FanFic - Max/Liz
"A Stitch in Time - Revised"
Part 31
by Lynda
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.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Dedication: to Addison, my first fan.
The next morning Gregory knocked on Max's door. When Max answered it he offered to show him the way to the cafeteria for breakfast. On the way down the corridor Max said, "I have a report for the captain. I talked to Isabel last night and I have something else to discuss with him."

"Normally you will report to me, but I'll let him know and get back to you. Here's the cafeteria. Enjoy your breakfast." He left Max and continued on down the corridor.

Max was finished with his breakfast when Captain Franklin joined him. "Good morning, Mr. Evans. Gregory has informed me that you have more information for us."

Pushing his breakfast tray away and sitting back, Max began his report. He relayed what Isabel had told him and then began his ploy to be introduced officially to Liz's son, Dave. "Our connection wasn't as strong as it was when Alex and Maria were in the link. I got the impression there was more she wanted to tell me but we ran out of energy. And I wasn't able to contact Liz. I can feel that she is still alive, but with her shields and other difficulties it was only my energy directed towards the link."

"Oh, yes, Gregory said you weren't sure what she was."

"She's my mate," Max said bluntly, giving the captain a direct look. "Her heritage is irrelevant."

"Pardon." Captain Franklin had the grace to look embarrassed. "I phrased that poorly. Please continue."

Max nodded his acceptance of the apology. "My point is this: Maria and Alex helped strengthen the link with their mates, Michael and Isabel, and we were able to maintain a longer, stronger connection. I have no such help now and my energy levels are not up to an extended link at these distances." Max leaned forward, elbows resting on the table and continued. "And since Liz is unable to help maintain the link from her end, I don't think I will be able to make contact with her."

"I don't see why that is so important. Isabel and Michael can keep us informed of what's happening."

"Neither Isabel nor Michael have direct contact with one of the dissident's apparent leaders. Remember they reported that there was fighting among the dissidents. They won't be trusting Michael as much. Pokran has not let Liz be taken away from him to be kept with the other captives and she has the opportunity to find out what is going on at a higher level." Max didn't mention that Pokran evidently had a healthy respect for Liz's self-defense skills and was keeping her sedated most of the time.

Captain Franklin sat back and crossed his arms. His face was impassive as he considered the decision he must make. Would admitting that they had Liz's son Dave on the ship cause risks to the timeline? Or would that be balanced out by the gains they would achieve with inside knowledge Liz might give them?

Finally the captain spoke, "Mr. Evans. I am forced to take a gamble that I am not comfortable with. What I am about to tell you will undoubtedly upset you but I want you to hear me out before you speak."

Max kept his face impassive and just nodded. He was reminded of the gambles Liz had taken and how the long odds had played in her favor.

"There was a splinter group among the dissidents who believed that if they could prevent the development of certain scientific advancements that the drive we were testing would have never been invented. They set out to do just that. They located the individual in your time who, when he was an adult, would be instrumental in the development of these advancements. One of the dissidents attempted to murder him but we were able to save him. Unfortunately, he was severely injured. But we have healed him and he is still on this ship. It's not safe to return him until all this is settled."

The captain paused and gathered his thoughts. "Mr. Evans, the young man I am speaking of is Dave Parker, your mate's son."

Max sprang to his feet and turned away from the captain to conceal his face. He didn't want to show that he already knew about Dave's presence on the ship and he also didn't want to display his sudden anger at the unthinkable grief that Liz had had to endure unnecessarily. Max was totally unprepared for how strong that anger was. Intellectually he could appreciate the future Al'Centrans' concern for the timeline, and that they felt they had to take extreme measures to protect it. But having seen and felt first hand how their decisions had affected Liz…

When he had control of his face he returned to his seat. He knew his expression was not pleasant, but it was the best he could do. And if his aura offended the captain, so be it.

"Mr. Evans, I realize this is difficult for you, but we have only done what we felt we must, given our circumstances." He looked at Max, his face an unspoken plea for his understanding. They needed the cooperation of Max, his sister and friend. He offered Max some information in hopes that it would help his cause. "When we were healing young Mr. Parker our doctors needed to perform certain genetic tests. These tests determined that Mr. Parker has Al'Centran genetic markers. If our computer was fully operational or if we still had a genetic scanner— the dissidents took the ones we had— I could tell you if he was a full Al'Centran or a blend. We were only able to get partial results, so we know he has the genetic markers, but we don't know the percentage.""

Max open his mouth to speak and when no sound emerged, closed it. He cleared his throat, refocused his thoughts, and tried again. "I want to meet her son. If we can link there is a better chance of contacting Liz." He paused and gave Captain Franklin a direct look. "As soon as possible, if not sooner."

"Mr. Evans, against my better judgement I am allowing you to meet Mr. Parker. Please do not tell him what I told you. He must be allowed to develop without prior knowledge of his future."

\\Too late for that, I’m afraid; but I have confidence in Dave's judgement.\\ Max nodded anyway and then stood up. "I'd like to begin now, if you please. If you tell me his cabin number I will go introduce myself."

The captain told him and Max reached out his hand to shake the captain's hand. "Thank you for giving me this information. Only the knowledge of the difficult situation you're in keeps me from showing you just what unimaginable suffering Dave's 'death' inflicted upon Liz. I'll let you know immediately if and when we find out any information." Max turned and walked out.

Max stopped outside Dave's door and tried an experiment. **Dave, open the door, please. It's Max.** Almost immediately the door flew open and Dave appeared with a startled expression on his face.

"Wow. That was an unusual experience. Mom and Gram are the only ones who have spoken to me in my head before." He stepped back and gestured for Max to enter. "I take it you're here with the captain's blessing?"

Max had worked hard to get his emotions under control on the way to Dave's room. Once they had Liz safe he would deal with the new information he had been getting about her. He took a deep breath and faced his mate's son. "Dave, I know we just met, but I need you to trust me enough to link with me. If we both work together we stand a better chance of reaching Liz."

Dave didn't hesitate. "Let's get started right now. She needs us."

"Do you get 'feelings' like your mom?" Max asked curiously.

Dave nodded, "Sometimes."

Max refocused on what they were attempting to do. "Lie down on the bed and relax your body. Clear your mind and let me direct what happens. I'm going to take you into the dream plane."

"Is that like dreamwalking?" Dave asked as he did what Max told him.

"This is done while we're awake, we just enter another form of consciousness. It takes energy and by linking together, we'll be stronger." Max pulled the chair close to the bed. "Close your eyes and relax as much as possible. I'm going to touch your arm and connect with you. Then I'll take you into the dream plane."

Max and Dave were standing in the dream plane. "Wow! This is surreal!" Dave exclaimed.

Max chuckled at his delight. "Those floating 'bubbles' are dream orbs. When someone is alseep, one of these forms. We can call specific ones to us and see inside. We can also 'dreamwalk' and participate in specific dreams. Al'Centrans have the ability to enter the dream plane while conscious.

"This is how I've been communicating with my sister Isabel and our friend Michael. Our regularly scheduled meeting is for later tonight. We're here now to try to find Liz's dream orb."

"Can Mom enter the dream plane?"

"I don't honestly know, Dave. As far as I know only Al'Centrans have this ability. You are here this time because I brought you." Max realized that he hadn't told Dave about his Al'Centran genetic markers. He could only hope that the news would not upset him. "Dave, did the doctors ever discuss your heritage with you?"

"Nobody talks to me, Max. They don't tell me anything." Dave's voice betrayed his frustration.

"Please trust me when I tell you they believe that keeping you in the dark like this is for everyone's benefit. I don't like secrets; there have been too many of them in my life. I'll tell you more about the situation later and we'll decide what else you want to know— and it will be your decision— but now I've got some news that I hope won't upset you."

Max turned and faced Dave. "You are Al'Centran like your grandmother was and like I am. We don't know if you're a full Al'Centran or a blend. You have the ability to enter the dream plane on your own, now that you know how to do it.

"So what you're delicately trying to say is that one or both of my parents are Al'Centran." Max looked searchingly at Dave, trying to gauge his reaction. "Max, I don't care what I am as long as it doesn't prevent us from rescuing my mother. And I really don't care what heritage my birth father was, as far as I'm concerned I have only one parent and she needs our help right now."

Max said, "You are so much like your mother." He looked around to see if Liz's dream orb was nearby. "First, we need to see if Liz is sleeping or unconscious. Help me call to her dream orb. You just concentrate on the person and if they're not conscious, their dream orb should float over. My sister Isabel says the orbs make specific tones and she sings them toward her. I've never been able to do that. When you are more familiar with the dream plane you might discover your own method."

Dave pointed to a dream orb that was approaching them. "What about that orb? It looks like it wants us to notice it."

Walking over to the hovering orb, Max looked inside. He reached out and touched it and knew it was Liz's. He enlarged it and motioned Dave closer. "It's hers. Step inside with me. Remember this is her dream, not her reality."

Max and Dave entered Liz's dream. The mist inside was moving slowly, stirred by their entrance. "Mom! It's Dave!" There was no answer. "Max, this is her dream, shouldn't she be here?" The mist began to thicken.

"Can you feel her, sense her presence, Dave? I have a general awareness of her, but nothing localized." The mist grew thicker.

"MOM!" Dave called out, looking worried. He turned to Max, "Is there something wrong? Is this how it should be?" The mist was thick enough that he could barely see Max. "Before when our dreams merged I could at least see her, even if she never responded to me."

Max took hold of Dave's arm and stepped out of Liz's orb. "Dave, I think they have her too heavily sedated for us to make any contact with her." He tried not to think about the ramifications of that.

Part 30 | Index | Part 32
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