FanFic - Other
"a dupe jones"
Part 1
by Mavonne
Disclaimer: I didn't create the Dupes or Roswell, the TV show, or Roswell, the book series. I'm not associated with the creators of those.
Summary: The New York Royal Four, better know as the Dupes, have received a summons from "out there". Some strange things are going on, and normal is looking good. What will Zan do?
Category: Other
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This story is for the Dupers (Dupe Appreciators) and especially dedicated to LUSH (the first to let me know I wasn't the "only one") and the rest of the Truckstoppers. Enjoy! Feedback is most appreciated. :-) The title is supposed to be in all lower case letters, if anyone's wondering.
Zan was bored. It had been the same thing every night for a week. He and Rath would go to the Black Juice around 12am and talk bull all morning with guys they knew. All kinds of girls would circle Zan like sharks, their hands reaching for him like moths to a flame. Rath would end up fighting and Zan would have to restrain him from using his powers. Of course Rath occasionally would become reckless enough to down a shot glass and then he'd have to almost carry him home half comatose. Zan watched from across the room as even now Rath was getting louder and more animated talking to some preppy college football types who were as out of place as two priests. Yeah, he'd have to intervene again. The whole Black Juice goth scene was tired anyway. The night before last however something weird happened here. As soon as he walked in the door strange vibes hit him. Rath said he didn't feel anything and, before Zan could stop him, he plunged into the crowd without giving it a second thought. Typical. He didn't know whether it was a person or a thing causing the vibes, so he would do two things: get Rath out and find it. The first goal wasn't as difficult as it would have been since once again Rath drank a shot of Bacardi and was slumped in a corner, head lolling. No one was paying him any attention. Rath wasn't stupid. He just knew that when he messed up, 'King Zan' would take care of everything like he always did. When Zan took him to the coatcheck (as if the Black Juice's clientele ever had coats to check in), the tall blond stationed there, who was mindlessly chewing her orange-tipped micro-braids stood almost at attention. With a Pepsodent smile she let him leave Rath just inside the doorway. The Black Juice was ultra packed even for a Saturday night. Zan could feel the 'vibrator' moving around one side of the room. It even danced to the house music beat at times. He eased past the writhing bodies on the dance floor and the smashed goons licking spillage off the bar counter. Every time he thought he was close to it, when the sensation would become acute, the source would move. Then all of a sudden it disappeared completely off his radar, just like that. So he went back for Rath, deftly avoiding braidy-blond's shiny orange lips, and jetted. As he made his way to the crib, lugging Rath's dead weight, he wondered if this was just one more thing their protector failed to tell them about. Honestly he couldn't figure out what the h*ll kind of plan it was to assign Korn to protect the Royal Four. Korn's name was actually Drakorin and he didn't like the nickname. But since they'd spent the first seven months of consciousness outside the pods as little kids trying to fend for themselves, Zan figured they could call him any friggin thing they wanted. He was a young, rather nervous shape shifter with no sense of humor. He always reminded Zan of a socially functional dope head. Korn had told them a lot about their identities and history, but he was holding back just as much. Some things just didn't fit. If Rath had previously been his trusted second in command, why'd he rarely agree with him about anything? Why didn't he wholeheartedly trust his sister Lonnie if they had ruled so well together on Antar? She hadn't betrayed a trust exactly, but the fact was Lonnie was as sneaky as sh*t. How could he have had a great passion for Ava back on Antar and married her instead of the other chick his parents had chosen for him in order to secure peace between Antar and Bhorduin, two of the five planets between which the fiercest battles occurred. She was cute but she left his pulse slow. Sure, she was cute, but it was like…whatever. Frankly, Zan thought their protector was full of sh*t half the time, and he was sick of him - even though he was usually nowhere to be found. Two sharks in stiletto heels broke from the pack to try their luck. They whispered suggestively in his ear, thrusting their considerable endowments in his face. His gaze flicked over them indifferently. They were looking to be amused. Zan had been with one of them once, but the casual thing wasn't at the top of his 'to do' list these days. Besides, Earth girls were boringly easy - at least the ones he'd met. When the girls began to intimately rub his bare chest exposed by a black leather vest, he waved them away.

"Step off." The girls pouted but slinked reluctantly away, knowing it was no use. Zan was either interested or he wasn't. They never had to guess if the party was over before it began.

As his watchful eyes moved around the dim room barely illuminated by tiny wildly flashing lights and filled with music loud enough to melt his ears, Zan contemplated the summons they received yesterday and two days before that. All these years with no word from "home" and all of a sudden the E.T.s want the teenaged Royal Four, who were still clueless as far as he was concerned, to represent at some meeting. On top of that they wanted to do something to him, the nature of which was as of yet unexplained, to make sure he was the king. They must be nuts! He saw that it was time to get Rath who was wearing that sick anticipatory look, signaling impending mayhem. "Yo, lets go."

Rath grinned at him and turned to his companions. "Hold up a minute." To Zan, "Yo, you want in on this? They're talking cah-ray-zay and I'm getting ready to stomp 'em good." "We gotta go." "Go? Go where? We don't gotta go nowhere, man. Why you always so uptight?" "'Cause you never are. Why you always want to show off what we are?" Rath got loud. "It don't even matter if you don't answer the summons."

Zan stepped close to him, putting an arm around his neck, and spoke succinctly. "It matters 'cause I say it does. Let's go." Rath wanted to argue him down but he learned a long time ago how near impossible that was. And since he'd taken that little sip of beer, he wasn't up to the attempt anyway. So he turned to the beefy squares. "Gentlemen, some other time if you're lucky. Peace out." Outside, they found Lonnie waiting for them against the wall far away from the light. "What do yous get in there besides STDs? Free meals?" "Ooo, waiting for me, baby?" After she nudged Rath away when he tried to kiss her, he added, "Come on, you know we can't get sick. And that's perfect 'cause some of them mucky twat hoes are tight." Lonnie smacked his lingering hand away from her. "And 'cause you just a nasty freak bastard. What's up with yous? Yous been coming here every friggin night for a week." Her lips twisted mockingly. "Hm. Is this where the summit's gonna be, Zan? What are yous doing in there?" "Dayummm! She's definitely your sister, man. Why don't you check it out yourself instead of ball bustin'? You don't want me to have no fun and you won't answer the summons. What the f*ck do yous want??" "Chinese," Zan said. "Where's Ava?" "Chick is home sulking. You must not be handling your biz, brother." Zan was preoccupied with watching for something - he didn't know what - when he answered, "Sounds like you worrying about it more than me." His sixth sense - or whatever - had been pricked on and off since that morning, a totally different feeling from the one he'd had in the club. All these friggin unexplained sensations were getting on his nerves. Something was coming. Good or bad, he couldn't tell which. But since Zan disliked the unknown it was bad by default. Let the boogieman jump out so they could stomp him already, damn. Lonnie stepped close to him. "I worry about a lot of things, brother. I'm just concerned that you don't. I'm not spending my life stuck in the sewers of a primitive planet when I was made to cream." Rath massaged her neck with one hand. "That's what I'm saying. Zan, if you don't represent at the summit we'll never get any answers." Zan smirked. "Why not? We got that protector you love so much." Rath jumped in front of him. "Man, why you playing? This ain't no joke. I'm sick of stealing just to eat, and I'm sick of living like a rat. Some Royal Four we are! Living in sh*t!" Lonnie picked at her nails, looking bored. "Cut the drama. Let's just chill 'til we eat. I'm mad hungry." Zan said nothing while Rath tried to stare him down for a few seconds. They went underground and Zan paid their fares as a sub approached. Lonnie clucked her tongue. "Check you out - putting tokens in the little slot. Aww! Where'd you take them from?" "I bought 'em." That caught Rath's disgusted attention. "You bought 'em?" "I bet it's worse than that," Lonnie said. "You sold another paintin' that you actually painted, didn't you? Psh! Why you insist on acting all limited like a human is beyond me - really beyond me, brother." Rath shook his head. "Man, that is sick." Zan ignored all their little barbs. He didn't have time for their bullsh*t; he needed to stay alert. In Chinatown they bought food with money Lonnie stole yesterday. They ate there and Zan brought some back to the pod chamber for Ava, who snatched the bag without speaking and plopped down in a corner with her back to them. Rath laughed, going over to lean on her, singing in a falsetto voice, " 'After the love is gone! What used to be right is wrong!' "

"Get off me, fool!"

Lonnie's pupils rolled even farther up into her head as she stared at the shorter girl before turning to Zan. "We need to talk about the summit." He sat down on the plush, if tattered, armchair and closed his eyes, wishing he could just bail. "So talk." Rath came back over and on and on they hammered at him. Zan figured he should let them get it all out because he was about to end the discussion once and for all. He opened his eyes. "Okay, my turn. We don't know enough to go to no summit. And friggin Korn ain't made an appearance for like two months, not that he'd make a difference anyway. How did they know how to contact us? Why does Kivar, of all people, basically know exactly where we are? Aren't we supposed to be a secret from our enemies? I mean, who are these people, things, whatever? What is really going down on Antar? Let's face it. We don't know sh*t about sh*t. And I ain't gonna be moved around like a chessboard king about to get checkmated. And neither are yous. F*ck that! And this, my royal peeps, is the end of the discussion. Peace out." He turned to Ava and said, "Let's walk."

She shrugged, getting up, while Rath barked out his indignation. "I don't believe you, man! We been talking 'til we blue and that's all you got to say? That you're afraid? Naw, it's more than that. You don't want things to change. You want the friggin sewers. You don't want to go home! What the h*ll kind of king are you, Zan??" As Zan walked away, taking Ava by the arm, Rath said to Lonnie, "It can't be him, man. I'm the friggin king!" Feeling a jolt of adrenalin, Zan stopped and without turning around held up a hand. A green bubble surrounded Rath where he sat and carried him suspended about a foot in the air to the other side of the room. Lonnie slowly stood up, gaping at the sight. "Man, stop playing!" Rath exclaimed. "What the h*ll is this?" Zan put his hand down and the bubble disappeared, dropping Rath to the floor in front of him. "This is I don't want you to get confused, brother. Know this. I am the man. I'm the man!" He put a finger to his temple. "The proof is I think with a cool head. Are we on the same page?" Rath looked mutinously above his head. "I said are we on the same page?" "Yeah, man, we are. Whatever." Ava was smirking at Rath as she followed Zan out. Rath breathed deeply. "We gotta do something about him." "Chill, yo. Let me think." "Why didn't he tell us he could do that? Why hasn't he taught us?" "Who knows why Zan does what he does these days?" "Well, that's your brother, Lonnie. You don't know how to put him in check?" Lonnie sat back down, unperturbed. "Don't worry, Number Two. We're getting off this lame planet soon."

----- ----- -----

The hairs on Syndara Morgan's neck rose, when she felt the dingy green aggressively bathing her left side.

"Ay, Dawdek! Man, where you been? I know you ran out of chucky beads before now," exclaimed her brother Mack, standing on the cash register's side of the counter. "You're not the only game in town." "But the best one which is why you're back." The other guy smiled rather gruesomely and said, "Ten bucks, right?" "For some weak sh*t, sure man." Dawdek handed over fifteen dollars and received a small pouch without change. "How's about throwing this little girl in with it? I could get these for nine at the Talisman." "Don't be crude, man. This is my sister." "Whatever." Mack's blond good looks froze. "See you 'round, Dawdek." It was a dismissal. Syndara shuddered inside at the dull red emanating from Hanson Dawdek to mix with the slimy green. He glared at Mack and then raked his eyes over her. Immediately the ugly colors faded with his exit. "His shade of green is so disgusting! Why do you hang out with that creep, Mack?" "I don't. But I ain't gonna stop him from spending his money here. Anyway, I notice you see that green with any guy who's ugly and broke. And Dawdek ain't got two pots to piss in."

"I'm not kidding. It's not just ugliness. He's bad news, and this is a sick job you got. I can't believe you." She made a face, looking all around the store. "I'm helping you get another one asap 'cause I'm never coming in this motha again."

"Give it a rest. You coming home for Thanksgiving or what?" "I've only been away a few months." "So? They want to see you." "I need to be away from the parents, all right? I can give thanks for my blessings and theirs right here." "You can't still be mad about the divorce." Syn looked down, turning a jar of wheat germ over and over in her hands. "It's not right," she murmured in a low voice. "I gotta take these boxes in the back." She slowly followed him into the storage room. "Not everybody believes what you do, Syndara. Not everybody thinks they'll go to hell if they don't deny every earthly pleasure known to man, woman, and dog." "Don't even try to front, Mack. You were an altar boy for as long as I can remember until you graduated and then you spent two friggin years in the seminary. So please. Don't pretend you've seen the light of hedonism." "Okay, Sister Michael Margaret Mary. I just have one question. Is that your order's new habit or did someone accidentally cut your skirt too tight and ten inches above the knee before piercing your bottom lip? All this while you were performing devotions, oblivious to world, of course." "Screw you, Mackenzee." "What's screwed is you sulking like a brat and trying to punish two grown people for minding their own business. That's what the divorce was. Just like your decision to travel half way across the USA to live on your own at age eighteen. Granted, you picked the city I lived in - " "Lucia and Wheat live here, too." " - but I know you don't think that was the hit of the year. Anyway, your alcoholic father, anorexic mother, and even your seminarian-turned-occult-shop-manager brother were amazingly supportive. Now you pull this sh*t. You should be ashamed. Move. This is heavy." He brushed past her, carrying two hefty boxes full of ouija boards and bicolored black and white wigs. "You can keep your wheat germ. I'll buy my own," she called down after him indignantly. "Whatever." Syn stomped out of the store, taking the jar with her anyway.

----- ----- -----

Later that night she sat cross-legged on the bed in her apartment with her best friend Lucia, eating the Haagen Daz she brought over. "So, how's that fine brother of yours. What are his colors, Miss Synesthesia?" "When are you gonna stop making fun of my unique sensory perceptions? I can't help it if you can't see people's colors or taste sounds." "And I can't help it if I wear the 80's style better than Madonna did." Lucia held up her wrists shaking about a thousand bracelets, none of which matched her 'Boy-Toy' belt or pink sequined skirt short enough to be a belt. "Now come on, did he ask about me?" "Why would he ask about you? That would be so nasty, you dating my brother." "No, it wouldn't. Mmm, I just love that Brad Pitt look he has. Plus, he's got a nice ass." "Sometimes he is an ass. And ill! Do you mind not lusting after my brother around me please? It makes me squeamish." Lucia laughed. "You weren't squeamish Saturday night when a certain someone was pushing up on you." "Well…" "Ha-ha!" Lucia nudged her. "Go, Syn! It's about time. I was starting to think Roman ruined your love life forever." "No, I'm just taking my time. I'm not even interested in being tied down like that. I mean, guys are nice to you at first - trying to woo you and everything, talking that sh*t they talk - " "Mm-hm!" " - and then - BAM - suddenly you owe them the panties on demand." "Tell me about it." "It's a shame 'cause I really liked Roman but I had to tell him…look, I'll let you know when it's time. You don't tell me. What's wrong with these boys?" "I don't know, girl. I just pick and pluck through the barrel 'til I find some fruit that's not too bruised. If you're too picky, you'll be digging for years. I don't have that kind of time." "Um, you're eighteen like me. What's the hurry?" "No hurry. I mean, if I just want someone to hang out with, he doesn't have to be perfect. He only has to have a good bod, a tolerable face, pronounce and spell my name correctly (what is so difficult about saying 'Loo-sha', and writing L-u-c-i-a??) and most importantly, he can not work my nerves. I get enough of that at home. But we digress. Roman's out. Enrique's in. Caught you a hot Spanish fly! Whoo-hoo!" Syn smiled. "Stop. I don't know. He seems all right." Lucia rolled her eyes. "Please. He looks too good. That's why I'm not all on it." "Hm. I gotta see him in the daylight first. How can you tell he looked 'too good'? It was almost pitch black in there. I don't know why I let you talk me into going to that stank club for the third time." "'Cause I'm your friend and you know the place is relatively harmless. And don't worry. When it comes to guys, I see what I need to see. But the place is over for me. I'm tired of it. Now as I was saying, Enrique's a no-no for me. See, an average looking guy is a humble guy. Gorgeous guys have too many special needs - like being worshipped and playing you for a fool. Me? I need someone to cater to my special needs for a change. No more David Lipinskys for me! But anyway, I think you might have hurt Enrique's feelings a li'l bit though." "Why you say that?" "Well, a couple times while he was talking to you, you were looking all around - in the dark, mind you - for what, I don't know. What were you looking for?" "I don't know. It was the weirdest thing! I felt like I was aware of someone that I didn't know." "Why am I friends with you? I can't take this paranormal stuff. What color did you see during this 'awareness'? Are you sure it was a person?" Syn shook her head thoughtfully. "I'm not sure, but what else would be hanging out in the Black Juice? I can't see colors during loud noises." "Well, was it a good feeling or a bad feeling?" "It wasn't bad. It was just…like a pull, a magnetic thing, like I was supposed to be where it was." Syn thought about the incident while Lucia stared at her a few moments before shaking her head as if to clear it. "Okay, that's enough of the weird for tonight. Let's move on. Too bad Wheat decided to practice with that prima donna band of his - like I'm not good enough to front them with this voice." Lucia belted out and held a soprano high note while Syn held her ears. "All right, Kathleen Battle!" Lucia grinned. "I guess we'll just have to eat his share of the Haagie." She flicked on the TV right in the middle of a 'Friends' episode and bounded off the bed to get the goodies from the fridge. Syn watched the tube without really looking at it. She thought of the times she'd felt that pull before. They were nowhere near as intense as the other night, yet still memorable. The first time was on the uptown 'A' train about six weeks ago. Although she looked carefully around, she knew it was no one in the same near empty car with her, but maybe in a car or two in front of her. She didn't have time to investigate because she'd reached her stop. The other time she was in Chinatown, but it was very faint then. She didn't see colors either time. Syn didn't know why she hadn't mentioned it to anyone. As she popped open the pint of chocolate Lucia tossed her, she made the decision to stake out the Black Juice for a couple of nights to see what might…come up. She smiled at Lucia who was digging blissfully into the butter pecan and didn't know yet that she was coming too.

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