BOOK 10 MAJESTY'S
February 28th, 2002)
Parker House - Liz's Room)
Liz woke up with a
headache and a vague feeling of unrest. She had dreamed all night but none of the images had stayed with her,
only the foreboding sense of something wrong.
reported to his office as ordered, bowing formally, "My liege."
picked up a handful of papers from the desk that he had been reading, crushed
them in his hand and shook them in Nicholas' face. "General, gather your troops and ready for the attack,"
Khivar bellowed through Corporal Raltos' borrowed lips.
light of battle ignited in Nicholas' eyes, "Yes your Majesty. I've been anxiously awaiting this
moment." Nicholas hesitated. "Forgive my curiosity Sir, but we've
been training for months, so why now?"
be damned if I let Isabel get involved with a human," Khivar roared. "Instruct the troops to make sure he is
dead and warn them to follow my other instructions to the letter. If anything happens to Isabel, those
involved will pay with their lives." He tossed the ball of papers across the room. "I refuse to wait any longer."
the hall, Diane could hear laughter coming from the kitchen, and she stopped
just outside the kitchen doorway to peer inside. Max and Liz were sitting at the kitchen table with
schoolbooks open before them and they were both laughing. For a moment Diane leaned against the
door jam, smiling. It was good to
see Max so happy.
intertwined her fingers with Max's, clasping their hands tight and the sunlight
streaming in the window caught a ring on her finger, reflecting a bright blue
a moment, Diane was simply curious but then she noticed Liz was wearing it on
the ring finger of her left hand, the finger an engagement ring would be worn
on. And when Max lowered his head
to kiss Liz's hand just above the ring, Diane had no doubts who had given it to
backed out of the doorway and made some noise before coming in again. Max and Liz were sitting farther apart
when she entered. "Hey Max. Liz, it's nice to see you." She crossed to them, starting casually,
Max said, "just some chemistry."
stopped next to the table and took a surreptitious look at the ring Liz was
wearing, noting quickly that it was of good quality. "What a beautiful ring. Where did you get it?"
Liz started nervously, "it was a Christmas gift, from Max."
"Oh." Diane nodded and looked at Max, "Well I
think you and Liz should join your father and I for dinner tomorrow."
tone left nothing up for discussion and Liz and Max simply nodded.
March 1st, 2002)
gathered wood for a fire as Isabel arranged the blanket and set out the food
for the picnic. It was the first
time she had really been alone with him in weeks and she was a little nervous,
but when he had suggested a picnic, she had readily agreed. She loved him and wanted to build their
relationship and she was determined that she wouldn't let her guilt about Alex
stand in her way.
glanced up to see the sun lowering in the dusky sky. It would be dark in half-an-hour but the fire would provide
a cozy setting for herself and Hale to talk and mend their relationship.
smiled. Tonight would be special,
she would make sure of it.
stopped the Jeep in his driveway and squeezed Liz's hand, "Are you sure you're
up to this?"
smiled to cover her nervousness, "It'll be fine Max. I really like your parents."
grimaced, "Yeah, but this is the proverbial dinner with the parents."
laughed, "It was inevitable when then found out you gave me the ring."
sighed, "Maybe, but I know you're nervous too. I can feel it."
little," Liz admitted.
turned to Serena, who was in the back seat. "And what are you going to do while we're getting the third
can protect you just as well from outside, and since my being at dinner would
be difficult to explain, I will wait in the yard."
can't just skulk around in the yard," Max said. "The neighbors will call the police. It isn't really even necessary for you
to be here, Serena."
Sir," Serena objected.
Liz said, placing a hand on his arm. He had objected several times before when Serena had insisted on
accompanying them to provide protection, but it made Liz feel better to have
her there and she didn't question the feeling. "It's okay, Max. Serena knows how to be discrete."
Max agreed reluctantly. He turned
back to Liz, "Let's go face the firing squad."
two Will Smith Burgers," Jeff said as he placed the plates on the table in
front of the Sheriff and Kyle, "a Blue Moon Burger for Sean, Eclipse Burger for
Alex, and two Asteroid Salads for Amy and Maria." He stepped back, "The shakes will be up in a minute."
Jeff," Jim said. "This looks
stepped behind the counter to get the shakes. "Nice to have a night out with family and friends."
Jim agreed. "We went to see an
early movie and I guess it made everyone hungry." Jim glanced around the otherwise empty cafe. "Looks like we're the only ones
laughed, "This isn't typically our busiest night and tonight is slower than
usual. I was just thinking about
phone rang in the back and Michael left the kitchen to pick up the
said the familiar voice with a New York accent.
turned his back to the dining room, for a little more privacy, "Yeah, what do
up," Rath said, "I just found out that Khivar ordered an assassination squad
down there. I don't know when they
left exactly but it was at least four hours ago, maybe more. They could be there any time."
are they after?" Michael asked.
want you all dead."
bell above the door in the dining room sounded but Michael ignored it and
depressing the receiver, he started to dial Max's number.
the back door exploded inward, knocking Michael into the wall. He was stunned for a moment and watched
as two skin soldiers walked in.
and Liz sat together across from his parents in the living room.
is everything with your family, Liz?" Diane asked.
Liz said. "Everything is going
nodded, "So does this ring mean that you two are engaged?"
coughed in his drink. "I thought
we were going to ease into this discussion."
both adults or close enough if they feel they're old enough to get engaged,"
why don't we let them tell us," Philip said.
Dad," Max started, "we're not engaged, but I gave the ring to Liz as a promise,
a commitment for our future together." He took Liz's hand in his. "We're in love and that's not going to change, but we want to be
responsible and realistic and at least wait until we graduate high school."
sound of glass shattering in the back drew their attention and Philip and Max
was that?" Philip asked, looking at Max.
front door burst open and Serena rushed in. "Your Majesties, we are under attack."
nestled into Hale's arms in front of the fire, and took his hand in hers. "I'm really glad you suggested
this. A picnic under the stars,
what could be more perfect?"
perfect every time I'm with you, Isabel," Hale said.
half turned in his arms and touched his face. "I know things haven't been great between us since Alex came
back and I'm sorry. And I just
want you to know that I'm going to concentrate more on us from now on. I can't let what happened to Alex ruin
what's between us."
haven't ruined anything," Hale said.
hope not," Isabel whispered, "because I really love you."
blast of energy hit the blanket near them and they rolled to their feet as five
skin soldiers emerged from the trees.
first soldier into the clearing raised his hand and a blue ball of energy shot
forward, barely missing Isabel as she dived out of the way.
stood frozen for a moment but grabbed a hefty tree limb he had gathered for the
fire and took a mighty swing, connecting with the ribs of the closest attacker,
sending him to the ground.
grabbed for another piece of wood and called out to Hale, "Aim for their lower
dodged as another man rushed him, and swung the limb at his lower back as
instructed, knocking the guy to the ground.
used her powers to send two of their attackers flying and she swung the branch
at the third, connecting solidly with his back, but nothing happened. "What?"
first man Hale had knocked to the ground got up and rushed him, grabbing him
turned to see Hale struggling with one of the skins, as two others ran toward
her with outstretched hands.
bell above the door rang, drawing the attention of Jim and the others sitting
at the table, as three men entered the cafe.
called out, "Take a seat anywhere you'd like."
the three men simply stood their ground.
there was a sound like an explosion in the back and the three men raised their
hands before them.
the dirt," Jim called out as he grabbed Amy and dove to the floor.
threw himself aside as a ball of energy came toward him, and his chair took the
brunt of the blast, exploding.
others scattered just before the table they had been sitting around burst into
all scrambled for the relative safety of the counter, as another round of
energy blasts rang out and the counter shook with the force of the hits.
are those people?" Jeff yelled. "What is going on?"
use you gun," Amy screamed, her voice rising with hysteria.
won't do any good," Jim said as he looked around for any kind of weapon, but he
couldn't see anything useful. "We
can't just sit here," he called out to Kyle. "They'll take us apart."
do you mean, it won't do any good?" Amy shouted.
skin soldiers advanced slowly as they continued to blast away at the
rack of glasses on the wall behind the counter collapsed and glass rained down
around them and Kyle knew they were out of time. He focused his powers like he'd practiced and sent a burst
of energy toward the skins. A
chair exploded near the closest one and Kyle swore. He hadn't quite gotten the hang of aiming.
used his powers to throw the two skins back into the wall. They hit hard and one disintegrated
into a shower of dust.
rushed the other skin soldier and they grabbed one another, struggling to get
the upper hand. Michael tried to
turn his hand toward the skin to use his powers but the skin spun them around,
and they stumbled into the kitchen.
heard blasts of power and shattering glass in the dining room and glanced
through the service window. He
caught a glimpse of three more skin soldiers standing near the door, shooting
blasts of energy at the group huddled behind the counter. Kyle was trying to defend them with his
powers but the counter was disappearing quickly under the continual attack.
Michael called out, as his rage engulfed him. With a burst of power, he threw the skin away from him,
sending him across the back room and grabbed a fire extinguisher off the
wall. He strode to the skin
soldier, who was trying to get up off the floor, and struck down on the skin's
lower back with the extinguisher, but nothing happened. "What the . . ."
sound of another blast in the dining room propelled him into action and he
slammed the extinguisher down on the skin's head and the soldier collapsed back
down onto the floor and stayed still.
burst through the door into the dining room just as the skin soldier nearest
the door started to scream. It was
a horrible sound that froze everyone. For a moment it appeared as if the soldier was glowing from inside and
then he burst into flames that quickly consumed him.
saw Ryan through the door with an outstretched hand, and he knew Ryan had
killed the skin.
took advantage of the soldiers' surprise to throw one of them into the wall and
Ryan rushed through the door. "Hit
them on the back of the neck. That's where the seal is now."
remaining skin flung Ryan aside with a flip of his hand and sent a burst of
energy at Michael that caused him to dive behind a booth.
jumped up and grabbed a long, splintered piece of wood that had been blown off
the counter and struck the stunned skin soldier in the back of the neck,
turning him to dust. Then he
rushed the remaining soldier.
skin turned and sent a blast of power, knocking Kyle to the floor and the wood
from his hand.
rushed the skin and grabbed him. Ryan got up, grabbed the wood and used it to finish the skin.
turned to go into the back room and nearly collided with Nancy Parker, who was
holding open the door behind him. She had wide eyes and a gaping mouth, obviously from having seen the
last of the fight.
Valenti family and Jeff Parker slowly emerged from behind the counter. "Is everyone all right?" Michael called
had a scorch mark on his arm but he wasn't seriously injured. And satisfied that everyone else only
had minor cuts and scrapes, Michael pushed past a shocked Nancy and into the
took up the fire extinguisher again and dropped it on the remaining soldier's
neck, turning him to a pile of dust, as he reached into his pocket for his
phone. He pressed the speed-dial
for Max and waited impatiently for an answer.
skin soldiers came in through the dining room and Serena sent a burst of power
through one, turning him to dust.
put up a shield as the other skin sent a ball of energy toward them and it was
diverted into the wall. "Get
behind me," Max yelled and Liz grabbed his shocked parents, pulling them down
behind the sofa.
dived to the floor rolling, and took a shot at the advancing skin, but he threw
more skins came in from the front hall and Serena took out the first one, but
the other two sent burst of power at her, barely missing her and hitting a chair
focused his shield, using it with a quick burst to knock the two skins back
into the hall and then he raised it in front of them again.
shut her eyes and concentrated on appearing behind the skin soldier in the
dining room. She was suddenly
there and looked around briefly for a weapon but seeing none, simply solidified
enough to tap the skin soldier on the shoulder. As he turned, Liz let herself go back into her own body.
took advantage of the soldier's confusion to send a ball of energy through him,
turning him to dust.
soldiers from the hall stayed just out of reach, shooting bursts of energy
through the doorway.
glanced at Serena and motioned to the soldiers with a jut of his chin, and then
to the dining room.
understood immediately and nodded.
turned to Liz and his parents. "Stay down."
used her powers to make the soldiers see her run toward the dining room and
their fire followed her.
waited until their fire was diverted and he pulled the shield down into a ball
the size of a quarter. Focusing
all of his power, he thrust the shield through the wall and into the skin
soldier beyond. He felt it
puncture the husk and immediately the husk started to heal, but Max expanded
his shield, forcing the puncture larger and larger until the husk ruptured.
took advantage of the diversion to dispatch the final soldier with a
well-placed burst of energy.
a moment there was silence, the only things moving were the pieces of stuffing from
the sofa, floating in the air.
Max ordered, "take a look outside and make sure there aren't any more."
Sir," said Serena with a short bow, before she left the room.
turned to his parents and Liz, running his eyes quickly over them, "Are you all
were those people?" Diane asked. "And how did they do that? Max, how did you?"
leaned forward, motioning in the direction Serena left. "Who was that? And why was she calling you Sir and
reached for his cell phone. "We'll
explain everything but I have to make sure Michael and Isabel are okay."
phone rang before he could dial and he saw Michael's number on the
display. "Michael are you all
fine Max. Were you attacked too?"
Max said. "Luckily Serena was
Michael said, "we've got a problem. Amy and the Parkers saw everything."
did my parents," Max said. "I
think it's time we told everyone the truth."
swallowed hard, suddenly nervous. "Okay Max. What do you want
bring everyone over here and we'll do it all together."
about Isabel?" Michael asked.
thought she and Hale were at the Crashdown," Max said anxiously.
were," Michael confirmed, "but they decided to go on a picnic. You don't think they were attacked
don't know," Max said, "but we can't take any chances. I'll call and make sure they're okay."
looked at Hale, struggling against the skin soldier, and a rage like she had
never known welled up within her. The thought of losing Hale was more than she could bear and she flung
her hand forward, her power building like never before. A crackling, black ball of energy leapt
from her hand and passed through the chest of the closest skin soldier.
a moment he simply stood, looking at the gaping hole in his chest and then he
disappeared in a shower of ash.
froze, witnessing the destruction and Hale took advantage of the moment to flip
his attacker over his shoulder and to the ground. Then the moment was over and another soldier rushed
him. Hale dodged the next
attacker, letting the man run past him and struck him hard in the back of the
neck with the branch. There was a
sickening pop and the man disintegrated before him.
them in the back of the neck," Hale called out as he rushed the next attacker.
Isabel was past using the tree branch. She concentrated on bringing forth another black energy ball and easily
sent it though the next skin soldier, turning him to dust.
she looked to the last of the attackers, struggling with Hale. She raised her hand meaning to help
him, but with a few well-aimed hits of the tree branch, Hale knocked the skin
off his feet and quickly dispatched him.
Hale and Isabel stood ready, looking for more attackers, but after a few
minutes with no movement except that of the crackling fire, they relaxed.
dropped the tree branch and straightened up. "So do you want to tell me what the hell just happened? The energy balls? The disintegrating guys who attacked
"Hale . . ."
Isabel started, shaking her head but suddenly the magnitude of the event
registered in her shock-numbed brain. "Max!"
shaking hands, Isabel dug her phone out of her pocket and pressed the
speed-dial for Max. "Don't you
see?" she asked Hale, as she got a busy signal. "Crap!" She
pressed the redial and held the phone to her ear. "We might not have been the only ones attacked. I have to warn them."
busy signal sounded again and she pressed the number for Michael.
answered on the first ring, "Isabel, are you okay? Max is trying to call you."
we were attacked but we're okay. What about you and Max?"
okay," Michael reassured her. "Skins attacked here and at your house."
and Dad!" Isabel gasped.
fine," Michael said, "but they saw everything just like Amy and Liz's parents
did here. We've got a lot of
explaining to do and Max wants everyone to meet at your house."
nodded, "Okay. I'm bringing Hale
too. He saw me using my
powers. He's part of this too
opened the door into the dining room and motioned to Ryan to come into the back. He called out to Jim, "Get the door
locked and the blinds on the front windows down. And Kyle can you start cleaning some of this up? I need to talk to Ryan and then Max
wants us all over at his house," he glanced at Amy and the Parkers, "and we'll
tell everyone the truth."
and Jim nodded and Michael closed the door behind Ryan. "Okay, what's the deal?"
am a member of the same group Courtney was part of. I believe she said you called us the Michael
worshippers. A number of us
infiltrated Khivar's troops when he originally sent them to Earth but all
except Courtney and myself were discovered. And then when you destroyed the husks just before the
harvest, I was forced to remain on the ship with most of the rest of the
studied him for a moment. "So you
came back with the new troops and you have just been hanging out all this
time? Why didn't you tell us?"
wasn't sure you'd believe me, or how Max would react if he found out," Ryan
said with a shrug. "I thought
Khivar might attempt something like this attack, so I just waited and watched."
how did you know where to find us?"
and I kept in touch, though not very regularly. She told me everything she knew about all of you, but the
last time I talked to her was before the harvest."
died the next day," Michael said softly.
nodded, "Yeah, Nicholas took great pleasure in telling us how another traitor
had been unmasked and killed. For
months afterward, I thought I would be next."
going to need to talk, but right now is not the best time," Michael said,
reasoning that Ryan didn't need to know everything they were going to tell the
others. "You might as well go home
and I'll get a hold of you about a meeting."
Ryan nodded understanding,
and left through the back, mending the door with a sweep of his hand.
took a deep breath and started into the dining room again.
shrill voice met him as he pushed open the door. "Max ordered us to come to his house." She turned to the Parkers, "Who does he think he is? And how does he know anything about
what happened?" She turned to
Jim. "And why are you taking this
okay Amy," Jim soothed. "Everything will be explained."
is just like in my dream," Amy continued. "Max ordering everyone around."
Maria said. "Just calm down."
Michael cleared his throat
to make his presence known. "Sheriff, why don't you take Amy, Maria, Sean and Kyle in your
car." He turned to the Parkers,
who were still visibly shaken, "I don't think you're in any condition to drive,
so Alex and I will take you in his car."
and Liz were able to hold off his parents' questions by repairing the damage to
the living room, and in just a few minutes it was back to normal.
came back into the house. "As far
as I can see there are no more soldiers, Sir."
nodded, "Keep checking and if you see anything let us know immediately."
waited until she was gone before she pulled Max aside. "How much were you planning on telling
sighed, "I don't know that there's any point in holding anything back."
nodded, "I think we should keep the part about the Granolith being a time
travel device to ourselves. Not
because I don't trust them but because the less people who know, the less
likely that the information can be taken from them. Maybe we should also leave out the fact that Rath is a
traitor to Khivar. If anyone found
out, he would be killed."
right," Max said. "If Nicholas got
a hold of my parents or yours, any of the humans, he could take anything he
wanted from their minds." He
nodded, "We'll tell the others when they get here but other than that the
parents will finally get the whole story."
It had taken over an hour
to tell the whole story, from the three children waking up in the pods, to the
shooting in the Crashdown, the FBI, the arrival of Nasedo and Tess, the message
in the pod chamber, the harvest, the dupes, the summit, Tess' pregnancy and
departure, the discovery of Liz's true identity, the translation of the book,
and the return of Serena; only leaving out the part about future Max and the
deal with Rath.
Then it had taken several
demonstrations of powers, including Max healing Alex's arm, before Hale, Amy,
the Evans and the Parkers were convinced. And they still had questions.
shook her head and turned to address Max, "So you just found out last year that
Liz is your wife Ava, reincarnated?"
Max said, "but to me it made perfect sense. I've loved Liz since the first time I saw her when we were
kids, and I never would have risked our lives to save anyone else."
sighed, "I still can't believe Liz was really shot that day."
spoke up, "So the reason these other aliens attacked is because you are the
rightful King of your planet?"
nodded, "Those are some of the troops the usurper Khivar, sent to find us."
this Serena is an alien too, a shape shifter?" Diane asked. "What does that mean exactly?"
called out, "Serena, come in here please."
came in through the back and addressed him formally, "Your Majesty?"
you shift into the form of Ed Harding?"
course." She raised her hand
before her and after a bright flash of light, Ed appeared.
the damnedest thing I've ever seen," Philip said, shaking his head.
you, Serena," Max said. "Please
continue your patrol."
turned back to the friends and family gathered in the room. "None of us wanted to lie to you but we
felt we didn't have another choice. This information is dangerous and we wanted to keep you all safe."
everything I remember happening that night at the UFO museum is true," Amy
said. "At least I know I'm not
going crazy." She turned to Max,
"And in the circumstances, I guess I can forgive you for being a little bossy."
smiled shyly. "Sorry. I really don't mean to. I guess it just comes naturally."
nodded, "Of course it does. Even
if you don't remember it, you once ruled a planet."
the questions continued, Isabel took Hale aside to speak to him privately. "So, um, this has all got to be pretty
weird for you."
but cool," Hale said. "What do you
remember about your past life?"
shook her head, "Nothing. Max has
shown me some of his memories and they seem familiar but I don't remember
Liz being the reincarnation of his wife. What are the odds of that?"
Max and Liz are concerned, nothing surprises me," Isabel admitted.
nodded, "I can see why you said that Max and Liz had been through a lot to be
together. I still can't believe he
has a son."
didn't know if Liz could forgive him for sleeping with Tess," Isabel said. "And having a child with her is just
one more pressure on their relationship. It's probably good that Tess left. Max didn't love her and he never would have chosen to have a child with
think it would be better for Max if he never saw his son again?"
don't know," Isabel said. "I just think
it would make things easier. Liz
is supportive of Max in every way and she has said she will accept his child,
but it's got to be hard on both of them. But if anyone can handle it it's Liz. She one of the strongest people I know."
do you say that?" Hale asked.
was always there for us, from the beginning, long before we knew who she really
was. Liz took a lot of risks for
us and always came through. And
even though Liz loved Max more than anything and knew they belonged together,
she gave Max up so he could follow his destiny with Tess." Isabel shook her head, "I don't think I
could have done that."
what about you, Isabel?" Hale asked. "Any special man in your past?"
shook her head, "If there was, I don't remember." She looked into Hale's handsome face and asked the question
she was dreading, "So how are you talking all of this?"
smiled, "You mean, now that I know you're an alien Princess, am I going to head
for the hills?"
nodded, "Something like that."
touched her face, "I love you Isabel. I'm not going anywhere." He
leaned in and kissed her softly. "Plus, how many guys get to be with a real Princess?"
waited until Hale had left, and the parents were gathered around Jim, before he
pulled the others aside. "There's
another thing I thought I should wait to tell you. It turns out Ryan is a Michael worshipper. He helped us in the Crashdown against
the skins. He says he knew
Courtney and I'm pretty sure he's the one who killed John that day at the
do you think that?" Maria asked.
killed one of the skins in the same way tonight." Michael turned to Max. "I sent him home because I didn't know how much we wanted to reveal to
Max nodded, "Good thinking
but we'll have to get together and have a talk with him."
nodded, "I'll set it up."
entered his office to confront Khivar in Corporal Raltos' body. "My liege, it's official, all of the
troops we sent to Roswell have been killed."
nodded, taking in the information.
was a little surprised by his lack of reaction but continued, "Shall I order
another squad to be sent? A larger
shook his head, "No. This mission
gave us some valuable information, more than I expected, and I need some time
to consider all of the possibilities."
everyone had left, Max and Isabel turned to their parents, expecting a barage
was the first one to speak. "So
the night that we found you in the desert . . ."
nodded. "That was the day we came
out of the pods. We didn't speak
because we didn't know the language."
you knew the whole time that you were . . . different?" Diane asked.
shook her head. "We just regained
the memories of coming out of the pods a couple of years ago. Before that we didn't remember anything
about who we were or where we came from. But it didn't take too long for us to figure out that we were
nodded. "And we had an instinct to
keep it to ourselves. We never
told anyone, until Liz."
started in Isabel's eyes. "We're
really sorry that we couldn't tell you, Mom and Dad. We just thought it would be too dangerous, and we didn't
know if you would still want us if you knew the truth."
want you?" Diane asked. "Of course
we still want you." She pulled
Isabel into an embrace. "Isabel,
you and Max are our son and daughter, and we love you no matter what."
put his arm around Max's shoulder, "I just wish you would have told us
sooner. Maybe we could have
had been a long, illuminating night but Jeff still had questions, and he
knocked on Liz's door. "Liz, can I
talk to you?"
opened the door, "Sure Dad, come in."
sank down onto the bed and he took a seat next to her, looking at her
carefully. "It's like you're a
I'm an alien?" Liz asked.
shook his head, "No, it's because you've lived this whole other life right
under our noses and we didn't know anything about it."
continued, "Do you remember your other parents?"
Liz said. "I don't have any
memories of my other life, just what Max has shown me."
hard to believe my little girl was all grown up and married," Jeff said.
smiled, "It's hard for me to believe too."
you don't have any doubts that it's true. That you were this Ava?"
Liz said. "No doubts at all. When Larek told us, I just knew it was
that's one of your powers, isn't it?" Jeff asked. "You can tell if someone is telling the truth."
shrugged, "Serena thinks so but I haven't really noticed a difference except
with Max. I can almost always feel
what he's feeling."
you love him, even though he got Tess pregnant."
really complicated," Liz said. "Max and I thought we couldn't be together because Tess was his
wife. But I love Max no matter
sighed, "So what's the real story with that Rath character? I take it he's Michael's duplicate but
why did you ask me not to say anything about him in front of the others?"
asked you not to say anything because the knowledge is dangerous, Dad. The skin leader Nicholas, we told you about,
has the ability to take information from people's minds, so the less people who
know Rath came here, the better. See Rath is Michael's dupe and he has been working against us, but the
night you saw him, Rath offered us an alliance. He's living in Copper Summit with the skins and he found out
he was betrayed, so he offered to spy for us."
nodded, "And you don't want that knowledge to get back to your enemies." He pulled a hand through his hair. "And how do you know you can trust
shook her head, "We don't trust him, but as an offer of good faith he took us
Alex didn't just wake up on his own?"
Liz said. "Max healed him. Otherwise Alex would still be in that
nursing home and we would still think he was dead. And today it was Rath who called and warned Michael about
Rath could be telling the truth or it could be just a ruse to get you to trust
him." Jeff nodded, "I just can't
believe you kids have to deal with things like this."
Liz said. "It isn't easy but we're
trying to examine every possibility and be careful with everything we do."
put his arm around her. "I hope
you know that none of this changes the way your mother or I feel about
you. You're our daughter and we
wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. "Thanks Dad, that means a lot." She pulled back and looked into her
father's face, "I don't need powers to tell that you're worried."
just you're all so young and you're involved in the huge intergalactic
war." He shook his head, "Maybe
you should all leave, hide somewhere, until this is all over."
shook her head, thinking of the other timeline when the Earth was taken over by
aliens. "Khivar would just hunt us
down." She looked into her
father's concerned face. "If
there's one thing I've learned," she said softly, "it's that you can't escape
Evans House - Max's Room)
picked up his cell phone immediately when it rang, almost dreading what news it
might bring, "Hello?"
Rath greeted, "I'm glad to hear that everyone survived the attack."
did you know?" Max asked.
skin soldiers gossip more than a bunch of girls in the bathroom," Rath
said. "The news was all over the
town but I had to wait until it was safe to call you."
for the warning, Rath," Max said. "It's just too bad that you didn't find out a little earlier."
well Nicholas isn't exactly up front with me. I found out about the attack from the soldiers, but by then
it was almost too late." Rath
chuckled, "But Nicholas sure is pissed that you all survived. He's been kicking cans all night."
grimaced, "Have you heard any plans to send more soldiers here?"
yet," Rath said. "Nicholas ordered
another group to get ready but then he went into the ship for a while and when
he came out, he told them to stand down. He must have talked to Khivar and been ordered to
wonder why he would do that?" Max asked.
know, duke. But Khivar must be up
March 2nd, 2002)
and Maria were the last to enter the empty classroom where the others were
patted Michael on the arm. "Another Michael worshipper. That means there were two of them," she mocked. "But at least he's not in love with
you." Her brow creased and she
turned to Ryan, "You're not, are you?"
laughed, "No, I'm not."
sat with Liz on one side and Serena on the other and started the
questions. "So when you were taken
back to Antar, did you volunteer to come back to Earth?"
would have," Ryan said, "but Khivar wouldn't let anyone stay on Antar. He sent everyone back to Earth."
nodded, "And are you still reporting to Nicholas?"
"No. On the first day back I started a fire
and faked my own death."
no one knows you're gone," Isabel said.
you were the one who killed John in the quarry that day," Michael said.
nodded, "Yeah. I had been keeping an
eye on the Crashdown because that's where Michael is most of the time, and I
saw Sean colluding with John. I
thought they were up to no good so I followed them."
saved Liz's life," Max said. "That
means more to me than you could ever possibly know, thank you."
shook his head self-consciously. "It was a group effort."
been watching us a long time," Max said. "What are your plans?"
mean am I going to try and overthrow you and Khivar to put Michael on the
nodded, "Something like that."
Ryan said, "it's obvious Michael is loyal to you and it wouldn't exactly endear
me, or my cause, to him if I did anything to you."
grunted and Ryan continued, "Actually, I really like you Max. You're a nice guy, loyal, protective of
your people. I don't want to be
your enemy. It was some of your
predecessors' politics I disagreed with. I know you don't remember much about your other life and maybe you'll
change when you get those memories back, but I think growing up among humans,
in this country, could be the best thing that happened to you."
Max said sarcastically, "but you still didn't answer my question."
right," Ryan agreed with a sigh. "The truth is, I really didn't have a plan beyond getting to know
Michael and offering my services to him, if I got the chance."
now that you know Michael is loyal to me?" Max asked.
got down on one knee. "I offer my
services to both of you."
shifted uncomfortably, "Get up Ryan, please."
stood and Max offered him his hand. "We accept your offer."
turned to face everyone. "After
this attack I seriously considered maybe it was time for us to leave Roswell,
but I don't think that would solve anything. Khivar has made it clear he wants us all dead, and no matter
where we go he would find us. We
aren't ready to take him on yet but we won't let him chase us from our home."
waited for Nicholas at their usual rendezvous. She had become his lover in January when he had caught her
in the ship, partly to distract him from her real motive but also hoping that
being close to him would give her other opportunities.
Nicholas was an annoying stickler for regulations and he had never allowed her
on the ship again. Lonni had even
tried to convince Nicholas that they should meet on the ship to keep their
relationship a secret from Rath. Nicholas had simply suggested they get rid of Rath, as an unneeded
annoyance, but Lonni had convinced Nicholas he might still be useful. So Nicholas had taken her to an unused
house on the edge of town, to use as their love nest.
hope of being taken into Nicholas' confidence had not happened either. She had known nothing about the troops
being sent to Roswell until last night, when she'd heard the rumors of their
failure. At first she'd been angry, but she had quickly revised her
opinion when she realized it would be the perfect opportunity to use the
failure to her advantage.
stood near the hearth and kept her back to the door as Nicholas entered.
crossed to her and put a hand on her shoulder. "Why aren't you upstairs, in something more comfortable?"
slipped out from under his hand, and walking away from him, spoke back over her
shoulder, "Actually, I'm not really in the mood since I heard about yesterday."
eyes narrowed. "What does that
shrugged, "I thought you were smarter." She motioned to herself, "Here you have a perfect source of information
about Max and his friends but instead of taking advantage of the situation, you
foolishly went into Roswell blind." She shook her head, "I gave you more credit than that, Nicholas. I thought you were this great General,
but it looks like I was wrong."
crossed back to him and leaned in close. "And I don't give myself to fools."
huffed, "It doesn't seem to have been a problem in the past. You take that moron Rath to your bed on
a daily basis."
Lonni turned away from
him. "You're right, Rath isn't too
bright. But he knows it and can
admit when he's out of his depth." She turned back to face Nicholas. "Rath also has other . . . assets that make up for his intellectual
rolled his eyes.
her fingers through his hair, Lonni continued, "If you just let me in, tell me
your plans, there's a lot I could offer you."
smiled, "Maybe there's something we can offer one another."
stuck his head into the living room as he came in, and noticed that his mom had
a slightly dazed look on her face. Obvisouly she was still struggling to accept the overwhelming
truth. "Hey Mom," he greeted her.
Max," Diane called out, "how was your day?"
entered the room and sank down onto a chair. "Good. It was
kind of hard to concentrate though, with what happened last night."
nodded, "I guess I haven't realized how grown up you've become. You must be worried about everyone."
nodded, "In a way it's easier when we're all at school because when we're
together I feel I can protect everyone."
that shield you used yesterday," Diane said. "How strong is it?"
never really tested it," Max said with a shrug, "but it did stop bullets from a
rifle?" Diane gasped. "When did . . ."
she trailed off shaking her head. "Maybe I don't want to know."
nodded, smiling sadly.
did want to ask you about something," Diane said.
Halloween, I was looking for you, and I saw you and Liz sitting on your bed. You weren't doing anything, not even
speaking. The two of you had your
foreheads pressed together, but I got the distinct feeling that you somehow
understood each other."
smile warmed. "Liz and I have a
sort of connection between us, and when we touch we can communicate through the
bond in our minds. We can send our
thoughts and feelings to one another and nothing is held back."
was enraptured, "It sounds amazing."
nodded, "Serena says that sometimes our people even have bonds that allow them
to communicate when they are apart."
you and Liz develop a bond like that?"
don't know," Max said. "But our
powers are still getting stronger. Anything is possible." Max
smiled, "That night, Halloween, I got my first memory of Liz from our other
life and I was sharing it with her. I remembered the first time I saw her, and it was love at first sight."
shook her head. "It's just so
incredible that you and Liz could find one another and fall in love without
knowing anything about your past."
smiled, "I've been in love with Liz for so long, I don't remember anything
Liz knew her mother had been
upset yesterday when they'd revealed the truth, and she had been waiting for
her to get home, so they could talk. Finally Liz heard her in the kitchen and went to see her, but stopped
just outside the kitchen door when she saw the look on her mother's face.
"Mom, are you all right?"
she asked tentatively.
Nancy shook her head. "I've been thinking about this . . .
revelation, all day."
Liz stepped forward and put
a comforting hand on her mother's arm, "I know it's hard, Mom . . ."
But Nancy wasn't listening
and interrupted, "This is why your grades went down, isn't it? Because you were involved with these
Liz nodded. "Yeah."
Nancy's eyes narrowed. "And this is why you and Max were out
all night together that time. You
were doing some alien thing, weren't you?"
Liz nodded. "That night I had a vision that led us
to a potentially important clue about their past.
Nancy's brow creased. "A vision? How are you getting visions?"
Liz blushed. "At first it was only when Max and I
kissed, but now I get them on my own."
Nancy shook her head. "I can't believe that all of this was
going on, right under our noses. If I would have known, I could have stopped you somehow. Stopped you from seeing Max. I had a feeling at the time that I
should forbid you from seeing him and I just wish I would have followed my
instincts. If I would have stopped
you then, maybe you wouldn't have been dragged so far into this."
"Stopped me?" Liz asked
"Yes," Nancy said. "I would have stopped you from getting
involved in all of this, from putting yourself in danger." She raised a hand to her head. "It's a miracle you didn't get hurt or
worse, pitting yourself against the Sherrif, the FBI, these enemy aliens. I can't even imagine what could have happened
to you." She reached out to touch
Liz's face, with tears in her eyes. "And we don't know what they've done to you to make you have these
visions and powers."
Liz shook her head. "I can't believe you just said
that." Her voice rose in anger,
"The only reason I'm alive now is because Max was brave enough to get involved
when I was shot."
Nancy nodded. "I realize that, and I'm greatful he
saved you," she said, "but it doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice the rest
of your life helping them."
Liz sighed. "Mom, in case you've forgotten, I'm one
Nancy reached out to her. "But you're human. You were born on Earth. How do you know that Max and the others
aren't mistaken? Maybe you aren't
this Ava. Maybe Max just wants it
to be true."
Liz shook her head. "It's true, Mom. I am Max's wife, and you can't wish it
away. But even if it weren't true
and I was just human, I would do anything for Max because I love him.