Liz of the Desert cc adult pg4 ch 12 Dec 22 / 06

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Liz of the Desert cc adult pg4 ch 12 Dec 22 / 06

Post by ken_r » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:15 pm

Title: Liz of the Desert


Rating is adult

catagory is conventional couples

The characters used all belong to the Roswell TV and Book people.
I am trying to use them in a respectful manner. The Navajo words come from google search on internet. There are many differrent spellings of this language. the Navajo culture comes from Dr. Hill of UNM. The references to rodeo come from interviews with members of the Sandia, Del Norte High School Rodeo club I was their sponsor for a few years. Elizabeth Parker is intellegent, short tempered and uses the language of a working cowhand. Can she be tamed. We hope not.


Liz of the desert

Chapter 1

Elizabeth Parker banked her small fire and finished her meal. She took sand from a nearby arroyo and rubbed her plate and utensils cleaning them the best she could. She then swished them in a pan of her small hoard of water from the barrel in the back of her pickup. She put water in a bowl for Rolf and poured a cup of food in his dish. Nights fell quickly in the desert. She already could feel the cool breeze blowing down from the highlands as the last of the rocks gave up their heat. Elizabeth Parker PhD., was a small woman about five foot two. She was slender especially in her beat up Levies. Under her hat her long dark hair was loose as it blew in the slight wind. Her dark brown eyes looked out across the mesa country. There was little as far as she could see. The sun setting made the view to the west look like an abstract painting, the mesas and volcano cores showing up in outline. Somewhere way to the south she could see the dust trail of a rancher’s or Navajo’s pickup as it ran toward the sinking sun in the west. Elizabeth was a shy girl in public. She really preferred things just as they were here. She was also as stubborn as a badger when she had an idea or what she would call a mission. She admitted that she had a temper. Maybe it was to make up for her size or maybe because she was independent and she felt the world was trying to limit her or maybe it was to make up for her shyness, she was prone to strike out at those nearest.

She was on a survey, fact-finding mission. She had one of the special Anthropological Research maps. One that was not printed for the public. It showed the different archeological sites along with the AR catalogue numbers of each. Elizabeth had found two of the sites in question and logged GPS numbers or Global Positioning System, for their exact locations. She hadn’t found what she had been looking for, though. Her job with the New Mexico Museum was to recheck the site locations and to log GPS numbers with the equipment mounted in her pickup. These numbers, using several satellites, would fix almost exactly the location of the sites. This would allow the use of satellite imaging to help check for vandalism and to better map out habitation patterns. There were so many myths and rumors about the inhabitants of the Southwest that any number of students could use this information to write dissertations and theses for years to come. It was unusual for a woman to be doing this alone.

Elizabeth was not a shrinking violet. She had done a spat of barrel racing when she was in high school. She had even done a bit of team roping when she could find a partner. Trouble was, the partner wanted to extend the relationship further than the arena and Elizabeth found that his deficient skills in roping were mirrored in other activities.

The Navajo people were a peaceful people with a few bad apples just like any other population. There were the results of Bureau of Indian Affairs experiment, where they had located many of the Navajo children in California. These children separated from their culture and their lands many times returned after learning the Anglo ways of crime. Alcoholism was also a problem among a people who often did not see a personal future for themselves. Sometimes, some of these men would see the slender lady as a target, but a few well placed shots from the Glock in her pack earned her the reputation of self-sufficiency. Elizabeth liked the little Glock. The forty-caliber cartridge because it did not kick too much, was easy to shoot and light to carry. Her ex-boyfriend, Kyle Valenti, a deputy sheriff of Sandoval County had drilled her in its use. He helped her learn to become proficient, but he himself couldn’t accept her need to go off on her own on this survey. A violent argument led to Kyle seeking companion ship elsewhere and Elizabeth doing what she intended to do anyway.

Back at the University Elizabeth had found references to a site where strange artifacts were rumored to be found. These artifacts did not conform to any other culture in the Southwest. Elizabeth wanted to follow her leads and the only money for this was to accept a job with the Anthropological Research board to relocate and re-log certain sitesby GPS. This job would keep her in the region she wanted to study and pay for her expenses. They made it clear that her first responsibility was to the AR people, but if she wanted to do any other surveys, they were fine with this. Elizabeth spent a year preparing for this research. During that year, she precipitated the argument with Kyle and bought, Rolf, her German Shepard.

Elizabeth had grown up in Roswell. She had participated in rodeo sports and maintained a four point average. She had started out in college as a biochemistry student. In grad school, she had helped a friend with some ancient DNA samples and became intrigued with archeology. Teasing the slight strands of DNA from the ancient samples and learning about people that had been dead for hundreds of years was intriguing.

Along the way, Elizabeth learned about some strange artifacts in a dingy corner of the Anthropology Museum. Finding them was difficult because, like so much knowledge, it was misplaced. When she found the samples lost among Northwest coast carvings, she immediately saw what the finder meant when he said they did not match up with any known culture. When she finely found his notes, she learned that they had been found in the Chaco Canyon region. This was long before GPS logging and the description was sketchy. The surveyor had used compass readings from landmarks, but there was no notation whether he had taken direct readings or corrected the readings to true north from magnetic north. His descriptions were vague and no one had really sought them before.

“Damn it, Liz, you are going to be out there for days at a time, away from communication and on your own! I won’t allow it,” Kyle yelled. Stupid Kyle, always thinking that volume would increase compliance. Well, Elizabeth wasn’t one of his drunks and all five foot two of her was determined. Kyle could screw himself. And that was the end of a year long relationship. After interviewing with the anthropology people and a couple of trial surveys, Elizabeth got the job.

The Navajo people respected self-sufficiency and they appreciated those who offered assistance when needed. Liz always was willing to haul water for any family when she made her weekly trip to a trading post. Liz was small but she had a winch and boom in the bed of her truck to hoist the barrels into the back. Liz knew her limitations but she also used knowledge and technology to overcome those limitations. The willingness to share her labor and resources had earned her the trust of these people. It also earned her a certain amount of safety.

Elizabeth called Rolf. The silver shepard quickly appeared and wagging his tail trotted into camp. Rolf was more than a companion. He was her protection. Liz had spent the year of preparation training Rolf. He would stay near her and warn her if any varmint two-legged or more-legged came around. Elizabeth had very little trouble with either. There had been a mountain lion, but in the States they were usually shy and when the lion smelled human with the dog, he quickly left. Elizabeth had been told that way down south the lions were more aggressive. Rolf had waken Elizabeth a few night ago to protect her from a drifting cow that was more surprised than they were at seeing any one.

Jeff Parker owned a small restaurant and ran a small feed lot in Roswell. He was proud of his daughter’s self sufficiency. Of course he worried that she would be out of touch with anyone for days at a time. As she packed her pickup, he brought out his cased little Remington auto shotgun. He laughed as he gave the case to her. “Take this Liz and maybe if you get lost you can at least find some sort of game to eat. The joke was birds might be found, but small mammals were highly infected with the plague. The southwest was the bubonic plague capital of the western world.

Elizabeth thought of this as she watched Rolf eat his dinner. She picked up his dish and made sure he had water. Then, she went a few yards from the camp site and threw down her bedroll. Elizabeth loved the stars. Her grandmother used to tell her that somewhere among the stars she would find her true lover. This was when she was small and somehow the words still stuck. Beyond the Kyles, the Jakes and others, she still hoped for that magic lover to come down and take her away.

Elizabeth, the smart one, the logical one, had been madly in love, briefly, with a bull rider. She remembered the first time she had seen him sitting on that huge bull. The bull was jumping so high she could see the crowd under him with every jump. Elizabeth remembered how she felt when she saw Jake fly off the bull’s back. She had no idea how high he had been thrown. She remembered the thud when he hit the soft ground of the arena. When he got up and raised his hands to the crowd, her heart went into her throat. It had to be the stupidity of youth. Elizabeth had seen bravery and celebrity in Jake. She went behind the bull pens and threw her arms around her brave hero. He grimaced from the pain, but he returned the kiss and Elizabeth was captured. She followed him for a time, going from arena to arena or rather hospital to hospital. Her father finally sat her down and talked to her.

“Liz, I rode bulls when I was young. I know the thrill of mastering the beast. It was your mother who told me she was tired of seeing me in pain. She said I should look into my self and see if it was bravery or foolhardiness that was propelling me. I gave it up so I could be a whole man with her and be healthy to see you.”

Elizabeth went to the hospital and kissed Jake goodbye. She then returned her attention to her education.

Elizabeth lay looking up at the stars. The stars in the southwest were still magnificent. It was rumored that the power plant in the four corners area was polluting the sky so the stars were loosing their brightness but for Elizabeth tonight, they made a ceiling that covered her like a quilt. Liz heard the coyotes calling, but Rolf had learned long ago, that first, the ones calling were far off and those yodel pups that were close, were not really dangerous. Elizabeth drifted off to sleep as a handsome young man descended from the stars and stretched forth his hand and lifted her to dance in the heavens.

Liz would haul water to day so she indulged herself. She heated a large kettle of water on her stove. She placed a blanket in the sun and near the blanket she placed a low tub. She placed a table near the tub and when the water was heated, she poured it into a bucket of cold water until it was tepid. Then automatically looking around to see if she was alone, Liz stripped. Rolf would have warned her if he sensed any presence. Elizabeth stepped into the low tub. The sun felt good on her naked body, but the warm water felt better. Elizabeth soaped down and dipping water from the tub she rinsed herself as best she could. Elizabeth again poured hot water into a bucket of cold water and took the bucket and dumped it over herself to finally rinse off. Elizabeth stepped out of the tub and onto the blanket. She allowed her body to dry in the sun turning over like a cooking flapjack to dry the other side. Elizabeth put on clean clothes. They had a coin laundry where she would drive to fetch the water so Elizabeth would do laundry today. It felt good to wear clean clothes even it they were much like what she had wore yesterday and the day before.

Far away on a mesa top, much further than Rolf’s senses could detect, a young-appearing man adjusted his instrument and sighed as the girl dressed and went back to her pickup. He didn’t know who she was, but she definitely was not afraid to be alone in the Indian lands.

Elizabeth followed the directions given by Linda Tsosie. She had promised to see if her grandmother needed water. Elizabeth found the Hogan beside a white painted, Bureau of Indian Affairs, BIA board house. The BIA house was packed with wool, feed and other products while the family lived in the Hogan because that is the way they had done it for years. Elizabeth sat in the pickup until someone came out to see who she was. “Yah-a-teh” was the greeting given.

Elizabeth replied with the same greeting. “Linda, at the trading post, asked me to stop by and see if you needed water.” The younger children all spoke English, so Elizabeth was sure they would understand her. She waited. To a city ‘gringo’ it would seem a long time, but to a people who savored the presence of a guest, it was just polite to wait for a reply. The child said something to his grandmother and she called her grown son. The son motioned for Elizabeth to drive back to the platform where two barrels were sitting. There was a pulley system that lifted the barrel up and down from the platform. The son knocked on one barrel and it was empty. The other barrel on the platform was about half full. The young man lifted the empty barrel over his head and swung it into the pickup bed. He secured it with half hitches using a rope Elizabeth kept for this reason. Elizabeth waved and told the child she would be back tonight. Elizabeth drove with her map in her lap. Finally, she found the road she was looking for and followed it to the trading post. Elizabeth parked her truck near the windmill pump and went into the post.

Linda Tsosie saw her “Yah-a-the, Liz,” Linda greeted. Linda came over with her families mail and a sack of groceries for them. Elizabeth also bought some groceries for herself and a copy of the Navajo times. This slim paper had comics, national news and more important news that concerned the reservation. Elizabeth then proceeded to do her laundry. Linda yelled at a man working at the post and he filled up the Tsosie barrel and the barrel that was Elizabeth’s. Rolf had, all this time, sat patiently in the cab of the truck watching the horses, sheep, other dogs and, finally, the men.

Elizabeth arrived at the Tsosie Hogan about the middle of the afternoon. She gave them the groceries and mail from Linda. Then the boys had her drive under the pulleys so they could lift the Tsosie barrel up to the platform. It was stored to be used as soon as the other barrel was emptied.

Elizabeth had about two hours of driving before she had to stop. She was heading toward a canyon. “Rolf, this may be the one we are looking for,” Elizabeth spoke to her dog. Of course, Rolf just listened. That was why Elizabeth liked him, he was a good listener. “We have to look for three established AR ruins. Then, we look for what we are searching for, eh’ Rolf. We do what we are being paid to do and then we can work for ourselves.” Elizabeth drove out of the wash and high enough so that if a flash flood happened during the night, the truck would not be in danger. Flash floods could happen in these washes without any warning.

“The sun will set soon. We get cheated, old boy. Here in the bottom we loose about one hour.” Elizabeth remarked as she saw that the mesa tops were still golden from the setting sun while she was in ever-darkening shadow.

As she set up camp, the watcher was joined by another. They looked at their instrument and saw the girl. The first dark one was disappointed that she didn’t repeat the activities of the morning and then, just to please him she took off her pants and shirt and put on a flannel shirt and pullover pants.

The dark one was called Max. He turned to the huskier one called Michael, “She is heading right for the location of the dig.”

Michael turned and said, “We haven’t started disturbing anything yet. So I do not know if she can find anything. Maybe she will just look at the places of the old ones and then leave.”

The next morning, Elizabeth drove into the canyon. It wasn’t hard to find the AR sites. Elizabeth mapped them and logged GPS numbers. She had time to look around for herself. There were several new unknown sites that the wind and rain had exposed, so Elizabeth logged and recorded them all. Elizabeth worked all day with her instruments and her maps, but towards night just before Liz was to make camp, she found a strange mound. She looked at the notes and started to see some of the landmarks of the old surveyor. Elizabeth logged the location and photographed it. She made camp and the next day, she went back to her assigned work. Elizabeth intended to return as soon as she finished the work for the AR.

It was two months before Elizabeth got back to the canyon. Both she and Rolf were tired. They had gone from post to post living out of her truck and daily mapping and studying the AR maps. She kept her eyes open for any of old land marks from her notes. She did not find anything as good as she had found in the canyon. Elizabeth was excited as she, again, entered the canyon. She set her markers on her GPS instrument and watched as she approached the mound. It was to her dismay that she found a huge hole. “Pothunters was all she could whisper.” Those thieves of history that anger archeologist everywhere. Pothunters usually just take the best artifacts, never record anything about the site and are in the business of antiquities for profit leaving the site with no knowledge gained.

But this was remarkably, professionally done. The hole was square and to the side was a mound of sifted sand and gravel where the dirt had been sifted for any small artifacts. Elizabeth was chagrined. She had been here and she had lost everything she sought. Elizabeth photographed the site and recorded her observations thoughts. She made her camp that night with no joy.

The next morning, Elizabeth was just careless. Instead of putting on her heavy leather boots she was walking around in sandals. Everyone knows that a rattlesnake always warns before he strikes. But there are rebels in every population and the snake population is no different. Maybe, he had lost his rattles or maybe he was just impatient or maybe he was a she and didn’t need a reason. As Elizabeth walked by, the snake caught her in the leg just below the knee.

Elizabeth knew she was in trouble. This was one time she wished she had an extra hundred pounds. Her small frame would succumb quickly to the spread of venom. She was already feeling the pain. Her leg was swelling. Elizabeth crawled over to her truck. She stood with a great deal of pain. Elizabeth opened the back of the truck and pulled the bag of dog food from the truck. She placed her foot tub on the ground and filled it with water. That was as much as she could do. At least Rolf wouldn’t die for a while. Elizabeth tried to make herself comfortable as she waited for death. There were all sorts of remedies, but Elizabeth wouldn’t have enough strength to complete any of them. Rolf just laid down beside her but he seemed to be looking at something far off.

Her grandmother was wrong. There would be no man coming from the stars to be her lover. She would miss Kyle and even Jake, that dumb son of a bitch. Her parents, she would never see again. Elizabeth drifted in and out of consciousness. She saw Rolf stand up, but he didn’t bark. She saw a tall dark man lean over her and he said something to her. She couldn’t tell what he said or did. The pain was horrible. Then, she just slipped away.

When Elizabeth woke up, a man in a uniform was knocking on the window of her pickup. Elizabeth sat up. She looked at her hands. She was alive. She opened the window of her truck. Rolf growled, but he sat still. Elizabeth looked at the man. He was a Navajo policeman.

“Miss are you all right?” he asked.

Elizabeth looked at her body. “I was snake bitten,” she answered. The policeman quickly said something in his radio and he helped Elizabeth out of the truck. Rolf just sat in the seat seeming to know that someone was helping his mistress.

Elizabeth was placed on a bed and her clothes were cut off her body. The doctor examined her leg and it had a silver colored area, but there was no swelling or any sign of snake bite.

Elizabeth thought, “Was she hallucinating?” Someone went out to her truck and brought in a change of clothes. They wanted Elizabeth to stay a while to see if somehow she was mentally unsound. Elizabeth thought she saw a tall dark man across the street from the medical facility. She got up and walked out, but there was no one there.

“That’s right, Sam, I am at Crownpoint. No! I do not know how I got here. I thought I was snake bitten. No, the doctors can’t find any evidence of snake venom. Rolf is fine and I completed the survey I was assigned to. Sam, I think I found it. I have pictures, notes and GPS readings, but Sam, I went back there and the site had been cleaned. Sam it was a professional job. I need to see someone from the Department of The Interior. Tell them I have evidence of a violation of the Antiquities Act. Sam, I will try to be in this afternoon.” Elizabeth hung up the phone. Elizabeth looked in her purse and took out her calendar. It was a small one that she marked off each day, so she could keep track of time while she was alone. It was Tuesday. She looked up at the leaf calendar on the wall, it said Friday.

Liz ran out to the pickup and took out her journal. She fed Rolf and checked his water. Rolf had taken up residence under the pickup enjoying it’s shade. Back inside the hospital, she sat down and looked at her Journal. She ran back to admitting and asked if she could see the young Bureau of Indian Affairs doctor she had spoken to earlier.

Dr. Levine was working off some of his medical school debt by working for the BIA. He was from back east and the cultural shock was telling on him. He was delighted to see, again, the lovely archeologist he had checked before. “What is wrong Liz?” he asked.

“Doctor, look at my journal. Look at the dates and the entries. Here is Tuesday night’s entry.”

3 pm Tuesday: I arrived at the site. I am devastated. The site is completely vandalized. It appears to be professionally done. The excavation is perfectly square. There is a pile of gravel and dirt that could be from sifting. There are marks in the fresh dirt where artifact bags were placed. There are no tire marks and I didn’t see any as I was driving up the canyon. All my hopes for nothing! If only I had taken the time to look closer two months ago, when I first found it.”

“I remember getting up the next day and I remember getting snake bitten, of which, you say, there is no evidence. What happened to the missing time?” Elizabeth seemed about to be panicked.

The young doctor flipped through the pages of the journal. He saw days when she had been at a trading post and the days she spent alone. He had no explanation how so organized a person could loose two days.

They finally released Elizabeth and she drove back to the freeway and then back to Albuquerque. She had promised to check in at the medical facilities there and, for once, Elizabeth intended to do as she was told.

When she got back to her office and Rolf was comfortably sleeping under her desk, Sam returned with her pictures on disc. They went through the first ones of the original pictures of the mound and then the pictures of the square hole.

“It is professional, all right. I just wish I could get my diggers to do a job half that neat,” Sam remarked.

They printed the relevant pictures and turned them over to the Department of The Interior. They, in turn, assigned an investigator and a Sandoval county deputy to visit the site. Because of the freshness of the site, they went out the next morning.

That afternoon, Elizabeth had a visitor from some time ago. “Kyle, what are you doing here?” she asked surprised.

“Liz, I know that we are not together, and truthfully, I have moved on. But, I still care for you and I worry about you!” Kyle declared.

“What do you mean, Kyle?” Elizabeth had no idea what he was going on about.

“Liz, first you claim your were snake bitten, then you have a journal with two days missing and next you file a report of a crime that there is no evidence of existing.” Kyle was either very worried, or maybe irritated, that he had to travel all that way and found nothing.

“What do you mean, Kyle? Just look at the pictures! Here is the mound two months ago, here is the excavation Tuesday evening. I can’t explain the journal or the snake bite,” Elizabeth could get angry too.

“That is just it, Liz. Here is a picture of the site this morning. There is no mound and there is no excavation and there is no evidence of anything ever being there!” Kyle was almost yelling again. He always got exasperated when dealing with Elizabeth. “We checked your GPS numbers twice. We checked your Instrument in your truck. There is nothing wrong with them. I have never known you to be careless, so what gives, Liz? What the hell happened to you to cause this many mistakes?”

Liz looked at the picture. It did not show an excavation that had been filled in. It showed a picture of pristine ground with no disturbance for centuries. Liz dropped her head into her hands. She felt like sobbing but she wasn’t going to do it in front of Kyle.

Kyle went behind Elizabeth and put his hand on her shoulders. He started messaging her shoulders and back like he had done long ago. Liz couldn’t hold it back any longer. She just let loose. “Kyle, am I loosing my mind?”

Kyle leaned over and kissed Elizabeth on the neck. “No, Liz, something happened. I told you not to go out there alone.”

That did it. The old Elizabeth flared up and Kyle remembered why they were no longer together. “Kyle, I can handle my self and I do not need you to tell me what I can’t do!” the old Elizabeth almost shouted out.

Kyle backed up, “All right, Liz, but I still worry about you. Please, get a full check up.” Kyle departed just ahead of a phonebook that flew past his head as he hurried down the hall.

Liz sat in her chair. Rolf came up to her, whining in the way a dog will when he knows something is wrong, but his dog brain just doesn’t know what to do. Elizabeth bent down and rubbed his ears. “Rolf, what did happen? What happened the two days I lost out of my life? What happened to that excavation in the picture?” She leaned back as Rolf put his large head in her lap. “Why are those artifacts so important to me and why did I think they were associated to that site?”

Of course Rolf could only offer his devotion and the warmth of his body but could not answer any of Elizabeth’s questions.

Just before Elizabeth was ready to leave her office she received a phone call from her one remaining friend from high school. Maria had skipped college. She had been a back-up singer for several bands and then, finally, she had been noticed and she landed a song-writing contract. Her remaining contact to Roswell High was Elizabeth, or Dr. Parker, as she liked to tease Liz about. “Liz, I am in town for three days. You want to get together?” Maria was the perennial optimist.

“Maria, I just got in from two months in the field. You are welcome to the guest room to crash in and we might go out tomorrow. I really need someone to talk to tonight.” Elizabeth was almost pleading. Her anguish wasn’t lost on her friend.

A taxi brought Maria to the small house in the old, but proud, neighborhood of Nob Hill. Elizabeth had bought the small house when she started to study at UNM. They had supper delivered while the two friends sat talking.

“Maria, I may be loosing my mind,” Liz started. She told her friend the story emphasizing the snakebite, the lost days, the lost dig site and finally, the fact that her friends were beginning to think she was crazy.
“The look on Kyle’s face when he told me there was no evidence of a site hurt me more than anything else.”

Maria leaned back, “Speaking of Kyle, you know he has moved on and has a new girlfriend, don’t you?”

“Yes, but Kyle wouldn’t do something to hurt me like that and he is a good investigator, no matter what our past history was!” Elizabeth affirmed.

Their talk went from this to Maria’s travels and a song she was working on, to what was happening in Roswell and finally ended with Maria pleading for Elizabeth to try to go out tomorrow night.

They were going to a country western club. Liz was dressed in designer jeans with stitched lizard cowboy boots and a bright embroidered shirt. Maria had a short wrap-around skirt with a puffed-sleeve blouse and stitched boots. They were at the Hitching Post, a nearby C and W, (country and western), bar. They had been seated for only a few minutes when Kyle, leading a buxom little blond approached. “My favorite women, hey, Liz and hey, Maria,” Kyle said.

They both said “Hey, Kyle.” Then Maria added, “Kyle, introduce us.”

Kyle led his girl in front of him like he was displaying a prize heifer. “Folks, I want you to meet Tess Harding. Tess, Maria writes songs and Liz has just returned form several months in Navajo land.”

Tess turned to Elizabeth and said, “I just love traveling abroad don’t you?” Kyle laughed and led her away.

Maria turned to Elizabeth, “Are those things real or is she a Dolly Parton look-alike. Did you get that traveling abroad stuff when Kyle said you returned from Navajo land?”

Elizabeth laughed and just then two strictly DS cowboys (drug store) came up to their table. “Would you ladies care to dance?” That was from the tall, dark one whose hat was pulled down, his eyes just showing under the brim. Elizabeth looked at Maria and, still laughing, stood up and gave the man her hand. She looked back and Maria was walking away with the other man. Elizabeth was sure neither man had ever had to kick shit off of his boots, but what the hell, they were here for a good time and dancing had nothing to do with being a real cowboy.

Elizabeth looked into his light brown eyes showing under that hat brim: “My name is Liz,” she coyly said.

“My name is Max,” he replied.

They danced a two-step and a polka. Then they sat down at their table. About that time the other man came back with Maria firmly gripping his arm. “Would you ladies like a beer?” Max asked. They both nodded in the affirmative. Max nodded to the other man and he went to the bar to get the drinks. Elizabeth drank very little. She always liked to be in control and drinking too much was a sure way to loose this control. Michael, the name of the other man, returned and gave Liz a Coors Lite. She frowned because this is just what she would have ordered for herself, if he had asked. Michael placed a black bock beer before Max and giving Maria a Bud lite he took a German beer for himself. Elizabeth was still frowning, because Bud Lite was probably what Maria would have ordered. The fact that the men both chose exotic beers, not usual in a place like this, also was not lost on Elizabeth.

Elizabeth pushed Max’s hat back so she could better see his eyes, “Tell us Max, what do you do, as a living that is?”

Max carefully looked at her and said, “I search for my identity.”

Elizabeth was still frowning as she turned to Michael, “I protect Max,” he said automatically.

Max looked at the girls, “What do you do, as jobs I mean?” his statement dripping with double meaning.

Maria answered for both of them as she leaned against Michael’s chest, “Lizzy is an archeologist and I am a song writer.”

They all talked of nonsense things for some time, then Max stood and offering his hand to Elizabeth, he asked her to again dance. She was in his arms and he looked down at her, “I hope you can forgive me, Doctor Parker, but I just had to see if you were all right.”

Elizabeth tried to yank herself from his arms, but he just held on tighter. “Now, Doctor Parker, Liz, if you make a scene, many innocent people might get hurt. I was just worried about the snakebite. That was the first time I ever cured a snakebite. Don’t worry about the two days, that beautiful, silver animal slept beside you the whole time. I had trouble making him go outside to eat and drink.”

Elizabeth tried everything she could do to wiggle free of her dance partner. He was so strong that she couldn’t even make an attempt. She was just about to scream when he looked into her eyes, leaned forward and kissed her. “You were so beautiful taking a bath on that sandstone mesa a few months ago.”

That did it! Elizabeth was now really ready to scream when her partner spun her out of his arms and he disappeared into the crowd. Elizabeth fought her way through the crowd to the door. She looked out and there were a few cowboys backing their girls against their pickups making out, but no tall dark stranger. Elizabeth fought her way again back inside to her table. A despondent Maria was sitting at the table. Elizabeth sat down.

Stories by ken_r
Last edited by ken_r on Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:22 pm, edited 11 times in total.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ch 2,3

Post by ken_r » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:52 pm

Chapter 2

“Oh Liz, have you ever seen anyone so perfect?” Maria was in love. Maria was in love a lot, so that didn’t mean anything except for who it was. “He left me so quickly. He did say that he would be back for me someday,” Maria was breathing deeply.

“Maria, snap out of it. They were there. They were at the site and they knew about the snake bite and some other things,” Elizabeth was excited.

Maria’s eyes narrowed, “What other things, Lizzy?”

Elizabeth lowered her eyes and lowered her voice, “Personal things.”

“Liz, what sort of personal things?” Maria was insistent.

“Well, if you must know, I sort of took a shower on one of the mesa tops. I didn’t think there was any one around, but they were watching me.” Liz was shaking.

The girls went back to Elizabeth’s house. Maria didn’t care. She was in love and Liz, as an object of a voyeuristic adventure, wasn’t going to detour her feelings.

The next day, Maria was back on a plane and Liz went back to her office. When she entered the building, her undergraduate secretary was in tears. The office had been literally destroyed. Papers were scattered over the floor and her desk had been ransacked. Elizabeth ran to where she had kept the notes for the strange samples and found they were missing. This wasn’t as bad as it could be because she kept backup copies with her journal at home.

The police came, but because the only thing she could identify as missing was the notes, they refused to make a report stating that it was just mischief.

Elizabeth called Kyle at home. She got a whiney voice and she immediately asked for Deputy Valenti, “Kyle, can you get me a rogue’s gallery set of pictures of people who have been caught pothunting recently. I think I saw someone at the dance last night who I saw on the “Rez.” Well, it was more than I just saw him, we danced together. He asked me about the snake bite and some other personal things.”

Kyle called Elizabeth at work the next day. The Department of the Interior had agreed to show her a collection of pictures of known pothunters.

Liz arrived at the Department of the Interior building. Officer Byrns met her. “Doctor Parker, we were very interested in that picture you sent with the deputy. We did some aerial reconnaissance and we couldn’t find any sign of the hole in your picture. You have a great reputation for accuracy. We just do not know what happened. Deputy Valenti says you may have danced with a man who might have been connected with this site that isn’t a site.”

Elizabeth spent most of the afternoon looking at pictures. Some were Navajo and some were clearly Anglo. None of the pictures looked familiar. Officer Byrns gave her two more pictures and told her to keep the copies. The two men were California Navajos, Cassady Jimm and Arnold Begay. These men were wanted in California for murder and thought to be somewhere in the reservation area. They had been known to sell antiquates when they needed money badly. They were dangerous.

Elizabeth left the building and returned to her office. Sam, as close to a boss as Elizabeth had, was waiting with some papers from the Archeological Research people. They were happy with Elizabeth’s work and wanted to know when she would be ready to go back into the field.

“Liz, are you ready to return? You haven’t seen the medical office yet like you promised. This thing about strange men at the country western bar worries me. You can get out of the contract you know,” Sam was concerned.

“Sam, I still have a couple months before it starts getting really cold on the reservation. The truck checks out, Rolf is ready and I hope I am ready too,” so as far as Elizabeth was concerned, that was that.

Elizabeth again entered the Chaco area from Casa Blanca off state highway 550. This time, she went further west into the Navajo reservation proper. Before, she had been just outside the reservation. As she traveled, marked on her map were Navajo Police stations where she left form letters stating what she was doing, asking for any courtesy they could give and listing numbers that could be called in any emergency. After the first station, everyone else knew all about her. In communities that have a low level of adventure, a single, white woman working in the field was news. They also had heard of her exploits before and she was followed by a good reputation.

Elizabeth stopped at the trading posts along her route. She always offered to deliver groceries or mail for any family on her route. She would also haul water for anyone who had trouble getting their water.

Elizabeth had mapped several sites for the AR and now she was heading toward a canyon that might have one of the strange sites. Elizabeth had bought a canvas shower tent. So her exhibitionism had come to a halt. In a way Elizabeth was saddened by this because, the bad girl feeling of standing naked in the bright sun was exhilarating.

The watcher on the mesa regretted this also. He had known that the little archeologist had returned soon after her first night. “I still think she is the most beautiful woman in the world,” Max mused.

“And just how many women of the world have you seen, Maxwell?” Michael asked.

“Several, until Isabel threw away my collection of magazines,” Max laughed.

Michael laughed also because Isabel was the nominal leader, but she sometimes took her position too seriously. Both of them felt her legislation on moral issues was well beyond her station.

They were watching Elizabeth’s progress. They would wait until she mapped out the next canyon and then they would salvage the site they wanted and get out. They were sure she no longer had the notes so they felt safe.

Every evening and morning Liz no longer felt alone. She had powerful field glasses and scanned the mesa tops for evidence of anyone but she couldn’t find a single clue. She no longer trusted Rolf in this matter at least. For some reason, Rolf had traitorously joined the other side. Elizabeth had filled her barrel of water just yesterday so she was in fine shape for sometime. She had entered the canyon. It was like so many in this area. Elizabeth set up camp and would be ready the next morning to start first on the work for the AR and then spend some time working for herself. If she found anything this time, she was going to do a lot more investigating before leaving.

It was about four o’clock in the morning when Rolf growled. Elizabeth withdrew her Glock from her bag. She also picked up a powerful hand light. She turned it on and searched the flat bottom of the canyon. There was a deep arroyo running through the floor of the canyon. Rolf ran to the edge of this arroyo. There was a rifle shot and her beautiful silver friend crumpled and fell into the abyss of the weed-clogged arroyo. Elizabeth turned swinging her light. She could see nothing, then she felt a blanket thrown over her. She tried to trigger off the Glock, but it was yanked from her hand. Then there was a blow to her head and then nothing.

Chapter 3

Elizabeth woke up. There were lights in her head, but there were also lights in the shallow cave she was in. Her arms were tied and stretched above her head and her hands were numb. Two men were talking Navajo in the room. Her head was spinning and she had a terrible headache. As her head cleared and her vision returned she saw they had dragged her bags into the cave and were going through everything. They had found her stash of money, her father’s little shotgun and one of them had her Glock in his belt. The other one looked over at her and they started talking English. It was almost perfect non-accented English like they might learn in a California public school. Elizabeth recognized them immediately. Cassady Jimm and Arnold Begay, the fugitives from the surfing state.

Arnold was the talker. “Good morning little lady. We feel fortunate that you came along. Don’t mind us when we take your truck and things, you won’t be with us long enough to miss them.”

Elizabeth was filled with pure fear, probably, for the first time in her life, or maybe she should say, since the snake bite. This was another time that Elizabeth, try as hard as she could, just couldn’t see a possible way out. She shook her heard and then she thought of Rolf, her beautiful dog. She remembered that he was shot and his body had fallen into the arroyo.

Arnold enjoyed toying with her. He held a hunting knife and he kept tossing it in front of her. “Little women shouldn’t be in this country. We are glad to see you, though. Your truck will carry us a long way from here. Your bones will rot in this cave and your spirit will wonder eternally through the canyons.”

Elizabeth struggled and both of the men laughed. One of the men, she thought it was Cassady Jimm said, “If she struggles enough, we might stay until morning.” Both men laughed.

Elizabeth had no illusions about what the men intended. She was sure that her end would be painful and degrading. There was no way she was getting out of this one. Kyle was right. She had no business being here alone. Elizabeth always knew she was stubborn. She knew she was difficult to get along with, but she always had gotten out of scrapes by her own hand. Until now, she truly believed she was invincible. That old song, “there was never a bull that couldn‘t be rode and there never was a rider that couldn’t be throwed, ”it kept going through her head. The men were bringing most of her archeology equipment into the cave. They were only going to keep supplies they could use. It was ironic that anything that was precious to Elizabeth, was being discarded for their pragmatism. Cassady had been looking at her for some time. He gave her the creeps. He was just cruel. He would be the one who would hurt her the most. Arnold would just rape her, but Cassady would do anything he could to cause her death to be horrible. Elizabeth thought over and over what she could do. That was the trouble, there was nothing. Elizabeth Parker, Ph.D. was going to die a horrible death away from any other living soul.

Cassady began taking off his belt and just as he was unbuttoning his pants, there was a bright light. It wasn’t a flash, but it seemed to originate from his body. When her eyes could return to seeing, there was nothing but a pile of dust. All Elizabeth could think of was Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt.

Arnold drew her Glock and began shooting out of the cave entrance. The sixteen-round magazine was soon empty. Arnold ran out of the cave and there was a bright light in the late afternoon of the desert.

Elizabeth couldn’t think what had happened. She also couldn’t think what she would do to release herself. Her adversaries had been killed, but she would still die of starvation in this cave. A beautiful sight appeared. Rolf, apparently unhurt, bounded into the cave and began to lick her face. Two men entered behind him. They were just silhouettes against the bright sky. It wasn’t until they were holding her and cutting her down, that she realized that they were Max and Michael.

She didn’t recognize them at first because they were dressed in beat up jeans and flannel shirts. Both were wearing snake-proof hiking boots and floppy-brimmed hats. Michael held her in his arms from behind as Max rubbed her wrist, bringing life back into them. Max then put his hands against her temples and, slowly, she felt her headache disappear. Michael sat her gently on the floor and all she could do was sob as she hugged Rolf’s big head.

Max gently said to her, “Are you sure you are in the right occupation?”

Elizabeth felt that old temper rising, but Max put his hands against her head and she felt her temper go down. Max smiled. He retrieved her Glock and handed it to her. Max and Michael helped her put the archeology stuff back into her truck.

Elizabeth looked at her GPS instrument. They had driven her a great distance from the canyon. Elizabeth didn’t have any idea where she was.

Elizabeth was standing against her truck when Michael and Max came out of the cave. The three of them stood. Each was waiting for the other to speak. Finally it was Elizabeth who spoke first, “What did you do to save us?”

She didn’t get much of an answer.

Elizabeth returned to her survey. It took her a day to find her way back to where she had been captured and, she supposed, where Rolf had been shot. She mapped the AR locations. Somehow her heart wasn’t in her work. Elizabeth went through her notes on the strange sights. There were indications that the canyon had been one of the locations. The trouble was that some of the landmarks were sandstone. Over one hundred years, the markers would change. Elizabeth just wasn’t sure anymore. Right now, all she wanted was to finish her survey and get back to her office. She worked diligently and she was able to shave two weeks off her schedule.

Back home, Elizabeth turned in her maps and journals. The Archeological people were happy. It was now winter so there would be three to six months before she could, again, plan to go out. Trouble was, she wasn’t sure she wanted to go out again.

“Hey, Liz,” Kyle’s voice was heard from her outer office. “I see you are back.”

Elizabeth was surprisingly pleased to hear his voice. “I am back here, Kyle.”

Kyle walked carefully back to her office, “Anything unusual happen, Liz?”

Liz cleared off a chair for Kyle. “I am thinking maybe you are right Kyle. Being in the back country alone is just not a good idea.”

Kyle looked up, “This is a surprise, the great Doctor Parker changing her mind.” Kyle sensed something was wrong. “What happened doll? Was there trouble?”

The old Liz Parker would have chewed his ears off. First, for calling her doll and then, implying that something could have happened to her. Now, she just sat in her chair and cried. She couldn’t even tell him why she was crying. Kyle, as an old friend, just sat with Elizabeth as she sobbed. She wouldn’t tell him anything, but Kyle knew for sure she wasn’t the same person that she was before.

“Liz,” that was Sam her boss, “ the AR people are pleased with your reports. They want to discuss extending your contract next summer.”

Sam, I just do not know. I think we should tell them that I will have to make a decision next spring.” It was not like Elizabeth to be that indecisive.

Sam had stopped by Elizabeth’s office several times since she got back. Usually she would have books piled high and two computer screens ablaze editing some work or the other. Lately, she was just gazing at some artifact. Her computers both were on screen saver. He was worried about her. Elizabeth would usually be the last to leave at night, but recently she would leave early. She and Rolf would get in her truck and just drive out to the foothills to watch the sun go down.

“Liz,” it was Maria, “I will be in town for a week. Can I crash at your place or do I need to get a room somewhere?”

“Of course, Maria, you are always welcome,” Liz just didn’t sound like herself.

Maria called Kyle, “Kyle, it’s Maria, have you seen Liz recently? I am going to be staying with her for a week. Can you tell me anything about her?”

“Maria, there is something wrong, but I couldn’t even get her to get mad when I was at her office the other day,” Kyle said. “She started crying when I was there and she couldn’t stop.”

When the taxi arrived at Elizabeth’s house, Maria found the normally messy front room not filled with papers and artifacts, but rather neat and sterile. She found Elizabeth sitting in the semi-dark staring out at the street.

Maria put her arms around Elizabeth. “Come on babe, tell Auntie Ria what is wrong.”

Elizabeth leaned against Maria and sobbed. “I was almost killed. I was tied and they were going to rape me. There was no way I could escape. Rolf was shot.” Liz continued sobbing. Rolf came up and put his muzzle in Maria’s lap. Maria just couldn’t understand. Here was Rolf and he certainly didn’t look like he had been shot.

Usually, Maria was a little jealous of Elizabeth’s confidence, but now Elizabeth was just quivering in Maria’s arms.

Liz babbled to Maria without making much sense. Finally, exhausted, they each went to their respective rooms and retired.

The next day, Maria went shopping while Liz just stayed home. At noon, Maria returned so excited she could barely contain herself. “Liz, Babe, we have dates for tonight. I saw that hunk, Michael, and he asked if he and his friend could come by and take us to dinner. Please, say you will go. Please, please, I already told them we would.

Elizabeth wasn’t sure. The last time she had seen Max, he had left every thing unsaid. What had he done to her? What had he done to Rolf? Who was he? What was he?

Elizabeth didn’t have much use for pretty dresses. Most of the situations, she had become involved in, were satisfied by jeans or just Levies. She did have one black, off-the-shoulder dress that was reserved for departmental formalities.

Maria, on the other hand, always packed any number of dresses for “special” occasions and she did class a date with Michael as a special occasion.

Michael had told Maria that they would pick them up at seven o’clock that evening. Maria and Elizabeth were waiting when they heard a car drive up. A few minutes and there was a knock on her door. Rolf was wagging his tale as if he knew a friend was on the other side. Max and Michael, both in slacks and sport jackets, were waiting at the door when Elizabeth opened it. Rolf went immediately to Max and whined when Max scratched his ears. Max took Elizabeth’s hand and said, “It is a pleasure to see you again, Doctor Parker.”

Michael just took Maria and hauled her in close and kissed her. This did have the effect of putting Maria into silent shock for most of the ride to the restaurant. The ride itself was revealing. Max and Michael walked the women to a dark, chauffeur driven stretch sedan. They were driven to one of the best restaurants just outside of Albuquerque at one of the casinos. There was a band, a dance floor and a Las Vegas show. Elizabeth giggled because secretly she had considered, maybe, just wearing a denim shirt and jeans. Maria acted as if this was the way she expected to be treated. As they approached their table, a beautiful tall blond in a designer dress with a good-looking man in a dark suit beside her stood up.

“May I present my sister, Isabel, and her escort, Sergeant Alex Whitman of the New Mexico State Police. Folks meet Doctor Elizabeth Parker and Maria DeLuca our guests tonight,” Max was eloquent in indicating the two women. Maria was wondering how Max rated such a sophisticated sister and Elizabeth was wondering why they were dining with a State Police officer.

“We will be joined later by an old friend of yours Doctor Parker, Deputy Kyle Valenti and his date.” Isabel announced. Elizabeth noticed that Isabel looked directly at her as she was making this announcement.

The dinner was excellent. Elizabeth, as a girl who had been raised on a cattle feed lot with beef sometimes, breakfast, lunch and dinner, luxuriated in any chance she had for a no-beef dinner, had exquisitely prepared fish. There was a warning in her mind to avoid any alcohol, which might cloud her brain later. Maria just enjoyed the lavishment afforded her both in the cuisine and the company of Michael. After the dinner, they listen to the band. Maria and Michael were soon on the dance floor. Sgt. Whitman turned to Elizabeth. “ I understand you had an encounter on the reservation last month.” Before she could answer, he thankfully continued. “Max says you confronted Cassady Jimm and Arnold Begay. I must say you are a remarkable woman of courage. To run those felons off, took real guts.”

Elizabeth just looked at Max who nodded slightly, “Yes, I guess I was fortunate,” she stated. Elizabeth sensed that there were several levels of intrigue and she was being tested. The old Elizabeth started to rise. She should tell these people what she thought of being used like a lab rat.

Max leaned forward and caressed her cheek with his hand, “Yes, we have quite a woman in our doctor Parker.” From the minute he touched her, Elizabeth relaxed.

Sgt. Whitman continued, “I must say that I find it unusual for a woman to work alone on the Reservation land.”

Max, again, reached to hold Elizabeth’s hand before she could react.

“Mostly, people are kind and helpful. This last time could have well been here in Albuquerque.” Elizabeth said softly. That was far different from what she normally would have said.

Max held on to her hand. He stood and said, “Doctor Parker, please honor me.” They waltz out onto the dance floor. “Last time we danced I had to restrain you. Am I going to have to do this again?” he whispered in her ear.

Elizabeth looked at him for a few minutes, “No, I will try to behave tonight.”

“Good, then I can concentrate my thoughts on my fantasies and not worry tonight,” Max sighed.

Always to have the last word, Elizabeth answered, “That depends on where you got those fantasies. I hope you noticed I got a canvas shower,”

By the time they returned to the table, Maria and Michael were back. The Vegas show began with dancing girls, a noted singer and a comic. Most of the group were enjoying the acts. Maria knew the singer slightly and she was always in tune to what was appreciated in music. Elizabeth just didn’t appreciate the need for scantily clad girls to stir the libido toward sex. She had the country girl’s more direct approach. She watched and listened and tried to give the impression of enjoying all of the show. Max was indulging his whole attention toward Elizabeth. He was watching how she reacted to the humor and to the dancing show. Actually, he felt the show itself was not even as good as those magazines Isabel had destroyed. When the show was over and the band returned to dance music, Kyle and his date arrived.

Kyle and his blond from sometime ago sat down. Elizabeth soon changed her evaluation of Miss Harding. She definitely wasn’t the bubble head she had tried to portray. Kyle and Sgt. Whitman were talking about incidents in the four corners area. Sgt. Whitman told Kyle of Elizabeth’s encounter with the two felons. Kyle listened but he clearly felt this story was far from complete. He could see Liz putting a round or so near the head of a drunk to encourage him to leave, but just running a felon off to prey on someone else. That just didn’t sound like his Liz! He was also curious what that monster she called Rolf was doing all of this time. Tess Harding was watching the sergeant, and Kyle both.

Maria had not taken her eyes off Michael the whole time. Michael was holding her hand and kissing her fingers from time to time. Liz was quiet while they talked about felons and about pot hunting in the Chaco area and about young archeologists single handedly pursuing their quests. The couples all broke up for one more time around the dance floor. When Elizabeth returned to the table, there was a note from Maria.

“Don’t wait up for me babe. I will be with Michael in heaven,” signed Ria.

Elizabeth, leaving with Max, found a taxi waiting for them. “Michael took the Limo. Isabel and Alex are in his official car, so I hope you don’t mind.” He informed her.

On the long way home, for some reason, Elizabeth leaned against Max’s chest with his arm around her. For the first time since she had returned, tonight, she felt comforted and that is not how she had felt earlier.

When the taxi pulled up in front of her house, Elizabeth definitely had not planned to say this, but she heard her voice say, “Would you like to come in?”

Max took her into his arms and kissed her long and hard. “Not yet, my queen, you are not ready, yet.” With this Max assisted Elizabeth out of the taxi and walked her to her door. She looked at him imploringly. This was not like Elizabeth at all. She didn’t have to beg a man to stay over, not that she ever had that many do so either. Max kissed her again and then, while she was still on the step, he left in the waiting taxi.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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chapter 4,5

Post by ken_r » Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:42 pm

Stories by ken_r
Chapter 4

Elizabeth went in and kicked off her shoes. She hung up her dress and put on her robe, then she took out a bowl of snacks for Rolf. She sat in her living room with her feet on the coffee table while throwing the small bits into the air for Rolf to catch. “What’s wrong with me, Rolf? I’ve rode a bronc, I’ve loved a bull rider, I’ve earned a PhD and what am I doing now? I’m feeling like a school girl about a man who I do not even know and who is probably a felon, guilty of something, at least. A man who was present at the two times I was certain I was going to die.”

As Elizabeth threw the tidbits, Rolf got further and further from where she was sitting. As he increased his distance, he also increased his view of the trajectory, thus he was better able to intercept them and he lost fewer and fewer in the floor. Elizabeth suddenly put the bowl in the floor and called Rolf, who gobbled them up quickly before she had a chance to change her mind. Just as Rolf could catch more tidbits as he got further back, Elizabeth needed to step back and look at her problem with these strange artifacts. Elizabeth was going to use the only weapon that had never failed her, research.

Elizabeth was up early even after the activity of the night before. She wrote a note, “Maria stay as long as you like. Keep your key and I hope to see you before you leave. Love ya always, Liz”

Elizabeth was at her office before Sam arrived. Normally. he expected this, but lately, it was luck if she even came in. “Sam, I need all we have on David Lock. He was an archeologist before Dr. Hewitt, the founder of the department. Maybe even back to the turn of the other century.” This was the old Elizabeth. Sam gave her what he had from departmental files. David Lock lived in Cimarron, New Mexico. At least he had almost one hundred years ago. Elizabeth grabbed a disc that contained phone records nationwide. She started in Cimarron and then checked Raton and other towns near by. Two hours later, she located a descendant of old David living in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Yes, he was the great-grandson of David Lock who was an archeologist and yes, he had some of the old man’s papers. Yes, he would be happy to see Dr. Parker tomorrow right after lunch.

Sam was happy. Doctor Parker was whistling and even singing to herself as she armed herself with a scanner and laptop. She and Rolf were just like old times.

At home, Elizabeth confronted the entirely, intoxicated without any chemicals, Maria. Maria was even thinking in song. Elizabeth got out the emergency ice cream and they sat down. They had gone to his apartment and they had made love so many ways and so many times that Maria couldn’t count them. Even subtracting a hefty handicap for Maria’s enthusiasm. It must have been quite a night. Maria was going to see him again tomorrow. She hoped that Elizabeth would go with her.

“Can’t, Maria, I am leaving early tomorrow morning for two or more days. You are welcome to stay as long as you want and I hope to return before you leave. Give my best to Max and explain that work called me away,” Elizabeth replied.

Elizabeth left the next morning. It was a three or four hour drive to Las Vegas. Elizabeth arrived about noon. She was to meet Lock’s great-grandson at one. Augie Lock opened the door on the second knock. Elizabeth found him to be a jovial ex-school teacher who enjoyed telling stories and was willing to share the papers and artifacts. Augie handed Elizabeth a box. “I want the university to have all of this, but I think this might be extra important,” Augie handled it with care. It was a disc with raised dots. It reminded Elizabeth of a disc for a music box, one of those boxes that have replaceable songs.

Augie had one more surprise. “I do not want to loose these, but you said you could copy them,” Augie said as he handed Elizabeth a stack of letters held together with a ribbon. “Old David wrote his wife step-by-step information about what he was doing. He wanted to share his adventures with her,” Augie smiled as he open the stack.

Elizabeth broke out the laptop and scanner. She quickly scanned the twenty or so letters. Just looking at them, they were written as a journal.

Augie was sorry to see Elizabeth go. She was a pleasant interlude in his day. He was happy to see his ascendants papers accepted where they would be appreciated. As he grew older he had become more and more aware of ridding himself of what was useless from the past and preserving, from his family, that which would have meaning, to others.

Elizabeth arrived back at her home just before midnight. The day had been long and she and Rolf were tired. The house was dark. There was a note addressed to her on her table.

“Doctor Parker, I am sorry you were not able to go with us tonight. We need to find a mutual day in which we can talk. Here is a cell number. Call me to set up a date.” Max, the man of the stars.”

It was that last line that confused her. It was almost like her fantasy, a man descending from the stars and carrying her off to dance in the heavens.

Elizabeth was too tired to think further. She carried the boxes of information into her bedroom and placed the disc in a place behind some books on the shelf. She and Rolf just passed out.

Elizabeth never knew when Maria returned that night.

It was not early when Elizabeth got up. “Rise and shine sleepyhead,” Maria was standing in her door wearing sleeping shorts and a top. “I have coffee already on and the daylight is burning.”

Elizabeth showered and dressed. She went into the small kitchen to bask in the radiance of Maria’s smile. It was obvious that her date last night had gone well. “You missed a wonderful time last night. I think that Max guy has it for you.”

“Yeah, I know. He left a note on my table. Did he come in when Michael picked you up?” Elizabeth asked.

You have that all wrong. Max wasn’t with Michael. I saw him at the bar. He was drinking alone. He just said to tell you he missed you and to tell you to wait until the time is right.

That meant that Max had been in her house. What else did he look at while he was there?

Elizabeth went to the office. She hadn’t intended to even be back today so they were surprised. They were also delighted with the papers. Dr. Hewitt had created the Department of Anthropology at UNM but there were others who had been there before him. David Lock was part of this pre-history. Sam helped put in an order to copy the Lock papers. Once they were copied, they would be in the computer with numerous backups and safe from loss. Sam was also thrilled at the artifacts Elizabeth had brought to the museum. For some reason, one that Dr. Parker had no understanding about, at the time, she didn’t see fit to mention the disc. It was five o’clock before Elizabeth had a chance to think. The papers, the orders to have them copied, the artifacts to be photographed and then assessed into the museum system were viewed the assigned tasks completed. Augie Lock had given Elizabeth a lot of homework to do. Elizabeth thought of the number on Max’s letter. She called. It was on the fourth ring that the phone was picked up. Instead of the proper salutation all she got was, “Yes?”

“Is this Max?” she asked

“Who is calling?”

“Max, this is Doctor Parker. You asked me to call you to make a date on the note you left when you broke into my house.” Elizabeth could feel herself getting mad. In the phone, she could hear Max start to chuckle.

“Doctor Parker, I can’t get away tomorrow, but do you think you could play hooky and spend the day traveling with me the next day? I would like to explain some things and show you some things that Augie Lock doesn’t know.” Max was talking in a level tone, trying not to anger Elizabeth further.

Elizabeth could feel her blood rising. That stupid son-of-a –bitch! First he breaks in to her house, then he is spying on her and now he wants to take her on a Sunday drive like a suitor. Elizabeth had the vernacular of a cowhand and she was about to use some or all of it on one Max what ever.

“Please, Liz, the time is getting closer to when we need to understand each other. Didn’t your grandmother tell you to reach for the stars?” Max spoke and then he listened.

Elizabeth just stood there with the phone in her hand. She was all ready to pin Mr. Max what ever to a corral fence. How did he know about her grandmother? What did they need to understand? She managed a weak, “Yes.”

“Great, day after tomorrow, I will pick you up at eight o’clock in the morning. Dress warmly. We will be covering a lot of country. And bring those high power glasses you have in your truck.” Max hung up.

It was well after six before Elizabeth could calm down enough to the point where Rolf would feel safe driving with her and she could drive the short distance home. Who did that… what ever think he was? She was madder at him than she had ever been at Kyle and she wasn’t even dating Max. Now why did she think that, dating Max? She whacked Rolf on the head,
“You will probably lick his hand, you traitor.” Rolf just whined and looked at his crazy mistress.

Maria had met Michael again that afternoon and she was going out tonight. Maria carefully said nothing to Elizabeth about going out with them so Elizabeth imagined this was strictly a twosome and Maria intended to get in some serious loving. When she heard the car drive up front, Maria didn’t wait for Michael to come to the door, but she ran out with a “See you, Liz,” to meet him at the curb.

Elizabeth brewed a cup of hot chocolate and wearing a tank top, shorts and wrapped in a robe she curled up with the copies of David Lock’s letters to his wife.


David had made several trips into the Chaco area at the turn of the century. He knew all about the major ruins, but he was looking for something else. He kept talking about ‘the others.’ It took Elizabeth most of the letter, but she finally learned that the others were not Indians or, as she now thought of them, Native Americans. It, so far, was not clear who the others were, but Lock had an obsession with finding out about them. Now that was something Elizabeth could understand, obsessions. David spoke so dearly about his wife. Elizabeth wondered what made him willing to leave her and travel through these lands. There were no roads in this area. There was a trail going from Albuquerque through San Isidro to Cuba and then on to Farmington. It was strictly a good weather road. Through what was called the grants, there was what is called a calichi flat. Calichi is mud that is like grease. In any moisture, the water only soaked in an inch or two and riding, walking or driving a wagon through this was like walking on a greased skillet. Horses would fall and break their legs wagons would start to slide and pull the team down. Walking, your feet would just pick up layer upon layer of mud until they were too heavy to move. It didn’t rain much there, but when it did, the world stopped. In the winter, travelers waited until night and then drove on the frozen mud, which had better traction.

David traveled by mules, one ridden and the other used as a pack animal. He had covered the canyons and, sometimes, become lost for a period of time. The Navajos remembered the ‘Long Walk’ in the 1860s and although the apache was still a problem sometimes, the area was usually peaceful. David had found a sheet of very strange metal. It was thin and you could easily crumple it in your hand, but the warmth of your hand would make it open and soon it would be flat without any creases. You could not cut it or tear it. There was nothing mentioned about what happened to it. He found plates of bronze. At first, he thought they were Spanish, but the Spanish were not known for using much bronze. They didn’t match up to anything he had seen and labeled as Spanish. He also mentioned some other writers and the fact that they had not seen anything like this or, at least, they hadn’t mentioned the fact. David mentioned a canyon and this caught Elizabeth’s attention. It was very much like the one she had found and then lost. David had stayed there until he was running low on water. He dug this site and found some carvings that did not fall into any category at that time that any archeologist knew. Elizabeth recognized one of the carvings as the one she found lost in the northwest coast collection. The metal didn’t make sense. Elizabeth didn’t feel so badly now because the site that she had lost to pothunters had been vandalized almost one hundred before whoever took it from her. Could she really call the work Lock did, as vandalizing?

Elizabeth continued reading. The biggest problem she saw was many times when Lock found things he was lost. He described landmarks which were soft usually sandstone and, thus, now eroded. Lock, wondering in these canyons this first trip, found many sites and some that were definitely not Native American. He had a thesis, but much of his proof was not verifiable. Like the famous gold mines of history, he just couldn’t get back to find the place once he had left it.


It was almost midnight when Elizabeth closed her computer, took Rolf out for a quick run and then they went to bed. No Maria, nor did she expect to see her before morning.

Elizabeth got up in the morning. It was about eight o’clock. She showered and dressed, then she peeked in on Maria. Maria was curled up in a ball, but she had a smile that Elizabeth was starting to recognize. Maria just grunted when Elizabeth said, “Hey.” Elizabeth closed the blinds, then the door before she got ready for work.

At work, she spent three hours studying the second year of Lock’s travels. His wife was getting worried and he was trying to convince her of the importance of his work. He had descriptions of a few more sites where he thought there were artifacts “not of this world,” as he had taken to calling them. It was not clear what happened between the first trip and the second that caused him to use the term, “not of this world.”

Elizabeth spent the rest of the day getting ready for her trip the next day with Max. She simply told Sam that she was going to interview a man who might know something about pot hunting.

Chapter 5

By eight o’clock, Elizabeth had been up for two hours preparing. She was taking her laptop, car cord and of course, her Glock with a box of ammo. She had her field glasses and survival pack. This helf a space blanket and several other things that she always carried, even when going out for a short time. Max drove up in a powerful mid-sized SUV. He came to the door and when she opened it, he kissed her before she could even say good morning. Elizabeth felt that temper start to rise, but Max, again, just put his hand on her head and the feeling slowly subsided. They carried her daypack and other equipment out to his truck. Max smiled and said, “Of course, the invitation included Rolf if you want him.”

Inside Elizabeth felt relieved. She didn’t like leaving Rolf, but she wasn’t sure what Max would say. They drove north and then west on U.S. highway 550. Elizabeth remembered driving this road with her father, when she was little. At that time it was New Mexico 44. She remembered, as they drove to Farmington to get fruit, seeing pickups with the sticker, “Pray for me. I drive NM 44.” At that time it was a narrow two-lane road that had crosses of death all along its boundaries. Each cross stood for a person who had died in an automobile accident. Now, Max could drive the seventy mph speed limit in relative safety. As they drove, Max said, “This road is roughly the route David Lock took with his mules. He saw what we see today, almost one hundred years ago.” Max pointed the area that was long ago called ‘the grants’ and he pointed out the white dirt that was calichi that David talked about. Now, safe travel was guaranteed by the broad pavement. When they got to Cuba, New Mexico, Max turned east and went into the mountains. Elizabeth was perplexed because Lock had always been west of Cuba. Just after entering the mountain roads, Max turned up a trail which only by being nice could you describe it as such. They drove out to a point and stopped. Putting on their coats, they got out. Bluebird mesa had suffered a fire somewhere in the early twentieth century. The topsoil had never come back. From the bare point, they could see most of the northern Navajo land and also to the four corners where the four states have a common point.

“I wanted you to see what Lock was up against. Maps show roads and trails, but looking from here, there was a lot of land to get lost in,” Max pointed out the area.

Elizabeth looked and as far as she could see there were canyons, buttes, mesas and old volcano cones. From up here there, of course you could see no markings and that is what David Lock would have faced, totally unmarked chaos.

Elizabeth leaned against Max’s strong frame. There was enough wind to blow away the pollution, but not enough to stir more dust. From here with no map and no GPS instrument, Elizabeth could readily see how David Lock was lost for much of his travels. Elizabeth did not like to lean on any man and she was surprised how comfortable it was to lean against Max.

“How do you know so much about David Lock?” she asked.

“David finally found something that he was seeking. Augie, who I have seen and talked to, has many of the old man’s papers, but David gave to those who deserved it, something else.” Max told her. It was surprising how soothing his voice was in the crisp breeze.

“What did David find?” Elizabeth was listening closely now. Maybe here would come some of her answers.

Max pulled a leather folder from the back seat of the SUV. “This is the original formal journal of David Lock given to people who most deserve it,” Max stated.

Elizabeth stared at the journal. Would it be more complete than the letters of the papers? “How did you get this Max?” she queried.

“I am descended from those who most deserved it.” Max cryptically answered. Elizabeth looked at him, but he said, “This will be clearer, later.”

They drove back off the mountain and just to the south of Cuba they took a road west. The rode was paved and listed several trading posts on signs along the way, but when the paved road turned south, they kept going straight west. Now, again, they were on a well graded, dirt road. To the north of them were sandstone mesas looking like giant upturned slabs. Max proceeded toward one of the mesas and he drove right up to the base of it. They got out and Max started walking right toward the cliff. Elizabeth, with her shorter legs, had to hustle to keep up with him. He went right up to a pile of rocks, and then, he disappeared. Elizabeth thought there was some sort of trickery until she got to leaning on the rocks. She could see a cleft in the cliff where Max was waiting. Inside it was cool and damp, which was strange for the arid country they were in. Max took out two hand lamps and gave one to Elizabeth. She could see that there was a spring coming from one side of the cave. The other side was covered with wall paintings, which the dampness, surprisingly, didn’t seem to bother.

“There, Doctor Parker, is a message from my people.” Max stood back and let Elizabeth just look at it.

They weren’t Native American. They weren’t Anasazi. They weren’t early man. Then Elizabeth thought about what they reminded her of. “Max, in my father’s book collection, he has pamphlets from World War II, they are universal language pictographs. They are instruction for non-linguistic communication.

“Very good, Elizabeth, it only took us two years to figure that out,” Max smiled.

Elizabeth was thinking, “Max who are you? Who are your people that you can’t link yourselves to the indigenous people who have lived here for centuries? Where did you come from?”

Max chuckled, “Well, we came recently from the outskirts of Roswell. All we know more than that is we certainly aren’t from around here.” Max put down a blanket on a rock bench on the dry side of the cave. He sat down and patted the blanket beside him. Elizabeth sat beside him.

“Once upon a time long ago, four naked children were found in the hills just north of Roswell. They were found by two men who were, at the time working at White Sands Missile Range. The men thought something was strange so they didn’t want the government to know anything about the children. They took the children home, quit their jobs and, with their wives, they moved to California where they felt anything strange wouldn’t be noticed. Each family took a boy and a girl to raise. They always lived close to each other and when the children were old enough, they explained their story and the fact that the four children were probably related. Each child could do something different. One could fight and, later, he learned to control strong forces. One could bend minds to see what she wanted. One could see into dreams and create dreams and feelings. One could heal.” Max turned Elizabeth so she was looking at him. “One was told by a grandmother that he could take a beautiful woman to be his lover.”

Elizabeth jumped up before Max could touch her. Right now she wanted the old Elizabeth, she wanted the comfort of a temper tantrum. “Max, you tell me a damned fairy tail! You insult my intelligence! You are probably wasting my time! And, how the hell do you know anything about my grandmother?”

“Elizabeth, you are a beautiful woman. You have a sharp and ready mind, but your language and your tantrums do not become you. You were dying. You were snake bitten. For two days, I was you. I had to feel everything you ever felt. I had to see everything you saw and I had to suffer through every tantrum you ever threw. Liz, I know what it was to love a bull rider. I know what you felt later, after talking to your father. I know that you and Kyle do nothing but hurt each other. I know that you take chances just like that bull rider did to prove something nobody cares about.” Max was just getting warmed up and he didn’t want to give Elizabeth a chance to get a word in. “I was exhausted when I healed you. Michael drove you to Crown Point. Isabel couldn’t stand my language for a week after I was in your mind. I took a bullet out of Rolf’s heart and didn’t even feel tired, but you completely exhausted me. All the while, I kept remembering the sight of you drying in the sun on that sandstone rock.”

Max sat down. It was almost as if talking to Elizabeth in person was as exhausting as healing her had been many months ago. Elizabeth sat down beside him with her face in her hands. “Max am I that bad?” she asked.

“Yes, Liz, your are, but you are also so beautiful, so intelligent and have a heart very deep down that is so loving that everything else can be forgiven, at least by me.

Max and Elizabeth stood up. He folded the blanket and they walked out of the cave. Rolf was under the SUV and he came out. He had been drinking the cool water from the spring and was feeling pretty good. It was pleasant in his doggy mind to see the two people he most loved together.

“Elizabeth, I need you to call your boss and Maria and tell them you will be gone one more day. Can you do this for me?” Max wasn’t really sure she would even speak to him.

Elizabeth nodded and they drove to Cuba to make the call. From there, they drove to Farmington.

They pulled into the driveway of a old, but fairly large house. Max parked in front and they went in. “This house is in Isabel’s name, but we all live here from time to time. Isabel employs a household staff to run the house. It is a place where we can all meet when we have to. This week Michael is, of course, with Maria. Isabel and Tess are somewhere so if you are not afraid to be alone with me, we have the place mostly to ourselves. I want you to meet everyone as who we really are, but I also want you to be more comfortable with the idea of aliens before we deal with everything else.

Max took Elizabeth into a room. It was furnished with a bed and dressing table. He pointed to a door down the wide hall. “That is a shower and bathroom. Isabel was figuring that you would come eventually so in that closet are clothes that should fit.” He pointed to one of several doors.

“With all of the doors do you have company often?” Elizabeth said with a bit of acid.

Max just shrugged, “Sometime or the other I imagine Michael has asked Isabel to make a closet for Maria. I would expect that he wants to bring her here someday.”

“How many closets has Isabel arranged for you?” Elizabeth was feeling that old temper rising. Did he think that she would be that easy?

Max turned and walked out saying, “I only have one fantasy and she has a canvas shower.”

Elizabeth opened the door indicated. There was a small chest that held underclothes, all of very high quality. There was a drawer that held nylon hose and one with pantyhose. Hanging from the rack were several dresses. Elizabeth took one of them out to look at it. It was by a well-known designer and worth much more than she would ever spend on clothes for the whole year. She could buy Levies for the rest of her life for less than that dress cost. She flipped through the dresses. She was surprised that some of them were low cut and what her father would have called risqué. There were others that were a lot more demure. She found several pairs of slacks, blouses and plain shirts. There were even several pair of Levis. In one corner, she found a shoe rack. Where she found several pairs of high heels, some loafers and some running shoes. She found a pair of high quality walking shoes and a pair of snake proof hiking boots. She also found two pairs of fancy cowboy boots. The cowboy boots, hiking boots and walking shoes all were of a soft, leather that would take very little break-in time. On a shelf, she found a ten X Stetson and an Australian floppy hat.

How long did they expect her to stay and how free was she going to be?

Elizabeth took out a fresh pair of underwear some ankle socks, a pair of slacks and a soft shirt. She proceeded down the hall to the bathroom. She found it large and the shower was powerful. Shampoo and other toiletries were in a small bag hanging just inside. She noticed a small “E” “P” stenciled on the bag. The powerful shower was stinging on her skin. She looked around and wondered if there was a hidden camera somewhere to fulfill Max’s fantasies. She dressed and, wearing loafers, went back downstairs to a sitting room. This whole house reminded her of something out of a British novel. She expected to smell pipe smoke and see a man in a deerstalker hat somewhere in the house. Max came down wearing loose slacks, loafers with no socks and a shirt opened at the throat.

“What kind of operation are you running? There are enough clothes for me to stay a week.” Elizabeth said.

Max looked up hopefully, “Do you want to stay a week? It would be very easy to arrange.”

Rolf walked into the room licking his chops. Obviously he had been fed. He whined at Max and then returned to Elizabeth to sit by her side.

“Max, am I being held here?” Elizabeth inquired.

“Of course not, Liz. If you were to insist, I could put you on a plane and you could be at the Albuquerque airport in a few hours. You would probably have to wait a couple of days before someone drove to Albuquerque to take Rolf home, but he would be well cared for until then.” Max was so matter of fact that Elizabeth became even more confused. Here was where she always felt more comfortable with a temper tantrum.

“After dinner, I want to show you the artifacts we have collected so far and answer any questions that I can,” Max always made everything sound so ordinary. She, Elizabeth Parker, taking a one day trip that had already expanded to overnight in a mansion, told that “not of this world” was a phrase that was considered normal, told that her whole soul had been exchanged as the price of saving her life and also told that she should change her language and stop her displays of bad temper. Yes, she, Elizabeth Parker, was a bit overwhelmed.

At dinner, she was offered a baked fish of some sort. There were some sort of bi-valves on a half shell with a light salad and a lemon dressing. She was offered a light sherry and there was nothing she could complain about. Dessert was taken in the sitting room, a very sweet pastry off set with a slightly bitter coffee served with a thick cream.

Max asked if she smoked and she declined. Years of trying to make out with tobacco-chewing cowboys had left her with no desire to taste tobacco. Max smiled and she noticed that he had no inclination to smoke either.

Max chuckled, “That site we stole from you was a bust. There were no discernable artifacts in that pit.”

It was Elizabeth’s turn to smile, “Now, I know. David dug that site one hundred years ago. That is where he got the artifacts held by the museum.”

“We, however, are looking for something, a disc with little rises on it.” Max brought out a machine. This is an adaptation from an identi-tag scanner. It was made by the others. Max plugged a composite video cord into the machine and turned on the television. He took out a disc much like the one Elizabeth had hidden and slid it into the machine. The TV had lines for a second, then it showed a picture of flying machines that had never before been seen on Earth. Max turned the machine off. “It would go on for ten hours. We are told that each disc has one hundred terabytes of information. Liz, we think there are more discs out there. We have found two. They are the first view we have had of our culture.”

Elizabeth, for the same reason or lack of reason, that she didn’t tell the university about the disc Augie Lock gave her, didn’t say anything now.

Max brought out some carvings. They were the same sort of pictographs that she had seen on the wall. Max handed Elizabeth a copy of papers. They were copies of the pictographs from the wall. They were loose leaf so they could be arranged to look for some sort of syntax.

Elizabeth sat the papers down. “Max, if you wanted to show me all of this why didn’t you ask me to plan on a several day trip?”

“I wanted to, but the others wanted you to pass several tests before I confronted you with all of this information. Remember, that I was you for two days. I believed in you.” Max was almost apologetic.

“Where did I pass the test?” Elizabeth asked.

“You have been passing them all day. We now think you should be told more about David Lock.” Max informed.

Max stood up, “We may have a hard day tomorrow. We probably should prepare for bed.” He extended his hand and taking that of Elizabeth he led her up stairs. Rolf followed them. Max bent and kissed Elizabeth and murmured “Good night, my queen, may the stars watch over you.” Elizabeth and Rolf went into their room. Elizabeth looked through the closet. She couldn’t find anything simple like the shorts and top she was used to. She did find five luxurious nightgowns. It was either this or panties and bra. Elizabeth took down one of the nightgowns. It would have to do. Elizabeth hadn’t worn a gown since she was a child. She was surprised at how it made her feel. The limp cloth fell like water over her skin. It was almost like being naked, except that she knew she was covered. She also found a heavy dressing robe, which she set out on the chair beside the bed. Rolf took up residence across the doorway. Elizabeth wasn’t sure if she was disappointed or not. There were not many cowboys who could be alone with an available woman without making at least some effort to be in bed with her. She knew Max was interested because you didn’t kiss your sister like he had kissed her. Max had twice told her, “When the time is right.” What the hell did that mean? Then, Elizabeth was embarrassed. Max had told her that her outbursts of swearing were not becoming to her. Maybe he didn’t think she was good enough for him. She had never had a man think that before. Right, as if she had lovers lining up through out her life. Elizabeth was willing to believe that Max was the man from the stars. What was he waiting for? Was there something she was supposed to do?

There was a soft knock on her door. Elizabeth woke up. Rolf whined. “Liz, it is seven o’clock. It is time to get up. Elizabeth got up and she found her clothes from yesterday laundered and folded by the door. Rolf hadn’t made a sound. He was getting to be quite a traitor where these people were concerned.

Stories by ken_r
Last edited by ken_r on Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Obsessed Roswellian
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chapter 6,7

Post by ken_r » Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:11 pm

Stories by ken_r

Chapter 6

Elizabeth showered, dressed and, along with Rolf, came down to the sitting room. Max was waiting for her. They had a quick breakfast of coffee and pastries. Max poured Rolf a bowl of dog food. Max had packaged the pictographs that Elizabeth was to take back to UNM.

Max and Elizabeth sat on the patio with hot coffee. The air was brisk. Elizabeth clutched her jacket. “We four kids who were found outside of Roswell and raised in California were contacted by people ‘not of this world.’ We have a list of things we need to find. We have been given resources that finance our efforts. The others are those who contributed our DNA. Hence, those we are descended from,” Max was informing Liz.

“Then what? Do you fly back to some star system or the other,” Elizabeth inquired.

“No, we were engineered to live in Earth’s atmosphere. We can’t leave. “We may form unions with Earthlings or we can just die,” Max was talking as if he was giving simple instructions for a stew.

“What do you mean, just die?” Elizabeth was frowning.

“We are engineered to either form permanent liaisons with Earth people, or just wither from loneliness,” Max just shrugged. “They didn’t want to start another race. They just want our genes to be absorbed into the gene pool.

Max took her to a room where there were boxes of artifacts stored. She saw that some of them were Anasazi. Max grimaced, “Those were taken accidentally. That is why we need a professional to review our collections. We only want what belongs to the others not pieces of Earth’s history.” They spent most of the morning looking at the collections.

The drive back to Albuquerque took about 4 hours. Elizabeth found that talking to Max was easy unless she tried to dig personal information out of him. Then he would just say, “Doctor Parker the time is just not right.” When Max dropped her off at her house, he tenderly kissed her. It wasn’t like the kiss she would have received from a bull rider. She decided that it had to be an alien kiss of passion. Once Max had gone, the old Elizabeth Parker was freed from the effect of his touch. What the hell did that dumb bastard think he was doing! He took her to a romantic hideaway twice and he didn’t touch her. Well, it might have been difficult to call that cave a romantic hideaway, but that mansion! Something should have happened there. Elizabeth was having trouble with her intellectual side because it kept telling her, yes, something did happen. You found out what that disc was. You found out that there are people not of this world. Back to that damn disc again. Elizabeth wished that there was a high priest of archeology because she, badly, was in need of a confession about that damned disc. Why hadn’t she given it to the museum or why hadn’t she told Max about it? She felt that she had betrayed both parties. How was she to obtain absolution? What the hell did that… Max told her that these outburst were unbecoming to her. Did that mean anything?

Elizabeth checked some books out of the UNM library that discussed non-linguistic communication. Most of these dated from W.W.II. . Elizabeth was interested in how they developed language-free communication. These all showed symbols that, it was hoped, were obvious in their meaning. She found by studying that culture still implied some of the meaning, hence, the not of this world, not of any known culture meant that you still needed a Rosetta stone solution.

Elizabeth came home to a thoroughly worn out Maria. Maria said the smile was permanent and would never wash off. Michael fulfilled all of her dreams. She was going to dedicate the next year to writing songs celebrating their relationship. Ordinarily, it would be Maria who would be plying the universal truth serum of ice cream to learn about Elizabeth’s stay overnight with a handsome man. Tonight she couldn’t keep her own feet on the ground long enough to interrogate anyone else. Maria hoped she had packed all of her things to return to her home tomorrow.

Isabel had first met the good-looking sergeant of the New Mexico State Police a year ago. She learned he was single and had been in the northwest district for several years. At first, her aim was simple seduction. Isabel did not have the limits her brother had placed upon himself. Alex Whitman was a college educated man who, through boredom, had applied to the NMSP and found he not only enjoyed his work, but he had a talent for managing men and solving crime. The State Police, in a state like New Mexico, are solitary men. Some of them spend days away from their stations. They learn to be very resourceful or, if they can’t take it, they transfer to some city job. Alex had a vivid imagination and he enjoyed indulging it when he was driving the long stretches of southwestern highway. He had met the beautiful Isabel at a motel dining room in Farmington. She had some questions about law, he couldn’t remember what they were, but they fell into conversation. The next time they met was when he was at a meeting in Albuquerque. He felt that it must have been fate that brought her to him twice. The third time, he asked her to dinner and dancing on his day off. He learned that she represented a company that did business in the four corners area and down to the I-40 freeway on both the New Mexico and Arizona sides of the border. He never learned exactly what she was doing, but he did run a criminal check on her which came back negative. They were in bed together by the second official date. Isabel, on her part, found that rather than seducing Alex, she had seduced herself. She really liked the slim, self-sufficient sergeant. Shrinking violets didn’t make it in the state police force. He had a way of making her feel very secure when they were together. She had introduced him to Doctor Parker. He had been surprised, even shocked, at the diminutive figure she presented. It was not lost on Alex that it was Isabel who told Doctor Parker’s story. He noticed that deputy Valenti, who apparently had some history with the good doctor, didn’t feel comfortable with it either. He made it a point to talk with the deputy later.


“Liz can shoot. She handles that little Glock better than half our force. She would scare off a simple drunk, but if she was confronted by Jimm or Begay, she would not just scare them away. They would be coyote food and not be left to prey on someone else. I also will tell you, right now,” Kyle looked Alex right in the eye, “If I find those bodies, I am not going to be any part of prosecuting Doctor Parker.”

Kyle had a good reputation as an efficient deputy, but Alex believed him about this last part.

Alex had been to the Farmington mansion several times. There was a staff, but he never met anyone else who supposedly lived there. Isabel had stated that the mansion was part of the corporation and used by members when they were in the four corners area. He was also taken with the fact that the room he shared with Isabel had a closet with slacks, levies, shirts and underware all in his size. He asked her if other closets held clothes for her other lovers. Then he was sorry because a genuinely hurt expression came across her face. On his next vacation, Isabel apparently being able to take off when ever she wanted, they toured Las Vegas, Nevada and then they took a photographic tour through the canyon lands and down into the Navajo reservation on the Arizona side. Alex was surprised at Isabel’s ability at photography and also her dexterity of analyzing the pictures every night on a laptop. Alex was torn between his love for the beautiful Isabel and worry that she was up to something criminal. She clearly was the most wonderful thing that had happened to him, but if she was involved in any crime, he had either to take her down or bail out of their relationship before she destroyed him. He told her he had investigated her, but she just smiled and, as she was kissing him, said she understood and when he had removed any mistrust, they could move on with their relationship, what ever that meant.

Kyle knew exactly where he stood when he was with Elizabeth. He always stood behind a barrier that would deflect what ever she threw at him. He loved the little lady, but their relationship was approaching abuse and he was the object of that abuse. He would still do anything for her he could but when he wanted love, he didn’t want pain with it. Tess confused him. He had met her at a bar. She had seemed, at first, to be just a simple pickup. She had a beautiful body and she didn’t throw any thing or get mad that much. As their relationship continued, he sensed that she was a much more involved woman. She was a lot smarter than he had, at first, given her credit. Kyle didn’t mind smart women. He still loved Liz a little, but that was now over. Tess worked for some corporation that was headquartered in Farmington. She had some interest in Indian land, but she seldom traveled in the backcountry her self. She visited museums a lot. She talked about appointments with high-level officials at these museums through out the southwest. She visited many antique stores, especially in small towns. She was always ready to go dancing either at the Hitching Post or one of the casinos just outside Albuquerque. Tess never questioned Kyle about his work, but Kyle had that cop, gut feeling, that she paid a lot more attention to what he did, than she appeared to. Kyle, with Elizabeth, had been a free spirit. He had few fantasies of ever settling down with her, but he was thinking about making his relationship with Tess a long-term arrangement. She didn’t mind his irregular hours. In fact, she seemed to always be ready to welcome him back into her arms, when ever he was available.

What could you say about Michael? He always considered that he must be ready to protect all of them. When the four children were split up he was placed with Tess. They both developed their powers stronger than either Isabel or Max. True, Isabel could dream walk and she could manipulate dreams and thoughts, but in other powers, Michael and Tess could beat her every time. Max seldom ever used his powers, except for healing. Michael could and did kill. At first, this hurt him, but he learned that he was a barrier that stood between the other aliens and danger. What about Maria? Simple, Michael loved Maria and that was it. He realized that this was dangerous to himself. Because of the intensity of their relationships, engineered aliens once passing a certain level of intensity were incapable of forming another relationship. They considered their love forever. Michael had all ready passed that point. Isabel and Tess were getting close. They both had tasted human affection, but when they became as intense as they were getting, with their respective lovers, they both knew it had to be reciprocated and eternal or they would die.

It was Max that usually was the most intense, but now he seemed to be the one being the most cautious. Twice, he had a chance to seduce or at least accept, the love freely offered and he had chosen to wait both times.

It was rare that the four aliens met at the house in Farmington at the same time. The household staff were used to the strange comings and goings. They were paid well, but they also feared the strange gringos. They just didn’t know how right the term gringo fit these four people, gringo meaning stranger, the Greek among us.

Max might be descended from a king, but it was Isabel who ruled the group here. She called the meeting to order. They were most interested in how much they would be able to call upon the small archeologist, Doctor Parker.

Max announced, “I have shown Liz the pictographs, she was able to pick up what they were immediately. I showed her the disc and what it could do. I told her my status about being not of this world and she wasn’t surprised. I showed her our journal from David Lock.” Max went on, “I do not expect that we can count on her to help us in the field. She will consider it a conflict of interest, but if we get artifacts I think she will help us study them.”

The Aliens turned to Isabel. “I am close to the point of no return. I also have the most fragile situation. Alex could get transferred any time. Then, I will either have to give up on love or I will have to follow him. He is investigating me, but I think he is also falling for me as I am for him.

They turned to Tess. “As humans go, Kyle is better than others I have met.” This was important because Tess had tried more human relationships than any of the others. She wasn’t easily impressed. “ Kyle is still a little bet in love with Liz, but he knows they would end up killing each other. I think he is content to just be her friend.”

Michael just shrugged and said, “I have stopped looking.”

The aliens did not know that the crux of their lives turned on an incident that had nothing to do with aliens. Sergeant Alex Whitman was leading a raid, well, narcotics was initially leading it, but Sgt. Whitman was leading the uniformed officers. The raid, as most raids go, went badly. A guard who was supposed to be positioned elsewhere, woke up and saw the line of men descending upon the building. He slipped inside and gave the alarm.

The narcotic agent in charge tossed in a flash-bang. This was a grenade that did little damage, but made a sharp noise and bright magnesium flash. It usually incapacitated un-prepared personal. Trouble was these people were prepared. Their eyes watered, their noses bled, and their hearing was severally impaired. They still got off several shots when the uniforms stormed the door. Alex caught one bullet in the vest and one in the side. The one in the side turned a broken rib and punctured the lung.

Alex was in trouble. They rushed him to a Santa Fe hospital. It was the bullet in the vest that broke the rib and the bullet in the side hit it just right to do the damage.

Kyle and Tess were eating at a restaurant in Rio Rancho. He received a phone call about the sergeant.

Kyle came back to Tess and showed how worried he was. Police always know that it could very well be them next. “Alex got shot and a bullet got around the vest. He is in critical condition.”

Tess immediately grabbed her phone and called Isabel. Kyle didn’t even know that she knew Isabel more than casually. “Isabel, Alex has been shot. We are heading to Santa Fe. Get Max.”

They drove quickly, Tess just looking ahead. “I did not know you even knew Isabel and Alex that well,” Kyle said.

“Yes, it is complicated. Isabel is an executive in the corporation I work for. She has been talking about Alex a lot recently,” Tess answered, but not convincingly.

When they arrived at St. Vincent’s hospital, Isabel was waiting. Beside her was Max, dressed as a Catholic priest. “Kyle you have to get Max in to see Alex, now!” Isabel insisted.

“Isabel, I don’t know. The doctors are pretty good, here,” Kyle was saying.

“Kyle, they are not good enough. I am begging you to get Max in to see him now.” She was panicking.

Tess took Kyle’s shoulders and turned them so he was looking her in the eye. “Just tell them father Sanchez wants to pray for him.” She said intensely.

Kyle looked at Max who looked so pious holding his Bible. “All right, let’s give it a try.”

They approached the nurse. Kyle was still in uniform. “ Ma’am, could father Sanchez get in to see Sergeant Whitman? He wants to pray over him.”

The Nurse sniffed, looking at her chart. “ It says here, he is Methodist.

Kyle looked apologetic. “His girl friend is Catholic and she is about to have a breakdown. Could you please allow him a few minutes.”

The nurse sniffed again, “Well, I guess help from anywhere could not hurt.” She led Max into the care room and he looked at her, “A moment of privacy please.”

The nurse left and Max quickly looked into Alex’s soul. It was relatively easy. At least, it wasn’t another snake bite. Max was thorough, leaving just enough of the wound to heal naturally.

On his way out, he bowed to the nurse. “Thank you my child,” he said.

Max and Isabel left quickly. Kyle sat with Tess just looking. “Tess, I think I need to know what is going on.”

Tess took both of his hands and turned him to face her, their knees touching as they sat on the hospital couch. “ Kyle, look at me. Now think carefully, do you love me?”

Kyle looked at her as if he had never seen her before in his life. “What is this all about, Tess.”

Tess shook his hands, “No, Kyle answer me. Do you love me? I mean it, if you don’t, walk away right now. Do I fulfill all of your fantasies? Do I make you happy? Now, tell me you love me or just walk out.”

Kyle was confused, last time he looked, he was with Tess and not Liz. Yes, Tess, I think I love you.”

“No, no, Kyle not think! Either say you love me or walk away.” Tess had never given him an ultimatum like that before. If it had been Liz, this would have precipitated a fight. But, it was Tess. She seldom asked much of him and yes, he did love her.

“Yes, Tess, I love you.” Kyle finally said.

Tess grabbed him and hugged him crying. “Oh, everything will be all right now! I won’t have to go away without you. Kyle, take me home,” she sobbed.

Kyle took her home and they made mad, mad love. He still didn’t understand.

Doctor Elizabeth Parker was deep in her pile of papers, computers and artifacts. She was working on the Lock papers and also some old journals from surveys in the Navajo area. As usual, she was abrupt and sometimes rude when she was disturbed.

“Doctor Parker, may I talk to you?” a strained voice came through the door.

She started to shout some sort of blasphemy to run him off. Then, something in the strained quality of his voice made her come up from all the papers and look at him. He was the tall State Policeman who she had met with Isabel that night Max took her to dinner. He was not the same man. He was in slacks and his breathing was labored. He was thin and walking with a cane. Elizabeth, out of compassion, put down her work and scrambled across the mess to the door where he stood. He seemed in pain, so she took him to the lounge they had in the office building. Seated, he looked at her and said, “Could we go get some coffee or something where we could talk?”

It was getting late in the afternoon and Elizabeth would be thinking about going home anyway. “Did you bring a car?” she asked.

He nodded yes. Elizabeth gave him her address, “We can talk at my house. There is some chili from last night in the frig, if you’d like it.”

The officer smiled, “Fine, I will meet you there.”

Elizabeth called Rolf from under the desk, They got into her pickup. just beating the plain unmarked car to her house. She ushered the officer into her house and sat him down at her table while she warmed the chili. Once two bowls were poured and cold drinks set on the table she sat down and Alex began to talk.

“I was shot last week. It was a freak accident. One bullet hit my vest and broke a rib. This is not unusual. The second bullet went just outside of my vest and turned the broken rib so it cut my lung. This is unusual. I was going to die.” Alex was talking in between bites of the chili. “My girl friend’s brother, Max, was there. Now, I am alive.”

Elizabeth was toying with her spoon. “What does this have to do with me?”

Alex put down his spoon, “I think you are a person who knows what it is like to be saved by Max.” Alex continued, “Isabel called and left word for me to see her as soon as I am up and about, but I want more information before I face her. What can you tell me about the people surrounding Isabel?”

“I was bitten by a rattlesnake. Max said it took two days and was one of the hardest things he had ever done to save me.” Elizabeth said.

“What I need to know is, are they involved in crime?” Alex asked.

“They may be pot hunting, but they don’t consider it antiquities that they are hunting. More than that, I can’t tell you.” Elizabeth replied.

“What does Kyle have to do with them. He was there with Max when he healed me.” Alex announced.

This time, it was Elizabeth’s turn to be shocked. “I didn’t know Kyle had anything to do with Max?” she returned.

Alex stood and walked to the door. “What happened to Cassady Jimm and Arnold Begay, Miss Parker?”

“They tied me up and were going to rape and kill me. Michael turned them to dust.” Elizabeth said with out thinking she would be believed.

“Makes more sense than what Isabel was telling.” With that, Sergeant Whitman left.

The old Elizabeth was again emerging, “Hello, is Kyle there? This is Liz I need to talk to him,” she had dialed Kyle’s number.

“Yes, Liz, what can I do for you?” she heard Kyle’s voice say.

“Kyle, what happened to Sergeant Whitman?” Liz tried to keep her voice level.

“He was shot in a drug raid two weeks ago,” came the reply.

“What do you have to do with Isabel and Max?” Liz cautiously inquired.

Kyle chuckled, “It seems that Tess works for Isabel.”

That night just before she retired, Elizabeth got a call from Maria, “Hey, Babe, I just want you to know I am coming through Albuquerque, but I won’t be staying. Michael is picking me up and we are driving to a house they have in Farmington. I just wanted you not to think I was avoiding you.”

It was business as usual. Usual, that is for Elizabeth now that she seemed over her depression. Rolf was safely under her desk. She had two computers fired up. On one, she had summery information on UFO sightings at the turn of the twentieth century. She was checking a highly suspect site, but it was all she had. There were a few stories about people in the west seeing mysterious lights. On the other, she had a disc running on Navajo myths and stories. She was looking for anything that might relate to other world contact. She had a chart she had printed of meteor sightings at the turn of the century. She had a stack of micro films of newspapers from nineteen-hundred to nineteen-twenty. She had printed out the letters of David Lock to his wife for the third year.

The Third year, David Lock was even more desperate to find artifacts from those not of this earth. He implored his wife not to give up on him. He promised that this would be the last year he would search. He told her he had seen something. He wouldn’t tell her what, but he said that it proved that “They were here.” Lock had been traveling just south of the butte known as shiprock or Tsé Bit' A'í as the Navajo called it. The Navajo believe that disturbing the rock will unsettle the spirits or ch’iidii, which are the bad part to a person left after death. The Navajo were not too happy about Lock messing around the butte. He talked about lights seen at night in this area. Elizabeth looked at the date on these letters and realized it was nineteen hundred-three. That meant Lock had started in the field in nineteen hundred. The Albuquerque paper was little more than a three page sheet at this time. She read the papers starting in April of the year nineteen hundred-three. Some time in the June issue there was a tongue-in-cheek article about residents in the northwest part of New Mexico seeing mysterious lights. The paper had several theories: too much drinking, ignorant ranchers, and night riders trying to scare the Hispanic farmers away from farms on the San Juan river.

There were three more letters after this one. Elizabeth noticed that the letters became more difficult to read. They tended to ramble and the spelling was worse. It was almost as if David Lock was becoming intoxicated by something. Elizabeth looked at the University papers that Sam had procured for her. Nineteen hundred four listed David Lock as teaching history at the University.

Just before Elizabeth was ready to leave her office for home, she received a call, “Doctor Parker would you be free for dinner tonight? This is Max.”

Elizabeth felt that temper rising. Who did he think he was calling this late and expecting her to just jump to go out to dinner with him. She was about to tell Max this when he said, “Yes, I do expect you to drop everything when it is me who has some of your answers. Tell you what, I will pick you up at seven. Slacks will be fine. We are not going any place fancy,” he hung up. Elizabeth tried to generate a whopper tantrum. She found she just couldn’t. Maybe, he would have some answers.

Chapter 7

At seven o’clock sharp, Elizabeth was ready. She had on a pair of slacks and a western shirt. This business of dating a non-cowboys was going to make her have to start a real wardrobe. She had one party dress and she had worn it to the casino date that night. She wasn’t sure how many pairs of slacks she had. She was so used to only wearing jeans and Levies. She was digging into her mind about why she cared how she looked for that conceited alien? Conceited alien, words that just tripped off her tongue, like she said them every day. A year ago, she wouldn’t even have believed anyone who said they had seen an alien. Little more than six months ago, if there hadn’t been any aliens, she would have been dead twice over. How do you die twice over?

Max knocked at the door. Again Rolf only whined and when Elizabeth opened the door, he licked Max’s hand. Rolf, sensing that Elizabeth was going out without him, went back into her bedroom and lay down on the rug. Max laid his wrist on her shoulder, his hand ready to touch her neck, “Liz, I must say that you look almost as good as my fantasy.” As she started to become slightly flushed, he touched her and it just didn’t seem important enough to get mad.

Max took them to a small Mexican restaurant. He had already paid the owner one hundred dollars for their dinners and relative privacy for the entire evening until closing. They were seated in a dark corner. The waitress brought a drip candle in a wine bottle. Max seated Elizabeth and they ordered. The food came and they proceeded to eat. Max made it clear that he wanted to wait until they were finished.

“Max, what did you do to Sergeant Whitman?” Elizabeth started her line of questions.

“I traced the bullet, patched the lung and left just enough so the hospital would not get suspicious. It was a lot easier than working on your snakebite.” Max replied. “He will be sore for a while and as soon as he is released from his doctor, I will go back and remove his pain.”

“Max, how many aliens are there?” Liz queried next.

“In our group, there are four. Michael, Isabel, Tess and myself,” Max listed what he knew. “We have never met them, but there may be other groups.”

“What do you mean by allways saying, ‘When the time is right?’”

“Liz, because of the way I was made, I have one chance to fall in love. If she turns me down or doesn’t reciprocate, then I will just have to die alone.” Max sadly related.

“What about the other four?” Liz herself was perplexed.

“Tess has experimented many times, but when she gets passionate, she will only have one chance. I believe she and Kyle are near that point,” Max conceded. “Isabel and Sergeant Whitman are near if he forgives her for deceiving him. If not, Isabel will waste away. Michael is satisfied that he has found his love.”

Elizabeth was uncomfortable with what she saw as an obvious implication. She changed the subject. “What is it your corporation does?”

“We search for the artifacts on the list. Then we send them to the others for transport.” Max seemed to be forthcoming as she interrogated him.

“What is my purpose, Max?” Elizabeth finally faced the implication she had felt. “Why do I feel you are pursuing me?”

“Your purpose? You would be requested to assist us in understanding some of the artifacts. We would not ask you to take part in any of the pot hunting and we would not disturb any antiquities that we can avoid. We need you to evaluate all of the papers to find more of the discs which is a primary interest to the others.” Max folded his napkin and looked at Elizabeth.

“Max, you mentioned all of the other aliens of your group as if they have already formed couples. Who are you coupling with?” Elizabeth felt that there was a lot more to his interest than just hiring her to be their archeologist.

Somehow, the evening passed without Max answering Elizabeth’s last question.

As their time ran out, Max stood up and helped Elizabeth. They walked out to his SUV with his arm around her and her head resting on his chest.

At her doorway, Elizabeth was unclear what she wanted. Max solved the problem. “Liz, the time is running out, but it is still not right.” Max kissed her and when he turned to go back to his truck, Elizabeth saw that he was dragging his feet. She felt very sorry for him and she couldn’t understand why. He could have pushed her tonight and she doubted if she would have been able to refuse. There had to be something she was doing wrong. When Elizabeth opened her door, Rolf was there to meet her, but she could swear that he frowned at her. Even Rolf thought she was doing something wrong.

The next morning Elizabeth and Rolf were back at her office. Elizabeth was sure now that David had met the others and something had happened. He had gone home and back to his teaching post.

Sam knocked on her door jam. The door was open, but he waited in the doorway until she answered from where ever she was hidden. “Liz, the Archeological Research Board wants you to give them an answer this next week about going out on another survey.”

Elizabeth popped her head up from behind a stack of books. “I will make a decision next week. Ah… Sam, I am thinking about taking a year off. There is an opportunity for me to work for a private museum to study an unusual collection. I do not want to quit, but this might be a chance to change my direction.”

Sam knew that many things were bothering Elizabeth. She had almost died twice in the field. Maybe, she was having some serious considerations about her life. He, also, knew that she had broken off from a serious relationship to go on her first survey.

That evening, Elizabeth went home. She took out the bronze disc and looked at it. She went to the pile of papers on her desk. It took an hour, but she finally found the original letter Max had left on her table. Elizabeth called the number on the paper. She got voice mail. “Max, call me when you have a chance. I seriously want to go back to Farmington for a few days. This is Liz.”

Sergeant Alex Whitman was still on leave. It would probably be sometime before he got back to work. He had visited the psych board and they asked him to think about whether he wanted to return or take retirement. He needed to see someone he cared about deeply. He needed to see Isabel. Alex had a number that was to be used for emergences to contact Isabel. She had left it with him before he left the hospital. Seeing the Parker woman did not clear up anything for him. She even seemed to have more questions than he did. At least Alex knew that he didn’t have to worry about Jimm and Begay. There was no way he could report this to is office, he imagined saying, “Hey, quit looking for those felons. They have been reduced to component parts or what ever these people did to them.” A policeman was supposed to always reserve justice for the court, but Alex, when he had met Doctor Parker, was glad she didn’t have to face people like them again. Sometimes, you just let nature take its course. Were these people natural? Who were Isabel and her family?

Sergeant Whitman left a message at the number Isabel had given him. It was almost six hours before he had an answer. The answer was not Isabel. “Sergeant, go to the airport. A ticket has been bought in your name for Farmington. Take whatever you might need for a week’s stay,” the voice was neutral. Alex couldn’t really tell if the voice was male or female.

Landing at the small Farmington airport, he was met by Isabel. She briefly kissed him and they quickly drove to the house he had been to so many times before. He was taken to his room. Strange, before they had referred to the room as their room. The closet was the same as before, full of his clothes. Alex refrained from looking at the other closets in the room for fear of finding them empty and the implication that would have.

Alex showered, changed and came down for dinner. Isabel was waiting for him. She briefly kissed him again and they sat down. There was no one else at the large table. They talked about his health and about the last time they had seen each other. Isabel asked the staff to serve after dinner drinks in the sitting room. Alex knew immediately, as soon as the staff cleared, that Isabel was worried. She didn’t quite seem to know how to start the conversation that they both needed.

Kyle had a week of leave coming up. He intended to spend it with Tess. He had no idea what they would do, but he was sure that after the night when Sergeant Whitman had almost been killed, and Tess forced him to declare his love, that they would think of something. At first, he felt that she was pushing him, but now weeks after the event Kyle couldn’t be happier. He no longer had any reservations. Yes, he did love Tess more than anyone he had ever met. He reviewed his feelings for Elizabeth. She had been a wonderful person to know. He wouldn’t give up any bruise or cut from their volatile relationship, but that was never a relationship destined to last. He still considered Elizabeth his friend and he hoped Tess would understand this. Kyle no longer had any longing for the petite archeologist in his bed.

When he told Tess about his leave, she showed no surprise; rather, she seemed to be expecting it. When she had him in the throws of passion she whispered in his ear, “I want to go away to a place for that week, will you come, no questions?”

Kyle couldn’t have refused at that point if he had wanted to. He really didn’t want to. To spend a week with Tess, anywhere, would be heaven.

Elizabeth received her answer late that night, “Liz, this is Max. Can you be free for next week? I will pick you up on Sunday night, this invitation includes Rolf. We can be in Farmington late Sunday night and then we will have the whole week to talk and do other things.”

Elizabeth didn’t even have the desire she normally would, to demand what he meant about other things.

The First Day of School

I will Return For You, My Love

Goodbye Mr. Evans, Hey Max
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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chapter 8

Post by ken_r » Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:16 pm

Stories by ken_r

Alex looked at Isabel. He needed her to start and apparently she need the same of him. “Isabel, what happened to me after I was shot?”

Isabel surpressed a giggle, “You were prayed over by Father Sanchez.” She then looked him in the face and replied, “Max is a healer. You were going to die. On so many levels, I couldn’t bare that. Max saved you from death and if you will let him, he will heal you the rest of the way.”

“Why did he do this?” Alex was confused. If a person could heal, why only do it part way. Why did Isabel say she couldn’t bare his death? True, they were getting intense, but she seemed to imply more than that.

Isabel took a deep breath and composed herself. “Max is my brother and I asked him to heal you because of what you have come to mean to me. He didn’t heal you all of the way because you wouldn’t have been able to answer the questions from the doctors. You came into the hospital with a punctured lung. Your rib was broken and every movement was cutting that lung further. Max could save you from death and they would just call it a miracle. If all signs of your injury were to disappear, they would ask questions you couldn’t answer and we couldn’t afford to answer.” Isabel was trying to be matter of fact about this. She wanted Alex to come to her and not to feel he was obligated. The next few minutes would tell if her death warrant was to be signed.

“Isabel, I still feel that there is more that I need to know. I mostly need to know if any of the investigations I started are going to turn up any criminal activity on you, your family or your corporation?” Alex just couldn’t let go that something criminal might be going on.

“Alex, when we are through talking this weekend and if you feel that I am guilty of anything criminal, I will sign any confession you want and you can arrest me then.” Isabel didn’t tell him that she probably would be dead if he arrested her because she had already passed the point of passion toward him.

Alex was sitting with his fingertips pressed together making a steeple of his hands like that nursery rhyme. “Here is the church, here is the steeple open it up and here are the people.” Alex didn’t open his hands to expose the ten people. He was to afraid to know the truth. Instead, he asked, “Are your clothes still in the closets of ‘our’ room?”

Isabel made a face, “Of course they are Alex, and there they will stay, unless you ask me to move them.”

Alex leaned back, “I was afraid to look in the other closets.”

Isabel moved over to sit beside Alex. “There is one more thing you have to do before we can go any further.”

Alex looked at her, she took both of his hands in hers and lifted them up to her lips and kissed them. “Alex do you love me?”

Alex was prepared for many things, but this wasn’t one of them. “Isabel, we have become very intense the last few months. I think I am feeling love for you.”

Like Tess before her, Isabel wondered what was it about human males that they felt they had to hedge their declarations of love. She knew that to humans, love was not as serious as it was to engineered aliens. Humans could find love again, but these aliens only had one shot. The engineers had intended for their creations to have happy lives with humans, but they did not want to be responsible for creating a new race. Give the children one chance to seek love and then let their genes simply dissolve into the world gene pool making only a ripple. Isabel and Tess had experimented with human relationships, but before those relationships could be in jeopardy of bearing fruit, they always terminated them. This was better than the men’s situation. Max and Michael could only have one chance at an intense relationship because human women didn’t have the control of their bodies the way Isabel and Tess did. The engineers did not want an alien Casanova spreading his seed throughout the world. Isabel repeated again hoping Alex would pick up on the urgency, “Alex do you love me?”

Alex looked at the woman he was beginning to have fantasies with and said while looking into her eyes, “Yes, Isabel, I love you.” Isabel started to hug him, but the terror in his eyes reminded her of the pain he was still in. They would have to get that fixed soon.

It was the next morning before Max called Elizabeth back, “Liz, change of plans. Can you and Rolf be ready to leave this evening? I can pick you up at six and we can get there sometime around ten or eleven.” Elizabeth wasn’t even irritated that he had changed his plans.

Elizabeth went into Sam’s office, “Sam, I need to take off a week or so starting tomorrow. Can this be arranged?” Elizabeth didn’t think this would be a problem.

Sam thought that if the little archeologist would take off more time, she would be easier to get along with and he really liked and admired her. Elizabeth had a fault and that was her drive and obsession in her work. Sam, like so many that knew Elizabeth, also worried about her. He had not been really happy when she took that contract with the AR people, but he knew she would do the best job possible. Her two incidents of near death were still haunting him. He was happy to give her the time off.

Elizabeth hurried home and threw her stuff together. She took the disc from behind the books and carefully packed it in her bag. She had her Glock and her notes on Lock and the disc she had made from the information she found on the net. Her laptop contained everything she had been doing at her office this last week.

Max drove up, right on time. Elizabeth locked her house. Then she, Rolf and Max carried her bags and things out to his SUV. Max stopped one time for a rest break in Cuba. They “caught” a burger and then it was on to Farmington. It was late by the time they got there. The house was lit up but as they went up to her room, they didn’t see anyone. Elizabeth sat on the bed and Max sat beside her. “How are you holding up?” he asked.

“Max there are just so many things that I need to know,” Liz was exhausted even though it was still before midnight and, for her, she still thought of that as early.

Max put his arm around her. He pulled her close and kissed her on the head. She put her arms around him and they sat like that for some time. Rolf was satisfied to be in front of the door. Max whispered in her ear, “I can stay here with you to night, but it would be best if I didn’t.” Max’s voice was so soft, actually not like anything Elizabeth had heard from him before.

Elizabeth did something she couldn’t remember ever doing before, she said, “Max, you decide what is best.” Elizabeth had deferred a decision to someone else.

Max took Rolf out for his nightly romp and when he brought him back, Elizabeth was already in bed. He bade her goodnight and she fell asleep almost immediately.

Chapter 8

At seven o’clock in the morning, Elizabeth was awakened by a familiar voice, “Liz, Babe, it is time to rise.” Elizabeth opened her eyes to see Maria. This was a Maria that Elizabeth didn’t really know. First, it was seven in the morning, and Elizabeth had never know Maria to get up that early without a struggle. Next, it was a Maria, dressed in slacks, open neck blouse and loafers. Her hair was shiny and her eyes were bright. Maria had an expression of happiness that Liz was not used to. “Come on Liz, we are going to have breakfast, just the two of us.”

Elizabeth grabbed her robe and underclothes. She padded down the hall to the shower and the stinging water washed out some of the cobwebs from her eyes. When she returned, she found Rolf nuzzling Maria’s hands looking for some treat he thought she should have. Elizabeth chose clothes similar to Maria’s and together the old friends went downstairs to breakfast. Elizabeth looked around for Max, but Maria noticed this and said, “No, Babe, this morning we have each other, just to ourselves.”

During a breakfast of coffee, toast and fruit, Maria explained that she was going to stay with Michael forever. She intended to move her writing studio to the house and she would commute by air from the small airport in Farmington.

Elizabeth dearly loved Maria, but privately she always considered her life a mess. Now, Maria was telling of her long-range plans. It was just that she was so sure. When they had finished coffee, Maria got really serious. “Liz, have you committed to Max yet?”

Elizabeth frowned because this was a little forward, even for the friendship she and Maria shared. Maria shook her head. “I don’t mean to be rude, but be sure. He really loves you, but he deserves someone who will stay with him. He is not like Kyle, Jake or anyone else you have ever been with.” Maria laughed, “In fact, I think you are going to find that Kyle is different from the person you used to know. He and Tess will be here by nightfall.” More than this, Maria wasn’t willing to say.

Elizabeth talked to Maria about her two near death experiences. Maria already knew about both of them, but Elizabeth had always held back so many details that they hadn’t seemed real. Now, as Elizabeth told the whole stories, Maria knew the horror Elizabeth had been laboring under for the past six months. Maria noticed that Elizabeth had lost some of her unreal invincibility and was realizing how close to death she had come.

After breakfast, Maria said she had to go and it was only a few minutes before Max came in. “Liz, please go put on some levies and boots. Get a hat and let’s you, me and Rolf go for a ride.”

Elizabeth hadn’t ridden much since her rodeo days. Her job and school were her main preoccupations. She changed and returned to the sitting room. Max took them to the stable in the back of the house. Elizabeth was able for the first time, to see that behind the stables there were some rolling hills. Max had chosen two quarter horses, those horses that are supposed to out run anything for a quarter mile. They were western horses. The one he picked for her was a bit taller than what she was used to. No way could Elizabeth reach the stirrups. She grabbed the saddle horn and prepared to vault into the saddle. Max caught her waist and gave her an added push. He laughed as he kidded, “Did you ride ponies when you were on the rodeo circuit?”

No, Elizabeth hadn’t ridden a pony, but the light, fast mare she’d had then was a lot smaller than these geldings. He adjusted the stirrups and they were off. The horses were well trained. A tap of the heel and they started. Either a tap of one heel or the slight pressure of the rein against the neck would turn the animal quickly. It had been sometime since Elizabeth had been horseback riding. It felt good to feel that powerful beast between her legs, almost sensual as they walked down the trail. Elizabeth knew her butt and thighs had forgotten the muscles they needed to ride and she would be stiff this afternoon. Max broke into a trot, that gait of the horse that jars the rider at every step two feet diagonally on the ground and then the other two feet. Elizabeth even had to grab the saddle horn once or twice. Max laughed and said, “greenhorn.” The old Elizabeth would have started a race or something for sure, but this one just laughed. On a straight, Max did allow them to break into a lope and Elizabeth was exhilarated at the experience. They didn’t go too far this way because badger holes, or those so called “Cute” prairie dogs that carry such deadly diseases, also made such deadly holes. All of which could have caused these magnificent animals to be destroyed. They rode side by side for a while. Liz said finally, “Maria said you loved me. Is that true?”

“’Fraid so Liz. Remember, I know you better than even you know yourself.” Max wasn’t smiling. He was looking rather glum.

“Max, why are you afraid to say that you love me?” Liz was the scientist and she was searching.

“’Fraid you won’t or can’t love me back,” was his straight-forward answer.

“Don’t you just have to try?” She was searching for why he was so glum. Then Elizabeth started to muse. “What is love? I know what lust is, but what do you consider love? I do not know if I have ever been in love.”

Max said with a bit of rancor, “Humans do not consider love very important. They play at it and then if it doesn’t work, they try again. I only have one chance.” He tapped his horse and began to trot ahead of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth rode up beside Max again, “Can we rest a minute?”

Max indicated a rock ahead and they dismounted. Elizabeth already had lost her land legs and she almost fell. Max caught her and helped her to the rock.

“Max, what is love?” Liz started.

“Love is caring for someone more than yourself. Love is sharing laughter, but more, it is sharing tears. It is holding someone who is crying and not trying to stop the crying, but to create a shelter in which it is safe to cry. Love is holding hands in the sun. Love is holding hands as you run to avoid the rain. Love is just being there with someone and being there for someone. Love is knowing that everything the other person owns is yours, also, and not apologizing for it. Love is being willing to forgive when the other person forgets.” Max was looking down at the reins of his horse.

“What about sex and children?” Elizabeth said.

“They all fit in there somewhere, but humans are too willing to end their search when they find those. Love is not going back,” Max was now looking up at the sky.

Elizabeth sat with Max as the horses stomped their displeasure at standing still. They were quarter horses and they wanted to move. Elizabeth climbed on the rock and, from there, she was easily able to scramble into the saddle. They started home.

“Liz, you were a barrel racer. What was it like?” Max queried Liz.

“For me, it was being part of the horse. We would run the circuit and I would always be balanced upon the horse. If I kept my balance, the horse was balanced and we made the best time.” Liz was thinking about so many years ago.

“Think about how it was for Jake. He had to flow with the bull. If he fought the bull, he would fall off. If he could always move with the bull, he could remain on for his eight seconds. That is what love is. Balance is if you can move together, you will understand love.” Max had about run out of metaphors. He thought that maybe Elizabeth could understand.

Liz soaked in the tub as soon as she got back to the house. She hurt, but she had toughly enjoyed her ride. Max had some strange ideas about love. Maria seemed so worried that she, Elizabeth, understand that the aliens could not be subjected to rejection. Elizabeth must embrace them or just walk away. Maria’s biggest worry was that Elizabeth sometimes toyed with her relationships. It was so strange for Maria to be worrying about Elizabeth’s actions. Elizabeth remembered the many times she had held Maria’s head in her lap as she would cry about some stupid mistake or another in her own relationships. This last six months, it had been Maria who was the strong one. Was it because of Michael?

Dinner companions included the other three aliens and their partners, plus Max and Elizabeth. It was obvious that Elizabeth was the holdout. How could she commit to any one? Elizabeth had been with her lovers. True, there were not that many of them but she had never had any commitment to any of them. Elizabeth thought. She had no regrets about leaving any of her former boyfriends. How could she be responsible for the life of Max?

“Hey, Liz,” Kyle said as he walked up to the table with Tess on his arm. Elizabeth saw the contentment that was on his face. Maria was with Michael. She smiled at Elizabeth. No, there was no desire for her to leave him. Sergeant Whitman was walking taller thanks to Max working on his wounds. He would have to hide from the doctors for a while, but he could go back to patrol soon, if he desired. Right now, he was with Isabel.

Conversation at the dinner table was light. Max was teasing Elizabeth about her riding. Maria’s sharp eyes were looking for the old Elizabeth to make some cutting remark in return. When she didn’t see this, she frowned, but Michael just hugged her and whispered in her ear, “Just be patient.

The conversation drifted toward the subject of aliens. This time it was Elizabeth’s turn to observe that none of the three humans seemed to show any surprise. They had all come too terms with the alien status of their respective lovers. What was her problem? She didn’t think it was the “alienness” of Max. After all Elizabeth had known about this before anyone else. It was Elizabeth who had been rescued from death twice. Elizabeth remembered that first night Maria had danced with Michael. She had accepted him without any reservations then. She also remembered that Maria didn’t carry baggage. When something was over, Maria could let it be over. Was this Elizabeth’s problem, her active mind would not let go of anything? She still worried about the first time she had been in competition, racing around the barrels. She had fallen off. She had been mortified and she still thought about it.

Elizabeth was brought back to Earth. Someone had addressed something to her. “Huh?” was all she could say. Then, “I am sorry, I was day dreaming.”

Isabel was smiling, “I was asking Doctor Parker, what are your plans going to be? Are you going out on a survey again?”

Elizabeth looked down at her plate. She had been toying with her food, pushing it around without any intention of eating it. “At this time, I do not know. I have to give them notice this week or they will replace me.”

Isabel, still smiling asked, “What do you want to do?”

Elizabeth looked directly at Kyle, “I really do not know. It is dangerous for any person to be working alone in back country. I should know.”

Kyle almost choked on his food. It was only the soothing feeling of Tess’s arm around his shoulders that saved him. Elizabeth had admitted that she needed someone.

After dinner the couples drifted off separately. Max and Liz were walking down a first floor hall. On one side, there were doors that led to places that Elizabeth had no idea of. On the other side, there were windows opening to the night lights of Farmington. “Max, my strength is in my independence. I do not know if I could ever give that up.”

“Elizabeth, did you look at Kyle? Do you doubt his ability to wade into a bar fight and knock out everybody standing senseless? Do you think he lost that ability just because he loves Tess? Look at Sergeant Whitman. Don’t you think he is still able to command men and lead his troops by example? He is stronger because he knows Isabel stands with him. Look at your best friend, Maria. Don’t you think she is stronger because of her relationship with Michael? Ask her how many new songs she has written since she has been here?” Max pulled Elizabeth closer to him as they walked down the hall. “Liz, you were always so interested in the bull rider, did you ever watch the bull?”

Elizabeth looked at him with surprise, “No, Max, how did you get to know so much about bull riding?”

Max laughed, “After I met you, I rented several DVDs from the outdoor channel and ESPN on rodeo. The young bull twists and turns until he rids himself of his rider, who is irritating him by spurring him in his ribs. Then he turns on the rider and chases him, being confronted by the clowns and the pickup riders, as they rescue the man on foot. Well then, there is the experienced bull who bucks harder and unseats the rider faster, but when the rider is gone, the bull just trots back to his pen. The young bull fights, in vein, against odds that he doesn’t understand, but the old bull is harder to ride and the rider, if he stays on, gets higher points. When the old bull is through, he peacefully goes back to his home. He is not less of a bull. In fact, he is the more desirable one to ride. He has learned his part in the show. He doesn’t waste his time fighting for no reason.” Max pulled her to him and as he kissed her. Loving me, you would not give up your independence. You would just be stronger because you wouldn’t have to fight useless battles alone. Like the experienced bull, your reputation stands on its own. You do not have to defend it constantly, especially not to me.”

They walked back to the stairway. Max walked her to her room. “Max, I would like you to stay with me if you dare. I cannot make too many promises, but you say you know my heart. Can you chance your life in my hands?”

Max kissed her and opened the door. They were greeted by Rolf. Max walked over to one of the closet doors Elizabeth had never tried to open. It was full of his clothes. He turned and smiled, “It will be good to be back in my own bed. You do understand that this is my room? I have been staying in a guest room when you were here.”

Max told Elizabeth to take off her shoes. He did likewise. They sat in the middle of what she had learned was his bed. Elizabeth felt that it was warm in the bedroom. Max had a soothing voice. He turned her, kneeling, to face away from himself. He demanded nothing, but he was trying to massage her shoulders. The riding had given every part of her body a workout. Max stated, “Liz you were a sprite in the desert that morning with your tanned body shining from your shower.” Max continued as Elizabeth closed her eyes. She was so tired. Max’s hands, his fingers, were gripping her ribs and his thumbs massaged her spine. She felt a heat from his hands and that was like a hot dry sauna. As his hands worked down to her waist, his fingers worked her back and the flesh below her ribs while his thumbs still rubbed up and down the flesh on either side of her spine. Elizabeth began to feel a tingling with every touch. Max moved his hands to the front of Elizabeth’s blouse as he deftly undid each button his face and chin was rubbing her neck. His lips were caressing her hair. When he had reached the last button at the top, he carefully removed the blouse. Taking her exposed shoulders he gently pulled them back as he pressed his face against her bare-back. He undid the snaps of her bra fumbling over the snaps, proving that alien men are no better than human ones when it comes to those chastity fastenings. Finally, her back was completely bare and Max ran his hands up and down her spine from the curve of her lumbar to the base of her head. He carefully massaged the muscles along her vertebrae. Every nerve was tingling like it was sparked by electricity. She was leaning against his clothed chest as he removed her bra. Then he gently held her breasts while he carefully caressed the muscles that supported them, his thumbs hardening her nipples. Max carefully bent Elizabeth into a prayerful position of supplication and as her face was bent over her knees, he removed his own shirt. His hands were flat against her skin and as they moved, all of the pain and tension melted from her body, from her head to the crease of her bottom. Then, pulling her back against his bare chest, he began humming some song or the other. It was a little like a tune played on Native American flute. Liz could feel the beat of his heart. With his humming close to her ear Elizabeth began to fall asleep to the droning of his music. He seemed to speed up the rhythm of his music. Liz could feel the speed of his heart increase and she cold feel hers increasing also. His hands seemed to float over her entire upper naked body. They moved so slowly that Elizabeth could hardly tell when they moved. As before, it was her entire body from inside her waist band to her face and forehead. Max leaned over her shoulder and kissed her on her cheek. With his hands, with his lips, Max was engulfing her entire being. Her mind wandered as a sleeply intoxication seemed to take over.

Elizabeth moaned and smiled. This truly was different from the rough sex of her bull rider and even of the caring sex of Kyle. Elizabeth felt her mind drifting. She remembered Jimmy, the young biologist during her first year in college. She thought she had been in love with him. He was smart and they made mad love after dating several months. Jimmy was the one Elizabeth felt she wanted to grow old with. She dreamed of them living together and finally graduating, then establishing a family with many children that they would nurture and raise as a tribute to the fortunes of life they both were enjoying. Elizabeth had congratulated herself at waiting until they had established a relationship, before giving in to his insistence that they to go to bed together. The romance of their love lasted almost as long as her love of their romance. Jimmy soon made it clear that he had a lot of living to cover and a little hick cowgirl with her dreams of eternity weren’t going to be included in his long-range plans. The scratches she put on his torso healed up three weeks after her abrupt departure. Yes, eventually he healed, at least in his body, but the scalding words Elizabeth foisted on him, as she left, made his long-range plans seem less important and his soul lost some of its inertia.

Then there was her first time at making love. It was in the back of a cab shelled pickup at a 4-H dance. Elizabeth had successfully run the barrels. She had done well, but she hadn’t won anything. Neither of them really had thoughts of love. It was more scientific for Elizabeth. She wanted to savor and remember every sensation. It was his first time with a real girl. With the chaperones constantly walking around the parking lot flashing their hand lights in the windows of the many pickup camper shells, their experience had not been memorable for either of them. His mistakes and his moves were equally clumsy. The only memories either had were of a hurried fear of being caught and lack of any intensity in their emotions.

Her mind drifted back to her romance with Jake, the bull rider. He handled his women just like he handled his bulls. That could have been the reason he spent so much time flying through the air. Some of her problems with Kyle might have stemmed from this experience. Both Jake and Elizabeth would emerge from their night’s exertion bruised and scratched. Elizabeth had mistaken pain for passion. Elizabeth had tried to tell herself that she liked her sex rough. It was thrilling at first. They made love like mink, neither realizing that mink sometimes kill one another in their passion. The redeeming feature of their relationship was that with Jake in the hospital so many times and his wounded condition at other times, it had limited their athletic passions.

Elizabeth was almost dreaming. There was no mistaking the passion tonight. Max spoke into her ear, “Liz, stand up please. When she stood up, Max quickly undid her slacks and dropped her panties. He lifted her now-naked body in his arms and gently placed her in the middle of the bed. He touched a switch on the night stand and the lights dimmed. Max took off his trousers and boxers, then he lay beside her on “their” bed. One part of Elizabeth felt every move he made and the other part still wondered how she had become naked, lying beside him. The tactile sensations he sent over her body were erasing all cognitive thoughts. Soon, there were no other lovers in her past. She had no past, She only had now and that was all she ever wanted. The physical culmination of their love was so natural that she wondered why she had ever had or wanted anyone else. There was no pain. There was only the thrill of her flesh as it was manipulated in rhythms that reached into her soul. As they recovered from their climax, Elizabeth asked, “You said that you were only permitted to make love to one person. How did you know how to make me feel so many things? I would think that skill would bespeak of much experience.”

Max smiled. “I felt as you felt and I felt the way you felt everything. I felt you as I touched you and I just followed your senses. I was trying to be different from the several other lovers that, obviously, had failed you in one way or another. I was trying to follow your fantasies and make them come true.”

Liz grimaced, “Maybe, it was I who failed them?”

“No, Liz, in my world which I hope will be your world, it is I who must fulfill everything for you. You already are everything I ever want,” Max concluded. He swung his feet off the bed, and reaching for her robe, he threw it to her. Taking his own he said, “Let’s finish our intermezzo with a shower and then we can return to bed.

Max asked Liz to adjust the temperature, “I can tolerate higher temperatures than most humans, so you set your comfort level.” The stinging power of the shower again invigorated her skin. The hands of Max calmed her muscles and, surprisingly to her, they created an inner peace. Max showed her a feature she had not seen on her own. A switch caused a warm breeze to air dry them as they stood together, dancing to music heard only in their minds. They returned to Max’s room, and still in their robes, they lay together whispering. Max put his hands on her temples and said, “It is your turn to see into me.”

Elizabeth saw, as if in a dream, a youth watching those around him mature into adulthood. She saw his sadness as he watched others depart as couples. He was always watching for someone. He didn’t have the slightest idea of whom. She saw him as he handed the truck keys to Michael and watched as Michael drove off with Maria. He saw the affairs of the two alien girls. They were allowed to sample human relationships. She felt the hunger Max felt as he saw them enjoy their lovers. He heard the women warn each other not to succumb to the wiles of human passion until they found someone worthy to release their emotions upon. Then, Elizabeth saw something surprising. She saw Maria sitting in front of Max holding his hands and heard Maria telling him all about her, Elizabeth. Here Maria looked almost like a conspirator, praising her friend Elizabeth. Elizabeth had thought that the other day that Maria was warning her off. They opened their robes and made love again. This time it was with a deliberateness that was like Elizabeth would have wished for her first time. Then, wrapped in their robes and each other, they fell into a deep long sleep.

Stories by ken_r
The Magic Horn
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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chapters 9,10

Post by ken_r » Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:49 pm

Stories by ken_r

Chapter 9

The house was big enough so that couples didn’t have to even see each other unless they wanted to. Max and Liz in their robes were drinking coffee on the enclosed terrace. Rolf was with them. The morning sun was warming the enclosed area. Elizabeth had brought down a brown package with her. She put it on the table, but Max politely ignored it, figuring that Elizabeth would explain it when she thought it necessary. Max seemed relaxed considering that Elizabeth now had his life or death warrant in her hands. She would decide today and he didn’t want anyone to influence her. For Max, a soul mate would come without reservation.

“Max, tell me more about what you want me to do for the corporation,” Elizabeth asked him.

“The two most important jobs we need are first, for you to break the code of the pictographs if you can, then, we need you to over see the artifact collections to make sure we do not have any Earthly antiquities mixed in with them,” Max explained.

Liz thought a minute, “While I am doing this for you, what is our relationship going to be?”

Max was being as patient as he could be. She still didn’t get it, “Liz, our relationship will be what you want it to be.” He wasn’t frowning, but she was not understanding that, it was her choice, that would decide his life. Max had made his choice the day he saw her on the sandstone rock and consecrated that choice when he healed her from the snake.

Elizabeth tried to be coquettish about this. “Don’t you approve of joint decisions about something this big?” She tilted her head and gave Max a half smile.

“It is a joint decision, I gave you my life last night. How you use it is your choice.” Max got up and walked away.

Liz walked back to their bedroom still carrying the brown package. Max was nowhere to be seen. She showered and dressed and went down to see whom she could find. Elizabeth found Isabel a little cold, but when she, Elizabeth, asked for the list of items they were currently seeking, Isabel produced it forthwith. Elizabeth examined the list. At the top were listed ten information discs. Now, Elizabeth knew that Max had two of them and she, in her suitcase, had a third so that left seven unaccounted for. Elizabeth made one of the decisions she had been dreading. It would have been so much easier if she hadn’t delayed either to the Museum or to Max. “Isabel, could you and Max meet me in the bedroom where I am staying? I need to show you both something. Funny how the description of the bedroom she and Max shared last night, became awkward.

When Isabel and Max entered the bedroom, they were both attentive, but solemn. Elizabeth took out the package that Augie Lock had given her, “I pondered a long time whether or not to give this to the museum, but I do not think Old David Lock dug it up. There are no notes for where he found this, either in what we posted at the museum or in what Max let me read from his other journal. Something happened to David on his third survey. I think he met the others and they gave him this one. He told Augie that it was very important,” Elizabeth handed Isabel the package from Augie that she had been guarding for so long. The engineered aliens examined the disc. The markings were different on this disc and it showed no weathering. It had never been in the ground.

Max was in a hurry to put it in the machine that reduced the information to video. Isabel sat with Elizabeth. “Liz, have you made your decision about Max, yet?”

“Yes, I think I made it when I decided who should get the disc. My track record has not been good with relationships. I think that Max has put his life in my hands and it would be cruel not to trust him with my own.” Elizabeth was not good at relinquishing control or what she thought of as control.” Isabel smiled and hugged her and went after Max.

Now that she had given up the disc, Elizabeth felt almost renewed. No one was around, so she took out her notes. Somewhere in her mind, something had bothered her since she had seen that damn disc. She went over the letters of Lock’s first year. And there it was. In the excitement and temper of dealing with Max, she had missed it. There it was in a letter from David’s first year. “Bronze Plates” plural. It had escaped her. Augie had given her the one plate, which had never been in the ground and she had read into the notes that it was the plate in question.

Elizabeth went running down the hall and then the stairs. If they were going to accept the petite archeologist in their midst, then they were going to have to accept her explosive personality. “Max, Isabel, we missed something!” she shouted. Elizabeth saw a couple of the household staff frown and duck into a nearby room. This just wasn’t conduct they were used to. It was quite a sight, the beautiful archeologist running down the hall, with her hair streaming behind her, almost slipping as she rounded a corner and that big dog who was slipping right behind her trying to find traction, himself, to keep up.

When Max came out the door, he might have been ready to initiate the battle again with Cassidy and Begay. He saw Elizabeth and Rolf coming toward him and he caught Elizabeth before she fell. Poor old Rolf just slid into a wall and, with Elizabeth finally anchored, he could catch his breath. That was more than Elizabeth could do. She just shook her handful of papers at Max and Isabel and wheezed as she searched for oxygen.

“The disc, it is not the one that David Lock found! It was never in the ground. It was given to him. He later found other plates.” Max looked at the copies of the letters. “Right there! It isn’t a misprint. It says he found plates plural. We have to contact Augie and find out if there are any more artifacts and find a logical way to obtain them since I am not working for the university anymore. This caused Max to hug her.

That night after all of the excitement, Elizabeth held on to Max’s hand as if she was afraid that he might not return to his own bedroom with her. Last night was spent getting to know each other, but tonight would be for becoming comfortable in their relationship. Max demanded nothing from her that she wasn’t freely willing to give and, truly, he demanded nothing from her at all. She just seemed to want to do what felt right and that turned out to be what was part of his desires. As Elizabeth was listening again to his heartbeat, she was learning that alien love was a sharing that humans could only achieve after many years. She felt her heart race to keep up with that of Max. As their heartbeats synchronized, Liz found his strong body encased within her arms. As he’d promised he had given his life to her, Doctor Elizabeth Parker. The only thing Liz had to do now, was to learn to give herself totally to him. Rolf found a place in the corner, not that when he was sleeping across the door, did he feel that anyone in the house should be excluded. He had become a highly selective watchdog.

The first thing Elizabeth did when she got up was to fax a letter to the Archeology Research Board. She thanked them and stated that for personal reasons, she wasn’t going out on survey this next spring. She also suggested, that for safety, they should consider two-person teams. Then she contacted the university and requested an extension on her leave.

The next problem was to contact Augie Lock. She asked if she and an associate could visit with him sometime this week. It was agreed to meet in three days at Mr. Lock’s house.

Elizabeth knocked on the same door as she had done several days ago. Augie was delighted to see her again. He also was happy to see Max again. Max had interviewed Augie some time ago. Elizabeth explained that she and Max were now working together on a study of Augie’s great grandfather. They reviewed the letters Augie had given Elizabeth to copy. Elizabeth was interested in the third year of David’s survey. It took a while, but Augie finally told a story that wasn’t in any journals.

David Lock was near Shiprock the end of his third survey. This was where Elizabeth had found out about the mysterious lights on the internet. This would have been in 1903. Apparently from the family story, David had spent several days with some strange people. They had given him the disc that Augie had given to Elizabeth.

This was where Elizabeth stopped Augie. She pointed out the plural enumeration in his letter. Augie thought a long time. He couldn’t remember where the missing discs or plates could have gone. He had only known of the one. Max asked Augie if he could relate more family history.

David had returned. His experience with the others had convinced him that his love for his wife was paramount. Yes, he had a vocation, and he had assumed obligations, from the others, to learn of and store certain information until he would be contacted by someone, whom he would know. The others convinced David that he had made a contract with his wife and he should honor this first. That is when David returned to teaching as seen in the University report Elizabeth had found.

David had a collection that he never turned over to the University. This wasn’t uncommon in that day. Archeologist didn’t have a museum to take and catalog artifacts, so the individuals themselves became “Pothunters,” although with notes and supposed training to preserve their finds.

David had two children. A boy, that was Augie’s grandfather and a daughter. Both children had gone to the University and later married. The boy had become a public school history teacher. The girl had taken several courses in Anthropology and married before she obtained a degree. Augie’s grandfather had two sons. One had become a professor of history at the university and the other was killed during the war. The professor had been Augie’s father.

Augie was pretty sure of his own linage, but of his grand aunt he just wasn’t sure. He leaned back, “It was said that Sylvia, the name he remembered as his aunt’s, found a man that she fell in love with before she completed her degree. It was said that old David’s wife was not too happy about the marriage. Whether she didn’t like her son-in-law or she was unhappy that Sylvia didn’t complete her college education,” Augie couldn‘t remember in the old stories.

Augie was given the artifacts handed down from his great grandfather. Those were the ones Elizabeth had delivered to the university. When Augie was twenty-one, his father had given him the carefully wrapped bronze disc. He was told to find someone who would be willing to learn from the disc. He had thought of giving it to Max when Max had visited him, but when Elizabeth came, her enthusiasm was so great that he was sure she should be the one to receive it.

Max and Elizabeth thought Augie had been quite forthwith with what his family had preserved. It must be David’s daughter, Sylvia, who had any more information. Trouble was, the schism in the family had grown deep. Augie remembered very little ever being said about her. He had a family bible that went back to the eighteen hundreds. They found Augie’s grand father. And the marriages and births on down to Augie himself. They found where David’s wife had written Sylvia her daughter’s name. They found a notation of Sylvia’s marriage to a Raymond Ciel. It was Elizabeth who caught this, Ciel was French for “Sky.” Did perhaps Sylvia marry an engineered alien?

If David Lock had given up his wandering ways in 1904 to teach at the University of New Mexico, then he probably would have moved to Albuquerque. The records would have been kept in the Bernalillo county seat that was in Albuquerque. From the Bible, they found Sylvia had been born in 1907. If she got married at about age twenty they should find records of this marriage in about 1927. They could check the genealogy sights for the 1930 census to see if she had any children by that time. The later census records were not yet on line.

Max smiled, Elizabeth seem to know instinctively how to pursue this where he and the other aliens could probably figure it out, but it would have taken a great deal more time.

After promising Augie that they would keep in touch, Max and Liz, with Rolf in the back, headed for Albuquerque. They went to Elizabeth’s house. There was no question that Max would be staying with her that night. Because of her in and out status, Elizabeth seldom kept much fresh food so they ordered delivery. Elizabeth curled up against Max as he reviewed what they had learned so far. They made some searches for the last name of Ciel on the internet. They did find the names of Raymond and Sylvia Ciel in the 1930 records. The census showed no children at that time, but it did list them as living not too far from the area where Elizabeth was living in at this time. Elizabeth’s neighborhood was built in the 1940s but just west, closer to the university, some of the houses went back to the late twenties. Most of the original people had moved out long ago.

Elizabeth, on a hunch took, the phone book. There was one entry for a person named Thomas Ciel. The location was in the Northeast heights, but tomorrow they would pursue this.

Elizabeth thought of the time she had almost, well she actually had, invited Max into her home. They were sitting on the couch talking when Elizabeth turned to Max, “You know, Max, do you have a last name? You have never mentioned it.”

Max laughed, “Isabel and I took the name of the family that cared for us. It is Evans. He was a physicist at White sands. After he moved to California, he became a teacher. Michael and Tess went under the name of Guerin. Mr. Guerin and his family took them. Mr. Guerin was a geologist. I think he was working for a seismic research company studying earthquakes. Later, Tess wanted to be different so she took the name of Harding. That was the maiden name of Mr. Guerin’s wife. All of our Identities were fake and put into the system after we were grown.

Elizabeth looked up at Max, “Do you get married to those you choose to couple with or what do you do?”

“Liz, that is completely up to you. I have no ego or issues of possession so if you choose to marry, you may take my name, keep your own or if you just want to live together, it is your choice.”

Elizabeth was being playful as she unbuttoned his shirt and started to draw designs with her nails in his chest, “I think Dr. Evans has a nice ring to it.” Can I have the dress, the ceremony and guests that my parents would want?”

“Dearest Liz, I will even try to arrange a fly over of UFO’s if you think that would make your marriage memorable,” Max teased.

Elizabeth laughed, “That would make my father’s alien theme restaurant famous, but I do not think it is a good idea.”

That night, after a session of tender lovemaking, one of which Elizabeth had principally initiated, Elizabeth lay spooned against Max, and thought about her life up to this moment. She had always been trying to prove something to everyone, including her self. She remembered the words of her father when he told her about bull riding and trying to tame the beast. That is what she had been doing. She was trying to tame the beast that dwelt inside of her. She was always trying to prove herself better than anyone else. Her temper was a crutch when this proving was in danger of failing. Going on both of those surveys alone had been trying to prove she could handle anything without help. Both times would have been a disaster without the help of the man she was cuddled up with. The research she had been conducting since leaving Augie Lock had not been difficult, but Elizabeth had the experience and the imagination to make it quicker and easier. Max’s arm was lying across her middle and his face was near the back of her neck. Elizabeth turned and kissed that face. She in the dim light within the room thought she saw a smile on his face.

Chapter 10

Elizabeth and Max arose at about seven o’clock. They dressed, breakfasted and then made the phone call. The phone was answered by a pleasant woman. “My name is Dr. Elizabeth Parker. I work for a corporation that is trying to learn about descendants of David Lock. We have traced the descendants through his son and now we are trying to do the same through his daughter, Sylvia. She married a man named Ciel and we are trying to find a someone related to her.”

The woman named Evelyn Ciel replied, “My husband has been trying to study his family tree for years. I am sure he would like to hear from you. He is a lawyer and here is his phone number.”

Liz rang the number, “Mr. Ciel, I am researching the David Lock family. I have reason to think you are descended from him through his daughter, Sylvia Ciel. Could we make an appointment to talk with you?”

Thomas Ciel was taken back for a second. He had been trying to research his father’s name for years and there were just too many dead ends. “ I am free for the rest of the afternoon after two pm. Would this be agreeable?”

Max and Elizabeth appeared at the office of Thomas Ciel promptly at two pm. They were shown into his private office with Elizabeth leading. Thomas reminded her of Augie. He was friendly and grasped her hand as she introduced herself. When he saw Max right behind her, his visage changed. He frowned as he shook hands with Max.

Elizabeth started. “David Lock was an archeologist in the early 1900s. He was working on surveys in Navajo lands until 1904. He moved to Albuquerque to teach at the University of New Mexico. He had two children, a son and a daughter.” She handed him a paper that had Augie’s heritage down to Augie himself. She had asked Augie for permission and he agreed. There was a phone number besider Augie’s name. “Now, he also had a daughter. Her name was Sylvia. She married a man named Raymond Ciel against her mother’s wishes. We knew they lived in Albuquerque at one time. We have nothing else. We thought that your name was different enough to look it up and call you. Your wife gave us your office number.”

Thomas leaned back and studied the couple. “And just what is your interest in this information?”

Elizabeth decided to be a little evasive. “It started in a study I was making for the museum of anthropology at the university. David was an archeologist at UNM before they even had a department of such. He donated some artifacts to UNM and we think there might be more. Mr. Evans represents a corporation that is interested in some of these artifacts. We also want to complete the history of Mr. Lock for the University’s records.” There was enough truth here and probable truth, that she could make appear official and, if necessary, turn her information over to an official that would be interested.

Thomas went back to Max. “Who are you? There is something about you that reminds me of my father.”

“I am a person like your grandfather. If you can tell us more about him you can understand who I am,” Max replied.

They were talking to a lawyer; a man used to being lied to. Thomas felt something, but he wasn’t about to make the first move.

Elizabeth again tried, “Your distant cousin, Augie Lock, was given a box of artifacts and papers to give to the University. We are hoping that someone on your side of the family was also given something to pass on.

“When I was small, my grandfather told of strangers who would come someday. My father was a practical man and wouldn’t listen to him. He always told me the old man was full of stories that were lies,” Thomas concluded.

“What did your grandfather say about these strangers?” Elizabeth inquired.

“He said we would know them,” Thomas stated. “Father always said they would probably be thieves and we should beware of any strangers.

Elizabeth’s mind took another leap, “What did you feel when you shook hands with Max? Go ahead and try again. Max shake hands.”

Max extended his hand. Thomas took it and then there was a surprising look on his face. “I used to feel like that when my father would walk with me downtown. I used to feel like that when my grandfather would set me on his knee.”

Max looked at Thomas, “I am the same kind of person as your grandfather.”

Elizabeth felt they were getting somewhere, “Did your father or grandfather leave any private writings?”

Thomas thought carefully, “I might have something for you. Tomorrow is Friday, how about coming to my house on Saturday about ten o’clock. I want my wife to be with me as we talk and the children will be at lessons all morning. I think I want to spend tonight and tomorrow night talking to Evelyn.” With that, Max and Elizabeth stood up and left.

Outside Elizabeth immediately spun Max around to face her. “What did you feel Max? What is he?”

“It felt like a weak version of Michael. Thomas definitely is alien related,” Max was musing. He had never had thought of meeting other aliens other than the three he grew up with.

That evening, Max was on the phone with Isabel for over an hour. They had a lot to talk about. First thing, Isabel wanted to know about Max and Elizabeth. Max told her they were thinking of getting married. Then, she told him about Tess moving in with Kyle in Rio Rancho. She also told him about Alex talking about going back to work. She was worried about what she should do. Max felt that she should move in with him, if that is what she and Alex wanted. She should consider marriage if that was in his plans. The corporation could still be run even if the individuals were not present at the house in Farmington all of the time. Then, they talked about how far they had gotten with the David Lock mystery. He told her that he believed that the other side of the lock family was engineered alien. Isabel was skeptical. She felt that Max should be careful until they had a lot more information.

Elizabeth called her folks and told them she was thinking of getting married. Both her mother and father were less than believing. Elizabeth had been in love before. True, she hadn’t mentioned marriage before and now she seemed so sure. They told her they would like to meet the young man.

In her previous life, Elizabeth, would arise and meet the day like a pit bull. She would grab hold and wring it out for all that it was worth. This morning, she woke with Max. They teased about who would get up first and who would fix the coffee.

They had most of the day free. They would go to Roswell soon to meet her folks, but right now, they were working on the Lock papers. Elizabeth went to her old office. It had been straightened, but every thing was still there. She took one of the Archeological Research maps. She stopped by Sam’s office.

“Sam, I want to borrow one of the AR maps. I will return it in a few days,” Elizabeth called out to him from his outer office.

Sam got up to meet Elizabeth. She was a surprise. First, she was in a dress and she sure filled it out nicely. Sam couldn’t remember seeing her in a dress except for the departmental bash once a year and, come to think of it, it was the same dress every year. Second, her eyes were usually full of anger and drive. Elizabeth looked more relaxed than he had ever remembered seeing her. “We are looking at your replacement. He is a doctorial candidate. He reminds me of you with a lot of drive. If you come back, maybe you can work with him, that is, if you can keep out of his bed.”

Elizabeth smiled, “I don’t think that would be a problem,” and she indicated Max waiting for her in the outer office.

Sam grabbed the little archeologist and lifting her off the ground he kissed her. “How serious, Liz?”

“I think we are going to get married,” was her reply.

“By the way Sam, I may have some more artifacts from David Lock. I have traced all of his descendants through his son and I should have those through his daughter. I will let you know and you can let your whiz kid access them into the museum.” This was a different Elizabeth. Usually, the little woman insisted that she follow her finds right up to the storage bins.

Elizabeth and Max drove up into the foothills and got out of Max’s SUV. They were looking at the valley spread out before them and comparing it to the map. Elizabeth showed Max how every hill probably had a habitation on it’s top. When the university had originally surveyed these hills, unlike now, there were no houses on them, but on almost every hilltop there were habitation sites of one form or the other. Just a few hundred years ago if any of the “others” had come by they would have seen an almost modern sight of homes, farms and other places of vocational use.

They spent most of the morning in the foothills looking at the valley and talking about what it was in the past. They had decided to wait to see what Thomas Ciel would give them before starting a more thorough search in county records.

That afternoon, Max asked Elizabeth to walk with him through one of the bigger malls. To her surprise, he took her to a Jewelry store and asked the clerk if they could look at diamonds rings. There was one ring with an emerald cut center diamond and two smaller diamonds on each side. All together it was over a caret weight. Max took it out and asked Elizabeth if she liked it. Elizabeth was flustered. Of course she liked it but it must be terribly expensive. Max pealed off over five thousand dollars from a roll in his pocket. He took the ring and placed it on Elizabeth’s finger. “Dr Elizabeth Parker will you accept this ring along with my request of marriage?” By this time, the people in the store knew something was going on. As Elizabeth kissed Max, the audience cheered.

When they returned to her house, Elizabeth grabbed her cell phone and retired into her bedroom for some serious girl talk with Maria.

Max wanted to go out that evening. He took her to a small, dark restaurant with traveling musicians and candlelight. The pretend Gypsies played the violin, and along with the southwestern food, it was a good evening.

At Ten o’clock the next morning, they were at the Ciel home. Elizabeth started, “David Lock, while surveying for archeological sites, met some strange people. They convinced him to return to his wife and quit his travels. She gave birth to two children. The boy had descendants down to Augie Lock, residing now in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The girl married what may have been one of the people David met. This man may have been Thomas’s grandfather. David’s wife was angry and cut off all correspondence with her daughter.”

Thomas looked at Max, “What are we?”

Max shrugged there was nothing to be gained in not telling the truth. “We are engineered aliens, purposely made to work on earth. We have many abilities that humans haven’t developed. We can interbreed with humans, but the first generation is held to strict standards. We can only love one woman. I do not know about other generations. Dr. Parker and I have recently pledged our choice of each other.” Evelyn noticed that Elizabeth was playing with her ring with her thumb. She couldn’t have received it more than a short time ago.

Thomas was still holding Evelyn’s hand. “That is interesting because I never dated much and after meeting Evelyn, I had no desire to meet anyone else.”

Max just shrugged. Elizabeth asked, “Can you do anything other people do not seem to be able to do?”

Thomas looked as if he were going to say no for a second, but then, he lifted his eyes, “I can tell if someone is lying. That is the way I do not accept clients who are guilty. I have to be careful. But most people just think I am selective in who I represent.”

Max cleared his throat, “We might want to talk to you about representing us. You would have to meet all of the members of the corporation to trust them, but we do not, at this time, have a lawyer.”

Thomas indicated a box of files and papers. Elizabeth took the box over to a couch away from the others and began to go through them. Many of the papers contained more detailed stories about meeting the others. There was a boy who David called Raymond. He was young and seemed to form an attachment for David. There were more spots where artifacts were supposed to be hidden. There were many papers about working at UNM and the problems the fledgling science had in developing. This led to Dr. Hewitt starting the new department. The papers and monographs that didn’t mention the others, should go to the university. The other papers should go to Farmington to be studied by members of the corporation.

By the time his children had come home, Thomas and Evelyn Ciel were convinced that many of their questions could now be answered and that he would understand better how to face the questions of his children. As Max and Elizabeth were fixing to leave, David brought out a locked case. He opened it and it contained seven bronze discs or plates.

Thomas and Augie would have to get together and decide how much of their families they wanted to share. Max was in a hurry to get the plates back to Farmington. Elizabeth had to go through the papers and a few artifacts that should go to the university. Then she wanted to go home. Elizabeth had been home just before she went out on survey, but she needed to talk with her parents. It was decided that Elizabeth would head for Roswell tomorrow morning, taking the papers with her. Max would go to Farmington immediately, and meet Elizabeth in Roswell in a couple of days. Since she had committed to Max, this would be the first time Elizabeth had been away from him. Elizabeth, who had needed no man, was worried about being alone for the first time in her life. That night, they made the most of their time together.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Obsessed Roswellian
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Chapter 11,12

Post by ken_r » Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:10 pm

Stories by ken_r
The lady I consult about religious affairs is herself Catholic. she outlined the peremeterrs that would be needed to have a Catholic non-Catholic wedding. She is a also a students of several religions. I am sure she wasn't thinking about my alien wedding when we were talking.

Chapter 11

Elizabeth got up early then she and Rolf started the long journey to Roswell. It was past noon when she drove into her parents drive. Again, she was wearing a skirt and almost nobody recognized her at first.

“Liz! It is so nice for you to be home. How long will you be here?” were the first words out of her father’s mouth. He dearly loved his daughter and though he knew that it is a parent’s duty to release their child, he still, in his heart, held her close.

Nancy, her mother, quickly looked around, “Where is your man of the hour?”

“Mom, I hope he is to be the man of my life,” Liz replied. Her parents were so glad to see her that she was grateful they didn’t know of the trials she had faced in the last six months. “Max will be here in a couple of days. He had business in Farmington and couldn’t come with me. I wanted to come home as soon as I could so I decided not to wait.”

Then, her mother saw her ring. Her baby girl was going to settle down and get married. “Oh Liz, are you sure this time? Come and tell us more about Max.”

They had all sorts of questions. Who was Max? What did he do? Where did they meet? How long had they been going together? What was his education?

Liz had to admit there were things about Max that she did not know. She had to conceal the fact that there were things she could not tell them. Her parents were a little disturbed. They were well cognizant that Elizabeth had some shaky relationships in the past.

“At least none of the other relationships caused Liz to wear a skirt. Furthermore, they hadn’t heard her swear once since she has been home. Maybe, this love is for real,” her mother mused to her dad as they were drinking their morning coffee.

“Yes, and her other relationships didn’t cause her eyes to sparkle. Usually she thinks mainly of her work and this time she seems to have other things on her mind,” Jeff was reminded of himself when he decided to quit the rodeo circuit. He had been pretty good, for a young fellow just out of high school, but he now felt he had lost nothing when he looked at the years he had been married to Nancy and the ultimate love of his life, his baby girl, now all grown up and her self talking of marriage. He sure hoped this Max was worthy of the greatest prize Jeff had, that of his child, Liz.

Elizabeth scheduled three hours to work on the papers that morning. She was dividing those for the university and those for Farmington. Her father asked if she would like to go riding with him that afternoon. This was important because when she was riding with her father, they could talk about important things.

Her little mare had been sold years ago to a girl in Texas who was really good at barrel racing. Her dad still had a couple horses that were not too big for Elizabeth to feel comfortable riding. While they were riding through the hills, Elizabeth told him about Max and the ride they took. She explained that Max said marriage would not be about giving up anything, but rather supporting each other. She laughed as she explained Max’s theories on love being like a bull. She explained how he said the young bull would waste his energy in fighting things that had no meaning. The old bull would try to unseat his adversary quickly and then just go back to his stall. Her dad laughed, but he was gaining more respect for this Max, who ever he was, all of the time.

Jeff Parker had watched his daughter grow up and make mostly bad choices. As a parent, he had simply stood by and when the choices ultimately failed, he tried to be supportive. He knew when something was wrong. “Liz, what else happened this summer? You are not telling me everything.”

They rode under the shade of a cottonwood. There were some old stumps to sit on, so they ground hitched their horses and sat talking. “Daddy, I was snake bitten this summer. Max found me and took care of me and got me to a hospital. I was also captured by two men. I had no chance to defend my self. I was tied up and they were going to kill me. Max and his friend saved me, again. I now know how foolish I have been to try to do everything just by myself,” Elizabeth hung her head. “Max said that I was like the young bull that fought at targets that were not real. He said that he wanted me to be with him and not loose my strengths, but to quit wasting my energy tilting at the defense of feelings and attitudes that had little value.”

Jeff Parker thought that his daughter had grown up a lot this summer. It was fortunate that this Max had been present to allow her a chance to actually grow up. He also told Elizabeth that he thought this should be between just them and not told to her mother. As they rode home, Jeff again thought how much Liz was like he had been. He saw himself as a stove-up cowboy if he had stayed on the circuit. True, many make a wonderful living at bull riding, but all of them pay a price. Jeff wouldn’t trade his life with Nancy and his opportunity to watch Liz grow up for any trophy buckle made.

That night, sleeping alone with only Rolf guarding her door was the hardest thing Elizabeth hade done in a long time. She had feared that she wouldn’t be able to commit to Max and here it was she, who couldn’t bare to be away from him. It wasn’t security he offered. Even if it failed her that time in Navajo land she still trusted her little Glock. No, Max offered her an anchor. He was someone who would stand by her like her parents had, but also, more like someone who would share all of her fears and doubts and show pride of her ability in research and the extensive knowledge she possessed. Max had peered into her soul with all of its doubts and false facades and he had still wanted her as his companion. She was still hurt the worst by the betrayal from Jimmy in college. That was the last time she had really tried to give her self to someone. The lovers since had only been excuses, and as such, had been easily shed. She wondered how she actually felt about Kyle. After due soul searching, she decided she did love him, but he was never able to reach that pain in her heart that would allow trust, so she had always struck back at him. Now, her love for him could be happy that he had found someone who would bring to him, hopefully, the same strength she was receiving from Max. She and Kyle would always be friends and she hoped that with Max’s association with Kyle’s chosen mate, that they all could be friends celebrating in each other’s good fortune.

Again in the morning Elizabeth scheduled three hours to work on her papers. After noon, she went down to her father’s restaurant. Word had passed that she was home. Several people she had known at school dropped by. The girls were envious at the sight of her ring and the boys were disappointed that the old Elizabeth was no longer. They were all surprised to see her in a really nice dress. The big question was when was the date? Elizabeth shrugged, soon, but she just didn’t know and yes, her fiancée would be in Roswell tomorrow afternoon.

Another night of sleeping alone. Elizabeth couldn’t remember when she hadn’t relished the freedom of being alone. That feeling now was just so foreign to her.

Max drove his SUV to the Crashdown about one o’clock that afternoon. Business almost stopped. Mr. Parker was happy to see him and he whispered his thanks for protecting his little girl. Max wasn’t sure of how much Elizabeth had told him so he just nodded. Nancy Parker wanted to know more about Max. She told him that they should talk sometime soon. and neighbors just wanted to see who had tamed Elizabeth. That evening, they walked down the streets hand in hand. This was something Elizabeth had never done before with a boy or a man.

Max had taken a room and paid the price for two so there would be no question when Elizabeth was with him. The first night Elizabeth stayed with Max until midnight and then he took her home. Her parents were waiting up for her. She was a bit miffed at this, although she understood that they worried. She explained that tomorrow night she was going to stay with Max and she wanted them to give her their blessing. It was hard for both parents, but they had always known about Elizabeth’s love affairs and her boyfriends then were not half as “Everything” as Max. They both hugged her and her father kissed her forehead. “I just want my baby to be safe,” he said.

“I know daddy and there is nowhere I would be safer than in the arms of Max,” with that, Liz went to her lonesome bed.

At the opening of the restaurant the next morning, Max was waiting. He was the first one in. After breakfast, Nancy had some deliveries to make so she called to Max, “Come on, Max, you can help me.”

As they delivered fresh bread and pastries, Max and Nancy tried to get to know each other or at least Nancy tried to learn more about Max. “Max, what is your occupation?”

“Right now, I work for a corporation owned by myself and my relatives to find things for a client. When this job is over, I should have enough to go to college,” Max responded.

“Where did you meet Elizabeth?” was Nancy’s next question.

Max chuckled, “I saw her on the desert and I made it my business to meet her.” He wondered what Nancy would think if she knew that Elizabeth was naked when he was looking at her with his instruments.

Max told Nancy the story about how he and his relatives were found wandering about the desert just north of Roswell. Nancy remembered a little of this. She remembered the Evans and the Guerin family, but she didn’t know either very well. Max told her he had been with Elizabeth off and on for about six months. He then told her that they had been serious for about the last two months.

Nancy told Max some of Elizabeth’s growing up stories. She was careful not to tell of Elizabeth’s boyfriends. They had a good talk and Nancy was satisfied that Max was better than any of the others. When they got back to the restaurant Max turned to Nancy, “I want both you and Jeff to understand how much Elizabeth means to me. She is a very special person and I feel lucky that she has chosen to spend her life with me.”

Nancy was to remember and think about those words, “She has chosen to spend her life with me.” Max did not consider Liz as a prize. He seemed to consider her a blessing that had come into his life. Nancy also thought about the affairs Liz had before Max. A parent wasn’t supposed to know these things, but Nancy wasn’t stupid. She knew that her Elizabeth had been on a road to destruction. She had cried silently every time Liz had called home that she had broken up with another boyfriend. Privately, Nancy had been convinced that most of the affairs Liz entered into were disasters waiting to happen, but Nancy still as a parent, wanted Liz to find happiness. She always hoped Liz would find a stability to tame that wild beast within, much like she had seen Jeff do when they were married and he settled down.

That afternoon, Jeff invited both Max and Elizabeth to go riding. Jeff had that westerner’s idea that you could tell about a man by the way he sat on a horse. Jeff picked out three horses. None of them were mean but they were, high spirited animals. They saddled them and as Elizabeth got ready to mount, Max stepped behind her and grabbing her waist, he helped her into the saddle. Max, with one hand on the horn, simply put his foot in the stirrup and stepped into his saddle. Jeff liked that way he sat tall. The horses were a little jumpy. Jeff expected Elizabeth to handle her mount and she didn’t disappoint him a bit. Max’s horse danced around and Max just turned him until he decided to behave. They rode through the trees and brush in the lower part of the valley. When they got to a cadre of trees, they dismounted. Jeff and Elizabeth ground hitched their horses, but Max not knowing his horse half hitched his to a bush. They sat talking. Max told Jeff about his quarter horses and of the fun he and Elizabeth had riding one of his bigger horses. Jeff watched Elizabeth and was pleased that she could join in on the joke. He remembered too many times when she would fly off the handle. Jeff realized there was definitely something new with Elizabeth.

That night, Elizabeth kissed her parents good night and drove back with Max to his motel. The agony of the two nights she had spent completely without him, assured Elizabeth that she had found her soul mate. As Max filled her body, he also filled her soul. Elizabeth wanted to be everything to Max as he was everything now to her.

The next morning after breakfast, they had a problem. They had two cars in Roswell so they would have to drive back to Albuquerque separately. The drive out of Roswell to anywhere is desolate. The drive to Albuquerque double so. It was a long morning. Once again, Max and Elizabeth would have to be split up. Max felt he should get back to Farmington and Elizabeth had to take some papers and artifacts to UNM.

Elizabeth had separated the papers. She took them to her boss, Sam. Of course, the first thing Sam saw was her ring. He made a fuss over her. She, after all, was like his little sister, at least that is the way he felt about her. Elizabeth met her replacement. His name was Rodney. She gave him the papers along with a summary of David Lock’s work in 1900.

Sam stopped her on her way out,“ Rodney wants to go on solo survey.”

“No, Sam don’t let him. He just isn’t tough enough. I wasn’t tough enough, and I was so much more experienced than Rodney appears to be,” Elizabeth laughed.

Elizabeth received a call that afternoon, “Hey, babe, I have to lay over until tomorrow to catch a plane out. Are you alone? Can I stop by and crash?” It was Maria.

The cab brought Maria to the little house. “How was Roswell?” was the first thing out of Maria’s mouth.

Elizabeth smiled, “ We met the folks. Max seemed to pass all of their tests. All that is left is to set a date.”

Maria was examining the ring. “So, you are really going to do it?”

“I can’t think of anything I want to do more,” Elizabeth said. “ You and Isabel are about the only women I haven’t threatened to scratch their eyes out. I hope you will be in my wedding, well probably, Tess also. We need all the aliens we can get.”

“Do you want your keys back?” Maria asked.

“No, why don’t you just keep them. We are going to keep the house for a while and you are welcome whenever you come through town.” Elizabeth replied.

Late that night, Max called, “Liz, I will be in Las Vegas, New Mexico tomorrow. I am going to spend the day with Augie. I will try to get to Albuquerque tomorrow night, or if not, the morning of the next day. Are you still going to marry me?”

This scared Elizabeth a little because it sounded as if Max might want out. It took her a few minutes to realize that he couldn’t get out. He was now trapped. “Yes, Max, is there something wrong?”

“The others want to meet you. I hope you won’t be scared. They need to give us their blessing or something,” Max said.

Elizabeth turned to Maria, “did you meet the others?”

Maria’s eyes were as big as they could get, “No, not yet.”

Maria was on her way in the skies. Elizabeth was trying to imagine keeping two households. And Max was trying to learn more from Augie Lock and to set up a meeting between him and his distant cousin.

Chapter 12

In the papers they had received from Thomas Ciel, Elizabeth found references to a little boy named Raymond. He had been rejected for some reason from his people. Now, Elizabeth was certain that Raymond had been an engineered alien just like Max. There were just not enough references to any other people like him. David had taken Raymond home and there were vague references about what had happened to him. There was a letter to Sylvia saying that Raymond was a good man and if he was her choice, she had her father David’s, blessing. He also told her not to think too harshly about her mother because she just didn’t understand. Elizabeth went over all of the papers trying to make more sense out of them.

It was late, almost ten o’clock, when Max made it in to Elizabeth’s house. She smiled because he had the same urgency as she had about being separate. Max had some news, “The others want to meet you within the month. After that, we can set a marriage date on any day you choose.” Max was holding Elizabeth as he told her this.

Elizabeth had been scribbling on scratch paper the dates that she thought might work for everyone. She would call her mother and they would arrange the time of the wedding. Elizabeth had always been a little catty when her friends were planning their weddings. She just hadn’t seen why they went to so much trouble to pledge to sleep with one man. She also knew that most of them would break this pledge, anyway. Elizabeth knew that she would not have that privilege, as breaking a pledge to Max would literally kill him.

Elizabeth had few friends. She knew that the three other aliens and their consorts would be there. She planned all along to ask the women to stand up with her. She wanted Sam, if he could to be there. There would be the family friends of her parents and she assumed that there would be friends of the aliens if they had any.

Elizabeth had never even looked at wedding dresses. In her mind she always envisioned that she would just elope to Las Vegas Nevada. Now that wouldn’t seem right. She wanted to share her love for Max with her family. She wanted a wedding picture of her standing beside Max on the happiest day of her life.

Her parents wanted a priest. That might present a problem. Elizabeth had been raised a Catholic, but saying her catechism didn’t take, was an understatement. Her mother had been reasonably devout, but her father was always a rebel. It was obvious as to whom she took after. Her mother asked her to talk to her priest. Elizabeth was going to have to go back to Roswell, anyway, soon.

Max folded his arms around her and lifted her up and carried her to bed. It had been several days since they had been in bed together. She never had a hunger like this in her other relationships. She could take them or not as was convenient. This night, she reveled in both the intimacy and in the security of being with Max. Max’s caresses made her strong. Except for the recent times she had almost died, she hadn’t felt weak, but what was it Max had said? “With him, she didn’t have to prove her strength.” Just his presence was proof enough to her that she could face anything.

Max stayed with her for several days. Elizabeth called Maria first and asked if any of her chosen dates could be accommodated. Then, she called her mother and they made the final arrangements. In exactly six weeks on a Saturday, Elizabeth, the girl who needed nobody would, not give up anything, as Max had told her so many times, but add to her life the title of wife of Max Evans. She would take his name although she would probably have to hyphenate her name for professional reasons, her many papers and writing would always remain as works of Dr. Parker.

Max had finished up his business in Albuquerque. He had received word that Thomas Ciel and Augie Lock had met in Santa Fe. They both wanted to bring their families together. Augie had lost his wife several years before, but he had a daughter, who was grown with her own family. Eventually he would like to introduce them to his new cousins, but for now he would just celebrate the family of Thomas. Evelyn Ciel was a gracious host in these reunion plans.

It was with anticipation and fear that Max and Elizabeth headed back to Farmington. Rolf always enjoyed being with Max. He enjoyed traveling and he wasn’t going to have any scary interview, so Rolf was the only one who could relax and enjoy the trip. It was two days before Max announced that the others were ready to meet Elizabeth. It turned out that they didn’t have to go anywhere, but one of the ground floor rooms that Max and Elizabeth had passed time and time again was the place.

Elizabeth was even more scared when Max sat down and explained that he wasn’t going to be allowed to accompany Elizabeth on this interview. He would await her and he assured her that she was in no danger. She must only speak truthfully, because they would know everything in her heart, anyway.

Elizabeth entered a room that had previously been locked. She was wearing slacks and a loose fitting blouse. She was wearing a pair of Taos Squaw boots. She stood in the alcove in the semi-lit room. There were several lights at the other end of the room. As she waited, one of the lights approached her. In the back of her mind, she giggled as the light resembled the ghost in Pacman. As it approached, Elizabeth had a funny sensation, then she was naked. She was worried, but surprisingly enough, she didn’t seem embarrassed. A voice was heard in her head, “Do not fear my child. We only want to see you the way our child, the one you call Max, first saw you.”

If any of the old Elizabeth had been present, she would have lashed out both physically and verbally. As it was, she stood demurely and waited instructions. The light took on a semblance of form. “I am One, I am the factor of every number and have only myself as a factor.”

Elizabeth frowned since she had more than the minimum credits of math but these creatures were taking their math too far. The creature extended a appendage and she took it. It didn’t feel substantial, but her hand was led as she walked through the room. Another creature approached and One introduced him as Two. He was a factor of half of the numbers and a true prime as he had One and himself as factors. The three of them sat at a table that just appeared. Elizabeth still felt self-conscious about her nakedness, but she was enduring it. She didn’t sense any threat to her body. “The child you committed to is special, although it means nothing here, he is descended from kings. I, my self, contributed much to his genetic makeup,” One said. “It is an honor to meet with his choice and to know that she also accepts him without reservation. We have led our children as best we could, but it is up to a human union to fulfill them with the gift of human passions.”

Liz thought about this. She had thought that Max had many passions, but then within her mind the thought was formed that these passions had come from her. It explained why the female, engineered aliens seemed to have more passion than the males. They were able to experience more human dalliances where the males were restricted. It also explained why Michael had formed his alliance so quickly with Maria. Maria, with her openness, had no obstacles to freely giving of herself to him. It was the baggage of Elizabeth’s mind that had delayed her relationship with Max. He had waited until she was ready and then he could reflect her passion back to her and enjoy himself as a true lover.

Elizabeth was getting the idea that her Max was very important to these others. She said nothing because she had nothing to say.

“The four children were created to correct mistakes made in the last 150 of your years. They were planted on your planet near where you were born. They were released from pods to coincide with your life and the lives of several other human females. You all had to live your lives to the fullest to be worthy queens for our king. We did not guide any of you. You were all completely free in all of your choices. We did not guide you, either, as you searched for the descendants of the child you called Raymond. We asked David to care for him. The other siblings of that landing were unsuccessful. It was David’s wife who feared that Raymond was a result of some infidelity. David tried to explain to her, but his many absences had already caused too much harm to their relationship. We know that you were principle in the discovery of the artifacts we needed. For this, we also thank you. The other human females will live happy lives of their own making never knowing about us, but you have chosen to support and enhance our king. Your world would call what we now bestow a blessing. For us it a celebration. When you join, by your culture, our king, you will be bringing your religions, your laws and families together with us.”

Elizabeth, strangely, was not scared. The lights multiplied, but she noticed they didn’t seem to illuminate the room. Elizabeth felt she was drowning in light. She could almost not breath and then, nothing. The light within the room slowly brightened and Elizabeth was standing, alone, fully clothed, in the middle of an empty room. She proceeded toward the door. She found a golden bracelet, hanging from the knob, which she took. It was covered with the strange pictographs that she had failed, so far, to translate.

She opened the door and Max was there to hold her. He clearly had been worried. He tried to get her to tell him what happened, but she was not sure what she was free to tell. Elizabeth asked him not to interrogate her. Someday she would talk about her experience, but for now, she needed to think. They walked along the riding path just taking in the scenery.

That night, Michael and Isabel were present at supper. Isabel smiled as she asked Elizabeth if everything was right with the others.

Max took Elizabeth back to Albuquerque. He kissed her and then departed. The engineered aliens had promised to be in Roswell a week before the date of the wedding. Isabel would be responsible for the wedding dress for Elizabeth and those of her court. Elizabeth had talked with Isabel about what she wanted and was pretty sure that Isabel would do a better job than a cowgirl from Roswell could, in getting the dresses. Elizabeth was in Roswell fully two weeks before the event. She was going to have to meet the priest This was going to be more frightening than meetings the others.

Father Riley was a young man. He was strong within his faith, but he also was a compassionate man. He realized the burden religion sometimes put on people so he was quick to forgive. He hoped God was as quick, also. He was stationed in an area where Catholic and non-Catholic faiths were intermingled regularly. He met a new person today. She approached him and requested confession. Her family were faithful members of the Church, especially her mother. Father Riley had heard that her father had been very rough around the edges in his youth. Later, when he was to look the family up in the church rolls, he found that the young lady had been registered as confirmed within the church. He knew that confession was supposed to have anonymity, but the lady had approached him personally and he had sat with her. Her sins were many, at least as she saw them. Mainly, she had drifted away from attending the church. She had had affairs of the flesh, and she acknowledged that they were mistakes. She also said she was in love with an alien. Father Riley talked to her about contrition for her mistakes, but he wandered about the alien business. Southern New Mexico had many illegal aliens. Most of them were Hispanic and most of them were Catholic. She seemed to feel that this was important, so he talked to her about the seriousness of love. She pledged him to secrecy and he kept assuring her that he was representing the Church and would in no way divulge what she told him. Their conversation drifted from confession to counseling. Elizabeth told him she was entering into a marriage with a non-Catholic and her parents wanted her to be married by a priest. Yes, marriages of Catholic to non-Catholics were not uncommon. The biggest hurdle was that the children must be given catechism taught by the Church. She explained that the family of her intended requested that she be married in her religion also. “My child are your future in-laws Catholic?” the priest asked.

Eliaabeth shook her head, no.

“Are they Christian?” he asked.

Elizabeth again shook her head.

“Why do they want this marriage to take place within your religion?” poor Father Riley was confused.

They just asked for the marriage to be seen in the eyes of my religion and the law,” truthfully, Elizabeth had no idea. If she had just demanded to get married in Las Vegas it would have been easier. The look of the others as they requested she take their king according to law and religion just stayed with her.

Father Riley said, “Is he a good man? Will he stay with you? Will he talk to me?”

To each of these Elizabeth nodded in the affirmative.

“I will just have to talk to both of you,” Father Riley had never been more confused.

Well now, Max would have face the others of her side.

Elizabeth did miss Max. She was so busy that she would not have had much time for him, even if he had been there. Nights were hard. She was, not now, content to sleep without him. She and Rolf walked the streets of Roswell some evenings. She would meet friends of her family and they would pass the time about her wedding with their congratulations. Her mother was working out a guest list. Elizabeth had informed her that she had invited the people she knew, so any other guests were those of her parents.

Max came into town on time. Elizabeth moved in with him at the motel. Rolf had to be at the Parker’s home alone, but that was all right, because the Parkers spoiled him, since they didn’t have a grandchild, yet. Max was informed that he needed to talk to the priest. He smiled, “Liz if you were willing to face my others from another world, I would be remiss if I refused to visit your other from a spiritual world.”

Max and Elizabeth showed up at their appointed time. Father Riley requested that he talk to Max first alone. Secretly, Elizabeth thought at least Max won’t be naked. This caused her to giggle. Father Riley shook hands with Max. His first impression was very favorable, but when he started to ask questions he was perplexed. His first questions were all answered by “I don’t know.”

“Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Christ? Do you believe in the sacraments of the Church?” Father Riley was really flying by his own coat tails. He started a discussion of scripture and was amazed that Max could not only quote and seemed to understand the scripture, but he also could quote it in several different forms. He asked Max about other religions, and if he believed in them. Again, Max could only say, “I do not know.” He asked if Max would interfere in Catholic education of any children he and Elizabeth might have. Max was very favorable. He wanted his children to have any and all the education they could get. He asked if Max would raise his children Catholic? Max replied he would never interfere in any beliefs his children would have. Father Riley remembered the comment about being alien. He asked Max a question in Spanish. Max replied also in Spanish. Father Riley frowned. he remembered a phrase in Gaelic. Max replied in the samelanguage, but he corrected part of Riley’s phrase. “Where do you come from, Max?”

Max looked at him, “Is this conversation confidential?”

It was Father Riley’s turn to nod yes.

“I am an alien. I was sent to earth to do a task and now the task is over. I am allowed to find happiness if I can. I am genetically compatible with Elizabeth and I want to raise a family in earth tradition.”

That blew what was left of Father Riley’s mind.

He called Elizabeth back in. What assurances can you each give that you will stay with each other, until death do you part. Max answered, “I am programmed to only love one woman. If Liz was to leave me I would probably die.”

Father Riley had heard of hard and fast unions, but this one seemed to be locked solid. Maybe, they should consult with these aliens with human divorce rates as high as fifty percent.

After consulting with the couple for another hour, Father Riley decided that he would have to use his own judgment. This union had no precedent, thus far, in the Church.

With the minimum promises in place, Father Riley consented to marry the young couple. The more he thought about it, the more comfortable he was with his decision.

The wedding day arrived. Maria brought some of her musicians. The crashdown was the setting for the reception. Father Riley went over and over in his mind to see if he had any regrets in promising to perform the ceremony. Isabel brought the dresses. Maria was the maid of honor, while Isabel and Tess were both bride’s maids. Michael stood up with Max as best man. Alex and Kyle were ushers. Sam appeared and he had a big kiss for his favorite archeologist. Many of the other guests were friends of the Parkers. The wedding was a first for father Riley in the way of joining an alien to a woman. They danced after the wedding in front of the Crashdown. Finally, Max and Elizabeth just disappeared.

Back at Farmington in the semi-dark room. One was gathering in the others. “Our king now has a human queen and we are pleased. We have the artifacts we requested and we are pleased. Our children are in loving relationships and we are pleased.”

Wedding Picture of Liz

Stories by ken_r
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-