BOOK 8 RESTRUCTURING REALITY
(THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE - MAX)

 

 

 

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PART 2

 

 

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(Episode Equivalent - Harvest)

(Saturday, October 28th, 2000)

 

Song Playing: From This Moment by Shania Twain

 

The sun coming in through the window woke Max and he opened his eyes to an unfamiliar room.  It only took him an instant to remember the glorious night he had spent with Liz in his arms.  She was still beside him, curled into his side, her head resting on his chest, and his arms still encircled her.  He allowed his eyes to roam over her face.  She was so beautiful.

 

He didn't want to wake her but couldn't help himself and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.  He thought she looked like an angel sleeping beside him.

 

"If you didn't want to wake me you shouldn't have done that," Liz murmured with a smile, her eyes still closed.  She snuggled closer into his chest, opening her eyes.  "And there is no way I look like an angel.  My hair must be sticking out all over the place."

 

"It's perfect," Max said, as he ran his fingers through her hair.  "You are perfect."  He brushed his lips against hers but suddenly drew back with a frown.  "How do you know I thought you looked like an angel?"

 

Liz smiled, "Well you just said it."

 

Max shook his head, "I didn't say it."

 

Liz brow wrinkled in confusion, "I heard you."

 

Max looked closely at her, his eyes searching her face.  Was it possible that she had heard his thoughts?

 

Liz gasped, "I heard your voice, but you weren't speaking."

 

"What did I say?"

 

"You wondered if I heard your thoughts."  Liz paused considering.  "There were moments in the past, when I suspected we were sharing thoughts, feelings." 

 

Max nodded, "I know what you mean.  There were times, when we weren't even physically together but I knew what you were thinking.  I thought it was just me, my powers, but it never happened with anyone else."

 

"I thought it was intuition or instinct, because I knew you so well," Liz said with a smile.  "But a tentative connection must have been there all along.  I guess it started when you healed me.  Then last night, when we made love, it must have ... cemented the connection between us."

 

Max shook his head slowly, frightened that this latest development might be enough to turn Liz from him permanently.  "Liz, I'm sorry.  If I would have known..."

 

Stop it Max, Liz thought, concentrating on pushing the thought to him, to see if the bond would work both ways.

 

"Liz I heard you."

 

Liz smiled gently, "How could you think I wouldn't want to be connected to you?"

 

"But to hear each other's thoughts.  It could get... intrusive."

 

Liz shook her head.  "Max I love you so much.  I think it's wonderful that we are this closely linked."

 

Max wrapped his arms more tightly around her, "So do I."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Crashdown Cafe)

 

"Good morning," Liz called out to Maria as she came down the stairs, into the back room of the restaurant.

 

Maria paused and she studied her friend.  Liz was almost glowing.  "You look like you're about to burst with something.  Okay what happened girlfriend?"

 

"Have you seen Max today?" Liz asked innocently, while she cast her mind out to see if she could feel him, testing the limits of their connection.

 

"He did this to you?" Maria asked with a smile.

 

Liz stumbled over her words, not sure what to say.  "No, uh... well, yeah.  I just... I can't even explain it."

 

Maria was instantly indignant, "You can't explain?  This is me you're talking to here."

 

Liz blushed, "I just... Well, we just... um..." she let the sentence trail off.

 

Maria suddenly brightened, "Liz, you and Max didn't..."

 

Liz nodded.

 

"Tell me all about it!"

 

"Maria," Liz intoned exasperatedly.

 

"Okay, okay not everything but..." she paused for a moment and then nodded her head, "Yeah, everything."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(The Evans House)

 

Michael pushed open Max's window and climbed inside, "Where the hell have you been?"

 

Max smiled, "Good morning to you too Michael."

 

"Hey, I tried to find you last night but you didn't come home, did you?"

 

Max looked Michael steadily in the eyes, "Liz and I are together, if that's what you're asking," he said, challenging Michael to state his opinion or shut up.

 

Michael met his eyes, saw Max's steely determination and backed down with a brief nod.  He got right to the point.  "We need to figure out what we’re going to do about this thing with Courtney and the skins."

 

"Michael it would be suicide to just walk in there.  All of the skins have gathered for this harvest.  Even Courtney told us to stay away."

 

"And you trust her?"

 

"Not entirely,” Max said.  “But I do believe that she's not working with Nicholas and Khivar."

 

"So what are we going to do?  We can't just do nothing, again."

 

"What do you want to do Michael?"

 

"I don't know but this is the perfect opportunity to wipe them all out with one blow."

 

"I agree,” Max said, “if we had any resources, but we don't.  There are over one hundred skins in Copper Summit.  We have no weapons and no allies.  We can't control our powers, we don't even have a plan."

 

"We can't just let the harvest take place.  It will give them another fifty years."

 

Max shook his head.  "It can't be helped.  It’s much safer to stay away.  Courtney said they are stuck on this planet just like we are, so as long as they don't find us there is nothing they can do."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

Tess stormed into the Valenti house, rushed past the couch where Kyle was sitting and slammed the door to her room.  She was so furious, she could have single-handedly torn down the house.  She had discovered that over the last week, there had been at least three meetings she had not been invited to, and Max had made it abundantly clear he didn’t want to see her.  He had sent either Michael or Isabel to tell her about the decisions they had made, like she was an outsider, not a part of the group. 

 

While Liz had been out of the picture over the summer, Tess and Max had gotten closer and she had thought she was making progress in winning him back.  She had thought he would remember her as she remembered him and everything would work out the way it was destined.  Even though Max had offered her a type of friendship, he had made it clear he didn’t want a deeper relationship with her.  But since Liz had returned, Max had done his best to exclude Tess. 

 

Tess picked up a pillow and threw it across the room.  She was his wife, whether he liked it or not, and she was not going to let him just push her aside. 

 

A knock at the door interrupted her thoughts.  "Go away Kyle," she called out automatically.  It had been a mistake to get involved with him, she now knew.  She had only wanted a casual relationship but Kyle wanted something more from her and she was not able to give it to him. 

 

Tess groaned as the knocking grew louder.  She thought any guy would jump at the chance for a sexual relationship with no strings but she had picked the one guy who wanted more. 

 

Tess crossed to the door and opened it, knowing Kyle wouldn’t go away until they had talked.  She slumped down onto the bed and waited for him to join her but he stood in the doorway until she looked in his direction. 

 

"What's wrong Tess?"

 

"Wrong?  What could possibly be wrong?" Tess asked, her anger building with each word.  "Max is having meetings without me, acting as if I don't exist, don't count, when I am his wife.  He spends all of his free time with Liz and he obviously doesn't want to see me.  No, nothing is wrong."

 

A hurt look crossed Kyle's face briefly and Tess saw it before he was able to cover.  "Kyle," her voice softened, "you know I like you and I like being with you but..."

 

Kyle cut her off, "But you are in love with him."  He nodded once crisply and then slapped a hand to his forehead, "What is it with this guy?  First Liz and now you."  He shook his head to clear his thoughts.  "Okay, okay.  I thought you weren't going to wait around for Evans.  You were going to live your own life."  

 

"I still intend to,” Tess said, “but I’m part of their group and I should have a vote on what we do."  Her voice cracked with pain, "A few weeks ago they thought that the new owner of the UFO museum was a skin and the three of them went to kill him.  They found out he was a human but they didn't even tell me what they were doing.  I could have helped."  A faint sob escaped before she could stop it and she wiped at her eyes.  Her voice came out just above a whisper.  "All three of them have been pushing me away.  I thought after Whitaker took me that Isabel and I would grow closer again but..." her voice trailed off into silence.

 

Kyle moved to sit beside her and put his arm around her.  "I know this is not what you want to hear, but you have to give them time.  The three of them have been together for a long time and to trust and accept new people can't be easy."

 

Tess was instantly indignant, "But they had no trouble accepting and trusting the humans."

 

Kyle continued softly, "From what I understand, they didn't have much choice about trusting the humans.  And when you came to town, you weren't honest about who you were and you did play some dirty tricks."

 

She lowered her head unable to look him in the eye, remembering how she had used him.  "But you forgave me."  

 

"Yeah," he said tipping her chin up, forcing her to look at him, "but it took some time and some help from the Buddha."  He looked thoughtful for a moment, "Tolerance, patience and understanding are the highest virtues every man should develop."

 

Tess smiled, "Okay Buddha boy.  Maybe you can help me develop some patience and understanding."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

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.

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - Wipeout)

(Sunday, October 29th, 2000)

(Copper Summit, AZ)

(The Crawford House)

 

Ida walked into the living room where Nicholas was playing Mortal Kombat.  "Sir?"

 

Nicholas ignored her, concentrating on his game.

 

"Excuse me Sir," she said a little louder.

 

"Not now mom," he yelled.  "I'm at a crucial part."  His fingers furiously pushed the buttons on the controller but his character fell to the ground in a puddle of his own blood.  Nicholas threw the controller to the floor as he leapt to his feet, "Damn it mom," he bellowed, "How many times have I told you not to interrupt me?"

 

"I'm sorry Sir."

 

"Well, what is it?"

 

"The last of the troops have gathered for the harvest."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

Michael and Isabel looked down on the town of Copper Summit from their vantage point in the hills, and Isabel once again voiced her doubts, "Michael, I don't think this is such a great idea."

 

"Yeah, you mentioned that once or twice," Michael said, still gazing through his binoculars.

 

"We could have at least told Max we were coming," she persisted, "or brought Tess with us.  Her powers could come in handy."

 

"Max wasn't interested in coming the last time I asked, and Tess would just tell him."  He lowered the binoculars and looked at Isabel with a creased brow, "You don't trust her, do you?"

 

Isabel shook her head, "No I don't.  Especially after all that stuff she did to us.  And the way she is always kissing up to Max just creeps me out, but she is one of us.  Maybe she could help."

 

"The only thing she would have helped with, is tattling to Max," Michael scoffed.

 

Isabel was feeling guilty about her decision to go against Max's orders but she hadn't wanted Michael to go alone, "Max told us not to come."

 

"I know.  I just wanted to see for myself."

 

"And what do you think?"

 

"There are way too many of them for us to take on," Michael admitted with a smile.  "For once, I think Maxwell was right.  But if you ever tell him, I'll deny the whole thing."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

   

(Saturday, November 4th, 2000)

(Copper Summit, AZ)

 

Courtney smoothed the new husk over her body.  It had a different feel than the other skin.  It was lighter and she could feel more sensations through it, but best of all, her vision was improved.  She moved to the mirror and studied her face.  She looked the same.  She couldn't see even a small difference in her new body.

 

Courtney smiled.  Michael was attracted to this body and it would help her win him over to their side.

 

After the celebration tonight and the strategy meeting tomorrow, she would return to Roswell and continue with her plan to bring Michael over to their side.

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Copper Summit, AZ)

(Onboard the Leptus)

 

"This is completely unacceptable," Khivar roared as he slammed Corporal Raltos’ borrowed fist down on the table.

 

Nicholas winced.  The operation to recover Vilondra and the Granolith had lasted years longer than they had anticipated.  Then their members had started being killed and he had been forced to cover up their disappearances by claiming they had deserted.  But now Major Nesta, who had been posing as Congresswoman Vanessa Whitaker, had disappeared and was presumed dead.

 

The body of Corporal Raltos, containing Khivar's consciousness got to his feet, still ranting.  "It was one thing when we were losing a few minor soldiers here and there.  Losses are to be expected.  But to lose the Major who was in charge of recovering the Granolith is just too much of a coincidence.  I can only see two possibilities.  Either one of Zan's shape shifters has infiltrated our group, or the traitors are more numerous than we thought."

 

Nicholas rushed to cover his butt, "Sir, I assure you that everything is being done to uncover the remaining traitors..."

 

Khivar cut him off, "Nicaron the situation is intolerable.  The signal sent last summer means the pods have surely hatched and that means every day that passes is one more day I am without Vilondra."

 

Nicholas wondered if Khivar would blame him for failing to locate Vilondra, and if he did, what would happen to him.  Nicholas knew being on Earth would not save him and he made a bold inquiry, risking his master's wrath. "What would you like us to do?"

 

Khivar paused for a moment, "I will send a legion of troops to Earth to help you locate them.  I want this ended as quickly as possible."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - Max in the City - aka. Journey to New York)

(Saturday, November 25th, 2000)

(Roswell City Park)

 

Tess watched from behind a tree as Max and Liz strolled past her.  She hardly needed to hide, she thought to herself.  They were so wrapped up in one another, she doubted if they would notice her anyway.  But Max had never noticed her. 

 

She had watched the two of them carefully since Liz had returned from Florida.  Tess had seen how Max pursued Liz and how Liz continually denied him, and then suddenly, a month ago, they were back together.   

 

Tess had really been surprised.  She thought Liz had understood the importance of their mission and would stay out of their way.  When Liz had walked away from Max at the pod chamber that day, Tess had assumed all of them would accept their destiny and they would finally have the humans out of their lives.  They would be able to concentrate on their mission, hone their skills and prepare to return home.  But Max, Michael and Isabel kept insisting on involving the humans in everything they did.  They had grown up with humans and they didn't understand, as she did, that the four of them were all they would ever need.

 

She squared her chin.  One day Max would understand and he would come to her.  She would just have to be patient until he remembered what they meant to one another.  In the mean time, she could keep herself occupied with a human too. 

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Saturday, December 9th, 2000)

(Roswell Airport)

 

Maria and Liz hugged Alex one last time before he went through the airport metal detector.  Only ticketed passengers were allowed past that point and they had to say their goodbyes there.

 

"Have a great time in Sweden, Alex," Liz said.

 

"And don't let all of those gorgeous Swedish women make you forget your friends back here," Maria added with a wink.

 

Alex smiled, "No way."

 

"What about your host family's phone number or address?" Liz asked.

 

"Real mail is so slow, to and from Europe, that I probably wouldn't get any letters in time to answer them, but e-mail is almost instantaneous."  He lifted up his laptop and pointed to it with his free hand, "See, got the computer right here.  And I'm also taking my cell phone so you can call and it'll be just like I never left.

 

He shrugged, "How great could Sweden be anyway?  I'm sure it's just the same as here but with snow and lots of hot tubs and blonde beauties in bikinis as far as the eye can see."  He paused in mock consideration.  "Actually," he said in a teasing tone, "I may never come back."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - Roswell The Miracle - aka. A Roswell Christmas Carol)

(Saturday, December 23rd, 2000)

(Roswell City Park)

 

Song Playing: Baby, I Love Your Way by Peter Frampton

 

Max sat on the bench next to the girl he loved and allowed his eyes to roam over her face in amazement.  Over the last few weeks their bond had strengthened and grown so that the connection was always there between them.  They could sense each other at all times and strong emotions were automatically sent to the other.  And when they concentrated on strengthening the link, they could telepathically communicate with a clarity that surpassed verbal communication because the subtleties of their feelings and emotions were also passed through the bond. 

 

Max took her hand in his, "I love you so much, Liz."

 

"And I love you, with all of my heart."

 

He used his free hand to withdraw a rectangular, red velvet box from his pocket and wordlessly held it out to her.  A sudden rush of sorrow washed over him as he remembered the last Christmas, when he had intended to give it to her.  He had so cavalierly pushed her away and almost lost her completely.

 

Liz picked up on his feelings immediately, "What's wrong?  Why are you sad all of the sudden?"

 

Max chased away the troubling thoughts, "I bought this to give to you last Christmas and then..." he let his words trail off, knowing that she didn't need him to fill them in.

 

"Oh," Liz said simply, as understanding dawned.

 

"I kept it as a reminder of all you meant to me," Max said, as he met her eyes and saw the tears gathering there.  He reached across and gently brushed her cheek with his thumb.  "But now that we’re together, I want you to have it."

 

Liz slowly opened the box and gasped when she saw the shining silver necklace, nestled in the lining.  The charms Max had chosen were perfectly symbolic of their love; two hearts bearing their names, on either side of a star.

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - To Serve & Protect)

(Saturday, January 27th, 2001)

(Sheriff Valenti's Office)

 

Jim leaned back in his chair, "Alright, let me get this straight.  You can go into people's dreams?"

 

"Yes," Isabel said, trying to explain her power, "But usually I choose whose dreams I go into.  This one just came to me."

 

Jim was skeptical, "Well, how do you know this was real, not just somebody's nightmare you stumbled into?"

 

Isabel shook her head, "I don't know, but it felt real.  She needs help."

 

Max stepped in to defend his sister, "Sheriff, when Tess was being tortured Isabel got flashes from her, and that's how she knew Tess was in danger.  That's how we saved her life.  We should check into this."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - To Serve & Protect)

(Sunday, January 28th, 2001)

(The Evans House - Isabel's Room)

 

Isabel drifted into a restless sleep and almost immediately she was pulled into the scene in the forest.  She watched helplessly as the girl was dragged across the ground in a body bag.  Isabel could feel the girl's fear so acutely, it was if she were experiencing it as well.  She rushed forward trying to help but she was stopped as the assailant turned toward her and she recognized him immediately, Grant. 

 

"No!  Oh, no!  It can't be!" she cried out. 

 

Suddenly she was snapped out of the dream as Max shook her.  "You started crying Isabel.  What happened?"

 

Isabel collapsed into him, "No, Oh God!  It's Grant!  It's Grant.  I saw him.  I saw him.  Oh God!  Oh God.  No."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Sheriff Valenti's Office)

 

Jim answered the phone, glad for the break from his argument with Dan, "Sheriff Valenti."

 

Max spoke right to the point, "It's not over."

 

Jim was confused, "You wanna explain that to me."

 

Max explained, "It's not Melissa Foster.  It's some other girl.  She's in Frazier Woods in the clearing outside the abandoned pump house.  We have to go right now."

 

Jim glanced at Dan, who was watching him suspiciously.

 

"Sheriff?" Max asked when the Sheriff didn't answer.

 

Jim came up with a quick cover story, "Where are you now Deputy?"

 

Max picked up on his signal, "We're at our house.  We'll meet you on Clark's street, near the Crashdown."

 

"Stay where you are," said Jim, not wanting them to expose themselves by getting involved any further, "I'll take care of it."

 

"No," said Max, anticipating trouble that Valenti might not be able to handle on his own, "We're going with you.  Can you meet us?"

 

"Yeah," Jim relented, "I'll meet you there Deputy."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

Liz waited until she could feel Max's emotions calm.  He had been so frightened and she had been scared to contact him, not wanting to distract him from what he was doing.  His feelings had transmitted themselves to her as if she had been there with him, but she couldn't tell what was happening, just that he was scared.  But now that he was more settled, she wanted to know what had happened.

 

She reached out with her mind, unsure of where Max was or if she could reach him.   Max.

 

He answered immediately.  Liz.

 

Max, what happened? Liz asked urgently, I could feel your fear.

 

Liz could feel Max's surprise and then sorrow.  I'm sorry Liz.  I have been hiding something from you. 

 

Liz was shocked that he could hide anything from her with their connection.  What are you talking about?

 

The last couple of days, Isabel has been having dreams.  She has been seeing a girl that was drugged and kidnapped and tonight we found her.

 

Is she okay? Liz asked, concerned.

 

Yeah, she'll be fine.

 

But Max that doesn't explain why you were so scared.

 

Max didn't want to worry her but he knew it would come out.  The kidnapper was there and he shot at us.

 

Max are you okay?  Was anyone hurt?

 

We're all fine.  We’re on our way to the Sheriff's station to give statements.

 

Why would you keep this from me, Max?  We are supposed to be together.

 

We are, Liz.

 

No, Max.  We’re not together if you are keeping things from me.

 

It wasn't like that Liz.  Isabel thought the girl might be an alien and I didn't want to risk you getting hurt.

 

Max, life is dangerous.  You can't protect me all the time.

 

Maybe no,t but I can keep you away from the alien stuff.  Liz, you deserve to live a normal life without these alien problems constantly intruding. 

 

But Max, it is part of what you are.

 

No, he denied vehemently, with the single word.  I just want to put that part of my life behind me.

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - We Are Family)

(Monday, January 29th, 2001)

 

The last customers left the Crashdown and Liz slid into the booth with Max and kissed him.  "Max, you've been sitting here since six o'clock."

 

Max smiled, "I don't wanna go home."

 

Liz studied him and tried to weigh his emotions through their connection.  "Max I can tell you're upset.  What's going on?"

 

Max knew that he couldn't hold back from her.  "There's someone dangerous in our town, Liz.  Someone who'd do that to a defenseless person."

 

Liz smiled, "That's why you're here.  You're worried about me."

 

"I have to make sure you are safe, Liz.  I don't know what I would do without you."

 

They were interrupted by a knock on the door.

 

Liz could see Sean through the glass.  "One second," she said to Max.  She crossed to the door and opened it a crack.

 

Sean smiled, putting on his most charming face, "I would kill for some Chili Orbit Rings."

 

Liz smiled back, "I'm sorry, Sean, but the kitchen's closed."

 

"Come on," Sean tried again, "Okay, umm, Asteroid Pie."

 

Liz shook her head, "Uh, the last piece went at six o'clock."

 

Sean pouted, "Why do you gotta be so cruel, Parker?"

 

Liz shook her head, "Just come back tomorrow, Sean, okay?  I'll give you ten percent off."

 

"Twenty," Sean said.

 

Liz started to shut the door, "Good night, Sean."

 

Liz turned back to Max with a smile, "There are two pieces of Asteroid Pie left in the fridge.  I'll go get my books and we'll study until Alex gets here with his slides."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(The Parker House)

 

Liz headed down the stairs to get an extension cord but she stopped when she saw Sean. 

 

"Excuse me, what are you doing here?" she asked him.

 

"I was hungry," Sean said with a shrug.

 

Liz shook her head and turned to the cupboard to begin her search.

 

"The, uh, auto show's in town this weekend," Sean said.

 

"Uh-huh?" Liz said over her shoulder, continuing her search.

 

"I was gonna go," Sean said.

 

"Where is that extension cord?" Liz asked herself. 

 

Sean reached past Liz when he saw the cord and handed it to her.  "So, uh, you wanna go?"

 

Liz shrugged, "Umm, I don't know.  Cars are, you know, I just, maybe I will check it out."

 

"With me?" Sean asked.

 

Liz focused on him for the first time, understanding dawning.  "Oh."

 

Alex called down the stairs as he descended, "Hey, uh, Liz, do you have some Windex or something?  The lens is dirty."  He stopped when he saw the other guy, "Sean."

 

Sean smirked, "Alice."

 

Alex gave a false laugh, "Hey, that's funny.  I haven't heard that since they put you away."

 

Liz answered Alex's question, "In the kitchen?"

 

"Thanks," Alex said, as he turned to go into the kitchen.

 

Liz turned back to Sean, "Yeah, um, you know, thank you very much for the invitation, but I can't go with you like that."

 

Sean nodded, "The guy who was in there with you before?"

 

Liz smiled, "Max.  Yeah.  We're together."

 

Sean shrugged, "No sweat.  Thanks for dinner."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Liz's balcony)

 

Liz filled in Alex as they looked at his slides, "I just wish Kyle would understand where Max is coming from."

 

"Well, you know, I guess some things don't change in a month."

 

Liz agreed, "It's too bad."

 

Alex nodded and clicked to the next slide, "Okay.  This is my host family, the Olsons, and they live in Uppsala which is just north of Stockholm, and that is Johan, Gustav, Rebecka, Mattias, and little Kiki."

 

Liz continued, "You know, on the other hand, Kyle has every right to be angry.  This is complicated.”  She glanced at Alex and realized she was interrupting, “Sorry."

 

"No problem," Alex said as he clicked to the next slide.

 

"So," Liz started, "did you meet anyone special?"

 

Alex shook his head, "No.  I was really hoping to meet someone to take my mind off of Isabel but no such luck.”  He motioned inside, “Hey, speaking of which, what is up with you and Sean DeLuca earlier?"

 

"Oh, yeah,” Liz sighed.  “He didn't realize I was with Max and he asked me out."

 

Alex laughed, "What, is the guy blind?  You and Max spend like every waking moment together."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - We Are Family)

(Tuesday - January 30th, 2001)

(West Roswell High School)

 

Max stopped Kyle in the hall, "Can we talk?"

 

Kyle was angry and blamed all of his father's problems on Max, "No."

 

"Look," Max started, "I'm sorry about what's happening."

 

Kyle turned on him, "There's gonna be a hearing.  They might take away his job."

 

Max was worried about Sheriff Valenti too.  "Kyle, your dad has some stuff in his office, stuff that Michael found out at that burial site.  It's alien.  And if that agent starts poking around..."

 

Kyle cut him off, "You might be exposed?  What a shame."

 

Max understood what Kyle was feeling but if the FBI found the substance it wouldn't be good for any of them.  "Your father could be nailed for withholding evidence.  It would only make things worse for him."

 

"So take care of it," Kyle said simply.

 

Max sighed, feeling frustrated, "I'm already on their radar.  This is the safest way to do this.  No one will think twice if you walk into that office.  Kyle, we need your help."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

Song Playing: The Answer by Sarah McLachlan

 

Max closed the door to the eraser room behind him, "I got your note.  What's wrong?"

 

Liz eyes were brimming with tears, "Nothing.  No.  No.  Um, that's not true.  I've just been thinking a lot lately, and...  Have you ever wanted to see Sweden?"

 

Max was thrown by the sudden change of subject, "Sweden?"

 

"I mean or anywhere," Liz clarified.  "Peru, Nigeria, New Zealand."

 

Max nodded, "Sure.  Why?"

 

"Watching Alex this week.  I just realized that, it's our right to see the world, to live our dreams.  You and Isabel and Michael and Tess, you guys are getting cheated on a lot of things, and it's not fair.  None of it is."

 

"I know," Max said.  "That's why I want to make sure that you follow your dream of going to Harvard."

 

Liz shook her head.  "That doesn't matter to me Max.  It is more important to me to be with you."

 

Max smiled and pulled her into an embrace.  "Then you will have to go to Harvard because that is where I intend be."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - Disturbing Behavior)

(Saturday, February 3rd, 2001)

(The Evans House – Max’s Room)

 

Max flipped through the biology book and looked into the microscope.  He was pretty sure it was a type of bacterium but there were thousands if not millions of types. 

 

Isabel interrupted him, "Are you getting anywhere?"

 

"I think we're dealing with some kind of, uh, alien bacterium... or something."

 

Isabel cocked her head to the side, "Maybe you should ask your lab partner.  She's the science whiz."

 

Max shook his head.  "I'm trying to keep Liz out of this."

 

"Are you sure that is such a good idea?  She could help us figure out what is going on."

 

"I don't want Liz involved in the alien stuff."

 

"Why not Max?  What’s going on?"

 

Max sighed, not sure how to explain it to Isabel.  "I just want Liz's life to be normal.  Liz left me because of what we learned that day in the cave.  What if the alien crap drives her away from me again?  I don't think I would survive it."

 

"What does Liz say?"

 

"She wants to be involved in every aspect of my life, but I just can't take any chances."

 

Isabel sat on the bed, "Max, Liz is alive because of your powers.  She accepts you for who you are.  She loves you."

 

"I know.  I just can't lose her."

 

Isabel nodded, "I know Max but you won't.  She wants to help and she might be our only hope."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Roswell UFO Museum)

 

Liz turned the knob, bringing the specimen into focus and recognized it immediately.  She turned to Max and Isabel, "It looks like they're alien versions of negleria filarae."  She explained further when she met their blank looks, "Waterborne parasites found in the blood cells of certain species of fish."

 

"Parasites?" Max asked, concerned, "Well, that implies they need something to feed on... like an arm?"

 

"Maybe," said Liz thoughtfully, "but you said that they didn't effect you."

 

"No, I got the feeling I didn't taste good or something."

 

Liz looked at him, "Then they didn't react when Sheriff Valenti picked them up?"

 

Max shook his head, "No."

 

Liz turned introspective, speaking her theory aloud, "Sounds like they're not interested in terrestrial organisms."

 

"Well, except Laurie," Max reminded her, "They formed on her grave site."

 

"So, maybe," Liz speculated, "there's something unique about her, something the parasites are looking for.  Or there could be something unique about her gravesite.  It's in Frazier Woods, right?"

 

"Right."

 

Liz nodded.  She reached for her phone and quickly dialed.  "Isabel," she spoke into the receiver when she answered, "Hi.  It's Liz.  We need you to do something."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - Disturbing Behavior)

(Sunday, February 4th, 2001)

(Tucson, AZ)

 

Michael, Maria and Laurie stopped at the front gate of the Dupree house.

 

"Wow," Maria gasped, "Grandpa's done pretty well for himself."

 

Michael turned to Laurie, "You okay?"

 

Laurie smiled, "I'm nervous.  I haven't seen my Grandfather for so long."

 

Michael pressed the buzzer on the gate and almost immediately a voice spoke through the intercom.

 

"Can I help you?"

 

Michael stepped back so the camera could see him, "Yeah.  We're here to see Charles Dupree."

 

"Who are you?" asked the voice through the intercom.

 

Michael motioned to them each in turn, "I'm Michael, this is Maria, and this is Mr. Dupree's Granddaughter, Laurie."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Roswell UFO Museum)

 

Isabel met Max and Liz after her meeting with Grant.  "So he has about fifty experiments going on in Frazier Woods, all of which he explained to me in excruciating detail, but the common thread through each one is the water table."

 

"What about it?" Max asked.

 

Isabel continued with her story, "The woods are unusual because the water's so close to the surface.  In some places, it's less than three feet below ground."

 

Liz spoke up, "You know, if the parasites really are waterborne, and that's just a theory, they might be in the water table."

 

"Yeah," Max agreed, "but how would alien parasites get in the water table in the first place?"

 

Liz walked to the computer and pulled up a map of the water table, "Okay.  Uh, this is a map of the water table for the entire county."

 

"It looks like a bunch of, uh, rivers," Max noted.

 

"Yeah," said Liz nodding, "that's basically it.  The water flows from one area to another through a system of underground rivers and streams..." she let her sentence trail off as she pulled up the section of the map they were interested in, "Frazier Woods."

 

"So the stream passes right underneath the grave site," Isabel said.

 

A terrible thought suddenly occurred to Max, "Let's see the rest of that stream."

 

Liz widened the view to look up-stream, "Oh, my God."

 

"What?" he asked, fearing he already knew the answer.

 

"Do you know what that is?" Liz asked.  "That's Pohlman Ranch."

 

"The crash site," Isabel breathed with a gasp of fear.

 

"Yeah," said Liz.  "The stream passes right beneath it."

 

Max stated what they were all thinking, "That means that the parasites might have been on our ship."

 

Liz turned to them, "Somebody kidnaps a girl and buries her in the ground so a bunch of alien parasites can, I mean, can do what to her we don't know, and, and then how does he know about these parasites?  Is he human, or is he alien?  Are these things dangerous to normal people in Roswell?"

 

"Okay," said Isabel taking a deep breath.  "Where do we go from here, Max?"

 

Max shook his head, "I have absolutely no idea."

 

Liz spoke up, "We need help."

 

Max and Liz looked at one another, the same thought suddenly occurring to both of them and they both spoke aloud, "Courtney."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(Episode Equivalent - How the Other Half Live)

(Monday, February 5th, 2001)

(Crashdown Cafe)

 

Max, Isabel and Liz sat down at a table with Courtney and Max came right to the point, "We need your help.  We think that some form of a parasite was released into our Earth's ecosystem when our ship crashed fifty years ago.  We think they're dangerous."

 

Courtney's brow furrowed for a moment.  "When you say parasite, what do you mean?"

 

Max shrugged, "I don't know.  It looks like blue crystals."

 

Courtney shook her head, "I could be wrong but if it is what I think it is, we are all in trouble."

 

Liz sat forward, "What do you think it is?"

 

Courtney sat back in her chair, "When you want to create an alien-human hybrid, you need something to help bridge the differences.  The cells normally don't mix, don't fit together.  That's where the Ganderium comes in. 

 

"Ganderium," Liz said simply, somehow feeling better now that they had a name for the crystals.

 

Courtney nodded, "The Ganderium are a genetically engineered life form, designed to make up for the differences in non-matching genetic materials.  In a controlled environment, like on your ship, they're harmless, but released into an eco-system, the Ganderium will perform the only role they know, infect human cells.

 

Isabel spoke up, "But they're not infecting just any human cells, they seem to be focusing on one particular girl."

 

Courtney nodded, "Not every human would be infected right away.  For the Ganderium to work, the host's genetic structure has to have a flaw."

 

Liz nodded in understanding, "That's why they're going after Laurie.  She must have the defect."

 

"What happens if they succeed in infecting Laurie?" Max asked.

 

Courtney took a deep breath, "Once they've infected her, the Ganderium will mutate into a universal virus.  She'll infect anyone she comes into contact with, human or otherwise and eventually every infected person on the planet will die.  The mortality rate would probably be over ninety percent of the population."

 

Max shook his head.  "How do we destroy them?"

 

"Once they've infected the host, it's all over," said Courtney softly.

 

A sudden realization came to Liz, "They didn't finish.  The Ganderium didn't finish infecting Laurie."

 

"She was buried right out there with the crystals," said Isabel.

 

"No," argued Liz.  "That's why they're still coming after her.  To complete the process."

 

Courtney broke in, "If that's true, then we may still have a chance.  The Ganderium are hive-like, with workers, drones, even a Queen.  The Queen is the only one that can infect the host.  But the crystals have to build up in the blood stream to a critical level before the Queen can infect the host.  So we have to find the Queen, kill her, and the rest of the hive will die.

 

Mad nodded decisively, "The first thing we have to do is go back to Frazier Woods and find out how many more of these crystals are out there.  Or rather, down there.  And then we have to find a way to destroy them.  Collect whatever digging equipment you can and meet outside in an hour.  I'm going to call Kyle, Alex and Tess for more help."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(The Dupree Mansion - Poolside)

 

Carmen placed the phone in front of Michael, "This one is for you sir."

 

"Thank you," said Michael as he reached for the phone.  "Hello?"

 

"Michael, it's Max. The crystals can't live without oxygen."

 

"Okay," Michael said, wondering how that information applied to him.

 

"That's how we can stop it," Max explained.

 

"Well, I got a news flash for you Maxwell," Michael scoffed, "there are no crystals around here."

 

"So Laurie's safe?" Max asked, attempting to bring Michael around to the point of the call.

 

"She's under my constant watch," Michael said, "I'm not even sleeping.  How are things with you?"

 

"Tired," Max sighed.  "It's been a long couple of days."

 

"Yeah, tell me about it."

 

"It's been raining pretty hard here."

 

Carmen handed Michael the DVD player.  "Thank you," he whispered to Carmen.

 

"Morale's a little low," Max continued.

 

"Ah Max, I gotta take another patrol round the perimeter."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

Max drove himself and Liz back to his house.  His parents were out of town and it would take Isabel hours to get back from Tucson.  He and Liz could spend some much-needed time alone together.  They were both soaked and dirty from digging holes Frazier Woods but as Max stopped the Jeep in his driveway and looked across to Liz, he thought she had never looked more beautiful.  She was bathed in the glory of saving the world.

 

But as much as Max was happy that they had succeeded, he blamed himself completely for endangering the Earth in the first place.  The parasites were alien.  Their ship had brought them to the Earth and the crash had released them into the environment.  They were responsible.

 

Liz broke into his thoughts, having felt his emotions through their bond, "This wasn't your fault, Max."

 

"We brought those things to Earth."

 

"They wouldn't have been dangerous if the ship hadn't crashed," Liz argued.

 

"The ship," Max scoffed, "is just the first thing in a long line of alien screw-ups."

 

"What are you talking about, Max?"

 

Max took a deep breath.  "Liz, everything we have discovered about our past and what we really are, has only brought pain and death; the FBI and Pierce, the skins, Tess, and the message from our mother, and now the Ganderium.  And Nasedo, who was supposed to be our protector, killed more people than I want to think about."

 

"But Max, that isn't you."

 

"How do we know that Liz?  How do we know anything about who I was in my other life?"

 

Liz shook her head, "Max you aren't like that.  I know."

 

Max's heart swelled with love at Liz's words but he was afraid if he pursued his alien heritage, he would discover something about himself or his people that would turn her away from him.  "Liz, the only good thing that has come of my being alien was saving you and how it brought us together.  That is what I want to concentrate on, you and me, and building a life.  I don't care about anything else."

 

"But Max what about your people, your destiny?"

 

Max shook his head, "They will have to figure a way out of this mess themselves.  How could one man possibly make a difference in a war that has been going on for more than fifty years?  I am not a King.  I don't know anything about being a leader, and even if we did return, I wouldn't know how to help them anyway." 

 

"But Max..."

 

 

He shook his head again, silencing her.  "I want to cut everything alien out of our lives.  I just want to be a normal person and live a normal life."   

 

Liz smiled, "Max, you know I'll follow you anywhere.  If that's what you want, then that's what we'll do."  She reached up and touched his cheek, strengthening the bond between them and sent him a brief flash of them stepping into a steaming shower together.  "Now, I think we should go get cleaned up."

 

Max kissed her gently, "Anything you want, my love."

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

(The Dupree Mansion)

(Later that evening)

 

Michael turned to Maria, "Maria, let me ask you something."

 

"Hmmm?"

 

"What would you think if Laurie moved in with me?  I mean, like we said, she's kind of my sister."

 

"She is," Maria said carefully.

 

"Yeah," said Michael answering his own question, "but after all she's been through, she probably needs some peace and quiet."

 

"Probably," Maria agreed.

 

"And a chance to get away from all the alien stuff and, if she lived with me, well, I'm kinda a magnet for the intergalactic trouble."

 

"Yeah."

 

"What's gonna happen to her?  We can't leave her here with these freaks."

 

"Well," said Maria, "that's something we can handle.  All we need is a lawyer."

 

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

 

TBC

 

 

 



BOOK 8 - RESTRUCTURING REALITY
Part 3
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