Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the original characters
from “Roswell.“ They belong to Melinda Metz and Jason
Katims and the wonderful people at WB. I have invented
a slew of characters to go with ‘em, though and I hope
the originals aren’t too insulted to have them mix and
mingle and perhaps fall in love here or there.
Summary: This has become an alternate universe over the course of the other three stories. It was in line with the show through “Sexual Healing” and then my own version of Tess hit the atmosphere in “Captivated by Darkness.“ Two years later, we picked up the story and began the mythology with “Fight the Break of Dawn,“ where Liz was transformed and they met Christopher in L.A. Next came “Fading Into Twilight” which was NOT a wedding fic, but did contain the ill-fated nuptials which led our characters to this point. Now, in my AU, remember that I diverge from the show and Sheriff Valenti is still an unknown quantity, Pierce doesn’t exist, my Tess is very dead (and deservedly so) and the Evans and Mrs. Parker know the truth about the aliens.
Authors Note: Dedication: To Sheeijan and Abs, both of whom are excellent ‘backers and obsessors. Title comes from Remy Zero’s “Yellow Light,” featured in The White Room episode from season one.
|The plastic cylinder shot up from the platform before
Liz could even scream. It connected to the ceiling
with a click, surrounding her and closing off the
outside air. |
Like a giant test tube.
She could hear her shallow breathing against the plastic in front of her. Restrained and not a little traumatized, Liz had to force herself to stop crying and try to think clearly.
Try Michael again.
Just her luck to be connected to the deepest sleeper on the planet. She smiled spasmodically, then began reaching out with her mind. A small rush of air in the tube made her jump. Gas? She jerked her head up at the sound, but could smell nothing. She looked over and saw Alex watching her, trying to mouth something through his plastic tube, but he was too far away to tell what it was.
Then a loud clang sounded from the platform below her and something cold stung her feet. She looked down to see a brown liquid pouring out from around the base of the cylinder. It stung the skin around her ankles and smelled of strong chemicals. And it was coming in fast... within seconds, the liquid had reached her calves.
She looked over to Alex and saw that his tube was filling up, too. He was struggling to get free from his restraints. As the liquid reached her thighs, she began to feel panic invade her mind. The burning amber pool was crawling its way up her body. Soon it would be over her head. And she was helpless to stop it. Her mind thought back to jars of formaldehyde and liquid preservatives, holding dead animals for study in the Biology lab. She used to study the green, floating animals for hours...
Liz yanked her arms in the restraints, fighting the urge to use her powers as the chemicals invaded her nose and burned into the wound on her stomach.
“Subject HM-354, use the mouthpiece provided in front of you to breathe.” The voice outside sounded muffled by the plastic tube. “Do not attempt to break free or this process will be repeated. You must be sterilized.”
Liz looked around the tube in confusion- what mouthpiece? Had they forgotten hers? Panic rose up in her chest and the familiar tightness took over.
“Subject FA-3,” the voice continued on, suddenly menacing and intimate within the confines of the half-filled tube. “This will be a test of your powers. Manipulate the liquid so that you can continue to breathe. This should be an easy task for you. Do not attempt to break free or this process will be repeated. You must be sterilized.”
They know what I am. Do they know about Max? She shook her head and tried to focus through the panic and pain. She closed her eyes and flexed her hands out. The power was already humming in her, adrenaline kicking it into high gear. First she calmed the airways in her chest and took a few deep breaths.
How could she breathe under water?
Her eyes flew open as the liquid touched her chin. She had only seconds to decide. Develop an air funnel through the water? Yes, a whirlpool...
She closed her eyes again, ignoring the tickling as the liquid began to seep in her nose. It burned badly; her whole body was on fire. She thrust her face up over the liquid and sucked in a deep breath.
And then all was quiet as the chemicals covered her ears- dark and humming. She was burning and cold at the same time as the water closed in over her head. Her whole body was aching, burning, bruised. And she had no idea what was coming next...
God, I’m going to lose my mind in this place! She stifled a sob and pushed the panic down. Her lungs were starting to ache from lack of oxygen, and she let the power leak out of her fingers. Faster and faster she sent it out, pushing the amber fluid around until it spun around her with a roar. A dip begin to form in the center. It fell lower and lower until the surface fell below her chin. She sucked in a breath with relief, but her lungs objected painfully to the chemically-infested air.
She forced herself to keep breathing. The small whirlpool roared around her and she concentrated on keeping it going. After a minute, she risked opening her eyes. The brown liquid was lit up from her hands, casting an amber glow all around the tube as it circled. She watched it with terror-filled awe, knowing how exposed her power was for these people.
What were they thinking now?
She couldn’t see Alex through the brown glow, but prayed he was doing okay.
She thought she felt something beginning to stir at the edge of her consciousness.
She listened to the roaring and tried to cast her mind outwards. No, he was still asleep.
If only she could really focus on him for just a minute, maybe she could wake him. But her power was running low. And, oh god, she was getting light-headed. The air must be getting stale in the tube. Maybe she could transform the air as well...
Liz slumped over, closing her eyes again. Not enough energy left. Her body was trembling. How long had she been in here?
Michael was looking around a big, wooden ship, listening to the creaks and groans as it pitched about on the brown sea. Brown? Michael walked over to the side and watched the muddy water pound against the ship. The dark, cold spray hit his face with a bitter sting.
Somewhere in the distance, he felt a tugging at his mind...
Wait- this had to be a dream. But he hadn‘t fallen asleep, had he?
He’d been trying to stay awake, trying to contact Liz without letting Max know.
Where was Liz? He turned to look around the deserted ship. He could feel her now, closer. She was exhausted and scared.
Liz? Are you okay?
There was no answer. Her feelings were growing fainter now.
Suddenly, he knew where she was- in the hull of the dank, dark ship. He rushed to the weather-beaten door and pushed it open with a loud creak. But instead of darkness, an amber glow overwhelmed him from inside.
The water had already filled the cabin. Just as he realized they were sinking, the ship pitched hard. He tumbled off the stairs into the frigid, brown water that was somehow lit up from inside.
He came up gasping for air, treading water until he had enough air. Then he immediately dove underwater, searching desperately. Liz was there, somewhere, in the glow around him, but fading...
It was taking too long. Liz foundered, her power slipping and stopping altogether. The whirlpool slowed and died out around her. Just before the water rose above her head again, she heard a sucking sound. The drains had opened. The liquid fell below her chin again and she breathed in the fumes, feeling her consciousness slipping away.
Not enough oxygen.
I‘m sorry... I, oh god... we’ve been... taken...
Michael sat up with a cry. He was trembling, sweating as he jumped to his feet. Panic and horror were seared into his brain.
“Michael!” He stumbled past Maria, putting his hands to his head and pacing. The pain from her had been shocking. It was making him crazy. He tried to focus on her.
Liz, what happened to you?
“Michael, for god’s sake, what is it?” That was Isabel.
He closed his eyes tightly and kept moving.
Come on, Liz! Who took you... Answer me, dammit!
Guilt was starting to rip into him. How could he have fallen asleep...?
“Michael, what is it?” Maria’s voice was approaching a shriek, but he kept moving. He pressed his hands to his head even harder, trying to push away the horrific images filling his head.
But there was nothing from her. And nothing to keep him from himself. It was useless.
He stopped suddenly and sat on the bed. The small room was deadly quiet. He could hear three other people breathing and knew that one of them was Max. How could he say the words... tell Max that Liz was trapped, exhausted, terrified and in pain... that someone was hurting her...
Michael took in a shaky breath and pushed on. “I had another dream.” Was that his voice? “Someone has Liz. She‘s unconscious again.” He had completely failed her. His eyes slid closed.
“Michael,” a faint voice whispered.
“Is she okay?“
Michael forced himself to look up at Max. Yep, he was pretty much destroyed, barely hanging on to sanity. He must have been up all night worrying. His eyes were pained, haunted... He looked as terrified as Liz had felt.
Take a good look, Guerin. That is your fault. Michael gritted his teeth and forced himself to answer Max truthfully. “No, she‘s not okay.” The words pierced him on the way out. “She had been using her powers. A lot. She was so used up... that she blacked out before she could tell me anything.“
Maria’s small, shaking body slid in beside him on the bed, bringing comfort. Somehow, her soft touch melted the hard edge of his self-hatred. “It’s okay, Michael, it wasn’t your fault.”
He jumped up. “Like hell it wasn’t. I said it was a dream,” he said, pointing firmly as if his sin were sitting there in front of everyone. “I should have known. I should have known it was real!”
“Max!” He registered Isabel’s cry just as a flying body crashed into him, sending them both flying back over the table. Michael’s head hit the cinderblock wall with a crack and he was stunned. He felt his body shifted roughly and then a fist pounded into his face. The pain made him scramble to defend himself. His hands flew up, blocking a few punches until he saw who was hitting him: Max- his face a mask of tortured fury.
Michael dropped his hands and let the blows fall on his face without defense. Pain exploded in his head and he saw red... black...
Was this what Liz was feeling?
Max was pulled away from him. “You bastard,” Max’s voice was hoarse and ragged. “What have they been doing to her all night while you laid there and slept, huh?” The words dug into Michael‘s mind like scorpions, stinging and scratching all the way in.
He could hear Max struggling with Isabel a moment more and then, silence.
Michael had never heard anything like it. It was like pain was dripping off the walls. He slowly pulled himself to a sitting position, shrugging off Maria’s attempts to help. He swiped at the blood under his nose, on his cheek, in his left eye. There was a strange numbness and stinging there.
He had one more thing to say. “They took someone else, too.”
He heard Isabel gasp quietly and his mind suddenly went where hers had gone. Alex.
That broke him. A curse escaped his lips and he bent his head over to hide the emotion that were breaking through.
“Oh my god,” Maria whispered beside him. “Oh... my god.”
Michael felt like he was frozen in misery. He couldn’t cry, even though the pain was squeezing his chest until he could barely breathe.
He was afraid to imagine why Liz wasn’t awake.
He was afraid to face Max’s fury, because everything he said was true.
He buried his face in his hands.
He was even afraid of Liz waking up... and telling him that the truth was worse than anything he‘d imagined.
Was he still breathing?
The weight of pain in Max’s body drove him to his knees.
It had been building all night, as he fought within himself to believe Michael’s words, to believe that Liz was okay.
And now he knew the truth.
His hand found the floor as his mind vomited up his worst nightmares of being taken, tortured, killed for what he was. Dark rooms, sharp instruments and endless beatings. And he had pulled Liz into that nightmare, made her like him and then left her to bear the consequences.
“Max, Max,“ Isabel was on her knees beside him, breathing shallowly between sobs. “What if they have Alex?“
He couldn’t answer. His fingers dug into the deep shag carpet. It felt grungy and scratchy, but he couldn’t stop himself. His mind was constantly churning out visions of Liz hurt, tortured, begging for relief... screaming for him to help her.
Guilt raged through him, until he was sobbing on the ground.
He never should have left her.
Had they killed her? They might kill her.
He never should have left her.
He never should have loved her.
|Part 10 | Index | Part 12|
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