|"Back From Vegas But Far From Home"|
by Terri Carter
Disclaimer: Don't own em, just enjoy em.|
Summary: A new girl comes to Roswell and has a strange connection to Max. Is she a friend or foe? Will Liz and the others discover her true identity before it is too late?
Authors Note: This story picks up right after Viva Las Vegas and is dedicated to all the Dreamers out there. J Let me know if ya like it!
|Hours had gone by at the park where Tess and Larissa were seated on a secluded bench beneath some trees. Tess found herself staring at Larissa still unable to grasp what she was seeing and what Larissa had told her.|
"So do you understand now Tess? Do you understand why they sent me?" Larissa looked at Tess, searching her eyes for a sign that what she has told her has registered.
"I still can't believe it's you, but, well, I guess it's not really you after all is it?" Tess looked at her hands, bit her lip and shifted uncomfortably on the bench. "I'm so sorry. I had no idea; if I had known I never would have…"
Larissa cut her off before she could complete her thought, "It's ok Tess, you didn't know; how could you? That's all in the past now and if we ever make it back, well, we'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it ok?" "Ok." She looked at Larissa again and suddenly became emotional. "It must've been horrible for you. I can't imagine."
"Shhh, it's ok Tess really." Larissa leaned back a little and examined Tess. "They did a good job with you didn't they? You look smashing!" She laughed trying to lighten the mood.
"Well, I'd have to say the same about you!" Tess laughed back and then became serious again. "But I would've known you no matter what you looked like."
"I knew that you would; that's why I came to you first." Larissa reached out and touched a strand of Tess' hair. "I like the color. It suits you."
"100% genetically engineered and look," Tess leaned her head down, "no roots!" The girls laughed again and then Larissa stood to leave.
"I have to go now. I'm cooking dinner for Brody and Max." Larissa looked upward nervously and took in a huge breath and then let it out slowly. "Just keep breathing right?"
Tess stood and reached over to hug Larissa. "Good luck, you're going to need it. He's stubborn to say the least."
"Well, that's our Zan isn't it?" The two girls linked arms and walked back towards town.
It was late afternoon and Liz was finished with her shift. She threw herself on her bed wearily and tried to logically examine everything she'd witnessed in the past two days. Out loud she listed off the things she was sure of. "Ok, number one, Brody has a sister we didn't know about. That's not so odd; we didn't know about his daughter either. Number two, Brody's sister is from England; that's not unusual, Brody is from England. Number three, Brody's sister decides to come visit Brody all the way from England. Ok, that's not exactly strange, she wants to visit her brother whom she hasn't seen in over a year, expensive maybe, but Brody is loaded."
Liz continued this line of logic, gesturing to the ceiling on occasion for emphasis, until she reached point twelve. "Twelve, Tess flips out when she sees Larissa whom she's never met before, as far as we know, and the two of them go off somewhere to talk. Ok… that's definitely weird. Very weird." At this point Liz raised herself off the bed and began to pace still talking to herself.
"Max is in trouble, I just know it. There's just something about that girl. I have to do something! Okay, but what am I gonna do? He's going over there for dinner and Brody will be there. That's good. But what if she tries to pull a mind warp on all of them, or some other weird alien mind game, assuming she's an alien, then what? Okay, I have to come up with a plan. I'll go over there and say, what will I say? I don't know, something, anything! Think Liz, think!" Liz was pacing frantically back and forth now. She stopped and slammed her hands down on her desk in frustration. Suddenly she looked up.
"I've got it! I'll go over there and say," Liz pointed her finger at an invisible Max, "I'll say… 'Max you have to come with me because… because, you have to help me with that science project due Monday,' even though there is no science project due Monday, 'and tonight is the only night I can work on it.' There, that should do it. Max will realize something is wrong and come with me. Okay, that's a plan." Liz was still talking to herself as she went downstairs and through the café. Isabel and Alex were having their second conversation of the day about the new girl Larissa, and were seated at the counter when Liz rushed past them.
"Hey Liz…" Isabel motioned to Liz as she walked past them. Liz, still muttering to herself, kept walking without hearing her, and exited out the door. ***
Larissa hummed as she checked the oven to see whether or not the chicken was done. Brody came up behind her and took in a huge whiff. "Mmmmm, that smells delicious! What is that you are humming?"
"Oh, just a tune I heard as a child." Larissa flit about the kitchen preparing different dishes, occasionally wiping her hands on a towel.
"Sounds familiar," Brody said as he picked at some of the vegetables Larissa was cutting into small pieces.
Larissa smiled to herself and thought, "No, I don't think you know this, tune!" She playfully slapped his hand away from the food. "What time did you tell Max to come?"
"He should be here any minute." The doorbell rang and Brody raised his eyebrows at Larissa. "Am I good or what?" He answered the door to find Max standing there with a small bundle of flowers. He looked sheepishly at Brody.
"Come on in Max," said Brody smiling at Max's nervous behavior.
Larissa walked up behind Brody and Max held out the flowers to her. With his head down to avoid too much eye contact he said, "Here, these are for you."
Larissa said, "Thank you Max." Hiding an enormous grin behind the flowers she pretended to smell them. "I'll go put them in water right now." She turned and headed back toward the kitchen to find a vase to put the flowers in. She thought to herself, "Hmm, maybe this won't be as hard as I thought."
An hour or so went by and found Larissa, Max and Brody all seated at the table finishing up their meal. They were laughing at the stories Brody and Larissa had been exchanging about their childhood. Brody rose from the table, picked up his and Larissa's plates and said to her, "Don't worry about the dishes I'll do them later. Rule is; if you cook you don't have to clean. Unless you live alone like me of course and then you do both! But I'm used to it."
Brody turned to leave, turned back, dropped the plates back on the table and grabbed his chest. Larissa looked at him suddenly concerned. "Are you okay Brody?"
"I've been getting these weird chest pains lately. They usually pass, but they make me very tired and I find myself in bed without remembering how I got there." Brody rubbed his chest and looked at Max and Larissa who were both looking down uncomfortably. "I'll be okay, really; I just need to go lie down for a spell. You two don't mind do you?"
Max and Larissa both shook their heads "no" simultaneously and Max rose to help clear the dishes off the table as Brody headed toward his room.
Larissa looked after him with a worried expression and commented, "I worry about him, he has these… spells."
Max tried to reassure to her, "I'm sure he'll be fine." Although Max was not convinced himself that he would. Max and Larissa finished clearing off the dishes and headed toward the living room. Max took a seat in a club chair and Larissa sat on the sofa nearest him. She looked around and thought, "Well it's now or never." She turned to Max and waited for him to look her in the eyes. "Max, there is something I must say to you and all I ask is that you hear me out before you speak. Can you do that for me Max?"
Max thought to himself, "This must be it." And nodded yes to her.
Larissa cleared her throat and began. "Max, I'm from your planet." She looked down the hall briefly to make sure Brody was not about, then looked at Max and continued. "Well, you didn't run screaming from the house, so I imagine that is not a surprise to you?" Max nodded, waiting to hear the rest before he spoke.
"You'll have to excuse me Max, it's just that I have been looking for you my whole life and now that I have found you, well, I'm not exactly sure how to start. I've played this scene over and over in my head and now that we are actually here, I'm nervous." Larissa took a deep breath and let it out. "Just keep breathing," she said mainly to herself. She began again.
"A long time ago, back on our world, when you were Zan, and I was Larissandra, we were in love, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I know you don't remember any of this and that is why I'm here. That is why they sent me. When they sent you down here there were eight pods; two sets of you in case one set didn't survive. Well, it turns out they knew that statistically one group of pods would come with their memories of our planet intact and the other would not. Unfortunately your group didn't retain their memories and the other group did. After the summit Larec contacted me. He's my real brother you see, and told me where to find you." Larissa paused to let what she was telling Max sink in. "I've been sent to give you your memories Max." She stopped and looked into his eyes again.
Max was reeling inside. He believed what she was saying but still couldn't quite understand her reason for being here. "My memories? What do you mean?"
"Actually they are Zan's memories. They knew, that is your mother and mine, that if you didn't remember who you were that you could not effectively fight for us. That is to say, they knew the dangers of sending you here, of your getting attached to this life and these people. But they thought that if you remembered your other life and the people you loved there, then you would want to go back and rescue them. Does that make sense Max?"
Just then Brody entered the room. Max and Larissa rose and Larissa spoke, "Is everything all right Brody?"
"It's Larec, and we don't have much time. You've been discovered Larissandra. You must act quickly or all is lost."
"But I was so careful! What happened?" Larissa began to panic. Fear surged through her and she began to shake.
"They must have followed me after the summit. They heard me talking to you. Larissandra you must do this now! I don't know how much more this body can take. I may not be able to contact you again." Larec's voice became softer and he reached out to Larissa and placed his hand on her cheek. "Be careful baby sister, so you can come back to us; we love you."
Brody collapsed and Max and Larissa rushed over to him. Max checked his pulse; it was still strong. He nodded to Larissa, "Let's get him back into bed." The two picked him up and carried him back to his room and laid him on the bed. "We can come back and check on him in a little while." ***
Outside under the window Liz sat with her back to the wall, knees pulled up to her chest and her head in her hands. She had been watching for about ten minutes and then turned away just before Brody entered the room. Earlier she had wandered the streets waiting for it to get dark before she ended up at Brody's.
"Talking, they're just talking. I feel so stupid. Here I am coming to rescue Max, and find not only is he not in danger, but he's having a swell time talking to Larissa," Liz spoke her name sarcastically to herself. She sat there a few minutes longer, debating with herself what to do next. "What am I doing here? This is nuts." Liz rose to leave but glanced in the window one more time just to be sure. What she saw stopped her cold. *** Back inside Larissa and Max had come back into the living room and were seated next to each other on the sofa.
"What was Brody talking about when he said you've been discovered?" Max was still a little confused about the whole thing.
"Kevar doesn't know I'm here, or didn't until just recently. He knew about the eight of you, but was counting on you not surviving. He knew the statistics of your memory constraints as well. He knew that without them you were not an adversary he had to be concerned about. Do you see Max, do you see why we must do this and do this now?"
Larissa spoke with such urgency and force, it made Max uncomfortable. He wasn't any good at snap decisions. He had to have time to think things through, know all the facts before he acted. He also knew the weight of what was about to happen. He was content with his life the way it was. He wasn't sure he wanted the responsibility that came with these memories, he needed time to think and knew he wasn't going to get it. He needed to buy some time so he said, "Well, what do we have to do? How does this work?"
Larissa sighed with relief; she wasn't sure Max was going to cooperate. "Okay all we have to do is form a connection and then I can transfer the memories to you." She looked at Max expectantly but he was looking somewhere else.
Flashes went through Max's mind: his kissing Liz when things were good between them, then hearing Liz say he had a destiny that she couldn't be a part of, and seeing her run away from him in the desert. Hearing Liz tell him over and over that she wanted to end it with him, that she wanted a normal life with normal boys and didn't want her life to be in danger anymore. And then he saw her with Kyle again, in bed. His heart sank deeper. Every time he had asked her if they had really slept together she had said yes. What about Vegas and the flash he had of their getting married? Where did that fit in with all of this? He wondered.
Then in a split second he made a decision. He had to know who he really was. He was going to embrace his destiny. Max knew they could form a connection just by holding hands, but he didn't want to do that. He wanted, no, he needed to do this. Max reached over and placed his hands on either side of Larissa's face and pulled her to him and kissed her.
Outside Liz jerked herself away from the window and leaned against the house to keep from falling. Her knees went weak and she slid down the wall to the ground. Just then a familiar voice said, "Liz Parker, what on earth are you doing sitting in the bushes outside of Brody's house? I didn't realize you were the voyeur type."
Liz looked up to see Isabel standing in the grass looking smug. She stood up and wiped the tears off her face and replied, "Making a fool of myself apparently." She climbed out of the bushes and walked over to Isabel.
"So Nancy Drew, what did you find out about our newcomer?" Then she noticed Liz had been crying and said, "Uh, oh, what happened?"
"Oh, nothing, really just a bunch of talking… right up until he kissed her." Liz unleashed a new round of tears and covered her face with her hands.
Isabel reached over and pulled Liz into a hug. She was not afraid to show her emotions anymore, especially after losing Grant. She wanted Liz to know she understood and cared. She tried to cheer Liz up, "Well, seems the English are less reserved than I thought!"
Liz laughed slightly and pulled back from Isabel, wiping her new tears away. "Here I was thinking I was going to rescue Max from this, this…" Liz didn't know how to classify Larissa now. She had been so sure Larissa was an alien bent on destroying Max.
Isabel filled in the missing word, "Hussy?" Liz laughed again and Isabel put an arm around her. "Well, when I saw you leave the Crashdown earlier with that determined look on your face, I somehow knew you would end up here. So I just came to see if you needed a ride home?"
"And that's all?" Liz stepped back from her and gave her a suspicious look.
"Well, okay, and maybe to check and see if everything is alright." Isabel tossed her head admittedly. "Why don't we take one more peek, just to make sure." Isabel looked at Liz and smiled.
"You go ahead, I don't think I can watch anymore." Liz plopped down on the ground to wait for Isabel to make her inspection.
Isabel went over to the window and peeked in. She jerked away immediately and yelled, " Max is in trouble!"
Max pulled Larissa close. The connection was instantaneous. Max's mind was suddenly bombarded with images. They were coming so fast he felt as if his head would explode. Colors he had never seen before swirled before his eyes. He could taste and smell and touch everything he was seeing in his mind. Then suddenly the world he knew fell away. He was no longer aware of his surroundings. He became lost in a New World, on a planet he had never been to, but that seemed oh so familiar to him. His planet, his memories, his story began to unfold before him and he was taken by it.
He saw his planet from a distance. It didn't look much different from earth, but as he grew closer, the shapes and colors changed and all the things he had associated with them. The cityscape was incredible. Large, blue, bubble-like domes covered significant areas of the city and inside them were buildings in marvelous shapes. Spires rose atop tall and narrow pyramid shaped structures; lower buildings were more biomorphic in shape and color. It was the color that overwhelmed him the most. He watched in awe as his field of vision narrowed to a particular dome. Inside it was a magnificent palace with gardens and waterfalls, unlike anything you would ever see on earth. And then he was struck with the realization; this was his home.
He saw himself as Zan. He saw his mother and although the people there were not human, they were not the gray-skinned, big-eyed monsters that people here associated them with. They were… beautiful. He saw his childhood with Isabel, or rather Vilandra, and how they were raised surrounded by splendor and privilege. He saw his father the king and marveled at his power and strength as a leader. He saw himself grow into a teenager, awkward and shy, something he could finally relate to. He saw Isabel again and she was self-centered and spoiled. He saw how she used her beauty to manipulate people into giving her what she wanted. He could identify with parts of Zan and he could see some of Vilandra in Isabel, but they were not the same, not entirely. Their human DNA must've influenced who they had become on earth.
He saw Michael or Rath, his best friend. He saw them play together as children. He saw them on imaginary battlefields, pretending in their innocence to kill an evil foe. He saw Michael as a teenager, strong and secure. Already he was becoming a leader, a force to be feared and respected. What a contrast to his earthly counterpart!
Then he saw himself as a young man walking in the gardens with a beautiful girl. She was lovely and graceful. By the way they touched each other and laughed, he knew they were in love.
Suddenly he found that he was no longer an observer, but a participant. He saw through Zan's eyes now, and heard himself speak through Zan's mouth.
"Larissandra," Zan pulled the girl to him and they gently touched foreheads.
"Yes my love." Larissandra gazed into his eyes with a deep abiding love.
"When I first met you and looked into your eyes, I knew that one day we would stand here together like this, and I would tell you these words." Zan reached up and tenderly cupped Larissandra's cheek with his hand. "Larissandra, you complete me. When I found you, I found the parts of me that were missing. One day I will be King and have to rule these unpredictable colonies, and all I can think about is having you by my side, as my Queen." Zan paused to see her reaction, looking for any signs of hesitation before he continued.
"Larissandra, will you marry me? Will you be my Queen?" Zan stepped back to take all of her in his sight.
Larissandra couldn't bear the short distance between them, threw her arms around his neck then whispered in his ear, "Yes! Yes! A thousand times, yes!"
Zan picked her up and whirled her around. Still holding her close he let her slide slowly back down to the ground. They looked into each other's eyes, formed a connection between their souls and kissed, sharing the intimacy of their memories as well as their passion for one another.
Their kiss was interrupted by a familiar voice. "Caught you kissing in the garden again didn't I? Don't you two ever give it a rest?" Zan looked up to see Ava standing there smiling at them.
Somewhere in the back of his mind a name formed, "Tess." But quickly it dissipated and he addressed his friend. "And I see you are spying on us once again! What's the matter Ava? Does your beau not keep you well enough occupied that you have to come and disrupt our private interludes?" Sarcastically he continued, "It's bad enough we have to dodge the palace guards all the time. It seems whenever I look up, there you are!"
Larissandra broke free from Zan's embrace to rush over to her friend. She grabbed Ava by the shoulders and beamed, "How would you like to be my Lady in Waiting?" She looked into her best friend's eyes as the realization struck her friend. Together they jumped up and down and hugged, girlish squeals of joy erupted from them both.
"Well its about time is all I can say!" Ava and Larissandra linked arms and began to dance in a little circle around Zan.
"Now is this behavior befitting a future Queen and her Lady…" but the words faded away as a new scene was played out through Zan. * Zan and Rath were in a great hall seated at a large round table. The room was dark with the exception of blue orbs glowing in the walls near the ground stationed all around the room. Off in the distance there was a slight booming sound. Rath was the first to speak, his voice reverberating through the empty hall.
"I'm sorry for your loss Zan, we knew Kivar was growing restless but we never anticipated an assassination like this. I just want you to know, I am here, at your command." With that Rath lowered himself to one knee before Zan and placed Zan's hand upon his head as a sign of fealty.
Zan placed his hands on Rath's shoulders and lifted him up. He kept his hands firmly on his friend's shoulders and looked into his eyes. "Rath, you are my best friend. There is no one I trust more than you, but what's about to happen is serious. We are no longer fighting an invisible enemy; this enemy is real, and I am their next target. If you do this, your life will be in danger as well."
Rath clasped Zan's arms in return and replied, "I've been training for this my whole life Zan. You can count on me; I won't let you down."
Zan dropped his arms and smiled, "I just had to ask, give you one last chance to run for your life." Rath laughed and Zan continued his jest, "and of course you know this means you are stuck marrying my sister. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. There is still time to back out."
"C'mon Zan, how bad can she be? If she's any trouble, I'll just kill her." Rath smiled big and threw his arm around Max's shoulder and led him toward the door. The thought entered Zan's mind, "That is so Michael," and then faded away as it was replaced with a new scene. * Zan and Larissandra were joined by the rest of the royal family, their friends and relatives, and by thousands of onlookers as the funeral procession reached its destination. Zan turned to Larissandra and softly whispered in her ear, "I'm sorry this has postponed our wedding my love."
Before he could continue Larissandra turned and whispered back, "Shhh, my darling. This is a tragedy, a great loss; you need time to mourn your father and prepare for all that is ahead. I will still be here my love, I'm not going anywhere." They held each other's hands tightly as the funeral commenced.
Eulogies were given and mournful tears were shed as Zan's father and the King of his people was remembered. The King's body was entombed in a crystal cylinder. His features made him appear as though he were simply sleeping peacefully. The cylinder was lifted and placed into a shaft resembling a large cannon, concealing all but the very end. The end was then opened and one by one the royal family went up and placed objects into the cylinder. Some were locks of hair woven into beautiful, tiny, intricate, designs. Some were small silvery discs that turned into holograms when tilted. The holograms varied from likenesses of the people giving the disc, to images such as sunsets and beaches, flowers and landscapes of beautiful places on their world. Once all who wanted to place these items in the cylinder did so, an attendant sealed the end with the wave of his hand and everyone stepped back.
A low humming sound began to emerge from the shaft. The shaft then began to rotate rapidly, sending out an array of colors shooting out in all directions. The colors faded to a soft glow surrounding the shaft and in an instant, with barely a sound, the crystal cylinder was shot into space. The crowd gasped in unison as the rocketing cylinder disappeared past the security of the blue dome and out into the inky darkness.
"Now he will live among the stars." Zan said, still gazing heavenward long after his father's tomb had disappeared. Half jesting, half serious, Zan turned to Larissandra and said, "Maybe he will take up residence on some far away planet." Then once again the scene faded as Zan's history continued to unfold in Max's mind. * Angry sounds became clearer as the scene opened and Zan found himself facing Vilandra and Rath. "No!" he yelled, "No! I will never believe she betrayed me!!!" Zan paced furiously in front of the two, every now and then looking at Vilandra accusingly.
Cool and calm Vilandra was not about to be intimidated by her brother. She was in control and she knew it. She gazed at her fingernails and emotionless she responded, "Dear deluded brother, how could you not see that Larissandra and Kivar were conspiring against you and this family? How else could he have gained access to the palace to assassinate our father?"
"It could have been anyone. A guard maybe." Zan came menacingly close to Vilandra. "Or maybe it was you dear sister," he said through gritted teeth.
"Oh my, now we are accusing the family are we? Why don't we just say mother did it and then execute her?" She casually deflected his accusation, only slightly worried that he would discover the truth: that she was actually the one who had conspired with Kivar. He would find out, but it would be too late when he did.
Rath tried to comfort his friend. "Zan, I'm sure there is another explanation for her disappearance. I'll have some of my soldiers look into it, okay? Look, I don't mean to be insensitive right now, but Kivar is not going to back down. He gave us time to mourn the King and now he is ready to go to war."
Zan was consumed with grief. He didn't want to listen to what Rath was saying, even though he knew he should. Where could she be? It was the eve of their wedding and Larissandra had not been seen in days.
Vilandra took this moment of silence to drive the dagger deeper into her brother's back. "Rath could send all his soldiers and they still wouldn't find her, unless of course they checked Kivar's bed." She knew this would be his final undoing so she turned and started to walked away, leaving Rath to contain her brother from coming after her. "Thus begins the slow unraveling of Zan, and the beginning of a New Kingdom, where I am Queen," she thought as she glanced over her shoulder to look at her brother one last time.
Rath released his hold on Zan once Vilandra was out of range. Zan turned to him and said, "You know that isn't true. You know that could never be true, don't you?" Rath looked at the ground, afraid to answer. He knew he could never convince his friend of any betrayal on his fiancé's part. He didn't really know one way or another.
Zan knew in his heart that Larissandra would never betray him. She had let him see into her soul. How could she have concealed being in love with someone else? No, he wasn't buying it. He would never believe it, not in a million years. Only one other person was as sure as he was. Ava. Zan looked up to see her standing a little distance away. Tears were streaming down her face. Zan turned to Rath and said, "We'll talk later."
Rath sighed and replied, "Don't wait too long Zan. We must prepare for …" The look on Zan's face stopped him and he shook his head. "Ok, later."
Zan turned back to Ava and held out his arms. They embraced as Ava cried, soaking the front of his clothes. Zan spoke, "How much of that conversation did you hear?"
"Enough. But I will never believe it. And don't you either Zan. It's all lies. Something terrible has happened to her, I know it. And we've got to find her!" Ava tried to gather herself together; she knew she needed to be strong for her best friend and for Zan. "Larec will be here later. I'll ask him again if he has seen her. Maybe he will have some answers for us."
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