(Episode Equivalent - End of the World)

(Monday, October 23rd, 2000)

(The Parker House - Liz's Bedroom)

(After The Trip To Visit Madame Vivian)


Liz draped the lace over her head and looked at her reflection in the mirror.  Madame Vivian had said Max would choose her and Liz let herself dwell in the pleasant dream she had of the future, of becoming Max's wife and loving him until the end of their days.


"I Liz Parker take Max Evans to be my..." Liz let the sentence trail off as her smile slowly dissolved.  It was a beautiful fantasy and as desperately as she wanted it, she could not let Max choose her.  He had a duty to his people and she couldn't stand between him and his destiny.


Liz sighed, it would be so easy to give in to her feelings.  Her love for Max had not diminished in the months they had been apart.  And Max had left her in no doubt of his feelings, having pursued her relentlessly since she had walked away from him in May.


She laid the lace aside and brushed the hair out of her face.  How could life be so cruel? she wondered.  When Max had reversed the connection between them, all of those months ago, something had been awakened inside her.  It was as if she had recognized something in Max and was irresistibly drawn to him, growing to love him more and more each day. 


It had practically killed her to walk away from Max at the pod chamber that terrible day last May, after they had finally exchanged vows of love, but she loved him so much that she would never be able to forgive herself for holding him back. 


The sudden sound of music outside her window drew her attention and she crawled out the opening and onto the balcony.  A Mariachi band stood in the street below her, one man with his face completely covered by his hat.  At an unseen signal, the hat was lowered to reveal the face most beloved to her, Max.


The soft strains of music floated up to her as he began to sing.  The words were in Spanish but even though she did not speak the language she could hear the sorrow and heartache the song expressed.  As Max continued to sing, he produced a bunch of red roses from behind his back and tossed them up to her.  The flowers arched in the air and seemed to stop for a moment as the color washed out of them leaving white roses where red had been just a moment before.


She deftly caught the flowers, immediately bringing them to cover her face, before Max could see just how close to surrender she was.  Since she had returned from Florida, Max had constantly pursued her even though she continually rebuffed him, and her resistance was wearing thin.  She gathered her strength and put the flowers aside to smile serenely, not wanting to encourage him. 


A sound behind her drew her attention.


"Lizzie?  What the hell is going on out there?" her father called as he came into her room.  "Is that Max again?"


Jeff climbed out the window and looked over the edge of the balcony, "Max is that you again?"  He quickly took in the scene below, "It's eleven-oÕclock.  Tomorrow's a school day..."


Max smiled, as he and the mariachi band, still singing, started to walk away.


Jeff shook his head, "Aw, jeez."






(Episode Equivalent - End of the World)

(Tuesday, October 24th, 2000)


Max watched Isabel, Michael and Tess as they looked at the Granolith.  He had to admit, the alien object was fascinating but also frightening at the same time.  Somehow he felt drawn to it, like if he could just remember how, it would reveal all of its secrets to him.  He shook his head with abhorrence, glad he didn't remember.  He didn't want to know what it was.  It was a purely alien thing and he didn't want to have anything to do with it. 


Since Nasedo's death, a voice that resided in the back of his mind had been steadily growing stronger.  There was no one to help them anymore.  There was no one to make sure they followed their destiny, and as far as they knew, there was no way to return to their planet.  No one could blame him for failing his mission.  There was nothing else they could do.  He was ready to leave his alien side, and everything it meant, behind him.  To Max, it seemed the perfect chance to embrace his humanity and with it, everything he had always wanted. 


Suddenly Tess spoke, breaking into his thoughts.  "Maybe we should pool our energy."


Max looked at her with a blank expression, "Pool our energy?"


Tess explained, "If we join hands and concentrate maybe we can make some kind of connection that we can't make on our own."


This was exactly the type of thing Max had been avoiding.  What if something happened that revealed more of their past or their mission to them?  He couldn't take the chance.  And the fact that the suggestion had come from Tess angered him even more.  He put all of his mistrust and ridicule into his tone, "Is this something Nasedo told you?"


Tess recoiled from his harsh words.  "No.  It's an original idea, or isn't that allowed?" she snapped back.


Max remained silent, dismissing her, but Tess wasn't ready to accept his decision, "Can we at least try it?"


Max glared at Tess and she turned to Isabel appealing to her. 


Isabel tried to dispel some of the tension, not understanding her brother's reluctance, "I'll try it."


Tess turned to Michael, asking for his agreement with the single word, "Michael?"


Michael, who had been studying Max, shrugged.  "If it pisses Max off, what the hell."


They each took a place around the Granolith.  Tess reached for Michael's hand, and Michael reached for Isabel's.


But as Tess and Isabel reached for Max's hand, he shook his head.  "I really don't..."


Isabel cut him off with a scolding tone, "Max."


Max reached to take Isabel's hand and turned to Tess.  He looked at her outstretched hand and the revulsion started to rise up in him as it did every time he had to be near her.  He felt as if he constantly had to be on guard around her, because if he wasn't careful, she would trick him and pull him in.  But he didn't want to show her his weakness and reluctantly took her hand.


For a moment he attempted to focus, but just being near to Tess was unnerving him.  He didn't want to be close to her and he most certainly didn't want to discover anything that could ruin his chance with Liz, as the message in the cave had.  Liz had been softening toward him since her return from Florida, and he couldn't risk anything else happening.  He dropped Tess and Isabel's hands and took a step back. 


Tess turned to him, with a hurt look, "What are you doing?"


"It didn't work," he barked.


Tess was incredulous, "You didn't give it a chance."


Max attacked her verbally, "I've got too much on my mind to play ring-around-the-rosy, all right?"


Tess' voice dripped with venom, "Holding hands is childish, but serenading Liz on her rooftop is crucial to our survival."


Max looked at her, wondering how she knew, and Tess seeing the surprised look on his face, laughed, mocking him.  "It's a small town, Max.  Sing in Spanish, it gets around."


Max was angrier than he had ever been with her.  How dare she belittle what he and Liz had between them?  "My relationship with Liz is none of your business," he spat at her.


Tess was hurt and she lashed out at him, "It's not that you think joining hands is a bad idea, you just can't stand to touch me."


Max knew he should be ashamed of his behavior but he couldn't even pretend she hadn't guessed the truth.  He looked her steadily in the eyes, not saying a word.


"I am so out of here," she said, as she turned and headed toward the door.  Tess felt the first pricks of tears and willed them away.  Why should she care what Max thought of her?  But she had to admit to herself that she did care what Max thought.  She had stopped trying to get close to him like he had told her and she hadn't used her mind powers on him in months.  She thought if they could become friends, he would remember and grow to love her but it hadn't worked out like that.  Even with Liz gone over the summer, Max had stayed as far away from her as he could.


Tess stopped near the door and straightened her shoulders; she wouldnÕt let Max know how much he had hurt her.  She tossed her blonde curls and looked back over her shoulder, "Grow up Max," she said caustically, trying to cover her pain, and stormed outside.






(Crashdown Cafˇ)


Maria stomped into the kitchen, still depressed about what Madame Vivian had told her.  "We need to talk."


"Talk?" Michael asked apprehensively.


Oblivious to the caution in his tone, Maria continued casually, "Yeah, about our relationship."


Michael looked at her as if she had suddenly sprouted another head.  "You gotta be joking me."


Maria shook her head, "Some stupid psychic told me that the next forty-eight hours are critical, so could you just try not to be a bonehead?  Is that, like, a possibility?"  She stopped talking as Courtney walked into the kitchen.  "No waitresses in the kitchen," she said for what seemed like the thousandth time.


But Courtney ignored her and turned toward Michael, "Hey, Mikey G. You got my order yet?"


"Yeah, right there," he said, motioning to the counter.


"Takeoff Tacos, Plutonium Platter, and the Greek God salad, light on the feta.  You're such a good boy," she said as she brazenly slapped Michael on the butt, and turned with the food to leave.


Michael felt the disapproval radiating from Maria and hurried to cover, "She put in that order before I got busy."


But Maria was not so easily placated, "Okay, give it up, Guerin. What's going on with her?"


"Yeah," he said misunderstanding her, "that's exactly what I want to know."


"Michael," Maria warned.


"I don't trust her."


"Hmm.  Neither do I."


He finally caught Maria's meaning and explained his thoughts, "I mean, there's something going on with her.  Another new face in town arrived this summer after the signal went out.  Her picture was in Whitaker's office.  She's constantly hanging around me, always giving me these looks."


"So, do you think she's an alien?" Maria asked skeptically, not sure if he was stringing her along.


"Or with the government," he said with conviction, "I don't know."


"Well, I'll tell you what I know, Mikey G," Maria said sarcastically, "the slut wants in your pants."


"That might work," he said to himself thoughtfully, a plan already starting to form.






Courtney hopped off of Michael's motorcycle, "Thanks for the ride."


When Michael had come up with this idea, it had seemed so easy and now he was not sure how to proceed.  "No problem."


"You handle your machine really good," she said.


He was surprised that he was genuinely flattered by her praise. "Thanks."


Courtney lingered.  "Well, I guess it's time for another night curled up in my sheets, fondling my remote control."


"I guess," Michael said, trying to sound uninterested.


"Unless, of course," Courtney flirted, "you want to be my remote control for the night?"


"I'd better go home."


"Too bad," she sighed.  "Well, good night."  Courtney stepped into him and kissed him hard, hoping to temp him to change his mind.


"What the hell," Michael shrugged.  He was pleased that his plan had worked out so well.  Of course they always did.






Song Playing: Take a Chance on Me by ABBA


Max agilely climbed the ladder to Liz's balcony and looked through the window, hoping she was there.  Even after he had embarrassed himself with the Mariachi band, she was still refusing his calls and he had come to try again.  He could see Liz through the window studying at the table.  She was so beautiful and he loved her so much and every time he saw her he felt as if his heart would break because they were not together. 


He smiled joylessly remembering all the times he had pushed her away.  He had been such a fool for wasting so much of the time they could have had together.  He could have used the time to bind her to him so closely that she never would have considered leaving him.


He shook his head.  Often the events of the terrible day Liz had walked away, had plagued him.  He had been a fool to listen to Michael.  He should have gone after her immediately and convinced her to stay with him.  All summer he had played the day over and over in his mind and he felt with a soul-deep conviction, if he had stopped Liz that day, everything would have turned out differently.


Max had pursued Liz relentlessly after she walked away from him but he continued to have a sickening feeling that he was too late.  She had tried to avoid him but he made sure they were constantly together either at school or at the Crashdown.  He was making his presence known, letting her know in word and deed that he would never let her go.  They had been together physically more than ever before, but spiritually he had felt the abyss that forced them apart, widening each day. 


Then exactly a week later, Liz had left for Florida.  They had both known why she was going, even if she had acted as if the whole thing had been previously arranged.  She wouldn't even have told him she was leaving if he hadn't have happened to come to her window and seen her packing. 


Max shook his head.  There were so many things he could have done differently, but it was useless to dwell on the past. He needed her in his life and he would do anything he had to do, to make her see they belonged together.  He would never let her go and he would never stop pursuing her until she changed her mind.  If he thought she didn't love him it would be different but he knew she loved him with the same soul deep, searing love he felt for her.


He had pursued her before she had left and even with a summer of separation and her continued denial, he had no intention of backing off now.  If anything, he was determined to try harder to win her back.  It was a battle worth winning and he had everything on his side; time, love, and Liz herself, even if she didn't want to admit it.


Max knocked gently on the glass separating them and Liz looked up immediately.  He saw the joy that crossed her features momentarily before she had time to cover it with a polite smile.  His heart leapt, knowing he could still cause that kind of reaction in her and he was more certain than ever they belonged together.


Liz slid the window open.  "Max, what are you doing here?" she asked with a tinge of fear in her voice that she couldn't hide.


Max smiled gently.  He knew she was afraid of giving in to her feelings for him and it made him proceed boldly.  Before she could protest, he took her face in his hands and kissed her, pouring all of his love and desperation into the connection between them.  And when she didn't immediately pull away, his heart soared, knowing that he was gaining ground in the war to win her back.






Max saw several memories of kisses they had shared and felt Liz's feelings that accompanied the images. 






He saw the time that they had spent together in the van after he had escaped from Pierce and the Special Unit. 


"Max, the day that you saved my life, your life just ended."


"No, that was the day my life began.  Liz, when I was in that room, and they did what they did to me; you're what kept me alive.  The thought of you, the way your eyes look into mine, your smile, the touch of your skin your lips.  Knowing you has made me human.  Whether I die tomorrow or fifty years from now, my destiny is the same: it's you.  I want to be with you, Liz.  I love you."


"I love you."




Max could feel that the memory of their time together in the van was Liz's most precious, most cherished, because they had professed their love.  She still loved him, and when they were connected like this, she couldn't deny it. 


He finally ended the kiss and studied her face, noting she was as shaken with the feelings that had passed between them as he was.  "I felt that," he said, trying to catch his breath, and noting Liz was in a similar state.  "And I know you did, too.  And I know you think that I need to let you go, for the sake of Michael, and Isabel, and my race.  So I can follow my destiny.  But Tess isn't you.  Tess can never be you."


Liz struggled to hide the tears that were threatening, having heard Max say the words she had longed to hear more than anything.  But she quickly shored up her resolve, determined to do the right thing.  "Max, we have to stop this.  We have to.  I am telling you that we have to."


Max ignored her protest, knowing she was close to surrender, "Go out with me on Friday.  There's a Gomez concert in Santa Fe.  I have tickets."


"No."  She shook her head trying to clear the visions of them together again,  "No, Max.  I can't go out with you ever again.  Please stop doing this."


Max smiled softly, "I can't."






(The Valenti house Š KyleÕs room)


Tess removed the poster from the wall and passed her hand across the surface, testing the pink she had chosen.


Kyle entered the room, interrupting her.  "I thought I told you I didn't want you doing that Bewitched crap in the house."


Tess rolled her eyes and gently scolded, "Out of my room."


"It's my room!" he asserted


"You, you know what?" she started to protest, but gave up before the fight began.  "Just... just forget it.  I'm sick of this place, and I'm sick of Max Evans."


Kyle couldn't believe his ears, "Don't toy with me."


Tess continued angrily, "I never asked to be his mate.  He thinks I'm just gonna wait around until he comes to terms with his destiny?  Well, I'm not.  He can figure it out on his own.  They all can."  She turned to Kyle, "You know, they didn't even know where the pod chamber was until I came along.  I hate this life."  She dropped onto the bed and released a sigh of frustration, "I feel better."


Kyle watched her tantrum with growing interest, "You look really great when you're pissed."


"Yeah, right," she said sarcastically.


Kyle rushed to assure her, "No, I'm serious.  I feel, like, all this energy coming from you right now."  He turned introspective, "In order to trim the lamp of wisdom, we must attend to our bodily needs."


Tess stood and looked at him consideringly, "Let me tell you something, Buddha-boy, I got a lamp that needs some serious trimming."


Kyle quickly closed the distance between them and took her lips in an eager kiss.






(Episode Equivalent - End of the World)

(Wednesday, October 25th, 2001)

(Michael's Apartment)


"What's up?" Michael greeted Alex at the door.


"Nothing," Alex answered woodenly, "Nothing at all."


Michael regained his seat and spooned more cereal into his mouth, "Well, I was kinda watching the game, so if you got something on your mind..."


Alex used the remote to turn off the television and turned to Michael, his anger building with each moment, "Do you have any idea what you've done to Maria?"


Michael suddenly realized the reason for Alex's visit and rushed to reassure him, "Dude, it was a misunderstanding."


But Alex was too immersed in his anger to listen.  "Look, I don't care that you've got 30 pounds on me or...or that you can kill me with some...some twisted alien power," his voice rose in anger.  "I will not let you treat her like that.  I don't care that Isabel treats me like crap, but no one does that to Maria, all right?  She's not just some girl!" Alex shouted.


Michael softened his voice and worked for a sincere tone, "You gotta believe me.  I have nothing..."


Unfortunately Courtney picked that moment to push open Michael's door, "Knock, knock."


Alex accepted Courtney's presence as proof positive of Michael's betrayal.  He turned without thinking and hit Michael squarely in the jaw, sending him sprawling across the floor.  "Ow!" he protested, grabbing his injured hand.


Michael considered him from his place on the floor as he rubbed his jaw, "You realize you just risked your life?"




Michael's opinion of Alex rose ten times in that moment, "You're a really good friend, man."


"Call me that again, and I'll really kick your ass," Alex called as he left the apartment.


"Are you okay?" Courtney asked as she approached Michael, genuinely concerned.


"Yeah. I'm fine," Michael said dismissively. 


Courtney helped him to stand and as they touched, Michael felt a jolt of recognition flash through him.  She seemed familiar, almost like home.  He could sense the desire coming from her in waves and he pulled her to him for a rough kiss.  He was acting on pure instinct and pulled her closer, his hands sliding around to her back.  Her shirt rode up and for a moment he did not comprehend the significance of the substance coming off her but as it penetrated his foggy mind he pushed her away.  "You're a skin?" he asked accusingly.


Courtney could hear the animosity in his tone and decided instantly he would not listen to her explanation now.  She moved quickly away from him and suddenly ran.


"Stop!" Michael ordered but she heard the destruction of something behind her and threw herself out the window.






(The Parker House Š LizÕs Room)


Song Playing: Angel by Sarah McLachlan


Liz turned over in her bed again, hoping a new position would finally help her sleep.  After a few more minutes, she turned back to the first position and re-arranged her pillows with a sigh.  It was just no use.  Her head was too full of Max to sleep.


He had come to her window earlier with the tickets to the Gomez concert and had tried again to temp her into going.  He had been charming and funny and he had told her how much he loved her.


She had been so scared of giving in to him that she had made him stay outside the window, but even that had not discouraged Max.  In fact, it had seemed to make him more confident.  He had countered every argument she made and begged her to reconsider.  She had wanted to give in to him, every fiber of her being yearning to go to him, but she had held her ground.


Finally she had been forced to tell him to leave, "Max there is no use.  It doesn't matter what we want.  You have to follow your destiny."


Max had simply smiled, "Liz, everything you say and do just makes me love you more."






(Episode Equivalent - Harvest)

(Thursday, October 26th, 2000)

(West Roswell High School)


Maria met Liz in the school hall, "You okay?"


"Oh, I didn't get much sleep last night," Liz explained.


Maria paused as she studied her friend, "You look like you got your heart stomped out.  No wait, that would be me.  Well if it's possible, you look worse."


"Max came over last night and I had to tell him again..." she let the sentence trail off.


Maria pulled Liz into a quick hug, "I'm sorry Liz."


Liz nodded, "Maybe we should talk about it later."


"Over lots of ice cream," Maria added.


"It's a date," Liz said.


Maria noticed Michael coming toward them, "I'll see ya later."  She turned the opposite direction and walked quickly to her locker.


"Hey," Michael said casually, as he stopped beside her.


"Whatever, dude," Maria said, dismissing him.


"No, I have something to tell you."


"I'm not interested," she said, trying to walk away.


Michael moved to stand in front of her, "Hey, it's about Courtney."


Maria waved her hands dismissively, "I am so not interested."


He cut her off, "Hey, will you just listen to me?"


Maria was becoming angrier, "You listen to me.  She made a play for you, and you went for it.  So, what?  Now she's screwed you over and you've come to realize she's a cheap, manipulative tramp?  Well, this is not news to me."


Michael casually threw down his trump card, knowing it would get her attention.  "She's an alien.  A skin, like Whitaker."  Michael smiled.  The surprised expression on MariaÕs face was almost worth all of the trouble.






(West Roswell High School)

(An Empty Classroom)


"I knew there was something wrong about her, even before I found her picture in Whitaker's office," Michael said proudly.


"Where's Courtney now?" Max asked, having a difficult time concentrating with Liz in the room.  Last night had proved to him that she was close to giving in and all he could think of was holding her in his arms again.


"I don't know," Michael said.  "She went out the window.  I tried chasing her..."


Maria cut him off, "But it's hard to run with your pants around your ankles?"


Tess had been eyeing Max and Liz with a sour expression.  "Settle the personal crap on your own time," she said, deliberately including Max in her gaze as she continued.  "If Courtney's a skin, it means she was working with Whitaker."


"You're right," Isabel agreed softly, "There's no way two skins would just happen to be in Roswell at the same time.  They were working together, which means Courtney knows everything about us."


Michael looked at Max, who was obviously more interested in Liz than their conversation.  "Maxwell, are we disturbing you?" Michael asked, motioning toward Liz with a jut of his chin.


Isabel jumped to her brother's defense. "Leave him alone, Michael."  It was the first time she had seen Max somewhat happy since Liz had left him.


Michael admired Liz for having the fortitude to leave Max to follow his destiny, but at the same time he had despised her for causing Max so much pain.  "Something you wanna share with the class?" he asked Max sarcastically. 


Max shook his head to clear the thoughts of Liz, "Look, if Courtney is a skin and she was working with Whitaker, the first question is, does she know that Whitaker's dead?"


Maria motioned to the television that was showing a picture of Whitaker with birth and death dates, "If she didn't before, she does now."  Maria turned up the volume and the television announcer's started with the story.


"We have this story just in.  A controversial New Mexico congresswoman is dead.  We'll have that story in just a minute."


The group looked at each other wondering how her death had been discovered and they listened eagerly as the announcer resumed the story.  "Widowed just six months before her husband John Whitaker's upcoming election, she took his place on the ballot and won the election by a higher margin than any Democrat in fifteen years.  But all that ended yesterday, just outside her hometown of Copper Summit, Arizona, where a tragic single-car accident cut short a life of public service."


"A car crash?" Tess asked incredulously.


"She died two weeks ago.  I was there," Isabel said, her voice harsh.


"We were all there," said Max attempting to take the blame for her death off of Isabel's shoulders.


"How could she be in a car crash if she's dust?" Michael asked angrily.


Tess echoed his thoughts, "Who's conveniently covering up her death for us?"


"Nasedo said the skins were among us," Isabel said, her voice shaky,  "Skins, plural.  Maybe other skins created a fake car accident to keep the Feds from looking too closely into Whitaker's background."


Tess turned to their leader, "Max, what do we do?"


"Uh, let me guess.  Nothing," Michael said caustically.


Max looked to the girl he loved and a smile spread across his face.  "Liz," he said simply.






(Congress Woman Whitaker's Office)

(Roswell, NM)


"Has anybody been asking questions over the past few days?"  Max asked Liz as they searched WhitakerÕs office.


Liz shrugged. "People have been calling.  There wasn't anything unusual.  I just have been saying that she's on vacation, just like we said."


"Well, somehow the skins know she's dead," he said thoughtfully.  "None of us has said anything, unless..." he let his thought trail off and Liz picked up on it immediately.


"You mean, Courtney."


Max continued, "If Courtney was working with Whitaker then maybe she was there that night too."


Liz shook her head.  "It doesn't make sense.  If Courtney was there, she would have helped Whitaker.  And why would Whitaker be surveiling one of her own people?"  Suddenly a thought occurred to her, "What if Courtney is a renegade of some kind, a traitor?  Maybe she could help us."


Max considered her observations as Maria broke in, waiving an envelope.  "Look at this.  The postmark says Copper Summit.  It's from something called the Universal Friendship League."


Liz glanced over her shoulder at the envelope, "Whitaker never mentioned it."


"What the hell is the Universal Friendship League?" Isabel asked with a shiver.  "Could it sound any creepier?"


"It's marked personal," Maria said.


Max took the letter from her, opened it and read the contents aloud. 




Dear member:

Your failure to report as scheduled violates protocol. 

We must receive word by the twenty-fifth of this month

or terminate your membership, effective that date."




"The twenty-fifth was yesterday," Isabel noted.


Maria spoke up, "That's when they say she died."


Max glanced at the signature at the bottom of the letter.




Sincerely, T. Greer

Senior Coordinator, Vilondra Project




"Vilondra?" Isabel gasped.


Max turned at his sister's distressed tone, "Does that mean something to you?"


"No," she responded shortly, and quickly attempted to change the subject.  "We should call."


Max handed the letter to Liz and she dialed the number. 


The phone was answered on the first ring, "Yes?"


Liz was taken back by the strange greeting, "Hi, um, is this the, the Universal Friendship League?"


"Who is this?" the voice on the phone asked suspiciously.


"I, I'm calling from Congresswoman Vanessa Whitaker's office.  We just, um, opened this letter this morning and I wanted to call and apologize for not responding sooner."




"We just wanted to let you know that, unfortunately, Congresswoman has passed away."


"Thank you for calling," the man said crisply, and hung up the phone.


Liz held the phone away from her ear.  "They just hung up."


Max looked thoughtful for a moment.  "The first thing we need to do is find Courtney."


Michael laughed, "So we agree."


"Yeah," Max said.


"There's a first," Michael said sarcastically.






Max stopped the Jeep around the side of the Crashdown.


Liz turned to him, "You need to tell Tess what we found at Whitaker's office."


Max shook his head.  "I told the Sheriff what happened.  He'll fill her in."


"You can't keep avoiding her, Max,Ó Liz protested.  ŅTess is one of you."


"No," Max said harshly, "she's not one of us and she never will be."


"Max," Liz said softly, trying not to choke on her words, "Tess is part of your family and you need her."


Max held Liz's gaze, "You are all I will ever need."






(Michael's Apartment)


Michael and Maria knelt on the couch watching the building across the street through binoculars.  They had been there for what seemed like hours after they had searched Courtney's apartment.


Maria rubbed her neck to sooth the soreness.  "This isn't gonna work," she said, trying for a more comfortable position.  "She's not just gonna stroll up to her hideout while we're sitting here watching her."


"This was your idea," Michael responded.


"That's not the way I remember it," Maria said dryly, with a raised eyebrow.


"Okay, so now it's my fault."


"Yes," she agreed, warming to the subject.  "You know what?  Just to make things simpler, from now on you should consider everything to be your fault, okay?  Okay."


Michael gave her a significant look, "Well, I know one way to make the time go faster."


"Oh, funny," she said sarcastically.


"I know," he said with a grin.


"But if we can talk reality here for a second," Maria said, changing gears, "I think she booked.  Out of town."


"No way.  She wouldn't do that.  She's obsessed with me," he said matter-of-factly.


"Well, I guess that makes two of you, then, doesn't it?" quipped Maria.


Michael choose to ignore her mockery, "She'll show up sooner or later."


Courtney walked in the open door behind them, having heard the last of their conversation.  "How 'bout sooner?"


They both jumped off the couch as if they had been shot and Michael raised his hand to defend them.


Courtney held up her hands in a protective gesture, "Whoa!  Hey, truce."


"Don't move," Michael said menacingly.


"Don't worry.  I won't."  Courtney took in the situation and continued with admiration in her tone, "You're watching the building.  You figured out where I'd be from the pictures.  That's very good, Mikey G.  You're everything I thought you'd be and more."


"Oh, please!" Maria exclaimed, rolling her eyes, "Do your lips not get chapped from all the ass-kissing?


"Sit down," Michael said motioning to a chair.


"Anything you say."


Michael started the interrogation, "So you're a skin, like Whitaker."


"How'd you get on to Whitaker?"


"We're asking the questions here, okay?  Now, why are you in Roswell?  Where's the rest of your evil army?  And most of all, why are you obsessed with my good-looking, if badly groomed boyfriend?"


Courtney looked at Maria for the first time since entering the room, "I'm not obsessed with him, okay?  I follow him in the political sense.  He's our leader."


"Our leader?" Maria asked


Courtney continued, "We're not with the other skins.  We're renegades who believe that if you were in charge instead of Max in the first place, that none of this would have ever happened."


"What are you talking about?"  Michael asked, "In charge of what?"


"Our planet, Michael."  Courtney said and then realization dawned.  "You don't remember any of this, do you?"


Michael was growing angry, "Suppose you tell me."


Maria was starting to get a headache with all of the talk of political systems on other planets and past lives.  "Yeah, the short version, please."


"The short version is that our planet was on the brink of a golden age, and then it all fell apart.  You were the one who could have united our planet, pulled together the warring factions, brought peace.  But you weren't on the throne."


"Max," Michael said simply.


"You wouldn't betray him.  That loyalty cost your lives and those of everyone you loved.  Please, just don't let history repeat itself.  You're the one we need.  You're our leader, our salvation."


Maria couldn't believe Michael was even listening to this crap.  She grabbed Michael and yelled into his ear, "Michael, if you can hear me now over the sound of your rapidly inflating ego, could you please tell me that you do not believe what this, this Michael-worshipper here has to say?"


Courtney wanted to continue, tell Michael about the past, about the bond they had shared as children but the moment was past.  She could already see Maria's words taking effect in Michael.  He was pulling away form her.  She was losing him again.  In that moment, she envied Maria and their closeness.  Rath had never responded to her that way.  It was obvious Michael listened to Maria, he respected her opinion, he trusted her.


Michael snapped back to reality from his visions of grandeur, Maria's words penetrating his fantasy.  Courtney was their enemy, she would do anything, say anything to defeat them, including turning them against each another.  "No.  No, no way.  No, this is just part of your plan to divide and conquer.


"I knew you weren't ready to hear this," Courtney said sadly.


"What's in Copper Summit, Arizona?" Michael asked, changing the subject quickly.


"Copper Summit's just some old tourist trap," Courtney said cautiously.


"What's there? he pushed doggedly.


"I'd stay away from there."




Maria narrowed her eyes suspiciously, "Yeah, why?"


"Let's just say there aren't any Michael-worshippers in Copper Summit."






A couple of hours later, Max, Isabel, Alex and Liz joined them at the apartment.  Michael filled in the newcomers on the earlier conversation and Courtney briefly outlined the situation on Antar.


Max pushed for more information, "So what about this group you belong to?"


"We joined with Khivar when he started to oppose you," she shook her head, "sorry, we opposed Zan, because we wanted to change the system of government to include all of the people.  Something similar to your government in the United States," she said motioning to Liz.  "But then we discovered what Khivar was really planning.  He talked of a government by the people, but what he really wanted was a dictatorship, with himself as dictator.  Khivar tricked us into following him with promises he never intended to keep."


"Like what happened in the Russian revolution," Liz said distractedly.


"Yes," Courtney agreed.  "So we started to sabotage Khivar's army from the inside and some of us infiltrated the group he sent to Earth.  But over the years, Nicholas has discovered most of the others and now there are just a few of us left."


Alex spoke up, "And you came here to get Michael to help you?"


Courtney nodded, "We want him to come back to Antar and lead us."


Maria, Alex and Isabel broke out laughing.


"Hey," Michael objected, "you don't think I'm capable of running a planet?"


"Michael," Isabel said, between fits of laughter, "think of all of the bureaucracy and politicians you would have to put up with.  I don't think you're capable of that."


Michael huffed, "Maybe you're right.  It sounds way too dull, definitely more like Max."  He slapped Max on the back, "You can keep all of that royal crap, Maxwell."


"Thanks," Max said dryly, turning back to Courtney.  "So what about the group in Copper Summit?"


"That's where we, the skins, have been headquartered since we came to Earth."


"How long have you been here?" Max asked.


"We have been on Earth since 1950, so about fifty years."


"So why are you called the skins?" Liz asked.


"It's because we wear husks."


"Husks?" Maria asked.


"Yeah, me.  My skin.  This thing that I'm wearing.  It's basically a shell.  It protects us from the environment."


"Like a space suit," Alex suggested.


"Yeah. This planet's atmosphere is hostile to our race," Courtney said, indicating the other aliens.  "The husks are a life form technology that we can genetically manipulate to resemble human bodies.  Our relationship to it is essentially parasitic."


Maria shivered, "Your skin is alive?"


"Like the trees are alive."


Michael motioned toward Courtney, "So, what's with the peeling?"


"They're good for maybe fifty years, but the husks are dying."


Michael continued with a cocky tone, "Well, if all the skins in Copper Summit are about to die, then all we have to do is wait them out.  If the husks die, we're home free, right?"


Courtney's silence was suggestive.


"Okay, what are you not telling us?" asked Maria.


Courtney looked around the room at all of the people waiting for her answer.  "The harvest," she said softly.


The room was quiet for a moment. 


Isabel was the first to break the silence.  "I am almost afraid to ask, but what is being harvested?"


Courtney laughed, seeing they were envisioning multi-tentacled alien monsters.  "Husks," she said simply.  "We have been growing new husks for about twenty years and they are almost ready."


A collective sigh of relief went through the group. 


Alex laughed, "I thought we would have to expect something straight out of the movie Alien."


Courtney sobered, "Sometimes the truth is worse."


"What do you mean?" Max asked.


"Nicholas, the leader of the skins on Earth.  He can do all the things you can, times a thousand.  But the thing you should be the most afraid of, is this."  Courtney pointed to her head.  "He can get inside of your head and take anything that he wants.  Basically, he rapes you of your memories and your thoughts."


Michael leapt to his feet, "We have to stop this harvest.  If we do, we could end this right now."


Max rose, "How can we stop it, Michael?"


"I don't know," Michael admitted, "but we'll come up with something."


"You heard Courtney," Max said.  "The skins outnumber us at least ten to one."


"So what's your solution, Maxwell," Michael sneered, "do nothing as usual?"


"Michael," Courtney interrupted the escalating argument.  "This is a huge mistake.  If you go there, you're gonna get yourself killed."


"Yeah, well, that's my problem," Michael answered curtly.


"I didn't spend fifty years finding you so that you could throw your life away out of misplaced loyalty."


"Fifty years," Maria laughed.  "So, what?  That would make you sixty-five, seventy?  You're old enough to be Michael's grandmother.  I just, I love that.  I do."


"Hey, husks don't age," Courtney said simply.  "I've been a babe for fifty years. What are you gonna look like fifty years from now?"


"Would you two let it go?"  Michael sighed, "You're giving me a headache."


Max broke in, "Okay, everybody calm down.  This doesn't change anything.   We do what we always do, act normal, blend in, concentrate on being human.  Especially with our enemies' headquarters so close, we don't need any more attention on us.  So no one uses their powers in public and no one does anything that isn't easily explained by human standards." 


Max turned to look at each member of the group, stopping on Michael and held up a hand as he started to object.  "And no one is going to Copper Summit.  That's an order."






(Episode Equivalent - Harvest)

(Friday, October 27th, 2000)

(The Night Of The Gomez Concert)


Liz sat in her room listening to her Gomez CD and tears ran down her face as the haunting strains of track number six started.  Max's romantic streak had shown through again when he had bought tickets to the concert.  We Haven't Turned Around was the song that had been playing when Max had first kissed her. 


And tonight, the night of the concert, to which she had refused his invitation and symbolically so much more, she finally allowed herself to mourn the fact that she could never have him in her life.




We came, we came, we came again

To stem the tide and point the blame




She had kept the grief inside herself for so long that when she allowed the first tears to fall, all of the pent up anguish came pouring out.  And as the song continued to play, soul-deep sobs racked her small frame uncontrollably.




Came back for more

Came back to see what you had in store

Everyone join the line, everyone





Max climbed the ladder leading to Liz's balcony, with a smile lighting his face.  Even though Liz had repeatedly told him she wouldn't go to the concert with him, he knew her defenses against him had been weakening, she was close to giving in. 


But as he approached her window, Max could see Liz sitting on her bed, crying like she had lost her last friend in the world and all other thoughts vanished from him mind except comforting the girl he loved more than life itself.




So you wanna spin the world around?

So you wanna spin the world around?

And anybody else, cut 'em down




Liz was so lost in her grief that she didn't hear the window open or recognize that the one person who was capable of relieving her suffering was present.




So you wanna make catastrophe?

Won't you send it right over to me

I got some time

Everybody running high




Without a word Max slipped his arms around Liz's shivering form and pulled her tightly into his embrace.  He recognized the grief she was experiencing first hand because her cries echoed the pain that had resided in his heart since she had left him.  He could feel her love for him shining brightly, even though she had tried to deny it for his sake, and he loved her even more. 


He gently kissed the top of her head in a comforting gesture but having her in his arms again intoxicated him.  The scent of her skin and the memory of the sweet taste of her lips taunted him and he knew he didn't have the strength to fight against it. 




The same, the same, the same again

To steal the time and haunt the graves




It didnÕt surprise Liz that Max was there, holding her, comforting her.  It seemed so natural that he should be there to share her pain and she turned to him, eager for a brief respite from her grief.  On some deep level, Liz knew she shouldnÕt be with Max like this.  She shouldnÕt allow him to see her pain, shouldnÕt allow him to comfort her, but she was too exhausted to fight him anymore.  Fighting both Max and herself had been a losing battle from the start, and she was on the verge of surrender. 


Somehow she could feel the anguish in Max's soul that mirrored her own.  Max needed this healing as much as she did and she didn't have the strength to hurt either of them any longer.  And when Max brought his lips down to meet hers, Liz couldn't bring herself to turn away.




Just because it's there

Don't mean you see it anywhere

Maybe it's a trick of the light

Maybe, yeah




Max pulled Liz closer to him, deepening the kiss when she didnÕt resist.  And when she kissed him back, he felt his heart come alive again for the first time since she had walked away from him, months ago.  After all of the hiding, all of the denial, she was finally letting her true feelings show.  He kissed her hard, his lips searing her skin as if they were on fire.  He was branding his mark of possession on her, sealing their hearts and souls together irrevocably, and afterward she would never consider leaving him again.




So you wanna spin the world around?

So you wanna spin the world around?

And anybody else, cut 'em down




It seemed to Liz, as if she were in a beautiful dream.  Everything was so right, so perfect.  Liz had no feelings of guilt or regret, there was only Max.  He filled her senses completely and she knew that she would no longer deny him.  They were already one, they had been since the first time Max had connected with her and she knew now that being physically apart had changed nothing.  This night, these feelings and actions were inevitable; they were written in the stars, they always had been.




So you wanna make catastrophe?

Don't you send it right over to me

I got some time

Everybody come alive




Max could feel the change in her and he reveled in the knowledge that again she was his, now and forever.  He laid her back on the bed, looked into her eyes and spoke for the first time since entering her room.  "Are you sure, Liz?"





So you wanna spin the world around?

So you wanna spin the world around?

And anybody else, bring 'em down




"Yes Max," she answered, putting all of her feelings into her eyes for him to see.  "I have never been so sure of anything in my life.  I love you Max, I have always loved you."


"I love you more than anything Liz, and I will continue to love you until the end of eternity," Max vowed in return.




So you wanna make catastrophe?

Don't you send it right over to me

I got some time

Everybody running high




Their kisses and caresses grew more heated and more urgent, both of them eager to make up for the time they had spent apart.   




So you wanna spin the world around?

So you wanna spin the world around?

And anybody else, cut 'em down



So you say we haven't turned around?

So you say we haven't turned around?

Just everybody else is going wrong

Going wrong




As the song ended, Max protected the woman he loved and their bodies united, forging a bond that joined their minds and souls.  And they both knew nothing would ever come between them again.











Part 2
Book 8 Main
Book 8 Timeline
Alpha & Omega

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