FanFic - Max/Liz
"A Stitch in Time - Revised"
Part 3
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.
In the morning Michael was the one assigned to bring the captives food. Leon's activities had been reported and he was reassigned to another job. Michael talked quietly to Isabel. "Max is still away on the second raid, he should get back soon. Then we're all to help transport you women to the portal. It's not far up the mountain. I'll try to tie you loosely. Use any opportunity to escape. Max and I'll try to delay things so you will be moved at the last minute before the portal closes. That way they won't have time to chase you. Just get away any way you can!"

Isabel looked at him with gratitude, but insisted, "The important thing is to get that location beacon sent off. You MUST get that signal sent off! That's the only way these creeps will be stopped, not to mention the only way I will be rescued if I don't escape before the portal closes."

Michael realized he must leave before he gave himself away. Not being able to 'path reliably like Max really pissed him off.

Isabel looked around the room as she settled down to wait. The other women seemed mostly apathetic about their situation. She wondered if the stunner's effects were more permanent than originally thought. \\Sure hope my brains don't get fried.\\

She looked over where Liz was huddled. She hadn't moved much all night. The other captives were still avoiding her. Isabel went over to her corner and sat beside her. She didn't touch her, as her aura was even pricklier than before. "Are you alright?" she asked gently. When Isabel didn't get a response she put her had on Liz's arm. Liz jumped out of her skin and moved away almost uncontrollably. "Wow, that's quite a startle reflex," Isabel commented. "There's no one here but your fellow captives, so calm down."

Liz looked at Isabel blankly, not comprehending. Isabel noticed the large bruise darkening her cheek. "Boy, that looks like it hurts. Wish my brother was here, he's good at fixing things like that." Isabel talked quietly and gently, trying to make contact with the injured woman.

She reached out and Liz moved away again, her aura spiking. Isabel thought, \\I get the message.\\ To Liz she said, "I want to thank you for helping me when that offensive Neanderthal tried to get friendly with me."

Liz smiled a small crooked smile and but didn't say anything. She leaned her head back against the wall and watched the door. After some time she turned to Isabel and whispered, "I'm going to try to get out that door the next time it opens. Maybe 'Spike' will come back with lunch. You're welcome to come or to otherwise take advantage of the distraction."

Isabel was startled by the determination in her face and voice. She knew there was a good chance Liz would get hurt in her escape attempt. "Please trust me when I ask you to just wait. I can't tell you why, but I know we'll be rescued. My brother will never let this continue."

Liz looked back at Isabel, her face unreadable. "Sorry, I can't risk it. I'll die before I let them use me the way they intend to. Good luck." And with that she went over and sat beside the door.

Isabel closed her eyes. She felt so helpless. Her mind wandered over recent events, wishing she could go back and rethink her decision to walk through the racquetball club. She chuckled aloud as she realized which dissident Liz referred to as 'Spike.' Such an appropriate description for her spiky haired friend. Liz raised her head and looked questioningly at Isabel. "Spike is a good name for our 'waiter'," she explained. Liz smiled and resumed her watch by the door.

After several hours Isabel noticed that Liz had fallen into a troubled slumber. She was moaning in reaction to an obvious nightmare. Isabel decided to dreamwalk her. She was scared and bored at the same time. This would give her something to do and might provide some answers to why Liz seemed so familiar.

She relaxed and sent herself into the dream plane. Liz's dream orb was floating nearby. Isabel called it to her and looked inside. She couldn't see anything in the thick mist so she enlarged the orb and entered it. Now she could hear terrified screams and the sound of running footsteps. The mist swirled and Liz dashed by Isabel. Isabel reached out to stop Liz. When her hand made contact, Liz screamed again and began to struggle fiercely. Flames erupted all around and both Liz and Isabel jerked awake and began screaming aloud.

The door to their prison slammed open and Leon burst in. An extremely startled Isabel just sat there stunned but Liz dove out the door and scrambled to her feet to flee. Leon spun around and followed Liz, slamming the door behind him.

He caught up with her at the locked door at the end of the hall and smashed her to the floor with his fist. He reached down, grabbed her by the arm and raised her to her feet. Then he hit her again, aiming for her already bruised cheek. She didn't fall because he was still holding her up. He pulled his fist back for yet another punch, but before he could release it, a powerful hand grabbed his arm and held it motionless.

Max said with deadly intent, "I wouldn't do that, if I were you." He really wanted to annihilate this beast and he was almost beyond control, but he hung on to what little control he had left with all his might. A conflict of that intensity at this time could jeopardize the entire mission. Hating himself, but knowing it was necessary, he just pushed Leon away.

He picked Liz up and almost lost his grip on her when she began to struggle frantically. He wrapped his arms around her as gently as he could and whispered into her hair, "Shhhh, quiet down now. I won't let him hurt you again."

As he walked back toward the room where the rest of the captive women were being held he felt her trembling body relax as she lost consciousness. When he walked in he saw Isabel's startled face. He gave her a warning look and carried Liz over to her. "Here, you," he said gruffly. "Take care of this one." With his back to the door, Max's eyes expressed his real feelings as he telepathed to Isabel, **Izzy, she doesn't deserve what's happening to her and I'm responsible.**

\\Boy, and I thought this was hard on me…\\ she thought as she nodded to her brother. \\I hope Max forgives himself for this. We all knew going into it that the situation was serious and we might have to do unpleasant things to prevent a larger evil.\\ She accepted Liz's unconscious body and cradled her gently.

Max sighed. **I was able to disrupt the other raid enough that they were not successful in capturing any more women. They're not in very good humor so be cautious; I have to go now.**

Isabel sat there for a while, pondering this woman's the pattern of behavior: try to escape, get knocked unconscious, wake up, try to escape, get knocked unconscious… such stubbornness. Reminded her of Max. Then she felt Liz began to stir and she knew the exact moment when Liz had regained consciousness because she treated to another exhibition of her extreme startle reflex.

Liz backed into the nearest corner, eyes wide in panic. Isabel looked at her and said quietly, "Hey, calm down." Liz did regain some semblance of calm faster than Isabel thought she would. She scooted closer to Liz's corner but didn't attempt to touch her. "Sit down and save your energy, Liz. Please sit down; I'm getting a crook in my neck trying to look at you."

Liz slowly sank to the floor, taking deep shuttering breaths. Isabel looked at her and thought, \\Wish we could just 'path each other. It would be so much safer. She sure is a mystery. I can get surface thoughts from most people I touch, but she is a total blank.\\ Isabel leaned closer and noticed that Liz's face tightened as she tried not to back away. "Calm down, Liz, " she said soothingly. Then in her quietest whisper, "Did you see the man who saved you from that thug Leon?"

Liz nodded warily. She didn't know why, but she did trust Isabel. Not many people gained her trust so quickly and she hoped she wasn't wrong.

"Remember his face. He won't hurt you." That was as far as Isabel felt it was safe to go. She couldn't tell Liz about their mission. Too much was at stake.

They sat there, exhausted, for a short time. Then the door opened and a group of dissidents entered the room; Max and Michael were among them. The dissidents set to work and tied each woman's hands in front of her and then tied the end of the rope to another woman so they would all be joined in a line. Things progressed reasonably smoothly as most of the women were still suffering from the effects of the stun or were too afraid to resist.

However, all hell broke loose when they tried to tie Liz up. She screamed and struggled and fought with all her might, inflicting far more damage than someone her size should be able to. Max's heart broke to see her terror, but he could not help her. Soon she was trussed up like the rest. Her struggles delayed the dissidents and she was last in line with her rope attached to Isabel's hands.

The dissidents began to lead their captives out of the building. Max positioned himself at the end of the line of women so he would be near Isabel. Michael tried to be close to Isabel and Max, but was ordered to guard the middle of the line.

It was just after noon and they had a ways to walk to get to the portal. The path they were walking on traveled along the edge of a steep ravine. Max put his hand over the rope around Isabel's wrists. Concentrating his powers, he weakened the molecular structure so it would break with a light tug. **Iz, I'm going to pretend to trip. Your rope will break easily. Get free and run. It's too late for them to spend any time chasing you; the portal will close soon.** He paused and looked at her to get her answer. He glanced at Liz, then back at Isabel. **If at all possible, take her with you.** She nodded.

They walked a short distance further along the path and Max stumbled and fell quite convincingly. Isabel jerked her wrists loose from the altered rope and from the woman in front of her. She turned to grab Liz's hand and run. She hadn't taken more than a few steps when Leon appeared in front her and grabbed her arm. She let go of Liz and commanded her, "Run!"

Liz took a quick around and saw one of the dissidents (Michael) running toward her. Thinking she was trapped, she looked back at Isabel and said, "Thanks, anyway." Then she threw herself towards the edge of the ravine. Liz tumbled down and hit a tree trunk hard, halting her progress. Blackness rapidly consumed her as she lost consciousness.

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