by Brad Fondak
Disclaimer: I donít own any of these characters, settings, etcÖ They are
all property of Warner Brothers, Pocket Books, etcÖ ©1998, 1999, 2000 and so
on. I am just renting them for the purpose of the below story.
Summary: Javier has found the pod chamber, giving the enemy a foothold to discovering the alien four. Maria and Michael have a heart to heart, and Max sees something that scares him while trying to stop Javier. The second part of the story started in ďThe BeaconĒ.
Authors Note: This is the third part of the story begun in ďAftermathĒ and a direct continuation of ďThe BeaconĒ. You can find them both on the other Roswell stories page if youíd like to catch up. Once again, constructive criticism, comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Max ran up the stairs, and the rest of them followed. When they got to the door, they saw the light, sitting on Maxís dresser. It was going crazy, flashing bright beams of every conceivable color, making loud, high-pitched tones.
LIZ: What does that mean?
MAX: I donít know, but it canít be good.
All of them filed into Maxís room, transfixed by the light. Michael broke the silence.
MICHAEL: We have to get out there. Now.
Max took the light, put it into his backpack, and led everyone out.
Javier stood back, averting his eyes from the shimmery glow of the rock face. The rock just seemed to fade out of existence. No trace of it was left. It was like it had never been there. As everything returned to normal, such that it was, he crept slowly back up to what was now a wide-open entrance. Well, he thought, Iíve discovered something. What else could it be other than the hideout for his enemies that had come to Earth?
He had been told back on his home planet that they would be incubating, and that they could still be there when the signal was activated. He entered the cave, slowly, fully expecting something to happen. They couldnít of made it that easy, he thought. There had to be another doorway, another trap. He just had to prove that they had been here, exactly where the signal had come from. Then he could go home.
MARIA: Will someone please shut that thing up?
Maria had let Liz drive the Jetta behind them. She wanted to be close to Michael, who was riding shotgun in the Jeep. It hadnít been a planned thing. She hadnít really even thought about it. She threw the keys at Liz, and Liz just knew. It was like that sometimes, between best friends, knowing what each of them was thinking. Maria also knew that Liz was thinking about Max, knew she couldnít stop thinking about Max. Liz was strong, stronger than she was right now. Even though she was mad at him, really mad, and had been since that day he pushed her away, she just couldnít help it.
So Max, Michael, Isabel, Tess, and Maria had all crammed into the Jeep, with Liz and Alex following them in the Jetta. Her current problem right now was directed towards the light. Max had brought it with them, and it was still chirping incessantly.
MICHAEL: What are we going to do, break it? It could be the key to finding out whatís going on.
MAX: Yeah, I donít think it has an off switch.
MICHAEL: Why are you even here anyway? Your car had plenty of roomÖ
Maria had a pained expression on her face, and after a short pause, she ignored that and continued.
MARIA: Well, do something, stuff it under your seat or something. You know, muffle the sound. And besides, itís not like everyone we pass out here canít hear it or anything. Itís like a police siren or something.
Isabel took it from Michael in the front seat, and threw it in the back, underneath the Jeepís soft-top.
MARIA: Yeah, a little.
ISABEL: So, Max, what are we going to do when we get there? What if the light means what we think it means?
MAX: I donít know. I guess it will depend if we find him thereÖif we get there fast enough.
TESS: We have to stop him, by any means necessary.
ISABEL: But that light is probably a signal, and if there are two of them, there are probably more. The signalís already gone offÖ
MICHAEL: Isabelís right. Even if we killed him, it wouldnít matter.
MAX: We should at least talk to him. Find out what he knows.
MARIA: What makes you think heíll tell us anything?
TESS: Between Isabelís dream walking and the rest of us, we can make him talk.
ISABEL: But if heís an alien, who knows what kind of powers he has? He could stop me really easily.
TESS: Remember what Nasedo said, focus. You donít know what you can and canít do until you put your mind to it. Look what you did to Pierce.
Behind them, Liz and Alex were trying to keep up with Maxís breakneck speed.
ALEX: How are you doing, you know, with all of this?
LIZ: What do you think; Iím going out of my mind, arenít you?
ALEX: Well, yeah, but, I mean, have you and Max made any headway?
LIZ: Well, we talked, and that was good, butÖ
LIZ: We agreed that we definitely canít be together, especially now.
ALEX: Liz, Iím sorry. (a beat) Itís just so weird, the three of us, the three of them, itís like we have a fate all of our own, you know. The dichotomy of it all, and nowÖ
LIZ: Wait a minute; what kind of word is dichotomy? Please tell me you havenít been flipping through the dictionary againÖ
ALEX: No seriously, though, itís like weíre almost competing with them. Whatís true or whatís destined. Everythingís in so much flux.
LIZ: But you and Isabel, everythingís all right, right?
ALEX: I think soÖI mean, Iím trying so hard to be the caring, responsible boyfriend. You know, understanding, giving space, that sort of thing. I know I told you during finals about the two of us trying to live in the moment, butÖ
LIZ: The moment may be catching up with you sooner than you thought.
ALEX: Right. You see it, even if you donít want to, with you and Max. I mean, today could be the start of their destinyÖthey may have to start defending themselves against this whole new thing, and I donít know if we can ever be a part of that, even if they want us to, and itís going to consume them. Itís just a matter of when.
LIZ: I know exactly what you mean, and itís tearing me up. Maria tooÖ
Javier started to enter the cave. It was dark, but he made out the glow of the four pods along one of the walls. Was this how the aliens had survived over the years? The pods were so different than what he remembered learning about their race during their war. What kind of people was his kind up against? He saw a few other things; a book on a table and what he had come for: two grayish orbs, with the signal that he knew so well on them. They must have generated the signal. But, if they had, that meant that someone or something had actually caused them to work. He knew that they couldnít work without some sort of intervention. Before, he hadnít been sure if the signal was caused on Earth or elsewhere. Now he knew. This is what he needed to find, the key to rverything. He scanned the wall with the pods.
They were broken. Whatever had emerged from them had been out for some time. He went over to them, took out a scanning device from his pocket, and went to work.
He found that approximately 11 years had passed since three of them had been occupied, the fourth, just a little bit less time, maybe 10 Ĺ years.
So the battle had truly begun now. He had made positive contact with the enemy, four of them anyway. If what his people had told him was correct, and there really were others on his side, four of them shouldnít be too hard to stop. But that wasnít for him to do. He was going home. All he had to do was wait. They would send for him.
His curiosity got the better of him though. He decided to take a look around. After all, he had spent a good part of his life trying to find this place; at least he could savor the moment a little, maybe fill in the blanks and the questions that he had about his mission, things that his masters wouldnít tell him. He took the book, which also had that same signal on it, and began to read. The language was the one that his people and their enemy shared, and it was refreshing to actually find it. He hadnít even seen anything written in the language of his home since he had arrived on earth, some fifty years before. It was the story of their struggle, obviously left for the four to find. He thought he should better hold on to it, lest the four find it and figure out what they had to do. Ignorance could only help his cause. He flipped to one of the middle pages, and saw four pictures, pictures that looked very familiar. One of them looked just like Max, his boss at the UFO Center. Another, like Tess, his neighbor. He was sure that he had seen the other two around with them as well. So it was them. He would have never suspected it.
After finishing with the book, he had a nagging feeling that he better get out of there before he was discovered. Max and Tess had each asked him those questions about the light. He felt so stupid. How could he not have been able to sniff them out? It was so obvious to him now. Anyway, it didnít matter. He was going home, and the others could deal with them any way they wished. He grabbed the book, the orbs, and the rest of his equipment, and decided to go back home and wait. If his people were still monitoring him, they would know to come get him now, and if not, perhaps he could let them know using the orbs what the situation was. Along with the book, it would give all the information that they would ever need, and allow him to finally leave this place, and start his life over again.
As he got into his car and pulled out on to the road, he made a decision to drive back to Roswell using a different route than he had come, to guard against being seen by anyone who could be coming. He made a turn south, to hook up with another road about five miles to the south.
When the seven of them arrived at the rock outcropping, the place was deserted. Isabel thought she might have seen another car in the distance as they pulled off the road, but other than that, there was no one or nothing around as far as they could tell. They moved quickly up the rock surface, almost running toward the cave. When they got there, they realized that something had happened.
MICHAEL: What the hell happened?
MAX: I donít knowÖthe door, itís missing.
ISABEL: That means someoneís been here. Someoneís seen everything.
TESS: Someone? Or Javier?
MAX: Letís go in and check it out.
The group walked into the cave entrance. Alex and Maria, who had never been here before, were especially stunned by the scope of the place. It was like the rock face that had served as the door had never existed.
TESS: Oh my god, MaxÖthe book, the orbs, theyíre gone!
MAX: What? I thought you said that you had them at your house.
TESS: Well, I did, but I had brought them up here the last time I was here, and, since it seemed like the safest place we had, I kept them here to try to keep them away from Javier.
MICHAEL: Even after what we found out about him snooping around the cave? Nice one, Tess.
MAX: No, Michael, she couldnít have known. Itís one thing to find the cave, but we didnít think he could find a way in.
MARIA: Well, itís obvious that whoever was here isnít anymore.
MAX: We have to get those things back. If Javier looks through the book, heíll know who we areÖ
ISABEL: And then weíll have no choice but to protect ourselves.
LIZ: So how do we do it? I mean, get those things back.
ALEX: Yeah, do we confront him? Maybe we can break into his house or somethingÖ
MAX: NoÖI doubt heís going to keep the orbs or the book out of his sight, and besides, now that he knows, if he knows, I donít think heís going to stay in that house next to Tessís.
MICHAEL: But itís our only lead, we have to go there.
MAX: And we will. But not just yet. Liz, how long ago did that light go off?
LIZ: I donít know exactlyÖmaybe an hour.
MAX: Right, and that means that Javier is probably not even back at his house yet, even if he was going there. I mean, we didnít see his car on the way back.
ISABEL: But how do we know which way he was going? Thereís more than one way to get from here back to town.
MICHAEL: Our lives hang in the balance here. I donít want to say it, but we have to act, Maxwell, and act now, by any means necessary.
MAX: But Michael, killing him isnít going to do us any good. Itís already too late for that. He knows something. He is something.
MICHAEL: But we already got into trouble by just waiting. Look at where we are. We spent all of our time debating while Javier was here, and now, this cave is perfectly visible to anyone who comes here. How much longer can we wait before everyone finds out about whatís here?
MARIA: We have to go back to Tessís house and wait for Javier. I mean, what other choice do we really have?
ALEX: Mariaís right. We canít search the desert for him. That could take forever, and we donít have that long.
MAX: Iím sorry, Michael, but what other option is there? We have to find him before we can do anything.
MICHAEL: But what if he doesnít come back to Roswell now that he knows? What if he has other plans?
Michael let his words trail off, but the magnitude of the problem at hand was clear. None of them really knew anything, and that was the hardest part. They needed to find some answers, and quickly.
ISABEL: But what do we do about the cave? We canít just leave it like this.
MAX: We just have to hope its location can hide it until we can find a way to close it again.
TESS: Nasedo might know a way.
MICHAEL: Yeah, but where is he? He said that he was going to protect us. Where is he now?
MAX: He can only do so much, Michael. Infiltrating the FBI is a tall order for anyone. We have to find a solution ourselves. It may be the only way.
As the group went to leave, they found a small shimmer underneath some dirt on the desert floor. Max and Michael moves to dig it out. It wasnít covered all that much, but it took them a few seconds. It was another light, beeping away just like the one that Max had, presumably also like the one Javier had.
MICHAEL: Well, I suppose this answers any doubts that any of us would have had.
ALEX: It could always be a third one.
MARIA: Alex, nowís not really a good time to joke.
ALEX: Whoís joking? Why couldnít it be? Maybe he dropped it.
MAX: I donít think he would have just left it here.
ISABEL: Maybe itís outlived its usefulness to him.
MAX: Come onÖMichael, pick it up, take it with usÖmaybe we can use it somehow.
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