|"Always With You - Part Three"|
by Watcher Tara
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Roswell.|
Summary: Max and Kyle have to team up to save Liz from an unexpected threat.Meanwhile, the rest of the gang returns to Marathon, Texas looking foranswers and finds more than they anticipated.
Authors Note: You REALLY should read Always With You part one and twofirst, but if you haven't, here's what you've missed: Tess was evil and notthe fourth alien, the gang killed her and Liz discovered she has powers,too. They find an alien weapon called the Shield and learn about theexistence of the Sword, another weapon. Please, please e-mail me with yourthoughts.
|"You idiot! Do you have any idea how much trouble this school will be in if word of this gets out?!" Dean Whittier shouted at Thomas who was standing in front of his desk. "She's a human!"|
"She's an alien, Dean. I'm telling you that I can prove it. Just give me a couple of days."
"Well, I've seen the results of the tests you've done so far. If she's an alien, she's hiding it well. Her blood and DNA are as human as can be. Explain to me how that's possible if she's an alien. Explain it and maybe I won't fire you right now."
"I can't, but I know that if you just give me more time... a few days at most, then I'll be able to prove to you that I'm right."
"I can't believe that I let you talk me into this. Do you know how much money I've spent on this project of yours? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find depleted Uranium, let alone get a cage built of the stuff in just two days? A lot more than you make in a year, Harrison, that's how much. Wait until the board of directors hears about this. I'll be a laughingstock." The man seemed to be on the verge of collapse.
"Dean Whittier, you'll see. You'll see that I was right, and everything will be fine. The last alien that my brother's team in the FBI captured was almost completely human, too. It was his blood that gave him away."
"But her blood is normal!" the older man yelled. "I don't care about what the damn government did to whoever or what ever they had in custody. I'm only interested in what you're going to find out about the girl that you have in custody. Is that clear Harrison? I don't want to hear about your damn brother, or the damn FBI until you have something new to tell me. Do you understand me?"
"Good, then get the hell out of here! I have to write my resignation which is the least that the board with demand from me as soon as this gets out."
Harrison headed for the door, his ears ringing, when the Dean stopped him. "Harrison, as soon as you find something, I want to know about it."
"Yes sir." Thomas walked back to his office to review the information that he had on the girl. They must be missing something. The result of the test just didn't make any sense. He hoped that the EKG that was being performed now would show some kind of unusual brain activity. His brother assured him that it would, but then, he'd said the same thing about the blood test. As he walked, he decided to call his brother to try and get some answers.
Back in Texas, Isabel snatched up the Sword and dropped it into the sack she'd found it in. Maria and Michael were quickly packing the Healing Stones back into her bag. Alex tiptoed up the steps in an attempt to close off the passageway into the secret room. Whoever was in the house with them was rapidly approaching and they were running out of time.
Just before the panel locked shut, a voice rang out, "Michael. Isabel?"
Alex popped his head back up through the hole on the floor as the newcomer stepped into view. "Sheriff Valenti!" he exclaimed. "What are you doing here?" He looked back down into the secret room, "Hey guys, it's ok. It's the sheriff."
"Well great," said Michael. "Just tell him that we're all here."
"Well, he obviously already knew."
"Alright you two. Would you just calm down?" Isabel didn't know why Alex and Michael had to bicker over every little thing.
"Is Maria with you?" Valenti asked.
"Yeah, Sheriff, I'm here," she answered even as Alex nodded. The three teens followed Alex up the ladder.
Valenti was relieved that there was one crisis adverted. He gave the four AWOL kids his best Man of Authority glare until each had lowered his or her eyes. If they had more time, he would have delivered a stinging lecture to all of them about just taking off. Instead, he looked at Michael and asked, "Did you find what you came for?"
Michael didn't answer, so Isabel answered for him. "Yeah, sheriff. We did." She held the bag with the Sword a little tighter.
"Good, then maybe this is the last time I'll have to follow you down here." He knew they were running out of time and said, urgently, "Come on we've got to get out of here."
They headed for the doorway as Michael asked, "What's going on?"
As if in answer to his question, suddenly three dark colored cars pulled up in the front yard and several heavily armed men in suits piled out. They all stood frozen for an instant before Valenti said, "The FBI is on their way." He glanced at the four frightened faces as they looked at the approaching agents. "Damn it!" He looked around for an escape route. There was nothing.
"Come on!" Michael said. He was running back toward the secret room, which had the bolthole that they'd used before.
"No, Michael," Isabel said even as she followed him. "They know about the exit. They'll be waiting for us at the manhole outside. We can't go out that way."
"Well, we can't stay here."
"Wait a sec. I think I have an idea. Sheriff where is your car?" Maria asked.
"Out back, next to your van."
"Ok, Michael, can you, like, make an exit in the back wall for us to go out?"
"I think so. I've never tried anything like that before." He was already moving to the back wall of the dome house.
"Wait, this'll help." Isabel pulled out the Sword. Everyone's eyes went to the glowing weapon. Alex and Maria took an instinctive step back. She wound up pressing into Valenti who laid a comforting hand on her shoulder.
Michael looked at it for a second before taking it from her. He was afraid that he wouldn't be able to control whatever it was going to do to him, but with the agents fast approaching the door, he didn't have time for doubts.
Resolutely, he took up the Sword and slipped it over his large wrist. As it had with Isabel, it sized itself for a more comfortable fit.
He stoked up his powers, and they grew at incredible proportions. The room crackled with static electricity, so much that Isabel's hair lifted and floated around her head. He was filling with incredible amounts of power.
He took a calming breath, trying to remain in control. He looked toward the front door on the other side of the building. "First things first." He held his arm out in that direction. Everyone heard the lock turn. Still he remained as he melted all of the hinges.
Changing his energy from hot to cold, he cooled the metal just as the first agent reached the door. They were now locked inside of Atherton's dome house. The FBI would have to find a new way in. They began banging on the door, trying to get it to budge.
"Now for the exit," Michael said. Valenti had his keys out and ready. Alex had left his in the ignition of the van.
"I'll follow you," Valenti said to Alex who nodded. "Stop in Pecos. We'll get gas and dinner." Again, Alex agreed.
Michael stepped over to the wall. Concentrating heavily, trying to maintain the growing energy inside of him, he waved his arm up and down one section, and the structure groaned. He opened his eyes to see how he'd done. The wood in that section had disappeared. Sticking his head out the hole, he looked around. There was no one in view, so he waved everyone forward.
Alex and Isabel went first. At the sound of the van's door sliding open, shouts were heard from the front of the house.
"Go!" yelled Michael to Valenti and Maria. Valenti sprinted for his cruiser just as the first agent rounded the side of the building. Michael used his powers to disarm the man, sending his weapon out across the desert, then pushed him hard enough to make him land several feet away.
Maria had stopped at Michael's side. "What are you doing? Get in the van!" he shouted.
"Not without you!"
Michael was already moving. Together they climbed into the vehicle. Alex started the engine and stomped the pedal to the floor. As they drove past the front of the house, Michael used his powers to cause Atherton's dome house to collapse in on itself. The FBI agents scrambled to avoid flying debris. In addition, to prevent them from following in their own cars, he drained the battery on one, popped two of the tires of another and locked all of the doors of the third, then melted the locks so they wouldn't open. All in a matter of seconds. He was amazed at how effortless it was for him. He didn't even need to be in touching distance with the objects. It was scary, too. It would be so easy for him to hurt someone without meaning to... He never wanted to go through again what he did after killing Agent Pierce. Removing the alien bracelet from his wrist, Michael was happy to return it to Isabel. He would definitely need to practice using it, he decided.
Right behind them, Valenti nearly hit a tree because he was watching the awesome sight of the walls of the dome house crashing down. He whistled softly. Michael was getting better with his powers, but the sheriff knew that the silver bracelet was responsible for what he'd witnessed today. He was already thinking about all of the questions he would ask the teens when they stopped for gas in Pecos. He understood now why they had risked everything to return to Atherton's place to look for it. That led him to thinking about Atherton and how he had gotten his hands on it in the first place. There was obviously more to this story than he knew.
Maria watched Isabel putting away the Sword and noticed that it wasn't the only thing in the fairly large sack. She asked, "Hey, what else is in there?"
"I don't know, some little figures." She reached in and took a couple out to show her. "Hey, wow, it's Nasedo's chess set." Maria exclaimed at the same time that Alex said, "It's Nasedo's chess set."
Michael looked at both of them as Maria took the piece Isabel was holding. "How do you know?"
Maria was silent and Alex answered. "It was the weirdest thing. I was actually seeing all of Atherton's memories. I saw him meet Nasedo at the reservation, and Riverdog was there, of course. Atherton was chasing rumors of an alien sighting. He'd heard about the test that the elders had put Nasedo through, and had actually gone there looking for Nasedo. When the thought he had enough information on him to write his book, he left the reservation.
"But," Alex said, "before he left, he figured out where Nasedo had been living. He snuck into the cave and grabbed whatever he could find, including the chess set. You guys should have seen it. Riverdog had almost caught him, and they were jamming across the desert to the reservation where Atherton barely made it to his RV before he got a hold of him. He thought he was dead right there. You know what, though. I think he was moving way too fast to have been Riverdog. I'll bet you that it was Nasedo who was chasing him that day."
"You mean he shape-shifted into Riverdog?" Maria asked.
"Why not?" While the miles clicked by, he and Isabel told the others about everything they'd seen all the way up to Nasedo killing Atherton.
When it was over, Alex took his eyes off the road long enough to look at one of the pieces. "They sure are strange looking pieces, aren't they? I don't think I've ever seen a chess set like this before." He returned the piece to Isabel. "It's too bad, though."
"Well, the set isn't complete. It's missing like three pieces."
"Huh." Michael had been looking at each piece as he listened to their story. He was fascinated by the detail on the little alien faces. They looked like they were created to be specific people.
Isabel said, "I wonder which ones."
"The white king and queen, and one of the pawns." Maria answered.
Michael stared at her. "How do you know?" he asked.
Maria filled them in on everything she'd seen while using the Healing Stone to heal Michael. She hadn't been sure if what she'd seen had been real, if she had really connected with Riverdog across time through the stone or not. But after having heard Alex's account of Atherton's actions on the reservation which matched what she'd seen from Riverdog's point of view, and having seen the rest of Nasedo's chess set, she realized that she hadn't been making it up. It had really happened.
Riverdog had warned them that the Stones could change someone who used them both mentally and physically, and he'd spoken of creating a connection between yourself and the Healing, but he hadn't said anything about the stones absorbing a part of yourself. No, he'd never said anything about that. Maria was kind of freaked about the whole thing, but compared to what had happened to Alex with Atherton trying to posses him and all, she felt that maybe what had happened to her wasn't such a big deal after all.
"So," she finished her story with, "Riverdog has the last three pieces. It's strange though, what Nasedo had told him about the white king and queen. About them being like the phoenix, rising from the ashes. What do you think he meant by that?"
Isabel answered, "I think that the white king is Max, and the queen would have been his mate. I mean think about it. They said that we were created using the essence of their dead leaders. So, in a way, they live in us."
"Yeah, that could be it. I say we call Nasedo when we get home and ask him." Michael was eager to find out.
Maria said, "I'll bet that Riverdog would give us back the other pieces if we asked for them."
"So," Alex asked, "If Max and Liz are... Ok, not Liz," he quickly corrected, "but you know what I meant. If Max and his mate are the white king and queen, then which ones are you and Isabel?"
Michael sorted through the rest of the pieces until he found the black king and queen. He looked at their faces, but didn't feel any sort of recognition. Max and Liz had seen what the aliens that he and Isabel used to be actually looked like. Maybe they could tell which one was suppose to represent them in the set.
Maria reached cautiously into the bag and timidly touched the Sword. She was expecting an electric shock or something, because that is what happened anytime anyone other than Max or Liz touched the Shield that they'd found last week. She didn't get zapped, so she took the Sword out of the bag and looked at it. She recognized the symbol on the top as the same one that was on the orb and Isabel's pendant. The two symbols on the sides were different though.
"I wonder why they call this thing a sword?" she asked aloud. "I mean, it is obviously a bracelet. Whoever named it was, like, really confused."
Alex turned around and saw the alien object in Maria's hand. "Maria, put it down."
"I'm just looking at it, it's not like I'm going to hurt it."
"I'm not kidding. That thing almost killed Atherton when he'd put it on. You can't touch it." Maria was quick to give it to Michael, who gave it to Isabel, who returned it to the bag. It was like watching a round of 'Hot Potato'.
"What?" Isabel asked, not having seen that part of Atherton's life story. "How?"
"It sucked out his energy." Alex explained. "He didn't even know something was wrong until it was almost too late. He barely got the bracelet off in time. That must be its defense mechanism or something: instead of expelling energy like the Shield, it absorbs energy until you're on the brink of death."
"Every single test that we've done on her so far has come back normal. There is nothing about her that is alien." Professor Harrison was on the phone talking to his brother in the FBI. Things were looking grim for his career. So much for being a world renowned scientist. The only headlines he would make would be the ones announcing his life imprisonment.
"I don't know what to tell you, Tom. The alien that we had tested a few months ago surprised us all by how human he was. His blood tests were the only thing that gave him away."
"Well, her blood cells are normal."
"You know what I was thinking? I mean how come they have human parts at all. The aliens that we caught in the crash in '47 were completely non-human. Their appearance, their skeletons, their organs and blood. Everything was what you'd expect from a creature from another planet. But now, fifty years later, they're so close to being human that they are undetectable."
"They're adapting? Is that what you're saying? Their species is so evolved that within a few generations they can transform themselves into different species in order to adapt to their environment? That's highly unlikely."
"You have a better explanation?"
"Not at the moment." Tom was worried about what the Dean would say when he saw the rest of the results of the preliminary tests. There still was no evidence to support his theories that the subject was an alien. Whittier was already on the brink of a breakdown. If nothing turned up soon, and this failure got out, it would mean the end of both of their careers. The end of their lives as they knew it.
There was a knock on the door of his office. "Hold on a second, Doug," he said into the phone. "Come in."
One of the students who was working on the project with him rushed in. "Professor, you have to see this." She eagerly held out the results of the last test they'd performed. "Look at that brain activity."
He nearly dropped the phone while reaching for the long white print out. "Oh my god."
"See, the whole episode lasted for about two minutes, then everything returned to normal." She explained what he could clearly see.
"Is she still on the machine?"
"Yes. I thought you'd want to see this."
"Good job, Laurie. Thanks."
She left his office. He stared at the results of the test a minute longer before remembering that his brother was waiting on the line. "We've hit the jackpot, Doug."
"Really? What happened."
"This girl's brain activity is off the charts. I've never seen anything like it."
"So, she is an alien." Doug clarified.
"Yes, she is. Douglas, I could kiss you."
"I would rather you didn't."
They talked for a minute longer, the whole time Tom's mind was kicking around several hypotheses as to why and how she had evolved to the point of being so human. Suddenly a line from the movie BraveHeart flashed through his mind: "The trouble with Scotland is that it's full of Scots... If we can't get them out, we'll breed them out." Breed them out... "Doug, you've seen the medical reports of the alien found in the forties, right?"
"Yeah. They were required reading for this assignment."
"What did it say about the reproductive organs of the alien?"
"What do you mean specifically?"
"Were they compatible with human reproductive organs?"
"Yeah, I guess so. Why?"
"Because, they didn't evolve into humans on their own. All of this time, we were thinking that they would have stayed monogamous to others of their kind, but what if they've been procreating with humans, making little alien-human crossbreeds? There could be millions of them running around!" Harrison stood, eager to share his ideas with the Dean. "I've got to go."
In his cubicle in Virginia, Douglas Harrison replaced the receiver, and thought about what his brother had told him. It could explain why their team had pulled out of Roswell so quickly a few months ago. At the time, he and some of the other agents on the project had wondered why they just hadn't been sent in to recover the alien. They had plenty of proof against him. If his superiors had figured out what his brother, Tom, just did, that would explain why they just let him go. Getting hundreds of thousands of aliens angry with the federal government by making a martyr of one of their sons would have been bad. For the first time he began to worry about the repercussions of their having taken the girl. Two aliens missing from the same town in as many months would not go unnoticed. He could feel his blood pressure rising. A door opened behind him, and he nearly jumped out of his skin.
"Agent Harrison, I need to speak with you for a moment."
"Yes, sir. What can I do for you?"
"I just need a few answers, starting with who you were just talking to, and what happened to the tape that you removed from the evidence room."
Agent Harrison swallowed his anxiety as he watched the door close behind his supervisor, Agent Pierce. He'd been caught! 'This is not going to be pleasant,' he thought. He had no idea how right he was.
Twenty minutes later, Nasedo left the office in a hurry. Behind him, Harrison was gasping his last, having suffered a severe stroke that would leave him dead. The alien had become more covert in removing the FBI threat in the past few months. There would be nothing in the autopsy to point to foul play, he'd seen to that. Nasedo's mind was already tackling the next problem. He had to get to New Mexico and find out what was going on out there. If Harrison's brother had Liz... The alien didn't want to think of the repercussions. Aside from her having powers-which was bad enough, he knew that Max would possibly do something foolish in trying to get her back.
He was hoping that together they would be able to get her back and destroy the missing tape.
Thank God, Agent Pierce had access to the military's fastest jets. He could make Roswell in a few hours.
In Pecos, Alex turned the van off the highway, and stopped at the gas station. The sheriff pulled in to the pump next to him. As they refueled, Valenti said, "While we're stopped, I want the three of you to check in with your parents." He looked at Maria and added, "You mom is worried sick about you."
"Other than the fact you were out all night?" his tone was biting. "Someone broke into your house last night. Nothing was taken, but it gave your mom quite a scare. She thought you'd been kidnapped."
"Oh my god! I'll call her right now." She reached for her phone.
"Wait a second. I have to tell you something before you call." He stepped over to the teens so they wouldn't be overheard. "Liz Parker is missing."
"What do you mean, missing?"
"What's going on, Sheriff?"
All of the kids were shocked. "What happened?" asked Michael.
"We don't know. Someone broke into the CrashDown and took her right from her bed. Nothing else was taken. It looks like it was deliberate. They left no prints. It was all very professionally done. We've been waiting for some word from the kidnapers ever since, but there haven't been any calls." He looked at the four young people standing in front of him. "The fact that they're not calling probably means that they aren't just regular kidnappers looking for a ransom."
"What are you saying, Sheriff?" Maria asked.
"I think she was taken because of her relationship with Max. The fact that they went after Maria, too, only makes me more certain of it."
Michael pulled Maria into his arms. That Liz had been taken had shaken the whole group, but when he thought of Maria being stolen away into the night simply because of her relationship with him... It was unbearable.
"What are they doing to her?" Maria wondered aloud, terrified for her friend. They had all seen the condition that Max was in when he'd escaped after having been taken by the FBI back in May. To think of Liz suffering even a portion of what he'd been through was heartbreaking.
Alex was the first to state the obvious, "At least they'll figure out their mistake soon enough. I mean, if they think she's a... you know what... any tests they do will come back normal." He had forgotten temporarily about Liz's powers that she'd developed this summer. When it occurred to Maria, she gasped and grabbed his arm. They shared a quick look that was full of unspoken words. Liz could be in worse trouble than they thought.
"Ok, you guys," Isabel said, catching their anxiety, "we don't know that they're doing any testing on her. Maybe they took her for some other reason, like to get to Max."
Something jarred in Alex's memory. "Remember when Topolsky was here? Before she left the first time?" He shot a guilty look at Valenti but continued anyway, "When she was trying to get me to confess to switching blood samples at the hospital, I asked her what would happen to Liz if I did what she wanted." He had everyone's full attention including Valenti who hadn't heard about Max's close call at the hospital or how Alex had been asked to give some of his blood so that they could replace Max's with it in the hospital's lab. "Topolsky told me that they'd do some medical tests on her. To make sure she hadn't been harmed in some way, she'd said. Of course, at the time I thought it was all about drugs, and she was talking about just a regular physical exam. But now..."
"Oh, my God." Maria said in horror. She couldn't begin to imagine what her friend had been going through for the past few hours. "You guys, we've got to find her."
"We will," said Michael, confidence ringing in his tone.
"Poor Max," said Isabel. "He must be going out of his mind. I'd better call him first."
Valenti told her that her parents and Max were with the Parkers at the CrashDown, and gave Maria the cover story he'd come up with about them having car trouble.
While the others were on their cell phones talking to their parents, Valenti stepped closer to Michael and asked, "What's this about the hospital?"
In as few words as possible, Michael told Valenti about the day Alex had become involved with their group. He told him about switching the blood samples and the FBI guys they'd caught going over Max's chart when they were leaving. "It was the first time we realized that they were actually here, watching us."
"So to get Alex to give you his blood, you guys had to tell him about Max being an alien?"
"No, to get his blood, Liz simply had to ask for it. He agreed, no questions asked. He and Liz and Maria have this amazing friendship. I've never seen anything like it. They'd do anything, say anything to anyone in order to protect her." Michael just shook his head.
"So what did you tell him?"
"Liz told him that we were into drugs."
"He believed that?"
"For a while, but with everything that was going on with you, Topolsky and the FBI, he didn't buy it for long. You throwing him in jail that night of the party at the old soap factory was the last straw. He was fed up with her and the rest of us, and was just about to tell you everything he knew. That was the night Liz let him in on the secret."
Valenti was silent as he remembered the night that he'd arrested Liz and Alex for trespassing and being in possession of alcohol. He'd gotten permission from their parents to keep them in jail overnight in the hopes that it would shake them up and make them rethink their priorities. He remembered hearing Liz say to Alex as he walked away after locking them in for the night, "No, Alex, this is not as bad as it seems, I promise." At the time he'd felt smug, certain that by the time he released them in the morning Alex would be so grateful for going home, he'd tell him everything. He could see that his mistake that night was putting them in adjoining cells. By the time he'd returned a few hours later, Alex was firmly back on Liz's side. Now he knew why. He remembered how Alex had looked him in the eye that night and had demanded to be released, and he couldn't help but be impressed with the kid's strength of will. It was a good thing, he thought. All of these kids will need to be strong as long as they remained friends with the aliens.
Michael interrupted his musings with, "I have a question that I've been wanting to ask you, and since we're being so honest with each other now might be a good time."
Valenti looked at him. "Go ahead."
"How did you get the waitress uniform, the one with the Liz was wearing when she was shot? I know Liz didn't just leave it lying around."
"I confiscated it from her locker at school."
Michael nodded. "That's what I thought. Search warrant?"
The teen simply looked at him for a minute before turning away.
Valenti suppressed the urge to apologize. He knew that it was largely due to his pursuit of the truth about Max Evans that the FBI had come to Roswell last September and put into motion the chain of events that resulted to where they were right now, with the FBI chasing them all over the place, and Liz Parker missing without a trace. At the time, though, he'd been doing what he thought was right, and would make no excuses for the past.
Isabel walked over, having just gotten off the phone with her parents. "Max and Kyle are gone," she announced.
"What?!" Valenti and Michael shouted at the same time.
|Part 6a | Index | Part 7a|
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