FanFic - Max/Liz
"Epiphanies 2: The Anasazi Road"
Part 16
by Carol
Disclaimer: I would be the happiest woman on Earth if I owned any of these people, but sadly, only Josh, the Holbrooks, and Paul Hernandez are mine.
Summary: This is the sequel to EPIPHANIES 1: The Ties That Bind. It picks up the evening of the Evans barbeque that ended the first story. Here, Max and Liz must come to terms with a shocking revelation about Liz and her Grandma Claudia. They search the past among Native American ruins and history to find the truth and each other.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: I have done extensive research on the Anasazi for this fic. Most of what you will read is either factual or widely accepted speculation. I have, on occasion, filled in a gap or made an assumption that suits my purposes. The alien connection, of course, is my own Roswell-loving imagination.
"Well, here we go," smiled Liz, holding tight to Max's hand. The Southwest Airlines puddle-jumper was the smallest plane Liz had ever been on.

"I just hope Tess is convincing at her end," worried Max. The arrangements had gone more smoothly than he had dared hope. Jeff and Diane had worked together to arrange for the flight. The Holbrooks, the Parkers' camping friends, were going to meet them at the airport and take them out to Mesa Verde, where Paul Hernandez was acting as a guide to this weekend's Sierra Club exploration of the Cliff Palace. It was all coming together. Max just hoped they'd find what they were looking for.

Two hours later, they came down the steps of the airplane to hear, "There they are. That must be them. Liz! Liz! Over here!"

They looked around to find a smiling couple approaching them. They were already dressed for a camping expedition themselves. Liz felt a pang of worry.

"Liz, right? And this must be Max." Max and Liz nodded. "How was your flight?"

"Fine, Mrs. Holbrook. Thank you for meeting us. We just have to grab our bags."

"Of course, dear. Mr. Holbrook will show you where and I'll bring the car around. We'll have to squeeze them in. I'm afraid our truck is loaded with our gear at the moment."

"Oh," Liz commented, trying not to look concerned. "Are you coming with us?"

"Oh, I really wish we could, dear, but frankly, we've been over there about a hundred times, and we already had plans to head to the Rockies this weekend, but don't worry. We'll be back Monday to pick you up and take you back to the airport."

Liz and Max smiled in relief and followed Mr. Holbrook to the baggage claim. They stuffed their bags into the truck and started out for Mesa Verde, an hour and a half's drive. They managed to keep the conversation light, talking about the Parkers' most recent expeditions, school, what they would see at the Cliff Palace. They pulled into Mesa Verde National Park just before noon. As they got out of the pickup, a short, wiry man got out of his 4-wheeler and walked toward them.

"John, good to see you. Hello, Josie. Thanks for bringing them. Max? Liz? I'm Paul Hernandez. I was a friend of your grandmother's, Liz. We did quite a bit of work together. She always talked about you so fondly. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Liz liked the man instantly. He had a weathered but kind face and welcoming eyes. She could sense much of her grandmother's enthusiasm for life in his speech and body language. She glanced up at Max and they shook hands. He seemed comfortable with him, too. That would make things easier.

They said their thanks and goodbyes to the Holbrooks and climbed into the car with Mr. Hernandez.

"I'm glad you two came. I have been able to keep up with your situation through your grandmother, Liz."

Both teens jerked their heads toward him in surprise. He chuckled, amused at the effect of his words.

"Yes, I am like you, part Voyan. Also part Hopi and part Mexican. I did research with your grandmother for years, and I miss her very much. I can hear her sometimes at night. We talk about things, sometimes about you."

"You hear her? You don't see her?" asked Liz, confused.

"Just hear her. Why? Do you see her?"

Liz nodded. "And so does Max. But we have to be together."

"I guess that's what she meant about your combined energy. Perhaps that's why I only hear her. There is still so much we don't know. We learned a lot about what happened to the Anasazi, but our theories are not completely proven, since some of what we've learned is through means we can't share. We weren't sure if we would ever solve the puzzle completely."

He looked at his two fresh-faced passengers. "You must feel a little overwhelmed right now. I'm sorry this has been thrust on you so suddenly. But imagine our surprise when we felt your energy. Claudia was sure something had happened to awaken your Voyan side, Liz, and that's why she hurried to Roswell early that last time. She wanted to find out what was going on with you and see if she could figure out what had changed."

Paul smiled. "Apparently, this young man came into your life."

Max and Liz looked at each other and blushed. Max was not used to people knowing so much about him, and Liz was very private about her love life. The conversation made them both uncomfortable. Paul, however, chose not to notice.

"Before we get to camp, I have to warn you. Having you two join this group is just a little awkward. Most of these people know each other and have had this trip planned for a while. Fortunately, several of them also knew Claudia, so I've told them that you are her granddaughter, Liz, and that you wanted to come see where she had done so much of her work. That will give you immediate acceptance."

"What did you tell them about Max?" Liz asked.

For the first time, she could tell Paul was uncomfortable. "Well, I couldn't very well tell them Claudia's teenaged granddaughter was out here camping alone with her boyfriend. That wouldn't have set well. So, . . . I aged you two a little and told them . . . you were newlyweds."

For the second time, Paul had two sets of startled eyes riveted to his face.

"What?" gasped Max.

"Settle down, now," Paul hastened to explain. "Let me explain why. As I said, this is a very close, you might say interactive crowd. On the one hand, you needed some connection for them to accept you right away. On the other hand, you don't want them spending every minute with you. This way, they'll feel comfortable with you but they'll give you some space, which you'll need if you are going to do any exploring on your own."

It made perfect sense, but married! Liz liked the sound of it, but it took some getting used to. She looked at Max. He was still in shock.

"I've got your tent set up already. The others arrived last night and are already down at the Cliff Palace looking around. This way, we can just drop off your gear, and I'll drive you down there."

"Drive? How far are we from the ruins?" asked Max.

"Morefield is the only campground in the park. Unfortunately for us, it's at the northern edge of the park and the Cliff Palace is at the southern edge. Most folks have their cars here, but I'll be your wheels. Just let me know what you need."

"Where should we start looking?" asked Max. "I mean, are we supposed to just start looking around or what?"

"You may not be able to appreciate this yet, but you two are very special . . . as a couple, I mean. The fact that we even picked up on your energy, force, whatever you want to call it, is remarkable. We aren't aware of anyone else who has generated this level of energy. I don't know if this is because Max is so much more recently from Voya, and the rest of us are very watered down, genetically speaking, but somehow the two of you have combined to create something new. We're hoping that your instincts or combined powers will somehow lead you to the crown."

"Crown? I thought it was a visor." Max didn't much like the word "crown."

"We're not really sure. It seems likely that it's both. As a crown, it would be the symbol for ruling power. As a visor, it may communicate with Voya or it may contain high-level information. We won't know for sure until we find it."

Max turned quickly to look outside. His eyes narrowed. "What was that?" he asked sharply.

Paul eyed him curiously. "Why? What is it, Max?'

"Didn't you feel that?" Max asked. "Something is wrong out there. I feel it."

Paul nodded. "I wondered if you would pick up on it. I noticed it as soon as we arrived last night. I'm afraid . . . ."

"What," Liz prodded, suddenly troubled by an unsettled feeling herself.

"I'm afraid your grandmother and I weren't the only ones to feel you. They know you are here. They've come to stop you."

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