|"Naked Is A State of Mind"
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related
to it. I make no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Category: After Hours
|Liz squeezed inside the door, wincing as the doorframe
pushed against her belly. Alex followed, closing the
door gently behind him. It had been amazingly easy to
pick the simple lock on the door. Too easy, almost.
It had only taken a bent bobby pin, even with
Liz's lack of experience in such matters. No alarms
sounded, no guards came running.
The facility seemed dead in the dark of night. Liz closed her eyes and listened for Max. *Max?* At first there was no response, and the sense that he was near began to fade. She tried again. *Max?*
Then it came, as a shout inside her head, causing her to wince in pain. *Liz, get out of here. They're on to you. Leave now!*
*No! Not without you! Not now!*
*Liz, go!* He sounded desperate.
*I won't!* Liz turned around as she heard Alex yelp, the connection closing instantly. A guard held him closely, seemingly immune to his struggles. "Shit!" she cursed. She didn't try to run, knowing it was hopeless and terrified that they might shoot and hurt her baby.
Arms, strong like steel, had wrapped around her from behind. She was lifted bodily into the air as a scrap of cloth was thrown over her eyes.
Liz hit the floor with a thud and groaned in pain. She reached up to lift off the blindfold.
Standing before her was Max, his mouth open in awe and astonishment. "Liz," he moaned, and it sounded more like a prayer than a name.
They stood in silence for a moment, Liz on her knees on the dirty floor, Max standing a few feet away. Then Max rushed to her and lifted to her feet, crushing her in his embrace.
Neither of them said a word, simply happy to be in each other's arms once again. Liz inhaled his familiar scent, moaning slightly with the memories it brought. She felt one of his hands move toward her belly and caress it gently. She placed her hand on top of his.
"Liz...we have to get you out of here," he whispered, breaking the silence.
Liz shuddered and said nothing.
"They knew you were coming. I don't know how, but they knew. They told us what they're planning to do just a little while ago."
She was almost afraid to ask. "What?"
"They want to take our baby, Liz. They want to make it their little plaything. And then they want more babies. Alex is here, you see, so they're hoping to get Isabel pregnant again. But I don't know if Isabel will ever be able to have a baby, Liz."
"How do you mean?"
"She miscarried, really bad. Michael and I healed her, but...I don't know if she'll ever be the same again. She was just so far gone by the time they brought us in there. I don't know..."
Liz reached up to wipe away his tears. "Sssshhh. So who are they going to get another baby from? I won't be able to get pregnant for at least another few months, and Isabel is..."
Max looked at her in confusion. "Isn't Maria here?"
She shook her head slowly. "She didn't come with us, Max. I haven't seen her. I didn't even know where she was."
"Well, somebody did. Marcus told me she was coming."
Maria walked back toward her car, contemplating this turn of events. Who else would be here with Alex? Who would want to come here at all? God knows she had been happy to leave...she turned her wrists over and looked at the scars in the moonlight.
She'd done it the "right" way, slitting them from top to bottom as opposed to from side to side. The first time, her mother had been out, buying them new dresses to wear to the funerals. Maria had awakened to find her mother gone, a note on the table explaining her whereabouts. She took a shower, not crying for the first time since she heard the news. Instead she was totally dry-eyed, totally calm and collected. When the water ran cold, she wrapped a towel around herself, walked to the kitchen, found a paring knife and slit both her wrists open.
She could imagine what a sight she must have been, lying on the floor in a towel soaked with her own blood. Maria had awakened in the hospital the next day, after several blood transfusions. Her mother was by her bedside, and when Maria opened her eyes she began to sob, which only made Maria feel worse. So when she was released, she did it again.
This time, when she got out of the mental hospital, she came home to find empty rooms. Everything had already been packed and shipped to Colorado Springs. Her mother bundled her into the car and away they went, never saying goodbye.
Maria traced the scars with her fingers, feeling the faint indentations where the stitches had been. More than anything, she regretted hurting her mother. Amy DeLuca didn't deserve a suicidal daughter after all she had been through. She was the best mother a girl could hope for, and this was how Maria repaid her. Maria sighed a little. Maybe she should head back home, just put all this behind her. In another year, she'd have college to think about. If she got her grades up now, she could probably get into a pretty good school. She tried not to think about the FBI agent who had followed her here. After all, if she left, what use would he have for her?
She walked towards her little Jetta slowly, pulling her keys out of her pocket. She never heard the man who snuck up behind her.
"You'll have to come with me, ma'am."
Maria whirled around, a terrified scream escaping her lips. It was the FBI agent who had stopped her before. "No! Fuck you! Get off me!" she screamed as he grabbed her and dragged her to his car.
Liz had fallen asleep in Max's arms on his cot. She didn't know why they had been allowed this time together, but she was eternally grateful for it. She could feel the rise and fall of his chest against hers, and the gentle swish of his eyelashes against her face as his eyelids twitched in REM sleep. Liz couldn't fall totally asleep, though; she drifted in and out of consciousness in her worry about what would happen to them. The baby had been kicking inside her almost continuously for the last few hours.
It was almost as though the baby was aware that something was about to happen. Sighing at the sensation, she realized that Max had never been able to feel the baby kick before. She nudged him gently and kissed him, hoping to wake him.
He mumbled, half-asleep, "Wha's goin' on?"
"Max? Do you want to feel the baby kick?"
He smiled, slowly coming awake. "Yeah, yeah, I do." Liz guided his hand to her stomach, spreading his fingers so he could feel the vibrations coming from within. "Isn't that awesome?"
"It's...it's amazing, Liz." Max seemed moved almost to tears by this.
"That was how I knew the baby was still alive, when I woke up in-" Liz cut off, realizing she was mentioning her disappearance. She hadn't intended to, not wanting to worry him any more than he already was.
Max was totally awake now. "Knew the baby was still alive? What are you talking about, Liz?"
Liz cursed inwardly, knowing she was never going to get out of it now. "I, um...we never really talked about the last few months, did we?"
"No, we didn't. You know where I was. Where were you?"
She tried to keep from shaking. "Uh, I don't really know. I, um...I don't remember anything from the last five months or so."
Max was silent for a moment. Then he took a deep breath. "Did they have you? What did they do to you, Liz?"
"Max...I don't know who had me. But I don't think it was the government. When I woke up, I was in a hotel a few miles outside Roswell. Why would the government put me there?"
"Why would they put you anywhere in particular? God, Michael must have been wrong..."
"Wrong about what?"
"He said he overheard one of the guards saying that they got you, but lost you on the way here."
Liz thought for a moment. "Max, who did they lose me to?"
He didn't get a chance to answer. The door opened, and Marcus poked his head in."Okay, kiddies, time's up. We've got you all here now. It's time for the fun to begin." ****
The five of them watched as the guards dragged Maria to the dank-smelling room. Michael smiled when he realized she was cursing up a storm.
Marcus followed her in and locked the door behind him. "Well, kiddos, I hope you've been enjoying your stay in this lovely facility. But now, in order to repay me for the cost of your stay, we've got some work to do."
"And what the hell would that be?" Michael snapped. He reached up for Maria as she cried at the sight of him, pulling her into his arms.
"Well, it's already begun, actually. Thank you, Max, for getting Liz pregnant all by your little self." Max glared up at him.
"You've probably assumed we just want hybrids or little alien babies running around to do nasty little experiments to. That's not entirely true.
"We're engineers here, really. And we want to engineer the perfect assassin."
"So what does that have to do with any of them? Or even any of us, really?" asked Alex, helping Isabel to sit up.
"Well, we figure that a hybrid with a combination of human and alien traits would be just dandy. At first we thought maybe, hey, we can just engineer the aliens, but as Isabel's failed pregnancy showed, we couldn't really do that. But Liz's baby, on the other hand...along with any children you six may produce in the future...could be quite valuable, I think. And since we already have you here, and we know that you're perfectly willing to breed with each other, why bother with anyone else?
"Unless, of course, any of you fail to produce viable hyrbrids, and then we may be forced to take more drastic action." Marcus looked around at the crowd, a pleased smile on his face. "Was any of that unclear in any way?"
There was no response from any of the teens. They looked at each other. Max sat with Liz beside him, his hand protectively over her swelled belly. Liz's hand was tightly curled around Max's as she tried to hide her fear. Maria still had tears streaming down her cheeks, and nothing Marcus had said had quite sunk in yet. Michael held her protectively, whispering in her ear that everything would be all right. Alex kept an arm around Isabel, supporting her weight. She still looked deathly pale and very weak.
"Well, if we all understand each other, Miss Parker needs to come with me."
"No!" Max barked.
Marcus shrugged. "I'm afraid you don't really have a choice. The doctors tell me we'll still be able to study and alter the baby's genes this late in the pregnancy, but not for much longer. We really don't have any time to lose." He raised an arm and the door opened behind him, ten guards rushing in.
They all rushed to form a protective circle around Liz, but they were too late. Three guards held Max down while two rushed Liz away. The rest held the group at bay.
"Max!" Liz screamed at the top of her lungs. She watched as he struggled and the guards hit him, trying to keep him from getting loose.
She screamed as loud as she could, knowing that no one could hear her and that it had all come to this, utterly hopeless.
Then a blinding with light exploded around them, and chaos erupted.
|Part 10 | Index | Part 12
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