BOOK 10 MAJESTY'S
April 31st, 2002)
(Roswell UFO Museum)
walked into Brody's office. "Hey
Brody, how's it going?"
remained silent and Max crossed to him, looking over his shoulder at the
computer screen Brody was studying. "Brody?'
jumped. "Oh, hi Max."
motioned to the computer screen. "What's so interesting?"
shook his head, "Nothing."
Max echoed blandly.
Brody said with a sigh. "When I
first came here there was a lot of activity. It was very exciting and I thought I was really on to
something, but it's been quiet for months. It's just disappointing. I had hoped to make some real breakthroughs here."
May 1st, 2002)
watched as Liz stopped at the far rim of the quarry, and as Serena instructed,
he concentrated on strengthening the connection between them. The connection was always there now,
like a piece of them that always resided with the other. Strong emotions were automatically
passed between them but they had to concentrate a little to hear or send
the connection strengthened, their minds and souls slid eagerly together, and
for a moment Max was overwhelmed by the emotions. He wanted everyone around them to disappear so he and Liz
could lose themselves in the perfect union of souls their connection
could feel that Liz wanted it too and for a moment, he let them bask in the
sensations as his soul brushed against her's, but then he reluctantly concentrated
on the task at hand. And with
considerable effort on both their parts, they kept the connection from
focused on allowing his power to merge with Liz's and felt the sudden rush of
her energy entering him. He held
out a hand and produced his shield and pushed it forward toward a group of
rocks, using just a tiny portion of the power. The shield collided with the rocks and they exploded into a
shower of dust.
Wow, Liz said with a gasp, through the connection, that
was a rush. I could feel
everything you did.
was right, Max said. Together our powers are more than twice
what they are separately.
May 11th, 2002)
arrived at their love nest at the same time as Lonni, and he allowed his eyes
to take in the sight of her. She
was a beautiful woman and it was a shame he couldn't keep her.
had allowed him to share some minor, useless information with her to keep her
satisfied that he was upholding his end of the bargain to include her in their
plans. Nicholas had given her a
few tidbits but he had not allowed her on the ship again. He suspected she had only been on the
ship that evening to steal the Granolith, but of course he didn't have any
proof. He had suggested to Khivar
that he simply take the information from her mind but Khivar wanted to keep her
on their side as long as possible.
couldn't fault Khivar's tactics. His master always tried to cover every possibility and usually everything
turned out just as he had planned.
certainly didn't fault the perks of this plan either. Nicholas watched Lonni approach and pulled her into his
arms, kissing her hard. He backed
them into the house and with a flip of his hand closed the door behind them.
stood in the shadows of the house across the street. He'd discovered back in February that Lonni was sleeping
with Nicholas and it really hadn't surprised him. Lonni would do anything to get what she wanted.
had her secrets and he had his. Rath smiled. She would get
the shock of her life if she ever found out the truth.
Max stood beneath Liz's balcony and waited until the light in her
room went on, then he reached out for her with his mind. Liz.
Liz heard his call and answered immediately. Max, where are you?
Can't you tell? he teased.
Liz could feel his smile through the connection and reached out
with her mind. She couldn't tell
precisely where he was but she knew he was near. I don't know exactly, but close.
Suddenly it was if the connection between them came into focus and
she got a flash of the alley beneath her balcony. Max what just happened? It was like I saw through your eyes.
I was concentrating on strengthening the bond. I guess it worked.
Max, I love being this close to you.
So do I, he
answered, as he climbed her ladder. We share a part of each other that no one else can touch.
May 15th, 2002)
left the ship and walked toward the Crawford house. Nicholas had insisted she stay there since the incident with
Lonni and Rath in the woods, and Tess had to admit that she was glad. She felt much safer under Nicholas
protection. No one came near her
as she progressed down the street, probably at Nicholas' command, she thought
to herself. Her stomach bulged
painfully and her slow, waddling gate stressed her already aching back.
she passed the next building, Rath detached himself from the shadows and fell into
stride next to her. "How's the
Tess said suspiciously.
motioned to her stomach. "He sure
is getting big. How much longer?"
stupid healer doesn't even know. He said maybe another month or two." She sighed, "My back will break before that. If I'd known what I was getting into, I
would have found another way to get Max off the planet."
got all the human pregnancy symptoms, but worse and longer, plus my powers have
been erratic." She shook her head,
"I should have made the baby a mind warp too."
you couldn't risk that," Rath said. "Max might have been able to see through you."
nodded, "Yeah, I couldn't risk that. But it will be worth it. In
the end, I'll get everything I want. Max will never leave his son. This baby will tie us together forever."
Max turned off his phone and turned to Liz. "That was Rath. He said the doctors think it might be
another month or two before my son is born."
Liz took his hand. "And
everything is okay with the baby?"
Max nodded, looking down. "He's healthy."
"That's good Max."
"Yeah," Max said softly.
"Max," Liz said insistently, to get his attention. He turned to her and she continued,
"We'll get him back. We won't stop
until we do."
Max smiled and nodded, "Thanks Liz."
Liz shook her head. "You never have to thank me for accepting your son. He's a part of you and I love
everything about you."
(Friday, May 24th, 2002)
Roswell High School)
found Max at his locker and slipped her arm into his, placing a quick kiss on
his cheek. "Hi."
entwined his fingers with hers, smiling. "Hi yourself."
Liz leaned into him, "My
parents left this morning. They're
spending the weekend in Albuquerque to buy new equipment for the Crashdown."
that right?" Max asked.
nodded. "So I think this is the
perfect opportunity to do some experiments with our connection."
smiled, "What kind of experiments?"
smiled, "Well I'm sure you've noticed that it's getting stronger. And haven't you felt every time we
concentrate that the bond wants to be completed?"
Max said. "I can feel our souls
yearning to come together. It gets
very distracting because all I want to do is lose myself in you."
nodded, "I feel the same way and it's getting harder to control. That's why I think we need to be alone
so we can learn to control it better."
nodded, with mock seriousness. "Anything to advance the cause of science."
held Ava gently as he kissed her. She seemed so small and delicate, he was almost afraid she would break
in his arms.
trailed kisses down her exposed throat and suddenly a rush of images deluged
he broke the kiss and sat back. "What the hell was that?"
laughed, "Flashes. Haven't you
ever gotten them before?"
shook his head, "No, do you?"
time I kiss you," Ava said. "It's
common among our people."
nodded, accepting her casual statement, but inside he was unsettled because it
was the first time he had ever really realized that he was changing. Of course the others had told him, and
he was developing powers, but he never seriously thought about how he was
okay," Ava assured him, "it doesn't make you a freak."
did you . . ." he trailed off. "You saw
that in the flashes?"
Ava said. "I saw other stuff
too. Things that Tess did to you."
shook his head, "You shouldn't have to see that."
loved her," Ava said.
Kyle shrugged, "It didn't
matter to her. I'm sure you've
seen that too. She used all of
nodded, "Don't you worry that I'm just like her? Don't you ever get us confused? Maybe you're just attracted to me because of her."
Kyle said surprised. "At first I
wondered about that. You may look
alike but that's where the similarity ends. You're totally different people."
(The Parker House -
Max reclined on Liz's bed,
holding her in his arms. Her head rested
on his chest and Max could smell the fresh, clean scent of her hair. And even though the connection wasn't
fully open, Max could feel his soul yearning to touch hers.
nodded and loosed his tight control on their connection. In his mind, he saw it as a delicate,
golden thread that ran from himself to Liz, and as the bond opened completely
between them, the thread became a shining, flowing river.
familiar rush of images and emotions deluged him, and he once again felt the
pull of Liz's soul. Without
hesitation he let his soul slide into place with Liz's, rejoicing at the
sensations caused by the completion. They were whole, one being, with no separation.
long they basked in the joining, neither of them knew. Time seemed to hold no meaning. Thoughts and feelings passed between
them without censure and they never wanted it to end.
his mind, Max suddenly caught a glimpse of his night with Tess. Immediately Max closed off that part of
his mind and separated his soul from Liz's, so she wouldn't be subjected to his
memories. He could feel Liz's
surprise at the abrupt separation but he didn't have a choice.
since the memory of that night had been loosed, Max couldn't seem to banish
it. It tumbled around in his mind
growing clearer with each moment. He experienced the pain he'd felt that night, the loneliness, the
confusion, and then for the first time, he felt the thread of Tess' power.
Tess, Liz gasped in his mind.
Max was horrified that
their connection was still open and he ruthlessly slammed down a barrier,
shutting Liz out. He jumped off
the bed with wide eyes, attempting to put distance between them and he shook
his head, not believing what he had just remembered.
saw it all Max," Liz gasped.
got off the bed and walked toward Max but he backed away, not wanting her to
touch him and possibly see more. "Stay away, Liz, please."
took a step closer. "You didn't
want to sleep with Tess, she used her power to manipulate you."
wrapped his arms around himself, shaking his head.
held out her hand. "It's okay
Max. It actually explains a
lot. I could see how Tess built up
layers of the mind warps on you over weeks. She started to guide the memories you recovered,
manipulating your emotions to make you think you had feelings for her, and used
them to make you kiss her at the prom. Then she used your own feelings of frustration and loneliness against
you, turning them to anger, making you lash out at Isabel and me, to separate you
from us. And that n-night," Liz
faltered, but struggled against her outrage to regain her composure. "The night you were together was the
culmination of her plan, and she forced you to want her."
started in Max's eyes and ran down his face as he pressed his hands to his head
and sank to the floor.
ran to Max, falling to her knees before him, and enfolded him in her arms.
wrapped his arms tightly around Liz. "I should have known. I
should have been able to stop her."
could you stop her, Max?" Liz asked. "In your mind, I could see that some part of you knew it was wrong and
was trying to fight her. But Tess
has been using her powers for much longer, and she is quite proficient,
especially with her lies."
shook his head. "My son was
conceived in that tangle of lies, that rape," Max spat. "No child should ever be brought into the world that way."
never know," Liz said determinedly, hugging Max tighter. "We'll get him back and love him as if
he were our own."
May 25th, 2002)
took a seat across from Max and Liz. "So what did you want to talk about?"
were wondering if you could help us Ava," Liz started. "We need to be able to see through
Tess' mind warps."
have that power too," Max said. "Can you tell us anything?"
nodded, "Lonni, Rath and Zan were all able to see through my mind warps since
we were just kids. My abilities
are not nearly as powerful as theirs. Rath used to call me retarded because I couldn't compete with them."
how did they do it?" Max asked.
told me that everyone's power had a certain feel and he could tell who power
belonged to," Ava said. "I think
that's how he and the others knew. I think they could feel me using my powers.
can't we do that?" Max asked.
sure you can," Ava said. "You
haven't been developing your powers since day one out of the pods, but we
have. Once you get strong enough,
you'll be able to do everything we could, and probably a lot more."
touched Max's arm. "I think I know
what Ava means. When we were
connected yesterday, I knew Tess had mind warped you. It just felt like her."
nodded, "That's it. You have to
learn to recognize what her power feels like and then you can overcome it."
you help us?" Liz asked.
smiled, glad to be useful, "Sure."
May 28th, 2002)
Max sat on his bed and
glanced at the clock. It was after
midnight and Isabel still wasn't home. She had skipped practice again and when he'd called her, she'd simply
said she was with Hale.
discussed the situation with Liz several times and she had tried to reassure
him that Isabel just needed some time, but Max could almost feel his sister
there was a flash of headlights and the sound of a motor in the driveway. Max heard the front door close and he
stepped out into the hallway to wait for his sister.
didn't see him in the dark at first, and jumped went he stepped forward. "Max, you scared me."
need to talk," he said softly.
rolled her eyes and tried to push past him. "It's late."
worried about you," Max said. "You've been skipping practice and avoiding us to hang out with Hale."
shook her head, "Don't drag him into this just because you don't like him."
held up his hands. "I don't have
anything against Hale. He seems
like a nice guy. I'm just worried
you won't be ready if we get attacked again."
sighed, "I am so tired of all of this. I just want to live a normal life."
want that too," Max said. "I would
love to go to college and marry Liz and settle down like normal people, but I
don't think Khivar and the skins are going to let us."
know you and Liz gave up going to your dream colleges," Isabel said. "We've all given up things, including
four mornings a week for the last year. And where has it gotten us?"
were able to survive the attack," Max pointed out, "and the more we practice
the more powerful we become."
nodded, "I know you're right. But
doesn't it ever worry you that we're all being pushed toward this destiny none
of us really want?"
"It seems like that to me
sometimes too," Max admitted, "but none of us have to make any decisions about
accepting responsibilities or going back to our planet yet. And I'm certainly not going to try to
force anyone to do anything they don't want. I'm just trying to keep us all alive."
"You mean like when you
forced me to stay in town when I wanted to go to college?" Isabel asked
"I've apologized for that,"
Max said. "It won't happen again."
"I know, I'm sorry
too." She shook her head, "I just
need some time to decide who I am and what I want to do."
Max smiled, "That's what
Isabel's eyebrows rose,
"Well little brother, you should have listened to her."
May 31st, 2002)
move a little closer together. Hold it." Jeff snapped
another picture of the graduates displaying their diplomas. "Perfect." He motioned to the buffet laid out. "Okay everyone dig in, it is a party."
wrapped her arms around her mother and father. "Thanks Mom, Dad, for the party. The decorations look great," she said motioning to the
blow-up alien dolls dressed in caps and gowns."
coughed. "It's not too much,
considering . . ." he trailed off. "It's what I would normally do, but now that I know about you guys I
thought maybe it was distasteful, but then I wondered if people would notice if
I didn't use aliens and wonder about that."
laughed, "Dad, it's fine. It is
hugged Maria. "I can't believe
that my little girl is all grown up." She lowered her voice, "And looking for an apartment with her alien
rolled her eyes, "I thought you were okay with it, Mom."
know," Amy said. "It's just hard
to see you as anything other than my baby. But if it had to happen, I'm glad it was with Michael. You two seem to be good for one
kissed her cheek, "Thanks Mom. But
you know we won't have much money, so unless we want to eat Crashdown food
every day, you can probably expect us for dinner a few times a week."
laughed, "It's a date."
hugged Alex, and Chuck patted him on the back. "Those awards for your computer work were really
impressive. You could probably get
into just about any college you wanted."
Alex nodded, "Maybe, but I
think I'll stick close to home for now." He noticed that his mother relaxed. "I can always change my mind and go away later."
course," Gloria said. "You have
all the time in the world."
finished filling his plate and took a seat with Ryan and Sean. "No one was surprised that Liz was the
Valedictorian and won like every academic award possible. She's been headed that way since
kindergarten, and Max was never far behind, but Michael being honored as the
most improved student." he shook his head, "you could have knocked me over with
spoke up, "I was surprised to discover Michael was an indifferent student. In his other life, Michael was known
for his expertise in history and military tactics."
Sean asked with a laugh.
nodded, "Many consider him a genius."
and Kyle looked at one another and dissolved into laughter.
put his arm around Max's shoulder. "Your mother and I are really proud of you, son. Honor roll and the President's academic
award, on top of everything else. That's a real accomplishment."
Dad," Max said.
wanted to give you something for you graduation but you already have a car and
all that money in the bank." He
lowered his voice. "We weren't
really sure what to get the young King of another planet. But then your mother pointed out that
you were still our son, and the same Max we had known for years."
slipped an envelope from his pocket. "We gave Isabel the same amount when she graduated and we know you have
money but we wanted to help with your future, whatever that may be."
smiled, "We want you to know how much we love you and that we will support you
in anything you do. You can depend
on us for whatever you need. And
we know you are probably thinking about your future with Liz and we want to
tell you how happy we are about it. Even before we knew about your past, I thought Liz was really good for
smiled, "Thanks Mom. I am having a
ring made," he admitted. "I was
planning to propose next weekend."
you at least make it a long engagement?" Diane asked, tears starting in her
eyes. "I'm not ready to lose you
hugged her. "You'll never lose me
Mom, I promise."
pulled Michael into a kiss. "I'm
so proud of you."
shrugged, "It's really no big deal. I just showed up for class and did a little homework.'
shook her head, "It is a big deal and you should be proud."
took a seat next to Isabel. "So
this is how it feels to be a graduate."
smiled, "Not much different huh?"
Alex sighed. "I thought it would
be some liberating, life-altering event, and in a way it has been, but now I
just feel like a really small fish in a really big ocean."
nodded, "I know what you mean. Sometimes it's just overwhelming."
looked at her closely. "Is that
why you've been skipping practice because you feel overwhelmed?"
turned to him in surprise. "I
really don't want to talk about this, Alex. It's my life, my choice."
nodded, "Yeah, it is . . ."
cut him off, whispering fiercely, "At least you admit that much. Alex, I thought you were my friend but
here you are criticizing me just like Max and Michael."
shook his head, "No one is criticizing you. We just want to make sure that you're okay."
Max ordered you to come over here and talk to me?"
shook his head again, "Of course not. I thought as friends we could talk about anything."
got up. "I'm sick of everyone
talking about how I should live my life."
took Kyle into a quiet corner. "A
few years ago, no one could have predicted how this has all turned out."
nodded, "A few years ago my biggest goal in life was a profession baseball
career, but it's funny how things change. Now I see things in a larger context. Know well what leads you forward, and what holds you back,
and choose the path that leads to wisdom."
what path are you choosing?" Jim asked.
smiled, "I'm still not really sure, but I thought I would take a few classes in
the fall at the community college, while I try to make up my mind." He shrugged, "Maybe I'll major in
caught the surprised look on his father's face before Jim could mask it, and
laughed. "Just kidding, Dad."
Maria and Liz hugged.
three musketeers made it through intact," Maria said.
if it was in doubt for a while," Alex reminded them.
Liz said, "but we promised each other we'd always be friends and we should have
known Alex wouldn't break his promise."
we're all headed to the community college in the fall," Alex said. "I thought we would be scattered to the
far corners of the Earth but we'll all still be together."
nodded, "One big, happy, Czechoslovakian family."
June 1st, 2002)
threaded his fingers through Isabel's hair as he kissed her thoroughly. Over the months, they had spent a lot
of time on the sofa making-out but tonight he felt there was something
different. Isabel had been
restless all evening and finally he pulled away. "What's wrong?"
shook her head, "It's just Max. He's trying to run my life."
put his arm around her, settling her into his side. "Is this about the missed practices?"
that and other stuff too. He's
worried about me and I get that, but I am my own person and I can't live my
life for him."
nodded, "So what do you want to do with you life?"
not sure," Isabel admitted, "but I want to figure it out for myself."
if we go away for the weekend, just the two of us?" he suggested. "No pressure, no expectations, we'll
just have a good time."
Isabel smiled. She had always been the one to dictate
how far their relationship had progressed and Hale had always respected her
wishes. He was always there,
always supportive and she loved him. Suddenly she didn't want to wait any longer.
reached out to touch his handsome face and then leaned in initiating a heated
kiss. She started to unbutton his
shirt he pulled back, studying her face, "Isabel?"
smiled, "I've made one decision about my life, Hale. I don't want to wait to be together anymore."
shook his head, "Are you sure? I
don't want you to rush into anything."
nodded, "I love you, and I've never been more sure of anything."
healer rushed into Nicholas' office without waiting for permission to enter.
was about to chastise him, but he didn't get a chance to speak.
healer blurted out his news. "Tess
is in labor."
lay in the curve of Hale's body, her head next to his heart, his arms wrapped
tightly around her. Gently he
stroked her arm that lay across his chest, and she could hear the steady beat
of his heart. Isabel had never
felt so loved in her life, so much like she belonged, and she sighed with
rush of images had filled her mind as their bodies had joined but she had
pushed them aside, only wanting to concentrate on Hale and the moment. But now the images started to filter
into her consciousness.
saw different images of Hale and herself together, dancing, talking, kissing,
walking in a garden. Isabel
smiled, glad that she was on his mind as much as he was on hers.
next image showed them walking at night near a beach, and for a moment Isabel
was confused. She had never been
to a beach with Hale and she wondered if it was a fantasy of his.
She continued to watch as
the scene unfolded. Hale touched her face and leaned in for a kiss but Isabel
watched herself back away, shaking her head. Hale advanced and took her in his arms, pulling her closer,
capturing her lips in a kiss.
events seemed so familiar and suddenly Isabel knew why. It was because she had lived them, but
not in this life.
sat up with wide eyes and looked into the face of the man she had given herself
to, the man she loved more than anything, and whispered fiercely, "Khivar!"