|"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
|Max Evans was very, very tired. He had never been so
exhausted in all his life. His feet ached, his head
ached and his heart ached. He missed Liz terribly,
and without her he felt he could barely go on.
It had been two weeks since he left her during the
night. He could only hope that she was okay. But he
felt it had been the best decision to leave her.
Without him there, the government, or whoever had been
watching them, would leave her alone. They had no
reason to harass her further. She could go on with
He, on the other hand, felt as though he was living in the past. When he reached Roswell, he had been shocked to find the town desolate and near to empty. It seemed impossible, in the two months he had been gone, that so many people could have left. All his friends were gone, their houses abandoned and left to rot. He watched the high school one morning and saw about twenty people go inside. That was all.
Even the Crashdown was gone. The building still stood, but where the restaurant had once been there was now nothing. Max wasn't surprised, at least about that. Liz's parents couldn't be expected to manage a restaurant after their only child died mysteriously. Roswell was all but dead. Within a few years it would be nothing more than a ghost town.
Max had been attempting to find what could cause the near-abandonment of a large town virtually overnight. He found an empty gas station with a backlog of newspapers and began to inspect them carefully. The first event had been a rash of mysterious fires, starting with the ones that destroyed the Evans home and Michael's apartment building. The sheriff's office and home had been next, then several other buildings that seemed unrelated. It occurred to Max that whoever had started it could have burnt the other buildings in order to attract attention away from the obvious pattern that was forming. Max read a death toll in a paper written a week and a half after they left.
Listed were himself, Liz, his sister, Michael, three or four other kids from their school that had been caught in the soap factory when it was set ablaze, his parents, and at the very end, Kyle and his father. Max couldn't quite believe the part about Kyle and the Sheriff. The Sheriff had information that was too valuable to allow him to die. Or had he known too much?
Subsequent papers listed incidents of car crashes with unknown causes, which caused no deaths, but frightened the life out of residents. Then, a month after Liz and Max left Roswell, Max read the final issue of the Roswell Times.
"Local Chemical Factory Explodes, Killing Dozens, Releasing Toxic Fumes Into Air and Groundwater," Max read.
So the entire town had given up after that. There was little left to do, so they packed up and left. It was all too coincidental for Max to believe. Someone-probably the same someone who was after Max-had emptied Roswell on purpose.
Liz squinted into the sun, trying to decide if the figure coming out of the dust was a truck or a car. For some odd reason, she trusted truckers.
It was a semi. She lifted her thumb and raised it in the air, feeling the wind blow her skirt up above her knees. She hoped she wasn't giving the wrong impression. She was trying her best to be a cute, young redhead on the run. Who could resist?
She was in Nevada. It was only the beginning of May, but it was deathly hot. The last trucker to give her a ride had turned west. Liz needed to go south. She had to reach Roswell, and soon.
After she got over her initial depression, she felt a rising sense of anger. Max had no right to leave her! For all he knew, his sister and friend could be dead, but he went after them and left her, very much pregnant with his child, alone. She had even attempted the abortion, but in the end she couldn't go through with it.
Of course, Max hadn't known of the pregnancy when he left. Would he still have left if he had known? Liz could never be sure.
Liz smiled in relief as the gigantic semi truck began to slow to a stop. She pulled a water bottle from her backpack and took a swig. She waved, trying to look as friendly as possible.
The driver leaned over to the passenger side of the rig. "Need a ride, little miss?"
"Yes, please. I'm headed south."
"Well, so am I! Hop on in!"
Liz climbed aboard and strapped in, wiggling her feet in relief. She peeked inside her bag, nervously checking the loaded gun.
Max had left her about two thirds of their meager savings. However, he had taken the jeep. She didn't feel it was realistic for her to buy another car, trains were altogether too risky, and she couldn't afford a plane ticket. Besides, traveling on public transportation made it easier to catch her.
She had sold their one possession-the mattress-and headed for the pawn shop with a little under a thousand dollars in her pocket. She purchased her .44 Magnum there, a nasty-looking weapon that the owner of the shop taught her to use. He even warned her of the dangers of hitchhiking. How he knew, she could never figure out.
The gun was heavy, though. Luckily she hadn't gained any extra weight yet, but she knew it was coming soon. She was almost two months along. In another month or so she'd probably begin to show.
She only hoped she could find Max before the baby came.
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