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Postby Whimsicality » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:32 pm

Title: Radioactive
Spoilers: Set post Graduation
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, all characters and original Roswell settings belong to other very lucky people. I also do not own the lyrics or rights to the song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.
Pairings/Couples/Category: AA/CC
Rating: Mature
Warnings: It’s an apocalypse fic, there’s death and destruction, including main character death, but nothing too graphic. However, if barely-qualifies-as-happy endings (maybe) and tragic deaths aren’t your cup of tea, I do not recommend this fic.

Summary: It’s the end of the world and she’s going to burn, burn, burn it all to the ground.

I’m waking up to ash and dust
I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
I’m breathing in the chemicals

When the first bomb fell out of the sky, less than a mile from where she stood, watching the sunrise, she knew the world was ending. The others were panicked, milling about in frantic confusion, hysterics and denial the order of the day while she watched the smoke billow and felt hollow inside. Here it was, the price she paid for daring to try and change the future, and then daring to forget the sacrifices she’d made in vain.

Maria, Isabel, and Max were arguing over whether the explosion even involved them, if it was humans or aliens, while Michael and Kyle loaded up the van, and Liz began to laugh. Silent, violent giggles, shaking her whole body, unnoticed by the others as she imagined she could feel the heat from the distant flames against her skin. For Alex, she deserved to burn.

Max finally noticed her distress and assumed she was shaking in fear. Before she could disabuse him of the notion, the second bomb fell, closer still, and as the ground rose up to meet her she realized that their enemies could sense them, somehow. Human weapons didn’t glow black.

Noxious smoke coated her tongue with ashy sludge and she felt blood trickling down her forehead as Max dragged her to the van, yelling words she could not hear over the roaring of her pulse and the bitter proof of her well-earned defeat.

She had been given the gift of prophecy, the unerring knowledge of what was to come, and she had failed it.

It was the end of the world and nothing could stop it now.

I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse

Somehow they’d lived through the first attack, and the second, and the third. So had the van, against all odds; Liz had never thought she’d hate it more than she did in the long months after graduation, but the now scorched and blackened metal husk that continued to run despite every reason not to had come to represent everything she resented about her survival.

This wasn’t how she’d pictured the apocalypse. When she’d let herself think about the future she’d altered, she’d pictured pitched battles, armies of humans against armies of aliens, bitter combat and life in barracks. Instead they ran, as fast and as far as they could, while alien ships hunted them with uncanny accuracy and devastating weaponry. The only humans they saw were also running, or hiding, and while they heard reports of alien soldiers, they never saw them. Apparently Kivar had grown tired of losing men and women in more intimate battles against the remainders of the Royal Four and had decided a brute force approach would be more effective.

She didn’t think he was wrong.

They would only be able to avoid the bombs, which seemed to be limited to detecting a general location for them, for so long, and it only took one.

Some days she prayed for that one to find them. Other days, angrier days, she prayed for the chance to fight back, to avenge the friends and family she was sure were long dead, to avenge the planet she’d been unable to protect.

The others had stopped trying to communicate with her, accepting that she wouldn’t speak, and they made the decision to split up without consulting her. When Max pulled her towards the abandoned car he’d stolen, she looked back at the van and smiled.

Maybe now it would die.

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

The bombs stopped shortly after they split up, Kivar’s resources must not have been unlimited, but what came next was worse. Low flying ships, too small to seat more than two enemies, but they didn’t need numbers. They were fast, they were agile, and their glowing black weapons were all too deadly.

Their car wasn’t fast enough and Max looked at her, the desperation in his eyes almost enough to overwhelm her bitter silence. “I love you,” he told her, the words fierce but the emotions behind them long since burnt out. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out, and when he opened the door and leapt from the vehicle she couldn’t even scream.

She had enough will left to grab the wheel and try to prevent the car from careening off the road, but she only managed to send it spinning into a ditch, the car landing on its hood with a crunch of metal and a jarring thud that drove the seat belt painfully into the skin of her throat. Dangling uselessly in her seat, she looked up and saw Max through the cracked windshield, standing in the middle of the road with his hands raised and his glowing green shield held around him.

The two ships circled him and for a moment she dared to wonder if his shield would protect him. The ships both fired at the same time and Max’s body was haloed with an onyx glow before crumpling into ash, nothing left of the boy who had saved her life, and in doing so doomed the world.

A gasping sob broke free from her throat, the first noise she’d made since the bombs started to fall, and it wasn’t until she’d finished weeping that she realized the ships had left, sparing her life in an unwanted (or ignorant) act of mercy.

Grief spent, her well concealed fury burned out of its cage and the car exploded in a burst of electric green energy.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m Radioactive, Radioactive
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m Radioactive, Radioactive

No longer hunted by the elite warriors sent after the Royal Four, she finally got her first glimpse of the alien soldiers she’d pictured so long ago. There were skins, distinguishable from the humans by the uniforms and the glowing hate in their eyes, and others, humanoid but not quite human, who seemed to be in charge. She wondered, briefly, if they were the species that Max and the others had shared genetics with, but she didn’t need answers to kill.

After Max, after she’d watched the last of his ashes blow away in the wind, she’d walked, walked until she found life. There was a town, occupied by a small force of Skins and two of those humanoid leaders. No humans were left, their carcasses still burning, carelessly tossed aside in pitiful piles, and the first soldier who’d seen her had jeered, lifting his weapon.

She’d bared her teeth, self-loathing and rage welling beneath her skin, and let herself explode again, energy pouring out of her body in lethal streams the aliens seemed to have no defense against.

When she’d driven out of town, only two blackened alien carcasses and dozens of piles of skin remained.

She couldn’t stop the end of the world, but she could make it cost them.

I raise my flags, don my clothes
It’s a revolution, I suppose
We’re painted red to fit right in

Humans had begun to follow her, not understanding what she was, or how she did it, but knowing that she was the best hope they had. None who followed her hoped for survival, none hoped to win. It was long past that, no matter what Independence Day had promised, but they all wanted to kill, and other than a few lucky shots and the rare occasion when numbers were on their side, no one had managed that so consistently before her.

At first she’d ignored them, the way they looked at her, and spoke with reverence of the girl who destroyed every alien who stood in her path. But when they didn’t stop, when their numbers started to grow, she began to think outside of her rage again.

She knew the importance of symbols, after all wasn’t it the dangerous symbol of the Royal Four that had caused all this? And if she could be a symbol to prove that the humans would not dig their own graves and lie in them, however painful the irony was given the role she’d played in the Earth’s destruction, then she would gladly lead them to their deaths, and the deaths of their enemies.

She let them dress her in the uniform they’d concocted out of whatever materials they could scrounge, red for the blood of the fallen and brown for the Earth they defended, a vibrant contrast to the menacing black and grey of their enemies, and did not protest when she was greeted as The Destroyer, as Earth’s Last Hope.

Prophetess no longer, she had become the death she’d sought.

I’m breaking in, shaking up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse

They had weapons, taken from the corpses of the aliens she, and now they, killed, and while the casualties amongst her followers were high, they’d never lost a battle. Word was spreading of what they’d accomplished, and aliens and humans sought them with increasing frequency.

One day she looked up to watch the latest friendly caravan approach and began to laugh, her first laugh in nine months, when she saw a familiar, battered van at the head of the dilapidated procession. Kyle stepped out of the van and stared at her, his blue eyes wide with shock, before he broke into a run and swung her into his arms, ignoring the whispers and gasps at The Destroyer being treated with such casual affection.

“Liz. It is you,” he breathed as he set her back on the ground, and she nodded, then kissed his cheek and led him towards the half burned warehouse she was sleeping in before they moved to the next town.

When they left the next day, she rode with him in the van she’d hated, and felt for the briefest moment like she’d come home.

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Kyle was the first to ask where she was going, the first to realize that there was a purpose to her movements beyond wiping out every group of aliens she could find. She looked at him and smiled, knowing from the reflection in his eyes that it turned her face into a terrifying mask.

“I can sense him too,” she told him. The others with them didn’t understand, but Kyle did, and for a moment he looked as grim as she did, the hate they both bore for the man who had destroyed their lives and their world uniting them in a moment of perfect clarity.

Kivar was going to die and she was going to kill him.

She had a better method than whatever they’d used to track and kill Max. An invisible cord that burned more fiercely than the energy she used to kill, leading her towards the end – his end.

And hers.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m Radioactive, Radioactive
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m Radioactive, Radioactive

She found Nicholas first, his still prepubescent face contorted with hatred and impotent fury as his powers razed those surrounding her into ash, but left her unharmed, safe in a protective cocoon of green lightning, whose tendrils had destroyed his own soldiers.

“Bitch,” he snarled. “Why won’t you die?!”

She laughed and walked towards him, taking pleasure in the way fear flickered in his eyes as he fought the urge to step back away from her.

“Little boys shouldn’t use words like that,” she scolded him, holding up her right hand and watching him watch as tiny bolts of energy crackled between her fingers. “I’ll have to wash your mouth out. Too bad I don’t have any soap.”

He sneered at her, raising his own hands and she shoved her energy forwards, drinking in his lingering scream as his body seized, his own energy trying to fight off the lethal invasion and failing. Finally he crumpled and she let her arm fall, smile fading as anticipation rose within her.

Kivar knew she was coming. And now he would know she’d killed his assassin.

She hoped he was afraid.

All systems go, the sun hasn’t died
Deep in my bones, straight from inside

She’d realized where the trail was leading a month ago, but it didn’t make it any less painful when she walked out of the desert and looked at the town that had once been her home, now razed and filled with strange alien buildings, formed of a gleaming metal never before found on Earth.

She watched for longer than she should have, risking detection as she searched for any sign of the town she’d abandoned in fear of her life, and felt unbearably cold as she found none.

Unbidden and unwanted, she’d been unable to resist the taint of hope that had begun to infect her followers when Kivar continued to fail to destroy them. They were outnumbered and outgunned, but somehow, they’d held on, and if she succeeded here, then just maybe, humanity could rise again.

But seeing this, the beginnings of a true alien capital in the small and kitschy town she’d loved, it hurt more than anything had since Max had sacrificed himself for her. She’d long since learned to turn grief into the rage that fueled her powers and so she turned away from what would never again be her home and walked towards the caves where she knew Kivar was waiting.

It was time to end this.

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow

No soldiers waited outside and she made her way up the cliff, more jagged than it had been before Tess’s departure so long ago, and held her hand over the rock wall with no hesitation. The glowing handprint appeared, either undamaged by the destruction or restored since then, and when she laid her own palm against it, the wall slid open, permitting her entrance.

When she stepped inside, she saw that the pods were gone, crumbled into dust, and what had once been two caves was now one, destroyed and then reformed.

Kivar was waiting for her. He wasn’t alone.

Isabel’s brown eyes, once so warm, stared at her dully, her beauty unmarred by her bruises and skeletal thinness. Kivar stood behind her, holding her by the hair and smiling triumphantly.

Liz wondered why. Isabel would surely welcome death, and Liz would mourn her loss, but would not let guilt stop her from doing what she came to do.

Kivar’s other hand moved, drawing Liz’s attention lower, and she suddenly registered the swell in Isabel’s stomach, and felt the third spark of life in the room. Oh Isabel. Was it Kivar’s? Or had she and Michael found comfort in each other before the end? Or maybe even Kyle? He’d never spoken to her of what happened to him after they all parted, and she had never pressed, not wanting to share her own memories.

A connection long dormant flared to life and she felt Isabel in her mind, just as she had more than two years ago when she and the other girl had saved Max’s life, reaching together until Liz was able to find him in New York. Only two words came through: ‘Save me’ but they held all the force of a sworn oath and Liz nodded, shifting her gaze away from her sister-in-law and meeting Kivar’s cold, smug gaze, holding it until she saw the fear she’d been wanting seep into his gaze.

She could feel his power, and the link he had with Isabel, able to drain more from her and unborn child, but she felt no doubt. Her font of bottomless fury and self-loathing was far from dry and her power had always wanted more, had always sought immolation. It was time to grant her dearest wish.

It took Kivar a moment to notice that she’d begun to glow, her eyes and skin taking on the same green shimmer, a disturbingly lovely warning of what was to come. She held the energy in, not allowing it to escape, as it grew into an unbearable pressure, filling her until it was beyond agony and she could no longer see the cave, nor those in it.

She took one last breath, finding peace in the silence, and then let go.

Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Kyle felt the explosion before he saw it, barely able to keep his feet as the plume of smoke, debris, and bright green light filled the air, visible for miles. He had no tears left, but an unvocalized scream of rage and grief lived and died in his throat and he fell to his knees.

He wished he’d been with her, but she’d wanted him to stay and lead the aftermath, knowing that even with Kivar gone, the war would not simply go away. He could not find it in his heart to resent the role she’d asked him to play, nor to wish that she had lived.

She was free, and so were they.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m Radioactive, Radioactive
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m Radioactive, Radioactive
Last edited by Whimsicality on Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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