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.
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.”
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 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.