FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Taking A Step Back"
Part 48
by Mary N.
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
"Not quite, but I don't think what I want in return is asking much. I want to leave this life completely behind me, and the only way I can do that is if I have the money to do so. I know Teomner had several bank accounts, which he kept track of on his laptop. Since you have my E- mail address, I would assume you have that laptop. Which means you have those account numbers. All I want is one third of the money."

"One fourth" counters Alex as Max was about to agree. Max looks at Alex questioningly and then back to Ms. Topolski. "Like the guy said, one fourth."

"Sounds fair enough, I accept." Her answer surprises them all. "Here's how I think it should be handled. I'll have a will drawn up in Teomner's name and date it back to the time he discovered where you were. That way it gives support to the fact he found his long lost niece and nephews. I'll have the will state his properties are to go to the three of you to be divided as you see fit. His financial worth is to be divided into four equal parts between Isabel Evans, Michael Guerwin, Max Evans, and me upon his death. I'll have a copy of this will sent to your father, Mr. Evans along with a letter explaining how we discovered you were Teomner's brother's kids. Fiction of course. I have some connections, so I'll have a death certificate produced allowing us to access the money and switch over the deeds. How you handle this with your father is up to you. It's the only way we can do this with the appearance of it being legal. How does that sound?"

"Sounds workable. We have something else we would like to give to you. Teomner's files, the ones he kept on those he killed, worked for, and with. I understand you want to change your life, but maybe the best way for you to do that is by taking down these kind of people, or at least seeing that someone does. You've been working for the F.B.I. for all the wrong reasons, maybe it's time you start working for them for the right reasons. Someone has to help clean up this world if we ever what to see our two worlds come together, why not you?"


Meanwhile at the Gates's house Jim Valenti is pacing the living room floor as Robert and Alisha cling to each other tightly for comfort on the couch. Turning to face the Gates, Jim asks, "Why haven't we heard anything yet?"

"Jim, you of all people know these things take time. Sit down and at least try and relax. You're wearing a hole in our carpet." Jim sits on the edge of the chair and fidgets with his hands. "Goodness Jim, you could make a priest nervous, now relax. Sandie promised to contact us at the first sign of any trouble." Robert tries to convince Alisha, Jim, and himself that everything is going to turnout the way they want it to.

Alisha has shared her husband's thoughts for years, so she knows his thoughts as well as she knows her own. It's so obvious to her how worried he is about the kids, she's worried too. This new development in Kyle and Sandie's relationship, and the effect it's had on their connection doesn't help the situation. They both know Sandie is quite capable of handling a dangerous situation, she's done well in the past, but they have always been there to back her up.

After only sitting for a minute, Jim gets back up and resumes his pacing. Fully aware how his actions are affecting Robert and Alisha by the looks on their faces, he states, "I can't help it, I've never been very good at standing by waiting. I'm used to being in the thick of things."

Giving him a knowing smile, Alisha agrees. "We know what you mean. We're usually the ones running the show. It's hard to stand by and let these kids do this on their own, but what choices do we have. If something does go wrong, not saying that it will, but if it does. They are going to need back up. It wouldn't do them any good if we all got caught."

"If we were there, we could keep that from happening."

"No, that's the point. If they can capture the kids, then they could capture us. Our kids are strong, really strong. I've seen their powers when they work together. What I'm more afraid of is them being pushed into a corner and having to do something they don't want to do."

******************************** "How do we control it?"

Topolski gets up from her seat and leads the group down the hallway. She stops at the second door on the right, and enters walking to the far wall. Max and Liz follow her to the wall, but the others step just inside the door and watch. "You have to wave your hand over this spot on the wall." She points to a location three feet from the left corner of the wall, half way between the ceiling and the floor.

Max follows her instructions and a silver hand print appears on the wall. Max glances at Liz, who smiles excitedly and shakes her head up and down at him. He then looks back at Michael, Isabel, Maria, and Alex. The excitement showing on their faces and in their eye's equals his own. Turning back to the hand print he places his hand on the hand print. Immediately the walls dividing the three empty rooms retract into the ceiling leaving one large room. In what was the room on the left, or the third door, a large donut-shaped seat descends. Once it's in place they realize the object consists of four seats facing each other. In between the seats are what appears to be an arm rest for those occupying the seats. These arm rests don't run forward as normal arm rests does, but instead run out away from the occupants body. Allowing the occupant to reach out and hold the next persons' hand. To the right of the hand print, the wall has become transparent revealing the inside of the cliff that conceals the ship.

"Now what?" Asks Max, wanting to know what they do to fly it.

Ms. Topolski raises her hands to the side gesturing that she doesn't know. "The rest is up to you to figure out. That's the most I've ever seen. Someone would always shut the door after telling me to go to my room. I do know there are other triggers like this one in other parts of the ship, I've only seen three actually being activated. One of which seal the front door, it's behind where the door swings when it's opened. The other two are in the study to either side of the monitor. I've always suspected there to be one in the Teomner's room, but I've never seen it."

Max, Liz, Maria, Isabel, Alex, and Maria move closer to the unusual seat to get a better look at it. Alex asks her about something that has been bothering him for a long time know, "This ship, how does it get water, and what's its power source?"

"The ship can change the molecular structure of different materials. The water comes from both the soil under it, as well as from the air above it. It disposes of the waste back into the soil or space, as the case may be, the same way. It's really ingenious, if only our own scientist could duplicate the process. As for the power source, I don't know. However, I do know that when the ship flies it draws some of its power from those that occupy it. It's a sensation like nothing else, it doesn't drain you are anything like that, it's really hard to explain. You'll have to experience for yourselves."

******** Michael would have joined the other to check things out, but was stopped by the appearance of Kyle in the doorway. He slipped out into the hallway unnoticed. "What's up?"

"We have company." Announced Kyle as soon as Michael stepped clear of the door.

Wondering if Ms. Topolski set them up, Michael asks, "Can you tell if they are the F.B.I.?"

"Worse, it's Woods, Dursey, and Layton."

"Come on." Michael says as he rushes to the front of the house. Know that he knows how to lock the front door, he stops in the entry way and searches for the trigger to do so while telling Kyle, "Take Sandie upstairs to the room Max and Liz have been staying in. We still don't want Topolski to know about you two. One of us will come get you when the coast is clear." Waving his hand over the right spot a silver hand print appears on the wall. Michael presses his hand to it and hears what can best be described as someone taking a quick deep breath. Michael then rushes back through the living room to the hallway calling for Max and the others.

Max appears through the doorway and Michael quickly tells him, "Max, we have company." Everyone, including Topolski, follows Michael to the study were they all stare at the monitor in disbelieve.

Topolski looks shocked, while the others look upset and angry. Realizing that they maybe thinking that this is her doing, she tries to reassure them that it is not. "I swear, I don't tell anyone about coming out here, you have to believe me." After looking more closely Topolski realizes who these guys are. "These are the three in those folders? The hit men that worked for Teomner, the ones you asked me to take care of for you, aren't they? You know you can't let them get any of you, and you can't let them catch me here either. What do you have planned?" She knows these teens well enough to know they wouldn't have met with her, unless they had a plan, incase she betrayed them.

"How do we know they aren't working for you now?"

"Michael!" Max says sharply.

"Even if they aren't working for her Maxwell, she still lead them here. You know I'm right, if they followed us, they wouldn't have waited almost twenty-four hours to move in. They would have tried that last night."

Topolski isn't going to sit around playing the blame game with Michael or anyone else for that matter. She wants to deal with the problem at hand and leave all of these memories behind her as soon as possible. She tries to stay calm but as she tells them how she sees things, her voice continues to rise. "Regardless of how they found this place, they know where it is, and they aren't going to walk away. You say you aren't killers, well I don't see any other way out of this. Either we kill them or we're going to be the ones laying in the body bags! Do you understand me?! These are the kind of guys that won't give up until either you are dead, or they are! You know too much about them, and they won't risk you telling the wrong people, and heaven knows they don't scare easily."

"You may be okay with killing people, but we aren't. We have to try to put an end to this without violence."

"You can try, but heed my warning. The more they know about you and your secret, the more dangerous they will become. If they will make your worst nightmares come true. If you were afraid of what the F.B.I. would do to you. These guys and guys like them will do even worse."

"She's probably right Max, we can't take the chance that they would return. Next time they would be more prepared for us."

"What are you saying Michael? That you think we should kill them? We can't do that."

"I'm saying we may not have a choice."

"There is always a choice."

"Are there?" asks Topolski.

"Whatever we choose to do or not to do, it's our choice, and we'll have to live with it. Alex, Michael will you escort Ms. Topolski to her old room? We need to decide this on our own, all of us."

"I'm a part of this, whether you like it or not."

"You're going to have to trust us Ms. Topolski. This is something we have to deal with ourselves." Max motions for Alex and Michael to take her upstairs. Ms. Topolski turns on the heels of her shoes in a huff, and retreats to her old room with Michael and Alex following quickly behind her.

Once she's inside with the door closed, Michael searches for another silver hand print trigger. He figures Teomner must have had a way to lock her in her room. "Walla" he proclaims when he finds one. Mean while Alex walked down the hall to the next door to let Kyle and Sandie it was all clear and that they should join them all downstairs.

The four of them head down stairs to join the others. Max takes it upon himself to explain the situation to Sandie and Kyle. "Topolski seems to think the only way out of this situation is to kill. I personally don't like that idea, it should always be the last option, and I do mean the very last. We've worked to control our powers this week, and we've all improved a great deal. Now the question is, ‘Is there a way to get rid of these guys for good without killing them?'"

Liz looks solemnly at Max, "Your forgetting something Max. They know who we are, and how to find us again. They even know where the house is, I mean the ship. If we let them walk away, who's to say they won't come back for one of us. If we reveal what we can do, even a little, they will have something more powerful on us than we have on them."

"Liz, you can't mean you agree with Michael and Topolski, that we should kill them?"

"Max, I . . . I don't want to hurt anyone, but I don't want to give them a chance to hurt any of us or those that we care about either." Max breathes a deep sigh and shakes his head in agreement.

"We are in a space ship, we could try and fly it out of here."

"Are you willing to never see your mother again?" Michael asks Maria knowing she hadn't thought about the consequences of doing so.

Maria shakes her head no, and at the same time her mind is still at work, "There just has to be another option. What about put them to sleep like we did with Teomner's men?"

"If only, but there is no way we are going to be able to get close enough to them to do that. With us in here and them are out there, they would see us coming, so it wouldn't work." Explains Isabel.

"What if we could put them to sleep without getting close to them?" Asks Kyle with an idea.

"We're listening." Says Liz hopefully, as she turns her full attention to Kyle.

Kyle faces Sandie as he explains what he's thinking. "When Sandie and I saw flash of each others lives, I saw a time when she was really scared after being caught where she wasn't supposed to be. With some kind of power boost, she rendered the guy that caught her unconscious. Sandie, do you think you can do that again to these guys?"

"I should be able to, but I still can't do it from in here. I have to be with twenty, thirty feet."

"Okay we use our shields to get close enough to them, and Sandie puts them to sleep. Then what? You do realize they're going to wake up at some point. What do we do with them then? Keep rendering them unconscious every few hours, every day, for how long?" Michael asks sarcastically.

Alex nods his head to agree with Michael. "Using our shields is a good idea, Michael, and I think you're right. We can't keep them unconscious forever without incubation chambers and unless you guys know where they are kept on board this ship, assuming there are any, then we need to figure out what we are going to with them."

"What about turning them over to Topolski." Ask Michael hopefully, he wants this to be done and over with.

"She'd still kill them, Michael. She'd just wait until she gets them away from here. I don't like the idea of turning them over to her, it's almost as bad as if we killed them ourselves." Argues Liz.

"We could turn them over to my dad, have you forgotten that he's the sheriff?"

"Believe me Kyle, we could never forget that, even if we wanted to. I'm just glad that he's on our side rather than out to get us like before."

"I have an idea that I think will make everyone happy." Alex says smiling from ear to ear.


Alisha, Robert and Jim Valenti get into their vehicles. After starting their engines, Robert pulls out with Jim right behind him. Without turning to look at Alisha, Robert asks, "Exactly what did Sandie say on the phone?"

"That the three men they dealt with before are outside the house. That we aren't to worry, they have a plan. But in order for their plan to work they are going to need our help."

"She didn't tell you what this plan was?"

"No, only that we were to park a mile before the access road and wait for their call."

"Then that's what we do. I sure hope the kids know what they are doing."


Liz and Max stare into each other's eyes for a brief moment before exchanging strained smiles with their friends and family. Each knowing this is going to be a determining moment in there lives. The choices they make within these next few hours, cares the weight of their future.

Alex's plan is a good one, it's progressive. At each stage, depending on the reaction of their unwanted guests, will determine what they do next. The hardest part isn't dealing with these men, it's dealing with the struggle within. To make this plan work, means doing things that will test who they are, as well as how far they are willing to go in order to survive. If only there was a way take a step back, turning back the hands of time, to a time when things were simpler.

Liz releases Max's hand and pulls Maria into a tight hug and they both motion for Isabel and Sandie to join them. These four young women cling tightly to each other as their four young men stare on, but the girls won't leave it at that. They each grab the hand of their guy and pull him into this group hug.

Max is the first to pull away, pulling Liz with him. "It's time."

Michael away from Maria's embrace and walks up the stairs to release Ms. Topolski from her room. "Ms. Topolski, it's time for you to go." She looks at him questioningly, but doesn't ask the questions that have been running through her mind. She steps out of the room heading down the stairs to where the others are gathered. "Max, what do you want me to do?"

Holding hands, Max and Liz lead Ms. Topolski to the exterior door, while Michael, Maria, Alex and Isabel watch on. "Ms. Topolski, all we want from you, is for you to keep our agreement. We'll be expecting to see some paper work in the very new future."

"That's it, that's all you want from me? Aren't you forgetting about something? These men out here, what are you planning to do about them?"

"I'm sure we'll have other questions for you. As for these men, let us worry about them." Max waves his hand over the wall by the door to show the hand print, and places his hand on it. As he does, they all hear a ‘whoosh' sound, as the lock is released. "We will protect you until you are in your car that is as much as we can do. You need to leave and trust that we have this handled. If we need any farther assistance, we know how to get a hold of you." Max turns the door knob and motions for Ms. Topolski to step out before she has a chance to question him further.

Ms. Topolski looks doubtful, but does as he instructed. Max and Liz create a protective shield around themselves and Ms Topolski. They then accompany her out the door to her car. Their eyes never rest on the same place for very long as they try to locate where the three men are concealing themselves. Max and Liz share the same thought, both wonders why they aren't attacking as they thought they would.

Meanwhile, inside Maria opens the study door letting Sandie and Kyle know Topolski has gone outside. After Topolski drives away, the three remaining couples create their own shields and join Max and Liz outside. Michael and Maria assume a position to Liz's right, Isabel and Alex to Max's left, Sandie and Kyle are the last to step out and they stand to the left of Alex.

Mr. Woods and his companions are surprised that these eight teens would be so foolish and stand in open view like this. They are each thinking that this is going to be easier than they planned.

Surprised by the lack of interest, Woods, Dursey, and Layton are displaying, Max calls out to them. "Gentlemen, and I use the term lightly, we know you are here. Why have you returned to Roswell?"

The three men exchange questioning looks from their hiding place, on their bellies, on a small downward slope thirty to forty feet in front of where the group stands. Without saying a word, Mr. Woods fires two shots, one at Max and one at Liz. Staying in his ready state, he tries to figure out why he didn't hit them. He knows he should have struck his targets, he always hits his target, especially at this close range. Logically it doesn't make since, so he fires off a few more rounds, and is accompanied by Mr. Dursey and Mr. Layton doing so as well. However they both pick different targets, they aim at the other couples.

Surprising as it may sound, the group is more at ease now then they were before the gun fire started. It was the waiting that made them nervous and uneasy. Patiently they wait for these three men to realize that what they are doing isn't working. Finally the loud echoes of the guns die.

"Mr. Woods, Mr. Dursey, and Mr. Layton. I wish I could say I'm surprised that you've returned, but in truth I knew you would eventually. However, I didn't plan for it to be so soon."

"How did you do that?" Layton asks in a shaky voice.

"You mean why aren't we laying on the ground dead?" retorts Michael with a smug tone to his voice.

"Yeah that." Layton responds with fascination.

Instead of answering his question, Michael asks one of his own. "Didn't Teomner ever tell you who you were watching?"

"A bunch of teenagers." He retorts smugly. It's obvious to Michael and the others that Layton is trying to hide his uneasiness, and that the other two men are listening to what's being said with as much interest as Layton.

"That's it, and you didn't question what his interests in a group of teenagers might be?" Max asks in surprise.

"You didn't question Teomner about his business, if you know what I mean?" Mr. Woods speaks up almost in defense of their actions.

Max can't help be pleased, these three men don't sound as sure of themselves as they did during their last in counter. "I would advise you to do the same when it comes to us and our abilities. If you were indeed afraid of Teomner, you have more reason to be afraid of us. Teomner's dead, remember? And your looking at the group of teens that ended his life. Do you catch my drift?"

Mr. Woods is regaining some of his self-confidence as he runs over the things he knows about what's just happened, and what he knows from their last encounter. All they have done is somehow keep from getting hit by our bullets, granted that's no small feet, but it's a defensive move, not an offensive action. They said it themselves the last time we met, Teomner's death wasn't on purpose. These kids may have special abilities, but they have a great weakness. They've never killed before. Yeah, Teomner, but they don't see his death as something they could have avoided. "So you can protect yourselves, which just means you're going to be more of a challenge."

"Mr. Woods, you don't seem to think much of what we can do. Or have you even given it much thought. Let me give you a ‘SMALL' sample of our abilities, and so you know, this is one of the easiest games we play."

Knowing the steps of progression for their plan, Liz and Max concentrate on the rocks on the ground around Mr. Woods. They cause them to float in the air around him. Maria and Michael do the same thing with the rocks around Layton, as do Isabel and Alex around Dursey. Gradually the rocks begin to rotate around them moving faster and faster until they become a blur of moving objects. At which point, the group stops them abruptly, and bombards the three men with a shower of falling rocks.

After recovering, Mr. Woods decides to retreat for now, "Impressive Mr. Evans, but still not impressive enough to save your lives. You may have the advantage this time. However, there will come a time when you won't be expecting us. Then lets see how well you do?" He motions for the other two men to retreat.

"No! We settle this now!" Max growls in a strong serious voice. There is no way he is going to allow Mr. Woods to make threats to their lives and walk away only to return at some later date. Max hates that they have been pushed to this point, but he knows he has to follow the plan.

Liz, Michael, Maria, Alex, Isabel, Kyle, and Sandie all feel the same way Max does. He has pushed them too far by threatening them after they tried to give them yet another warning. If only this could have been avoided. They tried, but he just wouldn't let it go, so now he has left them no other choice. It is now a matter of protecting themselves, each other, their families, and anyone else who could potentially get in the way. It is time to put and end to this, it's time for the next phase of their plan.

Mr. Woods is so sure of himself and his assessment of these kids that he proclaims, "You aren't willing to do what it's going to take to settle this now."

"And how do you know what we are ready to do, and what we're not ready to do Mr. Woods? Can you read our minds? I think not, if you could you would know you have crossed the line. We will not stand back and wait for you to come after us again. We warned the three of you to never return to Roswell. You blew your chance, and here we were even trying to give you another chance to walk away by giving you a small glimpse at whom you were going up against. And what do you do? You response by threatening our lives yet again. Now you are going to see why you should have taken our warning more seriously."

Mr. Woods's eyebrows rise questioningly northward. Has he underestimated Max and his friend's ability to do whatever it takes to protect themselves? He doesn't have to wait long to find out that he has.

Max concentrates on Mr. Woods, not allowing him to move. "Mr. Layton and Mr. Dursey, I would advise you to watch very closely to what is about to happen to Mr. Woods here." Max's only wish at this moment is that this scares these men badly enough that they leave Roswell and never return.

The whole group links hands, they feel this is something that they all must be a part of, not just one of them can take responsibility for these actions.

The two men watch in horror as Mr. Woods rises into the air screaming out in pain. Before they see it coming, he is hit with a bright light, so bright they have to shield their eyes from it. When the light fades Mr. Woods is laying on the ground motionless. They both look up at Max and then attempt to turn and flee, but they can't move. They look back at Max in fear of what may happen to them.

Max pauses for a moment wanting the full impact of their fear to overcome them. "One more thing gentlemen, we could have let him suffer if we so chose to, but we were merciful. If anything happens to even one of us, or to anyone we care about, you can be assured that we won't be so merciful. Now run before I change my mind and end your life now."

Layton and Dursey take off into the desert where their car is parked as if their pants were on fire. As soon as they are out of sight, Liz releases the hands that she holds and runs to Mr. Woods's side. She feels for a pulse, he's still alive. Thank goodness, I was sure we really killed him. Sandie, get your mother up here quickly, before he wakes up.

Kyle removes the cell phone from his hip and hands it to Sandie. "Mom, it's time."


Kyle waits outside for his and Sandie's parents to arrive. As soon as the two vehicles pull in, he rushes to Alisha's door opening it before she ever had the chance. "Inside, Sandie said to hurry that she would explain everything."

The four of them rush inside, through the living room, down the hall, to the lab. Mr. Woods is laying motionless on the lab table. "Mom, it's just like the man that caught me in that office so long ago. He has to forget about us, but there's more. He has to forget who he is, and what he's been doing all of these years. Can you make him forget everything about his life since he became a hit man, and everything linked to it?"

"Oh Sandie."

"Please Mom, I'll explain more later. Can you do it?"

Knowing her daughter wouldn't ask this of her if there was any other way, Alisha nods her head and reaches out touching the temples of the man laying before her. Alisha scans his memories erasing memories, images of those he's loved, hated, and known, places he's been, things that he's experienced. She continues at this for twenty minutes when she feels him starting to gain conciseness. She pulls away releasing the connection.

"He's waking up. We'll find out how I did in a moment." She says with a sigh.


Later that night, Liz sits quietly on her balcony writing in her journal.

~*~ journal entry ~*~

It still surprises me how one action, or one choice in a person's life can change their life, as well as the lives of those around them.

Topolski made a choice, and now we are truly destined to be together. Not only Max and I, but all of us together. We don't have any real clues to how we are to fulfil this destiny, but we do know in its self a bit overwhelming. We are to unite both of our worlds through truth, love and light. Whatever that is supposed to mean.

Also by Topolski's choice, we now know the house isn't a house at all, but a ship. However, we still don't know how to fly it, let alone know where to fly it to. And if we did, what kind of welcoming party would we receive? If it's anything like what we would receive here, we are in no way ready, so where does that leave us?

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