Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing characters
from Melinda Metz and Roswell on WB because I'm so
lame that I can't do it on my own. It's all them.
Summary: Dark, dark alter-reality for M2tM; serious R rating, folks
|"I'm all out of faith,|
This is how I feel.
I'm cold and I am shamed,
Lying naked on the floor.
Illusion never changed,
Into something real.
I'm wide awake
And I can see the perfect sky is torn.
You're a little late,
Eventually, Liz realized where they were going... back to the compound.
Back to the place where Max had been tortured.
Liz half-laughed to herself, suddenly feeling oddly detatched. If she were to make a list of places she really did not want to go to, the hidden FBI compound would have to be right up there with that cheesy motel room. And if there were to be a list of people that she really, really wanted to avoid right now, Tess, Nasedo and Agent Pierce would definitely make the Top Five.
And wouldnąt you know it, we're heading for the one place where they might all get to hang out together.
Liz bowed her head for just a moment.
Life... is getting...really sh*tty.
As they slowed down at the beginning of the dirt road, Liz decided to pull herself out of her morbid introspection, for the only reason she could think of. If she could manage to get herself out of this alive somehow, she might just get to crawl up into Max's arms again. Oh, just to feel him and look deep into his eyes, that was worth everything to her.
Taking a deep breath, she looked over to the girl who represented everything that she feared.
"You think Nasedo is still here," she said.
"He is here," Tess said quietly, keeping her eyes on the dusty road ahead. "I can feel him."
Liz glared at her.
"So, you always know where he is?"
"Yes," Tess shot back in a snotty voice. "Anything else you'd like to know?"
"As a matter of fact, there is," Liz said as she decided to go for broke. "Why exactly did you come to Roswell, Tess?"
Tess laughed bitterly.
"You mean, did I come here just to ruin your life? No, Liz, the world doesn't revolve around you, even though half of Roswell seems to. I came here for one reason, to find the man I am supposed to be with for the rest of my life."
Liz watched her turn off the road and stop the Jeep, fighting the intense emotions that Tess had stirred up with her words.
Then those cold blue eyes turned to her.
"Do you have any idea what my life has been like? Do you even think you can imagine it, you, a normal human with loyal friends, good parents and a happy life? I had no one. We moved around so many times I lost count. I'm not talking about two or three times a year. I'm talking about nine or ten times during a school year, from as early as I can remember. Meeting the kids, getting to know them and then moving on as soon as it was time. Inventing stories, histories, memories and re-inventing them until I didn't even know who I was anymore. If I ever did know..."
Liz watched in amazement as Tess' eyes got a dreamy look, transforming her face into a stunning picture of beauty. The willful selfishness was gone, lost in the memories for a moment.
"It was always about them," she continued slowly. "About the four of us... Isabel and Michael, Max and me. They were my imaginary playmates when I was little. Isabel was the best friend that I had always just left behind at my last school, or at least that's what I told myself. I even wrote her little letters. Michael was my older brother who had already left home. And Max, he was my first crush, my first love, my first lover and it broke my heart to leave him the way I had to... over and over again. They were my life, even though I didn't know their names. I knew *them*. Just the same way they know me."
Liz couldn't help but disagree. They hadn't even known she had existed until just months ago.
Then the pale eyes turned to Liz with their former bitterness.
"And you, Liz Parker, don't belong. Probably for the first time in your life," Tess laughed. "Isn't life a bi***?"
They stared at each other.
"No," Liz said in a level voice. "But I've heard that payback is. You'll have to let me know, when all this is over."
Tess was unmoved by the threat and threw the Jeep into gear, slamming her foot on the accelerator. As the Jeep roared over a hill, Liz gripped the seat and stared at Tess. Ahead was the main entrance for the compound, security checkpoint and all.
Then Tess stopped abruptly and turned to Liz.
"We're here," she said.
"Do you have a death wish or something," Liz was having a hard time breathing.
"Liz," Tess said, smiling. "Haven't you noticed how completely dead this place is? I think Nasedo has already taken care of everyone. So we'll just ring the front doorbell, shall we?"
Liz heard a roaring in her ears as images from Max's memories flowed through her... the compund, the men handling him roughly and strapping him down to the table... the pain... Pierce...
Liz let out a cry and tried to jump out, but her body wouldn't obey.
"Calm down, would you," Tess said in an annoyed voice. "Don't you trust me?"
Her irritating laugh stopped abruptly as they pulled up to the security house beside the entrance.
Liz felt tears sting her eyes and her mouth dropped open in horror.
Blood splattered the inside walls of the small cubicle and the body of a man hung partway out of the door. The man had been sliced in so many places that his uniform barely stayed on his body. Flies were swarming around the sickening sight, drawn by the odor of several days' worth of death. The stench made Liz's stomach rise up and she bent over and covered her mouth in a desperate attempt to squelch the nausea.
Tess jerked the Jeep forward, and Liz grabbed onto the dash, taking deep breaths.
"Nasedo's been here alright," she finally managed to say. She finally chanced a look over at Tess and was surprised to see how shaken she looked.
Tess kept her eyes straight ahead.
Down in the hallway of the compound, Liz began to lose count of the bodies. Some were sliced, some burned, some beheaded and some were just... broken beyond livability.
She thought that she would eventually grow numb to it, but the last body made her just as nauseous as the first. Itąs eyes were running pits of raw, oozing flesh that came straight out of Liz's worst nightmares. The frozen look of horror and pain on the man's face burrowed its way deep into Liz's already raw emotions.
She ran for a nearby trash can and heaved into it with shaking, sobbing breaths.
What kind of monster could do that to someone?
She held onto he trash can for dear life and heard light footsteps behind her.
"You know as well as I do what these people did to Max," Tess' brittle voice struck Liz like a blow. "They deserved every bit of pain he gave them. Let's go."
And Liz found herself turning and moving forward beside Tess, willing herself to somehow keep living in this hellish underworld.
A few steps later, Liz stopped dead in her tracks. She was allowed to only because Tess had stopped as well.
A wailing, terror-filled scream rose and fell, dancing off the white walls until it disappeared behind the girls.
The sound crawled in Liz's spine and reverberated up her neck. It made her want to hole up in a room and scream Max's name until he found her. It made her desperate to do anything to escape that kind of pain, that kind of terror from becoming her own.
But Tess was already pressing her forward.
And Liz's feet followed her lead, one dreaded step after another.
Thank God, the sound had stopped for now.
But the shaking in her body that had begun with the wail was only growing by the second.
|Part 8 | Index | Part 10|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|