FanFic - Other
Part 50
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, Frozen Ghost.
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
Liz was the last to enter the transformation chamber. She caught sight of Kyle hurrying down the stone corridor from the opposite direction just as she was about to go through the entrance. He seemed excited. Actually, he was GRINNING.

"Liz! You’re never going to believe what I found!" He exclaimed, pulling something out from behind his back.

Liz felt her eyes widen. It was her journal! A feeling of relief flooded through her, bringing tears to her eyes. She hadn’t realized how much she had missed the book that held the history of her relationship with Max until Kyle placed it back in her hands.

"Where did you find this?" She finally managed to ask Kyle, her voice cracking slightly as she flipped through the familiar pages.

"There’s a gigantic library about ten minutes from here." Kyle explained as they made their way into the transformation chamber where the others were gathered. "There are like a million books and other things in there."

Liz snapped her head around to stare at Kyle. "Do you think there might be something in there that could help Jennetta?" Liz asked excitedly, her journal all but forgotten in the hope that suddenly claimed her.

Kyle just shook his head. "I can’t say, but Liz, the place is huge. I don’t think we’d ever find it, even if it existed."

Liz sighed with disappointment. They entered the main chamber in time to hear Isabel saying, "I think that I might be able to connect with her. I got the feeling that she had something to tell us."

Kyle looked at Liz. "What’s going on?"

"Isabel thinks that Jennetta contacted her." Liz explained.

"I want to go with you!" Maria was replying, sounding upset. "If anyone should be able to connect with her, it’s me!"

"She called for me." Isabel said firmly. "I’m going in alone."

Ren shook his head. "I don’t know about this my lady. Jennetta is absorbing very specific information in that pod. Even a momentary interruption could cause the whole system to break down."

"It’s breaking down already!" Michael interjected. "I say let her do it!"

"I cannot." Ren said. "My job is to see that she comes through the transformation safe and sound. I cannot allow the slightest…"

"I’m her father!" Michael yelled, looking like he wanted to punch Ren out.

"She belongs to Illyria." Ren replied simply. "Decisions about her safety may not be made arbitrarily."

Liz saw Alex step forward. He was as aware as she was that Michael was at the breaking point. He clearly intended to step in if his friend lost it and attacked the shapeshifter.

"But if she’s going to die anyway…" Maria said quietly. "Shouldn’t we find out what she wants us to know?" She moved forward, touched Ren’s arm. "Please Ren…"

"I can’t." But Liz could hear the weakening in his voice.

Liz looked at Max. He was listening to the conversation in silence, an unreadable expression on his face. Liz wondered why he wasn’t intervening. She knew that if he commanded Ren to let Isabel try, that Ren would do it. He never refused a direct command from Max.

Just then the entire chamber was flooded with the same piercing squeal that Max and Liz had heard the last time a tear had appeared in the pod. Michael rushed forward, ran his hands over the pod, found the tear and closed it under his hand. Maria had thrown her hands over her ears, was staring at Jennetta in horror.

"The tears are coming more often now Ren." Tess said. "That’s the third time in the last ten minutes."

Liz saw Ren swallow. For once his face was not an implacable mask. He was biting his lip, undecided. He looked at Max for guidance. Liz watched Max raise an eyebrow at him. She frowned. What on Earth was going on in her boyfriend’s head? For once she could not read him at all…

"Very well." It sounded like Ren had to spit it out. He turned away. The group collectively breathed a sigh of relief. Liz wondered why they had all felt the same need to have Ren’s permission to do this…Michael and Maria were her parents…Max was like her brother, was responsible for her on Earth. And yet they had all known that if Ren had not wanted Isabel to connect, they would not have done it.

Very strange.

Isabel moved forward, gently moved Michael aside. Her almost brother was still frantically running his hands over the pod, clearly searching for more tears. "Michael…"

Michael turned to stare at her. "Izzy…please. You need to get her to tell you how we can help her!" For the first time since this whole disaster had happened, Michael really seemed on the verge of losing it. Liz felt her heart go out to him. He had been so strong - all for Maria Liz knew. And yet he needed Jennetta even more than Liz’s best friend did.

Liz remembered how angry she had been at Michael during the months of Max’s disappearance. She remembered telling herself that she was going to forgive him when Max came back, but in her heart she never had. She and Michael were perfectly civil to each other, but they were not friends any longer.

But in this instant, seeing him crumble - finally - Liz loved him. Maria seemed incapable of moving from the spot where she stood rooted, so Liz went and took Michael’s hand, pulling him out of Isabel’s way. She put her arm around him. "It will be okay." She whispered.

Michael stared down at her, his eyes blank. He swallowed, nodded. Liz felt his spine beginning to straighten under her arm.

Isabel was rubbing her neck, staring at Jennetta’s face through the pod. She turned to Alex. "I need you to pull me out in fifteen minutes."

Alex nodded, looking worried, but as usual not trying to stop Isabel from what he knew she had to do. He knew her better than anyone else, knew that holding her back was the way to lose her.

Liz held her breath as Isabel closed her eyes, placed her hands directly on the pod. ******************************************************* Isabel opened her eyes, looked around in confusion.

She was alone in a field of waving yellow grass. The sky above was the same yellow, peculiar and disturbing…

"Jennetta!" Isabel called her sister’s name, looked around desperately. She caught a glimpse of movement far to her right. She took a deep breath, started walking in that direction.

Moments later huge standing stones were looming above her. The place was exactly like Stonehenge, yet without the fallen stones, without the destruction of centuries…the monoliths stood in perfect symmetry, a perfect ring of power.

Isabel paused on the periphery, swallowed and stepped through into the circle.

A tall, dark-haired girl - really a woman, although she was likely only a couple of years older than Isabel - was waiting for her. She looked familiar and yet not. "Hello?" Isabel said quietly.

The girl stepped forward, an expression of relief crossing her face. "Mirana! You came!" She rushed forward, grasped Isabel’s hands.

A series of flashes hit Isabel’s mind like a torrent of emotion. Michael and Maria’s faces, Max’s face, images of a palace, of a woman who looked like Isabel but was not her, images of pancakes and Tabasco sauce and Big Macs, images of an old man with a long white beard…

She blinked, shook her head. "Jennetta?" She gasped. And Isabel realized suddenly why the girl looked so familiar. She looked like a cross between Michael and Maria - just like the little girl they had known and the adolescent in the pod did as well. Her hair was Michael’s light brown, her eyes the exact same shade as her father’s. Her face was all Maria’s though, from her pert nose to her rosebud lips. Her height had obviously been inherited from Michael, although she was slender and delicate boned like her mother.

"Yes, it’s me." Jennetta acknowledged. "You’re seeing how I will look when I come out of the pod. My internal maturation is almost complete." She explained at Isabel’s perplexed look. "The outside takes a little longer." She continued wryly. She sounded impatient actually - sounded exactly like Michael.

Isabel reached out and hugged her, suddenly feeling a connection to this person that she had never allowed herself to feel before. This was Michael’s DAUGHTER. "Are you okay? Michael and Maria are seriously freaking out." Isabel told her. "Why did you call me here?"

Jennetta looked sad. "You have to let them know I’m all right Mirana. This is what had to be. It was why I didn’t let Liz or Jaxon stop me when they tried. Danala did not know what she was doing when she put me in the pod, but I knew it was right. It’s my destiny."

Isabel flinched at the word. Destiny had not been kind to any of them. "But the pod is decomposing Jennetta!" Isabel told her, realized that time was running out. She had told Alex to pull her out of her trance after fifteen minutes. She had to be close to that time now.

Jennetta looked embarrassed. "Um…actually…that’s my fault."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I needed to get your attention somehow!" Jennetta explained defensively. "And I couldn’t contact you unless I had a way to send a message through the pod."

Isabel stared at her open-mouthed. "Are you telling me that everyone thinks you’re dying for no reason?" Isabel demanded, feeling a flash of anger. Jennetta grimaced.

"Not for no reason." Jennetta reached out and grabbed Isabel by the shoulders. "You must listen to me Mirana…and hear me well. All is not well on Illyria. I do not know what is happening there, but I have been visited by Lucianus here - he teaches me - and I know that there is something desperately wrong…" She paused. Isabel saw tears fill her eyes. "Our planet is in the greatest danger it has ever faced. You must find a way to contact Mother. You must find out what is happening! It is information that I will need when I come out of the pod."

"When will that be?" Isabel demanded, doing her best to take in what Jennetta was telling her. She was still trying to adjust to the fact that the girl was safe, that she was not going to die.

"Soon." Jennetta replied. "Until then, you must keep this to yourself - I cannot have the others worrying…they have been through enough. They must continue to live their lives normally until the time of reckoning arrives. Tell my mother and father that I am well, that all is as it should be. Tell them I will return to them soon. But you MUST contact our Mother Mirana. We must know what we are going to face when we go back…"

Isabel started. "Go back?" A feeling of dread, unlike any she had ever felt before ran through her, like someone had stepped on her grave.

Jennetta sighed, nodded sadly. "You must find out what is happening Mirana. You must!"

Isabel covered her face with her hands. Go back to Illyria! They were all going to have to go back! She could not face it. She did not want to go back. Earth was her home! She was going to have to leave her parents and her friends…and Alex…


Isabel’s head snapped up. Alex’s voice…it was time to go back…

"ISABEL! Wake up!"

"They are calling for you." Jennetta said, her eyes wide. "Remember what I have told you Mirana…tell them all will be well with me…but find out the truth! You must find out!"


"Jennetta!" Isabel screamed as Jennetta began to fade away in front of her. "Can we take them with us? Jennetta! Please! Answer me!"


Isabel felt as though thousands of hands were grabbing at her. She was being dragged from the Ring. Jennetta stood perfectly still in the spot Isabel had left her. Her dark eyes were unreadable as she raised her hand in farewell…


But she was gone.

Part 49 | Index | Part 51
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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