FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
Part 18
by Mama Dee
Disclaimer: Wish they were mine..............but thrilled they exist. Thanks WB!
Summary: Sequel to Fantasies
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: Note all the food references in both parts...............I've just started a diet.......can"t you tell? Even writing about sex makes me hungry! LOL. On a slightly more serious vein, I have noted, with interest, the amazing amount of information provided by posters on the boards concerning the resemblance of the Alien symbols to ancient languages, in particular the Etruscan culture. Please note* I acknowledge this fine sleuthing on behalf of all those who have made contributions. However, for the purposes of this piece of *fiction*, I have chosen the Maya culture as a focus, mainly due to its proximity to New Mexico, and I have taken much *literary license* with this story. Remember,people, like the T.V. series itself, THIS IS JUST FICTION. Enjoy and Have A Happy Holiday!
A new school year and a new challenge, for eight young people. Each one awoke with their own individual thoughts, yet each was interwoven with the thoughts of the group, mingling like the threads of a medieval tapestry. The story that was about to unfold would be retold in those emerging threads, forever held in place by the fabric of time.

Their mistakes would be costly, many hearts would be broken, and only they would be responsible. Of course, they were unaware of this, and perhaps that was just as well, for there was no stopping what was about to happen............... the wheels already set in motion.


"Oh," Maria groaned, "Dontcha just hate the first day of school?"

Her friends all agreed as they sat slumped in various positions around the lunch table.

"The days only half over, and I've already got a splitting headache," Alex grumbled.

Isabel reached over to massage his temples. He smiled in gratitude, as her soothing fingers worked their magic.

"Well, I can't wait for last period," Liz joined in. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually looking forward to work, this afternoon!"

"Liz," Tess spoke up, "I thought you loved school?"

"No, I love science, but there's a lot of space in between science class that I don't like," she reiterated.

Max leaned over to give her a hug, as he kissed the tip of her nose. She giggled as he tried to lighten her mood.

"Brody asked me how we liked the house. I popped over to the Centre last night, after dinner, and he was there, as usual, slaving away at his computer. I told him we loved it, and I still couldn't figure out why he'd given it up. He just shrugged and said that it was just a house and he could get another one if he wanted to. Look, I know the guy's a little weird, but this is ridiculous. Maybe spending all that time with computers, makes you a little crazy. Who knows?" he shrugged.

"Maxwell, I wouldn't worry about it....I mean its all down in black and white, right?" Michael stated.

"Yeah, I know. I just get this creepy feeling about it," he shuddered.

"Liz, how do you feel?" Tess asked.

"Well, I know what Max is saying, but we did check the house out for bugging devices, and everything was okay, so I guess we should just enjoy it. But it still spooks me sometimes. Let's face it, how many high school kids do you know who own a beautiful, fully furnished home on a huge piece of land?"

They all nodded in agreement.

"Well, I can't wait to try out that large screen t.v." Kyle enthused."Whaddya say Michael, we check out some b-ball this weekend.....that's if it's okay with you guys," he added as he looked towards Max and Liz.

"No problem," they spoke in unison."We'll get some extra sets of keys made up," Liz said, "and then you guys can feel more at home."

"Sorry to break up this happy crew, but the bell just rang," Maria interrupted. "Time to go and get uneducated," she joked.

They all got up, grumbling as they went in search of higher education. At least, Liz and Max had biology to look forward to........sharing the class, that is.


One day melted into, work, research, time off, partying, making love....and on, and on, and on. They didn't have the luxury of free time anymore, so their research time was limited. They didn't feel particularly rushed to conclude this stage of the journey......they were young, and they had all the time in the world......or so they thought.

September flew by and no great discoveries were made. They had forgotten about the man in the cave or, at had, at least, pushed the thought far back in the recesses of their busy minds. There were so many other things to occupy their thoughts, that those things that had seemed so urgent, just a few weeks ago, ceased to hold their attention now.

They had finally concluded their search, near the end of September, and had forced themselves to finish sifting through all the information, since poor Michael was barely able to move in his apartment. They then moved all the remaining papers out to the bungalow, where Alex and Kyle began scanning what remained, and placing it on carefully labelled discs.

They had invested in a paper shredder, not wanting to draw attention to their covert operation. Nothing was thrown out before going through the machine. It was now their task, to match any symbols they could, whether they were perfect matches, or just mere resemblances.This was so time consuming, but with the aid of an overhead projector, that was hooked up to the computer, they were able to move along more quickly.

Many weekends found them, alternately watching videos, and reading files. All of them had become quite profficient at the computer, since they could not always rely on the presence of Alex or Kyle.

September ran into October, and they threw a big celebration for Isabel on her birthday. Then, it was Hallowe'en and November had rolled around. Midterms had been written long ago, and, the sometimes dismal results, were duly recorded for posterity.

Alex had devised a cross matching system for their files, which proved to be very helpful. It had taken a lot of work, but when completed, it sped up their tasks considerably. Late one November evening, a week before Thanksgiving, Liz was weeding through some of the information, when she noticed something peculiar.

She transfered the page on the overhead, beside a page containing the cave symbols. Then she scanned the article, until she found what she was looking for. She had been right! Not only had she found an exact match, but she had a translation for that symbol. She made so much noise as she hollered in joy, that she woke Max from a nap. He came rushing in to see what the problem was.........but he couldn't make any sense of Liz's incoherent babbling.

"Liz, what's wrong? Are you alright?" he asked, as he grabbed her by the shoulders to calm her down.

She nodded her head in answer, still unable to form a string of words, let alone a sentence.

"Okay, take a deep, tell me slowly what just happened," he spoke with deliberate calm.

This seemed to have the intended effect and she was able, with a great deal of effort, to relay her thoughts.

"Max, Max, Max!" she exclaimed, "I've found an exact match.....and I have a translation!" she cried as she jumped up and down.

"Omigod!" he shouted, "What does it say?"

"Well, it's not much, really.......just one word..........well, not a word really...........but it seems to show up a lot in the cave symbols and in the book."

"Well, what is it?" he demanded, starting to lose patience.

"It's the number 8!" she replied enthusiastically.

"The number 8?" he responded, sounding a little disappointed.

"Yes! Isn't that great?!"

"Yeah, I guess, but what does it mean, exactly?"

"Well, I don't know,exactly, but it must mean something. Like I said, I've seen it a lot in the book and in the cave its gotta be important, right?"

Max tried to sound more supportive. "Yeah, Babe, that is great news!"

"Don't be so patronizing, Max," she huffed. "It's the first bit of information that we have that points to some kind of connection between the two races.....or, at least, something more concrete than we've had so far.....why can't you be happier about this?" she pouted.

"I am, Liz. I really am. It's just that I thought there'd be more, you know.....more words or something. But, you're right. It is the first piece of concrete evidence.....we just have to figure out what it means," he replied contritely.

"Max, you have to start somewhere, and sometimes it's a very tiny start. What this really means, is that more information is bound to turn up, now. If there's one match, there are sure to be more. We just have to keep slogging away at this. The answers will come."

"You're right," he agreed as he took her into his arms. "Let's celebrate," he said, snorting into her neck.

She giggled as he tickled her neck. Then , he threw her over his shoulder, and carried her to the bedroom.


Friday night found all eight gathered in the bungalow living room, as Max and Liz explained what they had discovered the night before. Up until now, they hadn't had the opportunity to gather everyone together to relate their find, as significant as it was. The others listened raptly, as they retold how Liz had finally found the connection between the two sets of symbols.

"So, where do we go from here? " Kyle asked.

"Well, I guess the next logical step is to find out the significance of the number 8 in the Maya culture, and to somehow relate it to the cave symbols."

"What about the significance of the number 8 to you guys?" Alex offered.

"What do you mean, Alex?" Tess asked.

"Well, we know that the cave symbols are meant to tell a story about you guys.......or, at least, that's what we, maybe if we can find some number eights over the passed 17 years of your lives, then it might be easier to interpret their meaning in the symbols."

"Man, Alex, I like the way your mind works!" Kyle enthused as he patted him on the back. "Ill never understand it, but I do like it," he grinned.

Alex accepted the back-handed compliment with as much grace as it warranted, frowning slightly in response.

"Okay, then I suggest we get busy," Max intervened. "Alex and Kyle, why don't you guys go to the computers, and bring up all the necessary information on screen? Then, we'll project it on the overhead, and we'll all have a chance to decipher it."

This was a pattern they were all familiar with, having used it on numerous occassions as they sorted through the massive amounts of material before getting it down to a workable size. Kyle and Alex did as suggested, plugging directions into the computers like experienced pros. It turned out, that the number 8 was held in high regard by the Mayas, and before long, they had found some information that was bound to be useful.

Actually, it turned out that the number 8 and the planet Venus were teamed time and again. The descriptions of this connection were a little complex, but with the combined efforts of all eight teens, they soon deciphered the jist of the meaning.

Essentially, the Mayas based a 584-day ritual calendar on the cycle of the planet Venus. As the Earth made its orbit around the Sun, Venus appeared at different places in the sky. After a 236 day appearance as the Morning Star, it disappeared for 90 days, before shining in the West as the Evening Star for 250 days and 8 days later, it appeared in the East again.

This is where it got a little weird. By astronomical coincidence, 5 sets of 584 day cycles of Venus equal 8 sets of 365 day cycles of Earth, or 8 Earth years! Apparently, this was of interest to all of the Mesoamerican peoples, and they constructed an 8 year Almanac based upon the interlocking Venus-Sun cycles.

Another interesting piece of information that turned up was the mention of the House of the Governors, a palace ruin at Cacaxtla. Apparently, the ruler of the Palace, was particularly fascinated by the planet Venus, and the rain god, Chac, whose name he adopted. He had the facade of the palace ornamented with over 200 masks of the god, adorning the lower eyelids of each mask with a Venus glyph. However, what stood out, was the fact that two of these masks in the lower corners of the palace also had the number 8 inscribed on them.

There was no doubt that this connection was extremely significant. Another significant discovery came with the unearthing of two life size blue-skinned figures resembling rain gods............and they had Venus glyphs on their belts. What was most interesting about this, was that these figures were linked with the recurring themes of warfare, blood sacrifice and fertility.

The Mesoamericans, unlike the ancient Romans, likened the bright planet to warfare and blood sacrifice.........and not as the goddess of love. It was subsequently determined that one purpose of the Venus Almanac was astrological, and used to ascertain the best time for ritual combat and sacrifice. Hence, the link between the blue figures and the venus symbol.

What all this meant, was that we had a planet, Venus, strongly linked with the number 8 and the yearly cycle of the Earth.......and that it was all connected with warfare, blood sacrifice and fertility. This turned out to be a more gruesome topic than the teens had expected......but what did this have to do with the cave symbols and those in the book? Trying to interpret ancient symbols and connect them to modern day circumstances, was unlikely to prove practical, anyway.

"Okay," Liz spoke up, "I think we all need to take a break. All this information is making me cross-eyed. Let's just let this sink in a bit, and we'll get back to it later, alright? Now, whose for sodas and munchies?"

All hands went up, as she and Maria headed for the kitchen to bring back trays of snacks.When they returned to the living room, the guys had all left to watch a basketball game in the den, leaving Tess and Isabel, alone. Maria brought their food into the den, and came back to sit with the girls. Liz had gone to the filing cabinet in the computer alcove, to retrieve some papers. She sat studying them, while the other girls chatted, when she suddenly gasped.

They all looked over at her in surprise, as she turned her pale face towards them.

"Liz, what's wrong?" Maria asked, as she went to join her on the other sofa.

"Remember that palace we were reading about?"

"Yeah," she answered hesitantly. "You mean the one with all those masks plastered on the walls?"

"Yes," she nodded eagerly. "Well, when we were reading the stuff on the screen, I kept thinking about something I'd seen before....but it's so hard to remember all the stuff we've looked at, that my mind went blank. Then, it hit me. Do you remember that book I checked out of the know,on Labour day said I shouldn't be wasting my time doing research...........remember?" she implored to the group.

"Yeah, I do, Liz," Tess encouraged her.

"Good," she sighed. "Well, I photocopied these pages, because they seemed to connect to the stuff that had happened to Max and know, the car accident and that idiot trying to push Max into that ravine. Anyway, I thought this was important, so I filed it here...........look at this guys," she said, as she placed the papers on the coffee table............. "just read the caption."

"This tablet, circa 1700 b.c., depicts the ritual killing of King Chac............" Isabel trailed off, looking shocked. "Omigod," she mouthed silently.

"But Liz, the ruler of the palace, lived in the 1st century a.d. It can't be the same guy!"

"I know that, but it does tie in with the whole idea of ritual killings they were talking know, the blue figures that they found, and their connection with Venus. Look, we're starting to come up with too many coincidences for them not to mean something, don't you think?" she asked eagerly.

"Well," Maria questioned, "What else is there?"

"Look, there's this whole number 8 thing....I think we have to do what Alex says.....we have to concentrate on what's happening to us now....if Max and I can be linked to theses rituals in the past, I think we've got to start taking other links more seriously," she said firmly.

Part 17 | Index | Part 19
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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