FanFic - Other
Part 38
by Kath7
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story. The characters and concept belong to Jason Katims and Melinda Metz. Tarsus of Dernia and all Illyrian characters belong to me. Lyrics by Sarah McLachlan, Phil Collins, Amanda Marshall, Garth Brooks.
Summary: Sequel to "Out of the Woods." I highly recommend reading it before trying this one. It is archived at the Crashdown. Basically, Max is gone, and the others have no idea whether they will ever see him again.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
When Michael and Maria arrived at the Reservation, Isabel and Alex were already there.

Isabel was pacing beside the Jeep, her expression grim. Alex stood nearby, his arms folded across his chest. He was watching her with concern.

Michael could tell right away that the situation was not good.

"Finally!" Isabel exclaimed as Michael and Maria climbed out the Jetta. "Where have you been?"

Michael watched Maria rub her eyes frantically. "Don’t even get me started. Let me just say, the next time ANYONE finds an orb…" Both Alex and Isabel turned to stare at her. "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS ANYONE GOING TO TOUCH IT!" The last came out as a shriek.

Isabel eyed Michael. "Do I even want to know?" She asked wearily.

"There’s no time." Michael replied abruptly. "Are they here?"

"Eddie said Kyle and Max took off across the desert about an hour ago. He hasn’t seen them since." Alex replied.

"Let’s go." Michael said, leaving no room for argument.

He had to find his daughter. It was all he cared about at the moment.

He and Maria had not exchanged a single word during the entire ride from Fraser Woods to the Reservation. Michael had not known how to broach the subject of telling her who Jennetta was, not to mention Maria had not exactly been in the most accommodating of moods. She was still furious at him for scaring the living daylights out of her with his little "orb incident," as she had started to refer to it.

He had sort of been relieved.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want Maria to know…

It was just that he sort of wanted to savor the secret to himself for a while. He knew that the minute Maria found out she was going to totally lose it…and while normally he sort of enjoyed dealing with her freak-outs, right now…

He had more important things to worry about.

He just knew that Jennetta was in danger and that had to be his first priority. He knew that Maria was going to be pissed at him- big time - but he would deal with that later.

As the foursome trekked across the desert Michael knew exactly where they were going.

Their destination was the transformation chamber - the place where this whole catastrophic chain of events had begun when he had allowed Tarsus to cleanse him.

Michael’s guilt over his own stupidity in trusting Tarsus had been torturing him for months - ever since Max had first disappeared and Maria had first shown signs of illness.

The moment he had found out the truth about Jennetta his guilt had completely disappeared.

It was now clear that there had been a purpose to it all.

If the result of all that pain had been his daughter…well, then it had been worth it.

Now they just had to make sure that the whole affair didn’t end tragically anyway.

Michael did not hesitate as he, Maria, Alex and Isabel plunged trough the pitch-black night. The stars were out, but there was no moon to light their trajectory. They had only one flashlight between the four of them. He knew the route though, having taken it so many times with that bastard Tarsus.

He heard Alex trip on something, swear.

The stress was getting to them all. Michael could feel Isabel on his right, their connection through the four-square strangely strong at the moment.

She was wound up, clearly ready to explode at any moment.

Something was seriously wrong.

He tried to keep his voice low as he spoke to Isabel, hoping to keep Maria out of whatever was troubling Isabel for a while longer.

He was still concerned that all of this was too much for his so recently comatose girlfriend. He was trying to shield her from as much of the crap that was going down as possible, but of course Maria was having none of it.

"What’s wrong?" He whispered.

He could see Isabel’s head swing around to face him in the dark. She paused before replying. "I dreamwalked all of them Michael - Liz, Tess, Max - I even tried Jennetta…I couldn’t get a thing."

"So, it’s not like it hasn’t happened before." Michael replied quietly, although he felt like he had been punched in the stomach.

If his daughter was hurt before he even got a chance to know her….well, someone was going to pay - big.

"This is different Michael." Isabel told him, her tone troubled. "I’ve always been able to get in a bit - even if people shut me out once I was in….this time it was like hitting a big wall. I couldn’t break through at all."

Michael pressed his lips together, flinched as Maria tripped into his back.

He glared over his shoulder at her. "Eavesdrop much?" He demanded in annoyance.

"Oh put a sock in it spaceboy." Maria flared back. "You’re hiding something…I know it. Don’t you think that the time for secrets is over? Secrets have done nothing but cause trouble…"

"Really?" Michael asked evenly. "I have a feeling that I’m not the only one with a secret."

"Would you two please just stop?" Isabel asked, irritated. "We don’t have time for your bickering love-fest."

"Amen." Alex added from somewhere on Michael’s left.

Maria snorted, but shut up. Michael knew that she was glad to do so now that he had called her on the fact that she was keeping something from him.

He wasn’t at dumb as he sometimes pretended to be.

Maria had been a little off ever since she had come out of the coma. Oh, she was Maria all right, but she was strangely quiet about how Jennetta had healed her…

He knew that there was more to it than just a good old Max miracle-type healing…

And it suddenly hit him like a bolt of lightening.

She knew. Maria knew.

She had known for the last twelve hours and she hadn’t told him.

He rounded on her, his rage almost completely out of control. It took all of his strength not to grab her and shake her. "MARIA!" He couldn’t stop himself.

Michael heard her stumble. Alex’s voice indicated that he had caught her. "What the hell…Maria are you okay?"

Michael felt Isabel grab his arm. "Michael?"

Michael was glad that he couldn’t see Maria’s face. To see the knowledge of her lie written on her face…

Alex’s flashlight was in his face. "What’s wrong?" Alex demanded, sounding perplexed and not a little irritated himself.

"She knows." Michael replied, turning away.

Maria was now at his side, grabbing his other arm. " I know! Of course I know! Be mad at me Michael - at this point I don’t care…but we have to get her back. That’s all there is to it. You can’t let this stand in the way." Her voice faltered slightly, but Michael was most amazed by what he didn’t hear in it.

She wasn’t at all sorry.

"It won’t." He managed to bite out. "We’ll discuss it later."

"Discuss what?" Alex demanded.

"It’s between Maria and me." Michael replied, his fury still radiating through every vein in his body. He was taking deep breaths as he began to walk again.

"Well, then I suggest you keep your cave-man bellows to yourself." Isabel snapped. "Are we almost there?"

"I think so…" Maria whispered. "I can feel it…"

"What?" Alex asked.

"Nothing." Maria replied.

Michael shivered.

She was right. It felt like they were walking into a void…of nothingness.

It felt like the entire world had been sucked dry of life - of feeling, of emotion. Michael could feel the void tugging on his own senses, trying to force him to give his own up…

He swallowed. "We’re here."

Alex shone his flashlight on the boulder Michael remembered that hid the entrance to the tunnels.

All four of them stared into the darkness for a long moment. The feeling of emptiness was coming from within the underground complex.

Michael straightened his spine. His child was in there and she was in danger. "Let’s go." He said resolutely.

Not a single one of them argued. *************************************************************************************

Kyle heard Max yell even through the stone wall that had slid back into place after Max had passed through it. He jumped to his feet, felt his blood run cold.

That shout had been unnatural - like the agony of every living being on Earth had come together in a cacophony of grief so intense it literally shook the foundations of Kyle’s soul.

It could only mean one thing…

Something had happened to Liz.

Kyle had absolutely no idea how much time had gone by. The Max-proscribed fifteen minutes might have ended, but sitting in the dark had made him totally lose track of the passage of minutes.

For all he knew it might have been three seconds - or three hours.

All he knew was that he felt like he had been waiting forever.

He briefly considered actually following Max’s orders and finding his way back to the entrance to the tunnels, to go in search of Michael and Isabel and a little Czechoslovakian fire-power.

But the memory of that yell still reverberated in his ears…

There was no time to go for back-up. He needed to get in there now.

Only one face was etched on his brain - Tess.

He didn’t care what the hell she had done. He loved her. He had to get to her.

Kyle started to feel along the smooth stone, feeling for an opening of some sort…it had to be there somewhere!

"Dammit!" Kyle muttered to himself. He thrust his hands through his hair in frustration.

It didn’t help that he couldn’t see a bloody thing. His eyes couldn’t even adjust to the dark. There was no light whatsoever to allow it.

He clenched his fists, glared at the offending wall.

Kyle had NEVER wanted to be an alien, but what he wouldn’t give for even a smidge of Alien voodoo at the moment.

He swiped his hand over the surface of the wall in irritation.

The handprint suddenly shone out at him, its silver glow actually lighting up the tunnel in which he found himself.

Kyle blinked, stared down at his hand. "What the…"

Oh who the hell cares? He asked himself silently. Just go with it Valenti.

Kyle bit his lip as he moved forward and placed his hand squarely on the handprint.

He was not at all surprised when the wall began to move.

He was past it the moment the space was big enough for him to squeeze through. He was half-way down the smooth corridor before it even occurred to him to mark the spot for the others.

He hurried back in the direction from which he had come, stuck his jacket in the between the entrance and the far wall just as the door began to slide shut…

Kyle could see light shining at the far end of the tunnel. As he moved closer he began to pick up voices…

"….you fell right into my trap your highness." Kyle paused, frowned. That voice sounded horribly familiar. "Prepare to die Jaxon Falconer."

Pam Troy! Pam frickin’ Troy! He would know that whiny voice anywhere.

Kyle was so stunned he literally couldn’t move for a moment.

He managed to shake off his stupor as her last words penetrated his brain…prepare to die…

Well, it was clear that Evans DID need back-up. So much for his allmightiness…

But Max’s response to Pam’s taunt caused the hair on the back of Kyle’s neck to stand on end.

"So be it." His voice was calm, but with an underlying note of steel that made Kyle damn glad that he was not facing down Max Evans at the moment. "But I’m taking you with me."

Oh crap. It was alien smackdown time.

He glanced back down the tunnel nervously, hoping that Michael and Isabel were on their way.

Kyle inched forward, found himself standing behind a stone overhang. He couldn’t see a bloody thing.

He heard Tess before he saw her. "Can’t we talk about this reasonably?" She was asking, her voice terrified.

"The time for talk is over Sabrya." Pam replied. "I have the chosen one…There is no need for any of you anymore. Your time has ended."

"What?" Tess’ voice cracked. "But what about my destiny…my destiny with Max?"

"Oh will you shut up about that?" Pam asked. "Destiny, shmestiny. None of it matters now."

Kyle poked his head around the overhang, saw Max standing across the way, his back to him. Tess was standing behind him stiffly.

Pam was positioned in front of a bank of egg-shaped containers.

Kyle realized that these must be the infamous pods. He had never seen one before…until this minute he had never fully accepted that Tess and the others had actually come from these things, but seeing them made it all too real.

His heart sank at the sight of the kid - Jennetta - floating in one of them. Her eyes were closed and she looked peaceful. Kyle wondered what Tess would have looked like in hers before she was born…

He shook his head, forced himself to focus.

He couldn’t see Liz anywhere. He scanned the large chamber and felt a sigh of relief when he caught sight of her nearby, in fact only about ten feet to his right.

She was lying on her side, bound hand and foot. Her eyes were wide and staring at the scene playing out in front of her. "Max! Max! Listen to me!"

Max was ignoring her completely though.

Liz closed her eyes briefly, seemingly frustrated. She began twisting against her bonds. Kyle watched as her eyes passed over him briefly, then lit up.

Kyle realized that she had seen him. She was motioning him to come over to her with her head.

"It’s okay Kyle! They won’t see you! Hurry!"

Kyle paused, saw Tess glance behind her. Her blue eyes were unreadable as they came to rest on his face.

She blinked once and turned back to Pam.

What the…?

He hurried over to Liz’s side, untied her. "What the hell is going on here Liz?" He demanded.

Kyle glanced nervously towards Max and the others. None of them had moved. Max and Pam were staring each other down in what must have been some sort of weird pre-"I’m going to fry you" alien ritual.

It was bizarre - like they were waiting for something.

"Tess is doing it Kyle." Liz explained, rubbing her wrists, clearly trying to get the feeling back into them. "Danala told her to kill me…instead she began an illusion. I have no idea how she’s keeping it up. Her power has totally increased."

"Then why can I see what’s happening? And who the hell is Danala?" Kyle asked, perplexed.

"Pam is Danala." Liz told him, sounding exasperated. Well, excuse me - I came in a bit late, Kyle thought to himself. "Remember Tess has to tailor the illusion to everyone she wants to see it." Liz continued, moving towards the three others. "I have no idea what to do here…" Liz moved past Max, stared up at his face in concern. He looked right through her, but his mouth was moving.

Kyle realized that some sort of conversation was happening between Max, Tess and Pam but he couldn’t hear a word of it. Apparently, there wasn’t a pre- "I’m going to fry you" ritual going on. Tess was shutting him out of whatever was happening.

And yet he could SEE it all. He just couldn’t hear it.

"Liz! Get over here!" Kyle called to her. "We have to go find Michael and the others."

Liz looked over at him. "I’m not leaving Max." She said stubbornly. "He’s going to lose it in a second Kyle. He almost attacked Tess a few minutes ago. I couldn’t hear what they were saying but I saw the look on his face…I don’t know what they told him…" She was standing beside Max, was reaching up to touch his face…he was totally unaware of her.

"Liz…." Kyle moved forward to grab her.

At that exact moment he looked over at Pam and realized that she had pulled out a gun. Kyle froze. "OH MY GOD! Liz!"

Liz whipped her head around, sending her dark hair flying around her face. She saw the gun…saw exactly where it was pointed and screamed.


Kyle tried to get to her…he really did. He made a diving leap, landed hard on his side about two feet away from her.

But it was too late.

Liz had thrown herself in front of Max…just as he saw Pam pull the trigger.

And the next thing Kyle knew, all hell broke loose.

Part 37 | Index | Part 39
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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