Fanfic - Max/Liz
"A Present Unseen"
Part 64
by Meagzie
Disclaimer: I own nothing and am nothing but a lowly servant of my computer and endless hours of fanfic. (Ok, maybe not.) Ooo, but I do own Adam. Mine. Mine mine mine.
Summary: It's about two years after A Past Forgotten. Graduation is just around the corner, but so is trouble.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: R
Author's Note: Ok, I know I say this a lot and I talk too much as it is, but FEEDBACK. I need it... it keeps my blood pumping and my fingers typing. Please? Love you guys!
“So you know every inch of this compound?” Max asked as he gazed again at the layout of maps before him. This place was big. This was going to be tricky.

Owen nodded his head. “I’m one of Khivar’s best soldiers. He’s trained me personally since I’ve been added to his army. I think he just adores the idea that I’m supposed to be a protector of the Royal Court but instead I work for him. He still doesn’t have a clue that I know of my true destiny.” Max cringed at the last word, almost wanting to curse it.

All of his being wished that he and his friends were nothing but normal people, living normal lives. He and Liz might then have had an actual chance at having a normal relationship. Ah, what he wouldn’t do for the sanctity of normality. Damn destiny and its responsibilities.

Max, Owen and Manika all leaned over the table, analyzing the design of the compound where Owen knew Liz was being held.

“I’m one of Khivar’s best soldiers from Antar. It was my only ticket here,” Manika said quietly. “But he’s not one for precise details. If he had known who I really was, I would have never been accepted into his army.” She bowed her head slightly, taking a deep, cleansing breath. Owen gave a sympathetic smile, and went to put his arm around Manika. She smiled gratefully at him.

“Uh,” Max interrupted awkwardly. Obviously these two were close in relationship. “Where is Liz’s cell, and where will Khivar be?”

“Here is where she’s being held,” Owen stated, pointing to a small block on one of the maps. “We can gain entrance through here but there’ll be a couple of guards. Then again, there’ll be guards everywhere.”

“The longer we’re unnoticed, the better though,” Manika added. Max just nodded, but then glanced up at Owen and Manika, both who were staring back earnestly. One question kept running in his mind, and he was desperate for an answer. These two were willing to aid him with no questions asked and they were fully aware of the possible fatal outcomes. Not only were they willing to help him, but they were willing to help a whole world bring back order.

“Why?” Max questioned. It was short but sweet, and right to the point.

“What do you mean?” Manika responded somewhat confused by his question. Owen understood though, and looked Max straight in the eye.

“Although I’ve never met them personally, or even seen them myself, there are people out there waiting for us, for me. I’ve heard stories from other guards, the people actually from there.

“On Antar, there are people so desperate and their lives are so hellish that the only thing that heartens them is the very slim chance that here on Earth there are ten certain people willing to help them. Even if just one out of the ten people acknowledged the citizens of Antar, it would lighten spirits beyond hope. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t fight my hardest to help these people.” He looked at Manika fondly but glanced back at Max.

Whispering lowly, he added, “Too many people have been hurt by Khivar.” Max nodded solemnly, appreciative of Owen’s honesty and openness. Manika’s face shadowed over in pain, though, a hard expression forming.

“If it’s the last thing I do, I will make sure that the slaughterer pays for every life he’s ever taken.” Manika’s cold, bitter comment caused Max to do a double take, unsure that Manika had actually just said that. An aching person who lied close beneath the timid exterior replaced the young, shy girl he had met.

“There’s a lot of people on Antar, Max,” Manika replied, staring him straight on. “A lot of them are no better than Khivar. Sniveling, deceptive people who backstab to get what they want, but even them, they don’t deserve what Khivar has done to his people. No one does. And if I can’t imagine that kind of torture on my worst enemies, can you imagine the innocent people who are suffering? It’s not fair, none of it.

“I made a pledge when I became a loyalist. Not only to keep faith in the resurrection of the Royal Court, but to keep faith in my planet, my home. Loyalists aren’t just about allegiance to our Royals. We’re about restoring peace that we once knew too long ago.

“I’m not going to beg or plead you to help Antar when Leandra is home safe, but I need you to realize that people are counting on us. Only we can help them.” Manika took a deep breath, but found no relief in it. She quickly stood up and escaped out the door, letting herself a moment of peace.

Max stared at the closed door for a moment, shaken by Manika’s obvious loss of control. She was a soldier in so many ways that he couldn’t even count. She had already shown her loyalty to him in less than 24 hours. The only reason he could actually stand around and walk was because of her healing him. Only something horrible could make a soul like that experience such anguish.

“What did Khivar do to her?” Max asked Owen, turning to him. Owen offered him a small, sad smile.

“Horrible things. He stole everything that was precious to her. But that’s not the sad part, that’s not the part that makes both her and I retch in disgust. It’s that she isn’t the only one he’s destroyed. There are so many more out there.” Owen patted Max’s shoulder lightly. “But you don’t need to worry about Manika. She’s a warrior. She can handle anything.”

Max nodded again, unsure and unwilling to let the information absorb. For then the guilt and revulsion that gathered over the past few days would return, and he wasn’t sure whether he could survive that.

“We’re going to have to move fast,” Owen stated briskly, running over the maps with his trained eyes again. Max just nodded.

“Khivar hasn’t disclosed any of his plots to anyone. Everyone is completely unaware of his plans, so we don’t know when he’s planning to-” Owen halted abruptly, realizing what he was about to say.

Max felt queasy suddenly. He promised himself to not think about what Khivar was doing to his Liz right now, but it came flooding back to him. The images, the possibilities, the guilt of what Liz was enduring because of him. His Liz. He needed her. Now.

“I’m sorry, Max, I didn’t mean to-”

“It’s all right,” Max replied, flatly. “The more I get angry, the more rage I can direct at that son of a bitch.”

“Good idea.”

Max was going to fucking kill Khivar, if it was the last thing he ever did.

Part 63 | Index | Part 65
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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