|"Epiphanies 2: The Anasazi Road"|
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.
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.
|Liz had felt rather than seen the hands that grabbed her and pulled her forcefully from Max's grasp. Then he was gone and she felt terrified. She struggled against her unseen captor until she was thrown into a seat and instantly held there by a force she couldn't see or explain. All she knew was she couldn't move.|
"You have come to us. We've been waiting."
Liz tried to turn her head to find out who was speaking, but she couldn't even do that.
"Who are you?" she demanded, trying to sound braver than she felt.
"We are your future, Liz. We will hold you only until our purpose is clear to you. Then we know you will see what must be done."
"Let me see you," she demanded.
Her peripheral vision picked up a form coming from her right. "Dad!" gasped Liz, incredulously.
Her mind was spinning. "You're not my father," shouted Liz to the imposter before her. "Change yourself! That's what you do, isn't it? You're a shapeshifter."
"I intended only to make you comfortable," crooned her captor in cruelly velvet tones. Soon Liz was looking at a blond woman with piercing green eyes. "This is better?"
"I don't care what you look like, as long as you aren't pretending to be someone I know. Were you already in here when we came in? Did you shapeshift into some piece of equipment or something?"
The woman cast steely eyes on Liz. "We have been watching you since you arrived in the park. As soon as we realized you sensed us, we blocked ourselves from your minds. We've been observing your search. When we saw you discover the portal, we followed you in and became part of the rock walls. You made it quite easy."
"You keep saying 'we.' Who else is here?" Liz struggled to look around but could still not move her head.
"My partner is here, don't worry. He is keeping you restrained at the moment. Perhaps we could let her move a bit, Katar?" Liz felt the release of her head and neck, so she was able to look at the woman directly.
"What do you want with me?"
"Ah, but you know, Liz, do you not? You are one of us. You've come in search of the sacred Criston, and we wish to help you find it."
Liz examined her. "What should I call you?"
"Call me Seranna."
"Well, Seranna, what exactly is a 'criston'?"
"I have no patience with questions for which you know the answers," Seranna snapped. Then she composed her face. "Liz, the Criston is that which you seek. It is the purpose of your journey, and the sacred symbol of our people. It holds great power. That is why you are here, is it not?"
"I'm on a camping expedition with my boyfriend . . . I mean, husband. That's all."
Seranna smiled a cold, artificial smile. "Do not waste our time with fiction. Max is also here to find the Criston. He has been told he is the leader of our people. He is not. He comes from a ruling family that is weak and ineffective. They do not understand how to use their power. They retreat from opportunity and recoil from domination. He is so like them," she sneered.
"We are here to help you take your place among us, to right a terrible wrong, and return power to those who would assure our people dominance."
Liz's mind was working hard to make sense of Seranna's tirade. Somehow, Seranna thought she could bribe Liz with promises of power and undermine Max's people's ability to rule Voya. Being a shapeshifter, this was obviously not one of the hybrid Voyans, and clearly she had no concept of the love Liz shared with Max or the bond that connected them so deeply. But was it to Liz's advantage to fight or pretend to cooperate?
Max was trembling as he scrambled out of the kiva in search of Paul Hernandez. He tore past the ruins toward the parking lot, hoping to find him waiting near his car. His heart leapt when he saw Paul leaning against the trunk talking with another member of the group. Paul looked up, seeing Max flying toward him, and excused himself. He jogged toward Max, recognizing the sheer terror on his face.
"Max! What is it?"
Max could hardly speak, but he fought desperately to make himself understood through his gulps for air. "Liz . . . we found a hidden room . . . she didn't make it out . . . Can't get in." Suddenly, he realized he had another option. He held Paul's face in his hands and made eye contact. Immediately, Paul could see what had happened. His own face reflected Max's fear as they began to run back toward the kiva.
They practically leapt down into the kiva and Max showed Paul where the handprint glowed, but didn't open. "Let's try together," panted Max. They joined hands and pressed together on the handprint. At first, they thought they were getting through, but the little indentation they made bounced back immediately.
"Mr. Hernandez! There must be another way in! What do you know about these kivas?" pressed Max.
"We never knew this was here, Max. I have no knowledge of any way out of here other than the ladder."
"Think!" Max was suddenly in leader mode. "There must be something. That room has been there since before the Anasazi left. There must be some clue, some unexplained reference."
As the two men's eyes met, they shouted in unison, "The journals!"
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