|"Taking A Step Back"
by Mary N.
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
|Taking turns, the group tries to answer Jim Valenti's questions. Starting with Max, "Sheriff, I'll tell you what I can, but understand we don't have all of the answers ourselves. There are going to be things that won't understand right away, but if your patient and you give us a chance well do our best."
"I'll start with what we've learn about how we got here. There were two couple who choose to leave our home world, we don't know what world that is, or what planet. They left under false pretenses, they were supposed to be coming back to the planet our ancestors were taken from hundreds of years before in order to learn how to concur and take it back for themselves. The true reason they left was to prevent their unborn children from being taken from them upon their birth. Those children being Michael and Alisha, Isabel and myself. When our parents realized the ship was unable to make a safe landing, they put us into the four stasis chambers that were on the ship, obviously they were meant for them. Only one adult survived the Crash, Isabel's and my father, whom we called Nasado, a name given to him by a Native American that he encountered over the years. He was only able to rescue three of the chambers, before he could get the fourth it was taken away with the ship."
Isabel starts were Max left off. "Our father was unable to open our chambers without the ship. He feared something going wrong, for our safety he chose to let the chambers run their course of approximately a 50-year sleep. He knew when they would open, but long before that time came, he became aware of others from our world searching for him. One being his biological brother Teomner. Teomner and Nasado didn't agree on what was right and what was wrong. Nasado feared for his life and for ours so he left the area trying to lure them away. Fortunately they didn't know about us, therefore they weren't looking for us and followed. Alisha do you want to tell your story from this point?"
"That's fine. In ‘63' Rosa Williams over saw the opening of my incubation chamber at which time they said I looked to be about five years old. Through the year that followed her and I grew very close, and she protected me as best she could. However, I still had to go through countless tests some of them very being very painful. To their surprise, they found out I am in all ways human except for basically one. My bodily fluids, it turned out our fluid's carry an energy unlike anything here on Earth. Under the influence of Truett and Rosa Williams their superiors were convinced that I posed no threat. I was showing no signs of special powers or abilities during that first year. When my powers began to develop, we reported them as we were ordered and they helped me develop and refine them, for their purposes of course. (Alisha chooses not to tell Jim Valenti that she had abilities she did not reveal to anyone except those closest to her.) My life, to this day is still in their hands. I can't make any move without getting their approval first. To help you understand just how bad that can be, and why we can't tell anyone there are more like me, I'm going to tell you a little story. Shortly after Sandie was born, they took her and her twin brother from Robert and me. They felt it would benefit them more if they raised our children. Just like the people of my home world, ironic don't you think? Anyway Robert, our two babies, and I became deathly sick, but they refused to return our children. They were convinced our separation had nothing to do with it regardless of what we told them. Our son died after only two weeks of separation. They were sure they were going to lose all of us, but still refused to let us be together. My mother, literally had to go against orders to bring us together. Robert and I recover quickly once Sandie was back with us, but Sandie took longer because she was so small and weak. Once they admitted they were mistaken, I don't dare say wrong, because as they said they are never wrong. We were allowed to be together, but only under supervision. They ran Sandie through so many tests, I was sure they were going to kill her. What we learned from everything we went through is this; if the wrong people including those we have to report to; ever found out there are others like us here, they wouldn't think twice about killing them to learn how much we can tolerate before it kills us."
Robert wants to make sure Jim understands who this includes. "Jim, understand that doesn't just mean Alisha, Sandie, Max, Michael, and Isabel. That means all of us, Liz, Maria, Alex, myself, and Kyle. Once we chose to be with our Alien counter parts changes started happening within us. Changes that in able us to protect and have children together."
Everyone sees how well the Sheriff seams to be taking this all in that they start to relax a little. "I think that brings us back to Isabel, Michael and me. We came out of our pods ten almost eleven years ago."
"When we saw the Evans's head lights I hid, Max and Isabel didn't. The Evans's took them and ended up adopting them. I on the other hand ended up in the foster care system and eventually placed with Hank. In a way it was good, he didn't and still doesn't care where I am or what I'm doing which works out when I would rather be somewhere else. Which is most of the time. Max, Isabel, and I didn't see each other until we started school. It didn't take us long to realize who each other was."
"And every sense we've looked out for each other." Isabel gladly informs him. She smiles at Michael.
Maria shakes her head no, and with a big grin she teases, "I wonder who needed to be looked after the most? Um, let me see. . . . Michael."
"That sounds about right, he seems to be the one we're always bailing out." Alex joins in.
Max smiles to himself, even as stressed as everyone was about the Sheriff knowing their secret, they some how manage to lift each other's spirits, and if anyone had said those words to Michael months ago he would have taken it personally, but now he seems to be taking it in strides. How much they have all grown and changed, especially Michael. Maria has had such a positive influence on him, they all have. Max remembers back to the times they have had to bail Michael out of trouble. Like the night he almost got caught in the sheriff's office, and the time Michael lead them all on a road trip to Marathon, Texas, and then the scare he gave them when he grew so sick and almost died.
Liz was reminiscing those same events as they came into Max's thoughts, each sharing their point of view. Liz can't help but support Maria's and Alex's observation. "It does seem like were always saving his sorry butt."
"Yeah, but what a nice butt it is." Maria jokes as she leans in a little closer to Michael.
The color in Michael face turns flush and he jokes back. "Nice, that's not quite the word you used earlier tonight Maria. If I recall correctly, you said it's the butt to top all butts."
Irritated that Michael would announce that to everyone, Maria gives Michael a playful shove and tells him, "Shut up Michael!"
Michael just laughs and teases her back. "Oh ho, what's this you can dish it, but you can't take it?" Before Maria has a chance to respond Michael moves on, "And as for you Ms. Perfect Liz Parker, as I recall, we've had to bail you out a few times."
"I may not know about the trouble Michael has found himself in, but I do know about Liz. What is the total now, two gun shot wounds, and one alien mind abduction?"
Michael smugly, and yet with humor says, "Thank you very much. See I'm not the only one who's needed to be bailed out."
Max gets into the mood of this comical, and friendly squabble, "True, but she at least doesn't go looking for it Michael."
"You're right, it just keeps finding her." Michael retorts with raised eyebrows.
Liz doesn't plan to take this lying down, if Michael want's to point fingers she's got a finger to point. "As I see it, that has more to do with you guys then it actually does with me. Granted the first time didn't, but the last two did."
Max expression suddenly changes, and Liz realizes that she just struck a nerve, she feels really bad and wishes she could take it back as he verbalizes his thoughts, "You mean me, and it's true, they've targeted you to get to me."
Liz gentle caresses the side of his face. "This isn't just about you Max. Teomner wanted all of us, and for some reason he felt the easiest way to get to you being the unofficial leader, and to the others in our rag tag group, was me. He must have thought I was weak, and that he could control all of the people I care about and care about me, through me. But wasn't he surprised when our love for each other turned out to be our greatest strength?"
He knows she's right, but he still blames himself. He attempts a smile, "If only it wasn't so obvious to everyone that you're my greatest weakness."
"It's not to everyone, just to those of us who know and love you, and of course to those who take five seconds watching the way you ogle at Liz." Isabel jokes attempting to lighten the mood once more. It worked with everyone with the exception of Max.
Even though managed a small smile, Liz knew what he was really thinking and feeling, and she refuses to allow Max to continue beating himself up about this. "Max don't! You can't blame yourself for what happened, I took that bullet willingly remember. I knew the risks, but I loved you even then, and I'd have done anything to protect you. The same as I know you would do for me. Besides, I do it again in a heart beat, and the thing with Teomner, you couldn't know what he had in mind. He fooled both of us."
Isabel rolls her eyes upward and in her princess tone she declares, "Now is one of those times when we wish you would communicate in thought only. Okay, so enough is enough. Besides if I have to listen to you two get all mushy, I'm going to be sick."
Jim Valenti has just been sitting listening to how easily, and relaxed these kids communicate with each other. He also notes some of what they've been through. He's not too happy at the idea of Kyle being in danger, but he can feel the closeness here, and knows that he's probably safer with them than without them at this point. What hits him the hardest is the magnitude of that one phone call he made last September has had on all of them. "Actually Max, it you're looking for someone to blame for all of this mess, just look my way. You did something decent, you saved a life, Liz's life, and what do I do? I call in the F.B.I. and started everything that's followed. Wow, I never realized how that One call affected your lives. I can't tell you how sorry I am."
"We appreciate that Sheriff." Liz and the others can see how sincere he is.
Alex doesn't want to see even the sheriff beating himself up about this. It's not anyone persons fault, it's been a series of events. He figures what's done is done, and it's time to move on. "Hey, it wasn't all bad. We've all grown really close, and I wouldn't have been a part of that if it hadn't been for the Sheriff."
"Excuse me, what have I got to do with you being a part of this group?"
"You were the one that forced Liz into telling me their secret." It's obvious that Jim has no clue about how he managed to force Liz to do anything. "Sheriff, the night of the Rave out at the old soap factory. You locked Liz and me up in jail to scare us. Well it worked, I was so upset that night I would have told you everything I knew, but you waited a little to long, and Liz told me the truth about what had been going on and way."
Max too is thinking of some for the good things that have come from all they've endured. "At least they sent Ms. Topolski." Everyone in the room looks at him like he's crazy. "Admit it, if they had sent anyone else, we wouldn't be sitting here right now. After Larry shot Liz, she used that event to convince her superiors we were nothing more than regular teenagers. Do you think someone else would have done that, or would they have continued to push, and then turned us in? Even when she was acting as the school councilor and trying to find out the truth about us, she was helping us. Alex didn't she get you into that computer class you wanted so badly?" Alex nods yes. "She even convinced Hank that he better make sure Michael was attending his classes. Michael wouldn't have had a chance at passing this year with the rest of us if she hadn't. She ever helped me, by convincing me I wasn't really living my life, and that I had to step out of behind the tree."
"The tree again, what was all that about anyway?" Inquires Liz.
"It was a metaphor. To the most part I think everyone here knows how I kept to myself, never letting anyone get to close. Well it was Topolski's advise that convinced me it was okay to put myself out there. You know, to take chances and let people into my life, more precisely Liz. Don't get me wrong guys, I know what she was after, and she got it. She got enough information on us to interest Teomner."
"Stop right there, this is the part I understand the least. Topolski and Teomner. I over heard you saying that Teomner raised her. Why? From everything I've gathered on this guy, it doesn't make since that would raise a human child."
"There's a lot of pieces missing, but we do have some of the answers to why. Basically it wasn't his intent in the beginning. You see we found a lab journal telling of experiments they were running on humans, all of them resulting in death except for the last one. A three year old girl, Kathleen Topolski. She survived their experiments with the results they were hoping for, but there was also a side effect. She developed the power to read people. Teomner saw this as something they could use to there advantage. That's all we know, we don't know if she developed any other powers or not. The journal just said that Teomner took charge of her."
That brings us to a few months ago, she must have told Teomner her suspicions about us. Because he brought in Woods and some of other guys to follow us with the intent to learn as much about us as they could. It doesn't seem they learned about our secret, but they found out enough to clue Teomner in on whom we were, or who we are to become. It has to do with a prophecy from my world. It is about three from my world and three from Earth fighting the evil and helping our people reunite. Because of the prophecy, Teomner wanted to gain control over us. Which is even a longer story. One that you don't need to know about. Other than to say Nasado returned to guide us through bonding ceremonies, and found out what Teomner was up to. He told us the history of why our parents choose to come to Earth, about the crash, hiding the pods, and anything else that happened before we came out of them. Unfortunately both he and Teomner are now dead, and the three aliens that arrived here with Teomner are going to sleep for about . . . fifty years, and through all of these events Kyle found out our secret."
Now that his dad knows he has known Max's secret for a while now, Kyle half smirks, half pleads, "Sorry dad, I've wanted to tell, but I couldn't. I hope you can understand."
"I'm trying to, but dang-it Kyle I wish you would have trusted me."
"That's our fault, we made him swear not to tell anyone, and that included you. With everything we've been through, we weren't willing to take the chance. Besides Isabel's and my parents don't even know the truth about us."
Jim Valenti can't believe that Max and Isabel have been able to keep their secret even from their parents. "You're kidding right?"
Max answers the question with a very serious tone. "No, we have kept our secret even from them. It's safer for them and it's safer for us. Sheriff, can't you see the fewer people who know our secret the safer we are. The fewer people that know the less chance that someone will slip up and say the wrong thing in front of the wrong person."
"I understand that, but don't you think it would be better if they knew the truth. I'm sure they would help you anyway they could."
"Maybe your right. That's not the point. The point is we can protect ourselves, and they would only worry. Why make them worry about something they can't do anything about."
Jim thought of his own relationship with Kyle, and how he didn't tell him everything that happened at work for the same reason, and nodded in understanding. He chose to drop the subject and to move onto his next question or should I say confirmation. "What about the house, it was Teomner's house wasn't it?"
Max was hoping this topic could be one that they bypassed. Now that it was out there, he knew it had to be dealt with. "Yes it was, but that's all we're willing to tell you. You understand that there are some secrets we feel we need to still keep."
"Your saying after everything you've already told me, you expect me to sit back while the eight of you meet with Topolski. That's why you won't tell me where it is isn't it. I know you plan to meet her there. I'm telling you right here and now, I will be there. I am not going to allow any of you to risk your lives when I can protect you. Let me handle Ms. Topolski."
Michael is angered by the attitude of the Sheriff. They've been straight with him, and look at what it's gotten them. Someone who thinks they can barge in and take over. "Don't even think your going to come in here and start ordering us. This has nothing to do with you! It's our lives and we're not going to let you screw them up!"
"Michael, calm down!" Pleads Maria, the last thing she wants right now, what the last thing any of them want is for the Sheriff to think that Michael is a hot head that can't control his temper.
For the first time since Jim arrived, Robert steps into run interference. "Jim, listen to reason. These kids, including your son, know what they are doing. They aren't typical kids."
"Obviously, that's why they are in this position."
Robert isn't one to lose his cool, but he's pushing the edge right now. He takes two deep breaths and quickly plans his strategy for taking control of the situation. He stands to his feet moving into Jim's proximity and in a very strong and forceful voice informs him that he better shut up and listen. "These kids here, aren't kids at all. They have endured things that most adults have never had to deal with, and they did it on their own, without your help. Do you really think I would send my only daughter into a situation that I thought she couldn't handle? Do you think it's any easier on me and my wife to sit back and do nothing then it is for you? She has the power, the training, and the skill to handle this, as do the other seven. They have powers that surpass anything I have seen even my wife do, and they've barely tapped into their full potential. They have to have the opportunities to push themselves. To experience the small battles in order to prepare for the bigger ones to come. If you don't back down and stop trying to control things here, you are going to get in the way of their growth. I suspect you know what I am saying is true, and even if you don't, you're going to have to trust me on this."
"And just how do you know that, why should I do that?"
Robert lowers his voice to talk to Valenti man to man, husband to husband, and father to father. "Jim, I've lived it. The choices these young people have made will bring many challenges to their lives. Challenges that they are going to have to face as individuals, couples, and as a team. I know how each of the small battles prepared me for the larger ones in my life. If you think about it so do you. Think of the things you experienced back in High school and how hard you thought they were, now compare them to the changes you face today. Looking back, were they as hard as you thought they were. Now I know this is different, but so are their destinies compared to yours or mine. If the prophecy is correct, they are destined to unite the people of both worlds. Just uniting the people of this world would be hard enough. But to unite them and the people of a different world, the world that sent a brother to kill a brother. A world that would take the children of its people away from them against their will. You can't tell me that they don't need all the practice they can get. There will be people of there own kind trying to stop this union, as well as people from the Earth, and I'm not just talking about Joe Blow off of the street. I'm taking about people with military training, and who knows what kind of training from their planet."
Robert takes another deep breath and looks around the room. He didn't mean to go on as he did, and now he sees the fear in the eyes of the teens around him, and realizes he just introduced a possibility they hadn't even considered. He knows it's something they will have to deal with on their own and chooses to finish what he was telling Jim.
"Jim, look, I know you're worried and scared. It's only natural for us to want to protect those we love and care about. The best we can do is teach them what we know, advise them where we can, support them even when they've made mistakes, and be there when they need us. Even if that means picking them up when they fall. You are welcome to join Alisha and me here on Sunday. We will know if they need us, and we can go together if that should arise." Robert is sure that he has gotten to Jim. He has only more thing to say in hopes that it will ease his mind. Jim, I want you to come join Alisha and me here Sunday. We will know from Sandie if things go awry. We will be able to get there faster from here, and we can keep you posted on what's going on. Besides we don't want everyone trapped together. We will need you to be part of the rescue party, if one is needed."
"Answer one question first. Just how are they going to protect themselves? You keep saying powers, what powers?"
Max smiles a warm smile at Robert as a thank you. He then turns to address the Sheriff's question. "Sheriff, as we confirmed earlier, I healed Liz. Well, I'm not the only one able to do . . . things, and I'm not limited to healing. We each of us have special gifts or talents, and we found out together we are stronger than even Teomner thought we were. He was a lot older then we are, with more experience, but we are the ones still standing here while he lays in a grave. We are even stronger now, we have Sandie with us. What all of our powers are we can't say just yet, because we don't know what they all are. We're learning them as we go. What we do know is we can send an energy out that weakened Teomner, draining his powers. Sandie can create a force field around us, which protects us. We don't see needing them for this meeting, but we will be prepared. This meeting with Kathleen Topolski is to let her know what happened to Teomner and to find out where she stands. We are hoping to make a deal with her, one we're hoping she can't pass up."
Max hopes the Sheriff will accept what he has said as enough, because Max doesn't know what else to say. They don't know what's going to happen or what they may have to do. He broadens his focus to include Alisha and Robert. "I don't know if Sandie had a chance to ask, but we need a favor. We need someone to cover us Saturday starting at noon through all of Sunday. We thought that if you, Robert, would contact our parents and tell them you were taking us Camping for the night, they would agree."
Jim didn't wait for Robert to comment, instead he jumped right in. "I can help with that. Robert aren't you planning a surprise for Tommy starting Saturday Morning? Let me take care of this."
This is the first time the group has heard of any plan to deal with Tommy and they want to here more. Sandie is the first to ask. She knows her father won't hurt Tommy, but it's like a saying they used in the animated cartoon "The Return of Jafar, You would be surprised what one can live through."
"Dad, what are you going to do to Tommy?"
Robert smiles at his daughter, "Let's just say we're going to introduce him to the life and dreams of a new nightmare."
****************************** As the morning hours rolled around, they decided to end this meeting for now. The teens each needed to get home before they were missed with the exception of Sandie, Kyle, and Michael. Michael chose to go with Max and Isabel to their house, figuring that Amy DeLuca would be waking up soon anyway. Then by Robert suggestion Kyle and Sandie went to Sandie's room to try and get a couple of hours rest before having to get ready for school.
That left Alisha, Robert, and Jim sitting in the living room to talk alone. Robert suspected that there were questions Jim wanted to ask, but didn't want to ask in front of Kyle. "Jim are there anymore questions that you would like to ask?"
"There is one, I over heard the others talking about changes that were happening between Max and Liz, and that Isabel and Alex would also go through them. What about Sandie and Kyle and their relationship, what should I know, what should I expect?"
Robert felt the best way to handle this was father to father. "Yes they will go through changes, but what exactly we can't say. We only know what happened to the two of us. We have found that to this point the same things are happening between Liz and Max, and yet there are some differences in the time frame. The changes seem to be happening quicker for them. They mentioned they were hearing each other's thoughts, that didn't happen to us until a month after we became intimate. I have wondered it that had to do with a ceremony Max's father walked them through, but I can't be sure about that. One thing that has stayed the same is the drawl that each pair has on each other. Once they connect, by connecting I mean seeing into each others souls there seems to be a need, a chemical need to be close to each other. Kyle and Sandie will continue to grow closer together, and the more physically involved they get the more the will need each other. Which is not be something that any of us will be able to stop.
"What, are you saying you condoning sex between our kids?" Jim Valenti is shocked.
Robert just shakes his head. "You don't understand, of course were not condoning sex. What I'm trying to tell you is, they will be miserable without each other. Jim try to understand this, they have chosen to be together, and that goes way beyond a traditional relationship. It is deeper than that, they are literally be drawn together, like soul mates if you will. No matter how much they fight to stay away from each other they will end up together. It's just the longer they fight it the harder it is on both of them. I'm not explaining this very well. Let's try it another way shall we? The changes they have already gone through make them reliant on each other. It's like their bodies need more of what the other can give it, what they lack of their own. For example, people take vitamin pills in order to get certain vitamins they need to stay healthy. It's like that, we have to get what or mate has, that we don't in order to stay health. There are upsides and down sides to this. What most people would consider a downside is Alisha and I can't be away from each other for long than two weeks or we get deathly sick. On the upside, we don't get sick as long as we aren't kept apart.
"What happens if for some reason you have to be apart? Say one of you gets captured, you are in the service after all Robert."
"That's never happened. With my abilities I've always been able to avoid being captured. We only have one event that gives a clue to what might happen. Sandie was a twin, our son died two and a half weeks after the scientist took him from us. When they took our son and Sandie from us shortly after their birth, we all became deathly sick. After he was lost they returned Sandie to us and the three of us recovered. That lead us to believe, if one of us were to die, the bond would be severed allowing the others to continue. With Sandie now, the bond is also fading. We assumed that was part of her becoming a young women."
|Part 37 | Index | Part 39
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