didn’t trust you, and they obviously couldn’t trust Isabel, because of her involvement with Kivar, so Michael became the natural choice…”

Tess sighed softly and Liz wondered if she was thinking about her vain efforts to save her own life. After a few minutes delving in deep thoughts, Tess finally broke the silence. “Listen, if… If I had known the effects the mindwarps would have on Alex, I would've just used someone else to translate the book.”

Tess’ tone didn’t have any malice; yet, her words made Liz nauseous again. “And you would've killed another innocent person. And Kivar would've still betrayed you...” She said, simply. “What makes you think that makes me feel any better?”

“Well, if I had known that Kivar planned to give me a fate worse than death, then my life would've been much easier! All of our lives, actually.”

Liz realized that her words had been a bit harsh… Was that a veiled apology from Tess for Alex’s death?! If it is, that’s probably the only one I’m ever going to get, she mused.

It wasn’t enough. Of course it wasn’t. No amount of words could ever bring Alex back from the dead… But, somehow, the expression on Tess’ eyes made her feel a little better. She would like to have the little box that contained the clod of dirt she had kept from her friend’s funeral. On that day, she had refused to cover his coffin with it – and admit he was gone from this world – but now, she felt strong enough to do it.

“Okay, give me the car key, lets go,” Liz said, stretching her arm.

“I just have one more question,” Tess said, ignoring her.

Oh boy, she’s not gonna let this go any time soon, Liz thought, annoyed.

“There’s just one thing I don’t understand,” Tess started, while Liz braced herself for yet another round. “If you really knew everything about… about Alex… why didn’t you just tell Max everything?”

Because I’m an idiot, Liz thought, biting her tongue as a sharp pain pierced her skull. Tess was looking at her intently. “Why didn’t I tell him?” Liz stalled. Tess nodded, waiting for her answer. “I don’t know… I’ve asked myself that question many times… but I still have no idea as to why I didn’t just explain everything to him… It would’ve been so simple, wouldn’t it?”

Tess snorted. “That’s an understatement. If you had told Max the truth, you would’ve reigned supreme!”

“Instead, I shot myself in the foot, again,” Liz mumbled.

She wondered if Tess was going to give her a snide remark or a smart-alecky smirk saying ‘I told you so’, but, instead, Tess just sighed and shook her head.

Liz imitated her and continued. “Yeah… so much time and suffering… all in vain… But, when Max didn’t even want to consider the possibility – however remote – that it hadn’t been an accident… After everything Alex and me did for him, after Alex saved his life, he lets him down like that? He doesn’t even try?!” Tess just looked at her, waiting for her to continue. Liz shook her head, slightly. “If Max wasn’t gonna help me find Alex’s killer, I didn’t want him standing in my way…” I had let Alex down too many times, I refused to make that mistake again, she added to herself.

“Yet, all you had to do was tell Max the truth… Why didn’t you just do that?” Tess asked again.

I wouldn’t even know how to begin telling him the truth… “Well, by that point, I just couldn't be reasoned with. He chose his loyalties and I chose mine. In the end, Max was right! He was right about everything… He was right about you, he was right about Destiny, he was right about me and Kyle, and he was right about Alex... There was a great risk of exposure for the group... And I nearly got myself killed… Worse, I nearly took Maria with me to the grave.”

“You made a mistake,” Tess said.

For a moment, Liz didn’t know if her remark had been a shot about Maria, or just a general statement, a kind of logical ending to her own words. One thing was undeniable: the irony was absent from her voice. Liz replied in kind. “Over the past three years, I’ve made more mistakes than I can count on my fingers.”

“That’s not what Max thinks,” Tess argued with a smile.

“Yeah, well, Max is biased,” Liz replied, returning the sentiment.

“Max didn’t even think that whole thing with you and Kyle had been a mistake… He was hopeful ‘till the end!… You on the other hand never mirrored his hopefulness… Do you still think you lost something, then?”

Did I lose something? Tess’ words sounded like the last gust of wind before the landslide.

“Well, I’ll tell you this: I know I shouldn’t have been so upset at what happened, because, technically, we weren't even together when you slept with him.”

“Well, technically you haven't been together since you technically abandoned him in the Pod Chamber. I mean, technically, you've been punishing Max ever since I got here for the wrong reasons… But you didn’t answer my question.”

Liz’s attention was drawn to the repetitions, but absent irony in Tess’ voice, she said: “That's not true, I haven't been punishing Max. I'm not even angry with him! I'm angry with you! My greatest regret is that I pushed him towards you.”

“That’s still not an answer… I know perfectly well you’re angry with me, but Max is the one you've been punishing, because of his association with me. Technically.”

“Well, consider what you already gave him: his real home, a sense of purpose, a family… I don’t even know if I’ll be able to give him any such things…”

“I’ll take that as a yes. At the risk of repeating myself, Max didn't want anything from me. So, technically, I didn't give him anything. Technically, I don't even exist to him. Technically, you didn't lose anything.” Tess let out a big sigh. “You know… all I wanted was my husband back… Was that really so much to ask?! I would’ve been happy with a fifth of what he gave you!”

“Is that why you wanted him dead?” Liz asked.

“I never wanted him dead… I never wanted anyone dead! Except you!”

Liz nodded. She knew the words before they came out of Tess’ mouth. As menacing as they sounded, she wasn’t worried. She glanced at the clock; she hadn’t thought about it in a long while… It’s really getting late, she thought, unable to recall the last time she had looked at it. Is this conversation still being recorded, she wondered, seeing as she also didn’t remember hearing the click of the tape running out. That didn’t seem nearly as important as keeping the conversation going.

“If that's true, why were you delivering them to Kivar?”

“The plan was to trade the royal seal the heir was supposed to carry for our freedom.”

“And did you really think Kivar would fall for that? I mean, if he were the kind of guy who honored his deals, Nasedo wouldn’t have been killed, don’t you think? It’s obvious that he gets rid of anyone who outlives his usefulness… And you already knew that when you got into the Granilith.”

“Well, technically, I had something Kivar wanted, unlike Nasedo…”

“That’s not a small detail, is it?” Liz smiled, mischievously.

“I could say the same about your technicalities,” Tess laughed.

“You would still end up here,” Liz stated.

“Yeah, you’re probably right…” Tess admitted. “But what was I supposed to do? Risk death or worse at Kivar’s hands, just because Max was too stubborn to accept who he really was?” Liz let out an anguished sigh. “You think you lost something, and you’ve spent the last two years mourning for your loss.” Tess shrugged. “You’re entitled to mourn. But you're wasting your time. Worse: you're wasting Max's time! Max always knew he wanted you. I had to learn that myself… the hard way! So, what I wanna know is, why are technicalities so important to you? If you really love Max and he makes you happy, why would you want more than that?... Go home!”

Liz nodded, slowly, and let out another sigh, one that had been trapped inside her for too long. She had spent many months trying to get her heart to listen to reason, in vain. She never thought she would ever hear those words out loud, much less from the alien herself. She felt an absurd urge to hug Tess and thank her for the harsh words she said to her that night... but she kept to her seat and asked: “Can you give me the key back, please?”

Tess smiled. “After tonight, no one in the Roswell area will know anything about aliens landing here. Everything will be okay!”

“What about your kid?”

“He’ll be a lot safer, too.”

“So, is this like a ‘dying with dignity’ sort of thing?”

“Dignity is for the living,” Tess replied, throwing the key at Liz.

She caught it in mid-air and thought about that statement for a second, before she cracked a smile. “Tess, are you exercising your free-will?”

“It’s never too late to start, don’t you think?”

Liz shook her head, heavily. “Even when you know you cannot win?”

“The decision is my own… that’s a victory in itself!” She said, smiling wider. She reached for the handle and opened the door.

“Tess, are you doing this for Max or for Zan?”

“That's a loaded question,” she laughed, lightly.

“Not at all!” Liz assured her.

“One I think you already know the answer to,” she added, stepping out of the car.

The moment she closed the door, Liz knew that she was really going to honor her words. It became real. Too real, too fast. “Tess!” She called after her. She lowered the window and Tess popped her head back in. “Don't get caught,” she pleaded.

Tess smiled. “I won’t. Thanks for the ride!” And then she was gone.
∞ Max & Liz – The most sublime Love story ever told! ∞

Here's my latest fic, written for all devout Dreamers out there: Everloving.


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