|"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 knew her best chance to escape was to pretend to cooperate with her captors, but they weren't stupid. She would have to resist a while longer to convince them they had won her.|
"Why would the promise of power on a planet I've never seen make me want to help you? And how will this 'Criston' help you gain power anyway? What makes it so important?"
"Its power is both symbolic and practical." As Seranna spoke of the Criston, her face became animated; she began to pace. "Two thousand years ago, the Criston was created by the builders, those who shaped our civilization. It was a miracle of technology, offering the ability to access our data banks and communicate with our ships and colonies throughout the galaxy. But most important, it represented power, because the family that possessed it could rule unchallenged." Her face returned to its cold, immobile expression. "Max's ancestors thought they could maintain control of the planet by hiding the Criston here. We have searched for a millenium to no avail." She stared intently at Liz. "Now, with you to help us, we will succeed."
"What makes you think I can help?"
"We felt the energy force when you bonded with Max. He is only an inferior, engineered Voyan. If you can create that force with him, think how powerful it will be with one of us, a true Voyan."
Liz was alarmed. What if that were true? What if the bond with Max hadn't been the sole reason for their additional powers? What if she really could do it with someone else? She would be working against Max!
Seranna saw the fear in Liz's eyes. "You are right to be afraid. If you do not help us, we will destroy Max."
Terror seized Liz's heart with a stabbing jolt.
Paul's car flew down the gravel road toward the campsite. When they pulled up, members of the group were eating lunch. A cloud of dust flew as Paul screeched to a stop in front of Max's tent. Protests quieted quickly as the campers picked up on the urgency evident in the two men.
"Is something wrong?" yelled one of the women.
"Uh, Max's wife took a fall. Just getting some first-aid supplies. Please enjoy your lunch and follow the afternoon itinerary. I'll rejoin you as soon as I can."
By the time Paul entered the tent, Max had pulled the journals from Liz's backpack. They raced back to the car and took off down the road.
"We've read most of the first two," he told Paul. "They were mostly about Chaco Canyon. Let's start with the third one."
He began to scan the pages. "I wish I knew what I was looking for!" he cried in desperation.
"We're almost there," Paul assured him. "I'll help you look as soon as we stop."
By the time they had returned to the kiva, Max was halfway through the third journal. Paul grabbed the fourth one and started reading. Suddenly, a wrenching cry escaped Max's throat. Paul looked up in alarm.
"Max! What's happened?"
"It's Liz! I've finally felt her! She's in terrible danger and so scared!" Max looked panicked. Paul grabbed him by the shoulders and forced him to make eye contact.
"Max! That just means we have to work harder and faster. Do you understand me? Max!"
Max focused on Paul and let his words sink in. "Yes, I understand." He swallowed hard and forced his panic down. That wasn't going to help Liz, he told himself. They resumed their study of the journals, desperately hoping for a clue to the mysterious room. They had been intensely focused on their reading for about 20 minutes when Paul reached for Max's arm. "Max! The Sipapu!"
"What?" Max hadn't heard that word before and had no idea what Paul was talking about.
"Sipapu, Max! It was the mythological passageway between the Anasazi underworld and this one. Not a purgatory, but just another plane of existence. The 'first ones' came from there, and the Anasazi believed that when someone died, their soul returned through there and was reborn later in a baby. Claudia and I often wondered if this wasn't actually a reference to a wormhole or other alien passageway through which the visitors arrived."
"How does this help Liz?!" Max almost shouted, angry that Paul was wasting his time with this history lesson.
"Because, Max, in every kiva there was a small hole in the floor that symbolized the Sipapu. We haven't looked there. It would be a perfect hiding place for a tunnel . . . to another room!"
Max leapt to his feet. "Let's go!" Then just as quickly he stopped and looked at Paul, who already knew what he was going to say. "If there is someone in there with her, we may do more harm than good just busting in."
Paul nodded. "Let's see if there's even anything to this theory first."
They descended into the kiva again and approached the hole in the floor. It was about the size of a manhole. Max knelt by the hole and began to lower his upper body into the space. Paul held his ankles to stabilize him. "It's too dark," Max whispered loudly. He held his hand in front of him, and it began to glow.
"You're right! There's a tunnel here!" Max pulled himself back out of the hole and turned to Paul excitedly. "But how do we figure out when to go through?"
Paul frowned. How would they detect another alien presence inside the room? "I'm not sure, Max. If these are true Voyans, they can appear as anything they like."
Max thought for a moment. "Then I guess I'll have to see for myself," he said, a look of determination on his face that allowed no challenge. He walked back to the Sipapu hole and began to lower himself down.
|Part 21 | Index | Part 23|
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