|"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.
|They were all seated cross-legged in the tent, a lantern in the center. Max and Liz waited for Jeff to speak.|
"I don't even know how to begin. I'm afraid you will never believe me, but your grandmother's journals will explain in agonizing detail, I'm sure, so you'll know I'm not just ranting.
"Liz, how much do you know about the Anasazi. Ever studied them in school or anything?"
Liz looked startled. "Uh, yeah, just recently, actually."
"Well then, you know that they originally lived in Colorado and built a great civilization from even before A.D. 500 to around A.D. 1300, when they mysteriously abandoned their homes and for all intents and purposes disappeared."
Max and Liz nodded, encouraging him to continue.
"They were developing at a similar pace to parallel tribes for centuries. However, history books tell us that around A.D. 800, their technology and culture spurted ahead of everyone else. They thrived in every way until their disappearance. Historians have been baffled about that ever since, and there are a couple of hypotheses about what really happened."
He paused, afraid to continue. Max and Liz were listening intently to his every word.
"The fact is, your grandmother knew what really happened. She knew because . . . ."
He searched their faces. How could he say this without sounding like a raving lunatic?
"Your grandmother and I, and you, Liz, are descended from the Anasazi. At least from the ones who had control after A.D. 800. They were in control because they possessed advanced technology, some of which was eventually shared with the original natives. The technology originated with another people, people who came as visitors and stayed to blend with the original population. What I'm having great difficulty telling you, though, is the nature of these visitors." He braced for the reaction. "They were . . . extraterrestrial."
He watched the emotions flitting across their faces. Confusion, shock, surprise. But he could never have been prepared for what he saw next. Liz's face didn't show revulsion or disbelief. She had the same expression on her face as the day she got a kitten for her birthday. She looked pleased. Amazed, but pleased. Max looked incredulous, a hint of a smile tugging at his mouth.
"You are telling me," Liz stuttered, "that we are descended from aliens? And you've known this all your life? And Grandma knew it? And you never said anything?"
"You mean you believe me?" He was shocked. How could she accept this so easily?
Liz started to laugh. She looked at Max, who was smiling broadly. "Oh my God, Max. Are you hearing this? Can you believe this?"
For a moment, the thought crossed Jeff's mind that they were mocking him, but there was genuine delight on Liz's face, and he was extremely confused.
"I don't understand your reaction. Why does this please you? I have spent my life keeping this from you, Liz. I never wanted you to know, and you act as if I've given you a gift."
"Dad, you have. This is the most wonderful thing you could have ever told me! But why did you want to keep it a secret?"
"For so many reasons, Liz. First, I never noticed you exhibiting any special powers, so I didn't think you had been affected by it. Second, I didn't want you to think I was crazy. And finally, I didn't want to burden you with this secret. You may not realize it, but there are those who would want to harm you, if they knew."
He saw the meaningful look exchanged between Max and Liz
"Your grandmother and I argued about this more than once. She wanted you to know. She embraced this heritage, but I just wanted you to have a normal life."
Max reached for Liz's hand and they smiled at each other.
"Maybe it's time for you to explain your reaction to this news. I expected Max to take off running and you to be in tears all night."
Liz looked at Max. He nodded slightly, giving her permission to tell her father the truth. What was the point of keeping this secret from someone who was sharing the same one? He had as much to lose as Max did.
"Dad, I actually believe in aliens. And a few things have happened to me that I didn't understand. This helps explain some of these unusual experiences, so I feel better about them."
This did not explain her reaction, and he knew there was a lot more to this story.
"And?" he prompted. "Does this have something to do with Max?"
Liz looked up quickly, startled by the directness of the question from her usually roundabout father.
"Yes. It has everything to do with Max." She smiled, looking down at her hand tucked safely in Max's.
"Max was in the crash, Dad. The '47 crash."
Jeff stared at the two teens skeptically. "Liz, come on. Max, you're 17. I trust you've done the subtraction on that."
Max smiled. He was having déjà vue. "Of course, sir, I mean, Jeff." Liz brought her head up. Since when did Max call her dad "Jeff"? Must have been part of that talk Max mentioned.
"We were in incubation pods that were hidden in the desert, emerging in 1989 as 6-year-olds. You've known my folks a long time. At least, known who they were. Well, if you recall, they adopted two children who were found in the desert in 1989. That was Isabel and me."
"Your sister, Isabel, was also in this crash?"
"Yes. And our friend Michael."
"My cook?" Jeff asked incredulously.
"Yes, but he wasn't as lucky, getting pushed into the foster system. He's had a much rougher time."
"Liz, how did you find out about this?"
Liz bit her lip. Her father would be upset when he found out she'd been shot that day.
"Dad, don't freak out, but remember that day when there was a shooting at the Crashdown? People thought I'd been shot?"
Jeff nodded, frowning.
"Well, I was."
"What!?" gasped Jeff. "Liz, you didn't tell me? Why didn't we see it?"
Even as he asked, he knew the answer. He looked at Max, tears threatening to fall. "You saved her, didn't you? You saved my little girl."
Max looked at his lap, then straightened. "Yes. I couldn't let her die. I just couldn't stand by and watch Liz die." He squeezed her hand, looking at her with undisguised love.
"And that's when you learned his secret," Jeff whispered, turning his attention back to Liz.
Liz smiled. "Our bond, our connection, was instantaneous. I think there was always something there, but Max was so cautious, always blending into the background for survival, that I didn't let myself notice for a long time. Once we connected, there was no denying it, even though he tried." She grinned at Max, playfully slapping at his arm.
"Why?" asked Jeff.
So they began to explain. For hours, they talked about what had happened to Max, Isabel, and Michael in the last year. They told her dad about their "powers," about Tess and her mind games, about Isabel and the dreamwalking, about Pierce and how he had tortured Max and how Michael had killed him without realizing what he was doing. They told him about the orbs (finally explaining what really happened the night they spent in the desert, but leaving out some of the details!), Topolsky, and how Valenti protected them in the end. They described Maria's initial reaction with laughter, and gave Alex his due, explaining how he had helped from the beginning on blind faith until the truth came out. Then they told how Kyle had been shot and how Max had healed him, earning the sheriff's unquestioning loyalty. They told of the hologram in the pod chamber and how it took another alien, Josh, dreamwalking Isabel, to resolve their conflicts between what they interpreted as their mandatory destiny versus what their hearts were telling them. Finally, they shared the nightmare of Liz's kidnapping and rescue, and how that led to Max's mom learning the truth about her children.
They felt drained when they had finished, and Jeff looked as though he'd been lobotomized. He was swimming in horrifying images and unending questions. He couldn't comprehend what these kids had been through, the danger they had faced, and how alone they must have felt. He felt angry that they hadn't come to him, terrified at the harm they had suffered or barely escaped, and grateful for his daughter's life and the love he could now see clearly between his daughter and her devoted boyfriend.
"What you've done tonight, Dad, is remove the last barrier for Max and me. Wondering if we are compatible as human and alien. Now we know we can have a life together."
A still-stunned Jeff looked at them, trying to sort out everything he'd been told and everything he was feeling. "But how do you know you are from the same alien race?"
Silence filled the tent.
|Part 8 | Index | Part 10|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|