|"A Stitch in Time - Revised"|
Disclaimer: Dear Ms. Metz and Mr. Katims, can Max and the others come to my house to play? I'll try to have them back in time for dinner. Thanks, loon.
Summary: AU Fic. No spoilers. Max had thought just being an alien would fulfil the 'weirdness quotient' for his whole life, but now he had to cope with the concept of aliens from the future. And not just 'good' aliens from the future. There was a whole organization of 'bad' aliens from the future and he, Isabel and Michael had been recruited to help stop them.
Authors Note: Dedication: to Addison, my first fan.
|Gregory entered the scout ship first and immediately went to the
controls. Max followed and planted himself in one of the seats. "The
energy levels have recharged barely enough to get us back up to the
ship. Was it necessary to use so much energy healing that woman?"
Gregory knew how Max felt about Liz but he couldn't help bait him. It
did help him release some of his tension, but in a way that shamed him. |
"Yes. It. Was." The temperature in the scout ship lowered several degrees.
Suddenly sorry, Gregory put his hand on Max's arm. "I was out of line. Of course it was necessary. Please accept my apologies." He consulted the remote readouts from the healing chamber. "How was she injured?" he asked idly as he continued to make the scout ready for take off.
"She fell into a ravine trying to escape. A tree broke her fall and caused the rib and lung damage." He looked directly into Gregory's eyes. "I fell into the ravine also and was about to fall all the way down when she literally threw me a life line. She saved my life and in doing so, aggravated her own injuries."
Gregory threw the last switch and the scout ship's cloaking device activated and it began its journey to the main ship. "Yes, the readouts from the healing chamber indicated that they healed those injuries and some others. I'll send the readouts to the ship's doctor for further evaluation."
Max got up and went to see what the readouts said for himself. "Her uterus was regenerated? Did the records say what was wrong with it? I didn't know she suffered abdominal injuries." He looked at the rest of the readouts. "She was attacked and brutally beaten when she was 13. Maybe the injury was from then."
"You said she had a son? The state of her uterus before the chamber regenerated it would have prevented conception— she was barren."
Understanding hit Max suddenly. This was what she wouldn't talk about when he asked her about Dave's birth. Somehow Dave's birth had done the damage that the healing chamber had repaired. And that was why she said birth control wasn't necessary when they made love. He didn't care about this right now, he just wanted her safe in his arms.
Gregory interrupted his worrying. He wasn't as hardhearted as he often appeared. He was operating under pressures that caused him to do things he normally wouldn't. "Max, we'll be at the ship in about 20 minutes. As soon as we dock the ship will break orbit and head for the generation ship." He sat down and let the scout ship do its work. "It was a lucky break that Michael finally succeeded in getting that beacon set off just now. The dissidents' loyalties must be falling apart if they would close the portal and strand most of their members on Earth."
Gregory watched Max continue to pace the small cabin, distraught over the loss of his mate. "Max. We will rescue Liz and the other women. You are spending energy worrying and pacing that you might need later. There is nothing that you can do at this moment in time."
Max stopped and glanced over at Gregory. "Liz used to tell me the same thing," he said sadly. "When she worried she called it 'planning ahead.'" Max reached down and picked up Liz's quilt. "I'm going to see if I can contact her in the dream plane. She said they were keeping her sedated a lot of the time. He wrapped his arms around the quilt and closed his eyes. He didn't notice Gregory staring at the corner of the quilt that was turned over, exposing the Odd duck signature.
Max stood on the dream plane and for once her dream orb wasn't nearby. He called to it in case it had floated away, but apparently she wasn't unconscious anymore. And she was too far away to 'path to. He returned to the real world. Gregory was still staring at Liz's quilt.
"Where did you get that quilt, Max?"
"Liz made it. Holding it helps me make contact with her. The injuries she suffered during that attack when she was 13 left her powers damaged."
"Is she a full Al'Centran or a blend?"
"She was adopted. Her adopted mother was full Al'Centran but we don't know about Liz."
Gregory looked over at Max. "We will get her back, Max. I know how much she means to you." \\And you have no idea how much this woman I have never met means to me,\\ Gregory added to himself. But there was no time for these thoughts now; the scout ship was about to dock with the ship.
Captain Franklin met them as they exited the scout ship. He shook Gregory's hand. "Glad to have you back, Gregory." He turned toward Max and stuck out his hand. "I'm Captain Franklin and I'd like to welcome you aboard."
Max shook his hand and replied, "I'm Max Evans. It's a pleasure to meet you." \\Okay, okay, enough with the pleasantries! Let's get going!\\
Captain Franklin hid a smile as he accurately read between the lines of Max's greeting. "We're already headed for the generation ship. Let's go to the briefing room and bring each other up to date." He gestured for Gregory to lead the way and he walked beside Max. "Before we get involved with planning this part of the mission, I want to express my gratitude for all your assistance."
"Thanks. I'm just sorry my part of the infiltration didn't go as planned. You said Michael was able to get the beacon set off? Do you know if Michael and Isabel are safe?"
"As safe as any of the captives are, I imagine." He gestured toward the door Gregory had opened. "Here we are. Please have a seat and we'll get started."
The captain made a round of introductions after everyone was seated. "First of all, Mr. Evans, we'll give you a general overview of events but to protect the timeline we will keep you ignorant of specific details." Max nodded, more than ready for even partial answers to his questions. "We are a research ship, not a military ship. Our presence in your time is the unfortunate result of a catastrophic computer failure we had when testing a new style of engine. Some of the people on our ship decided that we were trapped here and mutinied.
At Max's questioning look, the captain elaborated. "Those of us who are committed to protecting the timeline are mainly the scientists and ship's crew. Unfortunately, political pressure forced us to bring various politicians and their supporters along on our maiden voyage. For the most part, the dissidents came from this group. As you know, they decided to make a life here, disregarding the effect it would have on the timeline. The computer failure greatly hindered us in our efforts to locate and capture the dissidents. That was when we decided to bring in local assistance."
Max asked, "Are you trapped here in this time or will you be able to return to yours?"
"If we can repair the computer, chances are very good that we will be able to return."
"And if you can't?"
"We'll deal with that when we have to. All of us here have sworn to protect the timeline so our families will be safe. There is no way to tell how they will be affected if radical changes are made now." He smiled grimly at Max. "Thanks for your concern."
Gregory spoke up. "Captain, gentlemen. If you wish, I have an update on conditions on the generation ship. Thanks to Mr. Evans, his sister Isabel and Michael Guerin." He nodded to Max in acknowledgement.
"The dissident's situation on the generation ship is not what they expected it to be. Some of our ancestors stayed there instead of coming permanently to Earth and they have aided the captives. In fact, they still control a great deal of the ship. The dissidents are apparently having a loyalty crisis. Some of them went through the portal during the aborted raid and closed it prematurely. All the dissidents who were trapped on Earth have been captured and are in the process of being questioned. We do not know how many dissidents are on the generation ship and what parts they control."
"Mr. Evans, would you be willing to contact your sister and friend to get us this information?" the captain asked.
"Absolutely." Max took a breath and tried to control his rising anxiety. "When will we arrive at the generation ship?"
One of the men across the table spoke up. "With our damaged drive it could take as long as two days. If they succeed in moving the generation ship that time will, of course, change."
Max paled visibly at the thought of his fragile mate in the dissident's hands for that long. He clenched his jaw and tried to maintain his composure. A display of emotion now would not make the ship travel faster.
The captain stood up. "Mr. Evans, will you let Gregory show you to your quarters? He'll help you get settled in. Rest assured that all that can be done at this time is being done." He shook Max's hand again. "We will keep you posted. Please inform us whenever you are able to contact Mr. Guerin and Ms. Evans."
When Max was alone in his cabin he immediately stretched out in the bed with Liz's quilt. He relaxed and entered the dream plane. Isabel was waiting for him. "Max! Things are in an uproar here! I think the dissidents are fighting among themselves for control."
Max wrapped his arms around his sister. "Isabel, take extra care to keep yourself safe. You're the only sister I have." He moved back but kept one arm around her. "Is Michael okay? The beacon's signal was received and we're heading for the generation ship as we speak."
"We? Max, are you on the ship with the future Al'Centrans? What happened?"
"Alex and Maria are safe. They're staying at Liz's house." Max closed his eyes and turned his head away, trying to get control of the emotions that threatened to overwhelm him.
"Max, you're scaring me. What happened?"
"Oh Iz, I left Liz alone and Pokran kidnapped her. He took her through the portal and closed it before we could follow." The raw emotion in his voice was painful to hear.
"Max, Michael and I will try to find her and get her away from him." She didn't want to tell him that even the other dissidents were afraid of Pokran. And if he had Liz, things didn't look too promising for her.
"I'm extremely worried about her. She's had too many traumas in her life and I don't know how many more she'll be able to take. She's a strong woman, but everyone has their limits."
Isabel looked closely at her brother. "Why Max, I do believe you've finally found your mate."
His face contorted with anguish. "Yes, I have and I can't lose her, Izzie. Please protect her until we can get there. I have to go now. Out of energy. I'll be back as often as I'm able." Max returned to the reality of his cabin, exhausted. He wrapped himself in the comfort of Liz's quilt and fell asleep.
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