|Majik's World of Fan Fic
|Alex C Whitman, SSAIC - Teen - Conc. - 18 Jan
|Page 1 of 2|
|Author:||Stargazer md [ Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:48 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Alex C Whitman, SSAIC - Teen - Conc. - 18 Jan|
Alex C Whitman, SSAIC
By Stargazer MD
Ship: Alex and Isabel, who else?
Disclaimer: Everything Roswell remain the property of the powers that be, and no infringement is intended. On the other hand, if you see anything you like and you would like to make use of it, you will not hear a single word of complaint from me.
Authors comment: Yea, like I have time for another story.
A Familiar Face Returns
Jeff noticed that things had become a little too peaceful in the apartment. “Where’s Claudia?” he asked his still beautiful wife.
“She went downstairs for her afternoon scoop of ice cream,” Nancy answered. “It’s alright,” she added. “Stacy’s working.” Stacy was a high school senior who had appointed herself big sister for both Claudia and the Valenti children, whenever they were visiting in Roswell.
“I think I’ll go check up on her,” Jeff announced as he headed for the stairs. “It’s not fair to Stacy to expect her to do two jobs at the same time.”
“Oh why don’t you just admit it,” Nancy teased. “You miss having kids in the house.”
Jeff laughed at the truthfulness of his wife’s words as he clumped his way down the stairs. The Crashdown had employed many of the cities teens over the years, and a number of the had found the break room a convenient place to make out. As a result of several embarrassing encounters, Jeff’s distinct footfalls had become known to one and all as a warning sign that the boss was coming.
Jeff walked out to the front of the café after exchanging pleasantries with the grill cook, but his smile turned to alarm when he didn’t see his grand daughter. Stacy was leaning on the counter with a look on her face that could be described as an eagle guarding her young, but the stool opposite her was empty. “Where’s Claudia?” he demanded.
Stacy answered without taking her eyes off the booth against the far wall. “I gave her just one scoop of strawberry ice cream,” the young waitress answered nervously. “But then she wanted to sit in the booth with her uncle.”
“Michael’s here?” he asked in surprise. “He and Kyle should be at their final fittings.”
“No,” Stacy answered. “Her other uncle.”
“She doesn’t have another uncle,” Jeff rebutted with menace in his voice as he stormed around the end of the counter, Stacy right behind him, her protective instincts in overload.
Jeff stopped at the edge of the booth and was greeted by Claudia, who jumped up onto the seat and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I asked Stacy for two scoops of ice cream, but she said I could only have one so it wouldn’t spoil my supper, but it’s okay because she said I could have strawberry,” the young girl gushed before planting a sticky kiss on his cheek.
Jeff, on the other hand, was staring down his grand daughters ‘guest.’ He saw a man who was probably once in good condition before having lived a long hard life. The gray accents on his temples blended into a well trimmed haircut, which could not hide the effect of his thinning hair. His face was weathered and lined by a lifetime of hard work, and his shoulders were stooped as if they carried the weight of the world leaving him with barely enough energy to go on. The man’s clothing, although of good quality, hung loosely, not fitting properly. As Jeff got closer, he noticed a brace on the man’s left wrist, but what struck him the hardest was the man’s eyes. The only thing that he could think of, looking at the newcomers eyes, was that the man had seen too much, and something had died inside.
Jeff’s instincts screamed at him to turn Claudia over to Stacey and run this interloper out of town.
“Hi Mr. P,” the man spoke as he turned his smiling face upwards. Struggling to exit the bench and stand, the stranger offered Jeff his hand.
Recognition dawned in the back of Jeff’s mind, but that had to be impossible. He looked past the weariness and scars, deep into this man’s blue eyes, and found a glimpse of someone from the past. He cut his estimate of the man’s age in half, and it became possible. “Alex?” he asked incredibly.
“In the flesh,” Alex replied, as he struggled upright. “Well, what’s left of it anyway,” he teased as he looked down at his wrist.
“Sit, sit, please,” Jeff gushed, waving him back into the bench as Claudia clapped her hands in excitement. “Let me get you something to eat. The old Will Smith with grilled onions, Saturn rings, and orange soda if I remember correctly.”
“No,” Alex protested. “Thank you for offering. Stacy brought me an orange juice, I don’t think I could keep anything else down.” Alex noticed Jeff’s look of concern, so he quickly explained. “I guess I’m still jet lagged. My stomach hasn’t settled yet, but you know me and the Crashdown. I just couldn’t stay away.”
“Ahh,” Jeff said in understanding. “You flew in for the wedding.”
“Yea,” Alex admitted guiltily. “I missed Liz’s wedding, it couldn’t be helped,” he gushed. “I couldn’t miss Maria’s also.”
“Well they’re all going to be so happy to know that you’re home,” Jeff enthused.
“I was hoping to just slip in and out,” Alex said softly. “I’m taking the red-eye out of Denver back to Washington on Monday. I have to get back to work,,, and I have a doctors appointment.”
“Well you’re not going to get away with slipping anywhere once the girls see you,” Jeff teased. “And speaking for the happy couple I inviting you to the rehearsal dinner tonight.”
“I know,” Alex moaned. “Once they get over the shock of seeing me, their going to kill me.”
Claudia scooted across the table, much to her grandfathers chagrin, and stood on the bench, wrapping her arms around Alex’s neck.
“It’s so’kay Uncle Alex,” she promised, kissing him on the cheek. “I’ll protect you.”
“I know you will Princess,” Alex replied.
“Princess!” Claudia clapped her hands in glee, “That’s what Auntie Izzy-bell calls me. Uncle Alex,” she said, turning to him with as serious a look as a seven year old could muster, “You’re going to ‘scort Auntie Izzy-bell at Auntie ‘Ria’s wedding?”
“I don’t know about that,” Alex replied skeptically, looking towards Jeff for an explanation.
“Isabel refused an escort for Maria’s wedding,” Jeff explained, “The same way she walked down the aisle alone at Liz’s and Max’s wedding. She steadfastly refused to accompany anyone who would be no more than an arm for her to hang onto.”
“I just don’t know if I can walk and stand that long,” Alex explained softly to his new niece.
“That’s okay, Uncle Alex” she quipped as she scooted back to the other side of the table and the dregs of her frozen treat. “We’ll take care of you.”
|Author:||Velvet Skye [ Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:43 pm ]|
Of course I can't beta right now. LOL. I barely have a working computer.
I get my job back when we are fully functioning though, RIGHT?
or am I?
Anyways Isabel isn't dating anyone it appears and is going through life alone?
and what does the SSAIC stand for?
And where has Alex been and why aren't they together? And questions, questions...
I hope to get their answers.
edited to add: Will this be a long story or a short one?
|Author:||KaraGail [ Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:33 pm ]|
oooh This sounds good. :
What has happened to Alex? It sounds like life has been rough on him
Can't wait to see where you take this one. :
|Author:||jbangelo [ Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:18 pm ]|
Yes, yes, many questions. Update soon. :D
|Author:||majiklmoon [ Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:15 pm ]|
okay...get yourself back here and update ASAP...I command it!
|Author:||Stargazer md [ Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:17 pm ]|
Alex C Whitman, SSAIC
Truths Comes Out
Later that evening the entire clan had gathered at the Evans’ after the rehearsal dinner. The group settled down in the family room while the adults removed themselves to the kitchen.
Everyone sat around the room, coupled up, while Alex and Isabel shared the couch, Claudia between them. Conversation was uncomfortable with everyone struggling to avoid the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room. Finally Maria couldn’t take it any more. “So Alex, what have you been doing since you left Roswell?”
Alex looked at his childhood friend with a smile. “It figures it was you, I’ve been dreading that question all evening,” he led off warily. He stopped a moment and considered how to continue.
“What’s the matter?” Max challenged. “You didn’t do anything to bring shame and embarrassment to the good city of Roswell, did you?”
“I don’t know about that,” Alex hemmed and hawed. “I moved to Washington DC and parlayed my computer skills into a job working for the Government,,,”
“The Government!” Michael hissed.
“Yea, the Government,” Alex replied hesitantly. “You know, we take your money and buy five hundred dollar (xxx€)
“How did you manage to do that, I mean, not buying toilet seats, but end up working for the government? Liz asked reasonably.
“Actually it was quite easy. After I left here I tested out of my senior year of high school and took some courses at Georgetown. It just so happened that I was assigned to do a paper on white collar crimes so I wrote a paper predicting that Enron was going to implode. When it happened the paper got me some attention. My next paper predicted a problem with Tyco. When they were indicted I got a visit from some recruiters over at Justice.”
“So you became one of our hunters,” Max spit out.
“Listen everybody,” Alex said in his calmest and most reassuring voice, “I was just one of a thousand bureaucratic cubical dwellers on E-street. Most days my greatest achievement was making it from the Metro (DC’s subway system) to work without getting run over by a taxi.”
“So you had nothing to do with us while you were in Washington all these years,” Isabel asked in her most consolatory manner, hoping to play the peace keeper.
“Well I’m not saying that I didn’t misdirect an e-mail or two over the years,” Alex admitted, “My personal mission was to ‘Swerve and Deflect.’ I’d do anything for my friends after all; but in all honestly, I spent most of my time in front of a computer doing research.”
“Well you have to give the guy credit,” Maria joined in. “We haven’t seen an agent here in what, six or seven years?”
Isabel’s eyes met Alex’s. “Despite everything that happened, you’d still do anything for me, wouldn’t you?”
Alex simply looked down, embarrassed, the conversation taking a turn he couldn’t allow. Instead he bent down and kissed Claudia on the top of her head.
“Isabel? Are you okay?” Michael asked with concern. “You looked a little flushed.”
“I’m okay,” she replied unconvincingly, wilting under Michael’s stare. “Well maybe a little water.”
“I’ll get it,” Alex interjected automatically, struggling to rise.
“Oh for Christ sake Alex, Sit Down!” Isabel snapped.
Michael slipped out from his place under Maria. “I’ll get it bro,” he said as he placed his hand on Alex’s shoulder, pushing his friend back into his seat.
Any thanks Alex could have given Michael was drowned out by Maria. “What the hell’s gotten into you Isabel? Did you get out of bed this morning and take a suck pill?”
Alex scooted forward on the couch and leaned forward, patting Maria on the knee. “It’s okay Maria, I’m sure Isabel simply didn’t want to see me hobble into the kitchen to fetch her a drink.” He turned to his formed girlfriend, “But I have to keep moving around, otherwise I stiffen up. It only takes a moment for my joints to warm up.”
“Sweetie,” the near tearful young woman enjoined, using an endearment that wasn’t lost on anyone. “It tears me up inside to see you hurt. You’re younger than I am. You shouldn’t have to wait for your joints to warm up.”
Alex, noticing that Claudia looked upset, scooted tighter to Isabel on the couch. “Hey Princess,” he said softly as he placed his arm around Isabel’s shoulder as Claudia snuggled in between the two of them, “Are all of these loud voices scaring you?”
Claudia hopped down from their lap and ran over to her mother, scampering up into Liz’s lap, then stretching up to whisper into her ear.
Liz’s eyebrows shot up as Claudia finished her discourse and then sat in her lap. Liz kissed the top of her daughters head and then turned towards the others with a look of wonder on her face. “She told me that she isn’t afraid of the yelling, but she did notice that Isabel’s purple became streaked with yellow and gray.”
“She can see my aura?” Isabel gasped.
Claudia smiled shyly and nodded in response.
Max swept over, knelt by their chair, and tickled Claudia’s belly. Max turned to the other adults who had gathered close by, “She’s never exhibited powers before.” He turned back to his daughter, “Pumpkin, is there anything else you need to tell Mommy and Daddy?”
“You haven’t been changing your milk to chocolate, have you?” Maria teased.
“Sweetheart?” Liz asked. “How were you able to recognize Uncle Alex in the Crashdown?”
“That’s easy,” Claudia quipped. “While I was going down the stairs I just knew he was there.”
“Du-du-du-du,” Maria hummed the theme to ‘Twilight Zone.’
“Wow,” Max exclaimed, awed.
“The timing’s about right,” Alex observed.
“What?” Isabel snapped. “You knew about this?”
“No Izzy,” Alex said softly, “I didn’t even know about Claudia until she wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me on the cheek, but I have read a lot about alien theory, child development, and things like that,” he said evasively. “All young need time to grow and learn, humans taking the longest of any species on the planet due to our need to develop language and social skills.”
“So are you saying that we take longer because of our greater,,, gifts?” Isabel asked diplomatically.
“No, I’m saying that those gifts,” Alex replied with a special smile for her, “Appear later in life as you are ready for them. Imagine an infant that could set fire to her bedding, or a toddler that could unlock doors and run out into traffic,” he quipped, holding up his injured wrist. “It’s a survival tactic for your species,,,” Alex concluded, his voice trailing off as he noticed everyone looking at him. “Or so it would seem.”
“Who have you been talking to about us?” Michael challenged.
“Just lurking on the sci-fi boards, that’s all. If you don’t believe anything else about me,” Alex explained innocently. “Know that your secret’s safe with me.”
|Author:||Velvet Skye [ Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:50 pm ]|
Ok Alex is worrying me.
hes a government agent.. although i know he would do nothing to harm them.
But why was he acting evasively when discussing an alien child and genetics? WHY?
Was he part of an operation that studied aliens or something? Why would he not want to discuss their growth unless he knows something about it?
(Why am i not betaing this LOL)
Why does he have to wait for his joints to warm up, and seems so old even though he must be no older than mid to late twenties. Has someone experimented on him?
What the heck is going on, whats all the secrets that he is hiding, where has Isabel been all this time, and why did he (run away?) He for some reason trested out of his Sr. year.. so that means that he'd already left at that point.
I'm going nuts. Where has he been, whats Isabel been doing without him, and how have either of them survived without the other.
now.. please answer all the answerable questions from before LOL i.e. the abbrev, and is this a long or short story?
|Author:||majiklmoon [ Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:02 pm ]|
uh oh...something is rotten in the state of Alex. I'm getting very suspicious here!
|Author:||Island Breeze [ Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:00 am ]|
Well, this is definitely mysterious. What's up with Alex anyway? And he's G-man, an agent! Interesting!
Why does he have to wait for his joints to warm up, and seems so old even though he must be no older than mid to late twenties. Has someone experimented on him?
Yeah, I was wondering about that, too. Almost makes me wonder if he's really Alex or maybe a clone or something that isn't really human and needs to warm up or something. Probably not, but all these thoughts passed through my mind wondering what was up. I guess we'll find out more soon... hopefully!
|Author:||Stargazer md [ Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:50 pm ]|
Isabel quietly shuffled her way out into the hall and then down the stairs. Something was in the air tonight. Something she couldn’t quite put her finger on, yet that something had caused her to toss and turn for the past several hours. Tossing her covers off in disgust, she decided that the only way she was going to get any rest at all was a glass of warm milk. She crossed her room quietly, checked on Claudia, and then tip-toed down the stairs. Reaching the first floor she continued into the kitchen, and gathered a carton of milk and her favorite glass. Turning to the table, both crashed to the floor as she found Max sitting at the table with his head in his hands.
“Max,” Isabel gasped as she instinctively bent to clean her mess. “You startled me,” she explained as she put the reconstituted glass down. Seeing that he was unresponsive, she sat next to him. She leaned forward and placed her hand on his shoulder, “Max?”
“Claudia?” Max asked in a momentary panic, seeing his daughters roommate.
“She’s fine,” Isabel reassured him. “Sound asleep. I think her trip out to the back yard to go stargazing with Uncle Alex finally wore her out.” She then watched as her brother returned to his pensive pose. She softly asked again, “Max?”
“I walked Alex out to his car tonight while you and Liz were putting Claudia to bed,” Max stammered, his voice empty but his eyes brimming with tears.
Isabel waited forever for him to continue, all of ten seconds. “And?” she probed, her own voice cracking with panic.
“When we got to his car his knee collapsed as he tried to slide into the drivers seat. He fell on his ass right in the middle of the driveway.”
“Oh God!” Isabel exclaimed, her hand flying to her mouth. “Is he alright?”
“It hurt me so bad to see him like that,” Max gasped, distress flowing out through his voice. “I just wanted to take his pain away, so I put my hand on his knee. I was going to heal him, right there, right in the front yard.”
Isabel’s eyes opened wide as she realized the significance of his admission.
“He grabbed my hand. Said I couldn’t do that. He wouldn’t let me,” Max confessed.
“He stopped you before you could heal him?” Isabel asked, relived.
“He prevented me from healing him,” Max sighed, “But he couldn’t prevent the flashes. It seemed like an old memory, maybe a couple of years after he left Roswell. He was sitting in a white room. There were four others. They kept circling him asking him questions. Who are the aliens. Was Liz an alien? How did she survive getting shot? What about Kyle with all his mind over matter crap? Was that some kind of alien philosophy? When the questions didn’t work they started to beat him.
“He was so scared, but somehow I sensed that he wasn’t scared for himself. He feared failure. Then I picked up something more, that he had been looking forward to this moment. That somehow this was part of a much bigger plan.
Alex looked them right in the eye. ‘What makes you think there are aliens in Roswell anyways?’ he taunted. ‘Did you ever stop to ask why the shooting happened when it did? Right at the start of the Crash Festival? Roswell is a small city in the middle of the desert, with only two things going for it. The cheese factory and tourism. That little stunt we pulled resulted in the most profitable Crash Festival we’ve ever had. All we needed was a couple of guys from the cheese factory with a gun full of blanks and a suspicious sheriff playing his part to keep the conspiracy theory alive. Hell, Jim even manufactured a blood covered dress that had all of you guys fooled for years.’
“By this time he had planted a seed of doubt in at least half of the agents, a situation that their supervisor had to put an end to in a hurry. He drew his gun, put it against Alex’s leg, and threatened him. ‘Tell me about the girl, Isabel. She treated you like dirt. When she wanted something from you she was your friend, and the rest of the time she wouldn’t give you the time of day.’ One of the other men was laughing, comparing you to his ex-wife while the third agent continued beating on Alex.
The second man called Alex a fool, saying that you were running around behind his back, doing some latino guy at night while keeping you wrapped around your little finger during the day,” Max related disbelievingly while shaking his head, not noticing the color drain from his sisters face. “They told him that all he needed to do was to admit that you were an alien and he would be set free. It was a mistake for them to attack you like that, because I could feel Alex’s fear wash away, but I think they could tell also. That’s when they shot him,,,”
Isabel gasped at this news. “Noooo,,, He was hit by a taxi,,,” she stammered.
“He really didn’t say that Iz, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he wants us to think.” Max paused a moment to get his voice under control before continuing with the story. “But they really did shoot him, I could see him writhing on the floor in agony. They kept demanding that he betray us. They continued to beat him, kicking him on his injured leg. They told him that if he simply identified one of us, that they would get him a doctor.
“He lay there day and night in his own filth, no food or water. Every time he passed out or fell asleep they would hit him again. It wasn’t until the third day, when his wound became infected that they got him some medical treatment, but by then it was too late. His leg never healed properly.”
“He never said anything?” Isabel asked, tears flowing down her face.
“No, in fact he won that encounter,” Max answered. “When they started in on him they didn’t know anything, and instead of getting answers from him, he succeeded in causing more doubt in their minds.”
Her snack forgotten, Isabel returned to her room, checked on Claudia, and then crossed her room to settle on her own bed. She pulled her covers up to her chin, a cold she couldn’t explain chilling her to the bone; but she was on a mission. She closed her eyes and entered her own world
Isabel grew increasingly irritated as she floated in the dream realm while humming Alex’s song. Never known for her patience, her ire was evident in her voice as she started through his tune for the third time. She had never had so much trouble during a dreamwalk, and despite the fact that she had not visited Alex for years, she was confident that she had his pitch perfect. Finally her efforts were rewarded, as she felt his orb approaching form the far reaches of the realm, but instead of the usual sense of euphoria that enveloped her whenever she thought of him, she felt a growing sense of dread as his orb approached.
“Oh God!” Isabel cried out as Alex’s essence hovered in front of her. Instead of the almond scented sunny orange orb that Isabel remembered, she now saw a charred blackened cinder that looked as if the life had been sucked out of it by several obvious puncture wounds. Isabel felt compelled to reach out and touch his orb, all the while dreading what she would find out. She could feel the coldness radiating from it before touching it, but she sensed another presence as well, “Nicholas!” she gasped, startled awake. “Oh God Sweetie, what have you been doing,” she wailed as her tears flowed freely.
Isabel curled up into a little ball around her pillow and cried herself back to sleep, slipping into her own dream, one that had been haunting her for years. It was two weeks after their junior prom and everyone was more than ready for the summer break, well everyone but Isabel. She was in a blind-assed panic. She had lowered all her walls and showed her real self to Alex, warts and all, and he didn’t so much as blink. He loved her, who she was now, and who she had been before. He loved her unconditionally, and that fact had her absolutely and totally freaked, because she had not yet decided if she was capable of loving herself.
Isabel watched her dream self park her mother’s car in front of the Seven-Eleven and then strut inside, her Ice Princess façade firmly in place. She turned into the frozen food aisle, desperately in need of her favorite comfort food after a rather rocky afternoon with Alex. She felt a familiar tingle as she turned from the freezer, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food clutched in her hand. “Jesse,” she exclaimed in surprise as she almost bumped into him, he was standing so close.
“Ready to go out with me?” he asked arrogantly.
Isabel must have let the tingle get to her, because instead of giving him the slap that he deserved, she leaned in and kissed him. She felt Jesse turn aggressive, his hand on her ass and his tongue probing her closed lips. As if dashed with a bucket of cold water, her tingle left her. Her eyes opened, and she extracted herself from Jesse’s clutches. “Nope,” she sighed airily. “Didn’t feel a thing.”
“What?” Jesse gasped. “That was some of my best stuff.”
“Well how does it feel to know your best isn’t good enough,” Isabel called out over her shoulder as she headed for the check-out counter.
Isabel waited for the dream to end. It always ended with her turning her back on Jesse, along with her regrets that her last kiss had been from that letch instead of Alex. But this time, the dream continued with her approaching the counter. She paid for her ice cream and headed for the door. “What am I supposed to do with this?” she heard the clerk mutter angrily. Isabel was surprised that instead of leaving like she did in real life, her dream self went back and engaged the clerk.
“Do you want an orange soda? Otherwise I’ll just have to throw it out,” the clerk asked, calming down. “Damned kids,” he added looking out the door.
“Orange?” Isabel gasped.
“Yea, some tall lanky kid slammed it down on the counter and stormed out of here.”
“Alex!” Isabel choked out as she bolted upright in her bed. ‘Oh my God,’ she thought to herself as she climbed out of bed and pulled on her robe. She didn’t feel herself violently yank the belt of her robe so tight it almost took her breath away, all she could think of was this new revelation from her dream. Quickly looking over to make sure that Claudia was still asleep, she stepped to her window and looked out at the stars as hot tears coursed down her face. ‘I can’t believe that he was there when I kissed that jerk, and that I didn’t realize it until now.’ This development stunned her. Alex had spent most of that afternoon trying to convince her that they had a future together, yet the more he insisted that he loved her and would do anything to protect her, the more insistent she was that he leave her and all her baggage behind and go out into the world and find a nice girl to start a family with.
Well she now realized that the joke was on her. She had been caught doing the only thing that Alex would no longer forgive, taking solace in the arms of yet another older guy. Since then, she had spent all this time in the mistaken belief that Alex had left and made a good life for himself, a fantasy that consoled her during the long lonely nights where she endured an almost physical craving for her lost love. But now she knew that it was in fact her own actions that had driven him away, to a dangerous life where her safety had been bought and paid for with his own blood and tears. She declared a truce with herself, she would not spoil Maria’s wedding, but as soon as that was out of the way, she was going to set her old boyfriend straight.
|Author:||Rim [ Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:41 am ]|
OMG OMG what happen to poor alex when he left roswell. white room i can't believe it. more soon please can't wait to see why they went after him.
|Author:||Pooh [ Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:44 am ]|
Loving this story...as I love all your stories, I know you will explain everything in due time, so I'm not worried. I HATE that Isabel kissed ***** but at least she told him off, I can live with that. Keep it coming and I hope to have a LONG e-mail all about your Friday nite this weekend :D
|Author:||Stargazer md [ Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:27 pm ]|
The guests who had arrived early and had already been seated when Claudia marched down the aisle and stopped in front of the communion rail. The Whitman’s watched as the flower girl looked around, and then turned with a big pout on her face. She then stomped over to her grampy Philip.
“She looks just like Isabel,” Gloria commented.
They then watched as Claudia spoke earnestly to her grandfather while Philip looked around in panic. Claudia pounded her fist onto her hips and stamped her foot loudly on the floor, while a cloud of thunder crossed her face. Philip, now having his marching orders, quickly exited his pew and made his way into the sacristy.
“Acts just like Isabel, too,” Charles chuckled. “She must of got that from Max. There must be a lot of Isabel in the Evan’s adopted genes.“
Philip returned moments later with a tall ladder backed chair. Under Claudia’s direction, he placed the chair on the right side of the altar. Claudia hopped up on the chair, kissed Philip on the cheek, and then skipped her way to the back of the church.
Liz smoothed Claudia’s dress one last time as the organist switched from whimsical background music to the business at hand. “That’s your cue Pumpkin,” Liz said softly as she sent her little girl down the aisle. “Just like we practiced last night,” she added nervously.
Kyle and Tess then stepped into the doorway. They leaned into each other, kissed tenderly, and then the moment Claudia crossed a mark in the floor, they gave Maria a quick wave and then stepped out into the church.
Isabel confidently stepped into the doorway and held her hand out for Alex. While flicking a microscopic spec of lint from the hastily rented tux that she had personally altered, she noticed both a look of nervousness on his face and hesitation in his movements. She leaned over and whispered to him, “I’m so nervous. I’m afraid I’ll trip and ruin Maria’s wedding.”
“Have no fear my Dear, your trustworthy Alex is here,” he quipped, all thoughts of his own problems dashed as he rose to Isabel’s rescue.
Isabel smiled at him, then wrapped her arm around his waist, willing to help support him.
“Not today, I’m not a cripple today,” he said earnestly as took her arm, wrapped his own around it, and led her down the aisle. As they reached the sacristy, both were relieved to see that someone, in their infinite wisdom, had provided him with a chair to lean on. Isabel resisted his protest as she accompanied him to his position, but as she quickly stepped across the main aisle to her own spot, she missed the wink that Alex sent Claudia’s way.
By the time Isabel had settled into her assigned spot, Max was struggling to keep Michael from bolting. The interesting part was that Michael, instead of bolting out the side entrance, looked ready to charge down the aisle and claim his bride on the spot. “Michael,” Max pleaded. “Michael!” he called out as his friend moved over to the center of the aisle. “Do you have any idea what Maria’s going to do to you if you mess up her,,,”
Michael strode up the aisle, passing an amazed Liz, until he faced off in front of his intended bride.
“Michael, what are you doing?” Maria hissed in a voice loud enough to be heard in the next county.
“Who dreamed up this rule that I couldn’t see you until the ceremony?” Michael panted, his voice heavy with emotion. “Next time we get married either we drop that rule or we get married at sunrise.”
”You doof!” Maria snapped as she whacked him with her bouquet. “Get back up there,,,”
Michael took her face in his hands and kissed her with all of the feelings and needs that had built up since he last saw her the night before. He maintained the lip lock until his bride stopped struggling, which allowed him to back up a bit without risking serious bodily damage. “This day has been torture for me, knowing I couldn’t be with you. I love you Maria, and I can’t wait any longer to hold you in my arms.”
Amy, who had quietly slipped into the aisle to back up her daughter, a heavy hymnal the only weapon she could find, beamed as she heard the words of love that Michael was sharing with the fruit of her loins. She had long ago found peace with Michael’s faults, so long as he made her daughter happy. But she could not change her nature. If Michael ruined Maria’s wedding, she would beat him like a circus monkey. Finding her services unneeded, at least for the moment, she slipped unnoticed back into her pew. When her husband leaned in she simply advised, “I should have known something like this would happen. I’ll tell you later, Jim.”
“I love you more right now than I ever thought possible,” Michael said breathlessly, “And nothing that’s going to happen up there will change that,,,”
“Michael” Maria snapped. “We’re getting married, remember? My wearing your ring? Taking your name? The whole world knowing we’re together thing?”
“This is important to you?”
Maria simply looked at her, her eyes imploring.
“Then let’s do this,” Michael declared, wrapping his arm around her shoulder and guiding her towards the front of the church.
They took their places in front of the Priest, Michael impatiently rocking back and forth from foot to foot while Maria looked up to the cleric.
The priest raised his arms, the richly embroidered cross glistening in the spotlights. The peace of the church was then shattered as the celebrant began to pontificate in a voice reminiscent of broken nails on a blackboard. “Marriage,,,”
“Padre,” Michael declared in a stage whisper as he rolled his hand in a small circle, “Get to the good stuff.”
“Dearly beloved?” the priest ventured in an unsure voice.
“I’ll take it from here,” Michael said softly as he turned to face Maria. He reached out and took her hands in his own. “Maria, I love you.” He held his hand out to Max, who gave him Maria’s ring.
As Michael slipped her ring on her finger she added softly, “And you knew this when?”
“No one’s ever jumped in front of a speeding car for me.”
“I love you too,” Maria said out loud as she held out her hand, Liz carefully placing Michael’s ring in her palm. “And you’re just admitting that now?” she added softly.
“Admitting what?” Michael teased. “Can I get back to you on that?” He turned to the priest, “Don’t you have something to say?”
“I now pronounce you husband and wife?” the celebrant ventured hesitantly as the young couple shared a passionate kiss. The priest tossed his missalette over his shoulder. “Easiest hundred twenty-five dollars (105€) I ever made,” he mumbled as he headed back towards the sacristy.
Michael let go of Maria as they turned to face the congregation. “It’s official!” he shouted in joy. “Now for the party. We’ll see you at the Country Club at Summer Haven Park.” He took Maria by the hand and headed for the limo.
Alex slid up to the bar and leaned over to talk to the bartender. “A tall glass, a little bit of ice, Mountain Dew, and two shots of vodka, please.”
“Mountain Dew and vodka?” she asked incredulously. “That sounds horrible.”
“It is,” Alex sighed. “But it contains caffeine, sugar and anesthesia. It’s the only way I’m going to make it through this reception.”
The bartender noticed the brace on Alex’s hand as he opened his wallet. “Sir,” she cautioned. “You really shouldn’t be drinking if you’re on medication. You could get a bad reaction.”
“I’m counting on that,” Alex smiled as he left a ten on the bar.
Meanwhile Liz and Max were walking hand in hand out to the little gazebo behind the reception hall. They stepped inside and sat on one of the benches as they reminisced. “Remember how panicked we were, if they would have this finished before our ceremony?” Liz pondered.
“Dad had something to do with that,” Max quipped. “He rode Bobby Cotton like a bicycle, making sure it would be ready. Maria didn’t want to use it for her wedding?”
“Amy insisted on a church,” Liz answered. “She said that Michael had been defiling Maria for so long that only a church wedding could erase her shame?”
“Amy’s shame?” Max guffawed. “She and Jim,,,”
“I know!” Liz laughed. After a moment’s thought she ventured carefully, “Do you think Isabel?”
“She’s been planning her wedding for years,” Max sighed. “In fact she designed this,” he waved his hand around the gazebo.
“I didn’t know that!” Liz gasped.
“She hired her own surveyor to make sure it was situated with a perfect view,” Max added. “Did you ever notice you can see all the open areas of the park yet none of the golfers?” He paused to gather his thoughts on the matter. “She’s never stopped loving him,,,”
“We need to set things right by him,” Liz agreed, but her plans were interrupted by the appearance of a bright beam of light off to the side of the clearing. “What the hell is that?” she gasped.
“I don’t know,” Max replied, swinging so that he was in a defensive position between his wife and the swirling vortex of light, “But it doesn’t look good.
Claudia was sitting at the children’s table listening to her Uncle Alex telling a story when she looked up to see Aunt Isabel approaching. “Hi Auntie Izzy-bell,” she said with a big smile.
“Hi Claudia,” Isabel replied, directing herself directly to her niece. “Do you think I could borrow your Uncle Alex?”
Claudia jumped up onto her chair excitedly, and leaned close to her tall aunt’s ear. “Of course Auntie Izzy-bell,” the young prodigy beamed. “We only have Uncle Alex for a short time. We have to joy him while we can.”
“We have to enjoy him while we can,” Isabel corrected, the teacher in her slipping out momentarily.
“That too,” the littlest hybrid replied cryptically, a comment missed by the adults as they looked at each other.
Isabel turned her attention back to her niece, and gave her a quick hug, whispering in her ear, “Well, we may just may have to do something about that.”
“Oh Goodie!” Claudia gushed with a big smile on her face, the prospect of getting more time with her new found uncle exciting her even as she watched her aunt hold out her hand to lead him to the dance floor.
“You didn’t think you were going to go the entire evening without treating me to a dance, did you?” Isabel teased.
Alex moved stiffly, but followed her onto the dance floor. “Please be gentle,” he pled. “I’m in no condition for this.”
“It’s okay,” she said softly, “I requested a slow song.”
Alex squared off in front of her, and then almost formally reached for her, taking her hand in his and placing his other on her hip.
Isabel tolerated his distance only until the song started. As soon as the first guitar note of Saving Ferris’ Let Me In sounded she stepped into his embrace and wrapped her arms around him. She flinched and looked up at him in alarm as she felt the ridges of scars on his back.
“Shhh,” he whispered, pulling her back into his arms. “It’s just a memento of another one of my accidents.”
“You seem to have had so many accidents,” Isabel asked tenderly.
“Now you’re starting to sound like my insurance agent,” Alex teased.
“Maybe she cares about you,” Isabel mentioned cautiously.
“He,” Alex emphasized, “Weighs three hundred pounds, has a full beard, and five kids. But lets not talk about me. All we have is the moment, and I don’t want to waste it talking.” Alex slowly slid his hand behind her neck and pulled her head down to his shoulder.
Isabel desperately wanted to make him understand that they could have much more than this moment. During the past several days she has seen that there was hope that he still has feelings for her, and that it may be possible that he could forgive her sins of the past and that they could move on together. But she instinctively knew that this was not the moment to try, so she took faith in his gentle touch as he guided her to his shoulder, a place that she should have never left.
Isabel moved her hand across his back, her fingers absently running along one of the ridges of scar tissue, as she lowered her face against the side of his neck. The moment her cheek touched his skin, she received not so much a flash, as a glimpse of an echo of that traumatic time in his life. She could sense his pain as he was struck down by an energy blast fired by Nicholas.
Alex could sense her distress. “Hey, I’m not that bad a dancer, am I?” he quipped.
“No! You’re still wonderful,” Isabel sighed, settling deeper into his embrace as a hot tear slipped down her troubled face and dropped unheeded onto the shoulder of his rented tux.
Alex took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of her hair. He opened his eyes, focusing on how the light caused her hair to glisten. He shut out the outside world, but his rumination was interrupted when he heard Isabel sigh, “I never stopped loving you.”
Alex pulled back, looking her in the eyes, “Isabel,,,”
Isabel’s temper flared, she was not going to loose him again. “What?” she demanded. “Tell me you don’t love me! Tell me you can’t forgive me!”
“I,,,” Alex stammered as his world came crashing down around him. “I,,,” his greatest fears realized. “Isabel, I’m leaving in the morning. I have a doctor’s appointment in Bethesda,,,”
“I don’t give a good God damned what your schedule is, and I don’t give a flying fig what your doctors are doing,” Isabel snapped, fire in her eyes. “I don’t know what you’ve been doing in your life, except for the fact that you seem to be stumbling from one accident to another, and your medical teem has proven itself to be unable to take care of you. As far as I am concerned neither you or your doctor are capable of making a rational decision so as of right now I am taking over.”
“Isabel, I,,,” Alex started to stammer.
“Shut up!” Isabel commanded. “You’re not going back to Washington, you’re coming home with me tonight. We turned my parents guest room into my study, but I have a futon in there. You will be sleeping on it until Liz, Max, and Claudia move into their new house next week, at which time I will move you into Max’s old room. As soon as I get home from school tomorrow you, Liz, Max and I are going to sit down and no one is leaving the room until we have a plan and time table for getting you fixed up. Then I’m going to hire a moving company to collect your belongings from Washington and bring them here.”
Isabel paused to take a breath, and to decide if she was really going to go through with this. She decided that she was. That she had to. And in making that decision, a sense of calm and clarity came over her that she had not felt in years. “I made the biggest mistake of my life eight years ago when I was too afraid to chase after you and drag you back here kicking and screaming. I’ve been consoling myself all these years by telling myself that you had moved on and made a nice life for yourself, but judging by what I’ve seen I’ve been wrong. I am not going to make that same mistake again. You are going to stay here in Roswell and let the people who know and love you take care of you even if it kills you.”
Alex realized in that moment that he was foolish to have returned to Roswell, to the people that he had missed so much. He should never have surrendered to the selfish notion that he could see them one last time. He had never stopped to consider how much his visit would cost them when he left again, letting them go forever. Their happiness at seeing him again was writing a check that his body just could not cash. He would have to disappear again, all the better to protect them. But while he was mentally berating himself for what he was about to do, he looked over Isabel’s shoulder as Liz slipped around edge of the gathering, rounding up Jim, Michael and Tess. His sense of alarm skyrocketed as Liz turned and looked their way. Alex could see her decide to leave them alone, and then the group slipped quietly outside. “Would you excuse me a moment?” Alex asked chivalrously. “I need to use the rest room.”
“Rest room my ass,” Isabel replied. “I can feel the change that just came over you. I could feel you tense up.”
Alex decided that he would not lie to her. “Something’s going on, Liz just gathered up the Czechoslovakian Army.” He put both hands on her shoulders, “I can’t ask you to stay here where it’s safe, can I?”
“Will you stay here where you won’t get hurt again?” Isabel countered. She reached down and took his hand. “Lets see what’s going on.”
|Author:||Rim [ Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:29 pm ]|
omg what is going on too many questions. but i love it so far more soon i hope
|Author:||Stargazer md [ Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:35 am ]|
The Uninvited Guest
Alex and Isabel went outside and found Max and Michael detaining what appeared to be a security guard. “He says he was hired by the country club,” Michael explained to Jim who had arrived just moments before.
“I know everyone in the city who is licensed to provide private security services,” Jim stated coldly, “And he’s not one of them.”
“That’s kind of obvious since I saw him step out of a portal,” Max explained. “I took this away from him before he could get away,” he added, holding out a glowing crystal.
The guard took note of Alex’s arrival with alarm. “The Dustbuster,” he gasped.
“Good! You know who I am. That will save us time,” Alex replied coldly as he walked past his friends and took charge of the situation.
“The Dustbuster?” Michael asked in confusion.
“Somebody’s idea of a sick joke,” Alex replied dismissively. “But it suits my purposes, so I can’t complain.” He turned his attention back to the guard. “Why have you come?”
“Lord Kivar has dispatched me to this world to locate Princess Vilandra and return her to her rightful place at his side,,,”
“You know I would never let that happen,” Alex reasoned. “You know I would kill you if you even tried. Why do you continue to serve a ruler that cares so little for your safety?”
“We were told that Nicholas had killed,,,” the guard stammered momentarily before composing himself. “No matter. I serve at the feet of Lord Kivar. His wish is my command.”
“So many have tried,” Alex sighed, shaking his head in remorse. “So many have died,,,”
“You have killed my race by the hundreds,” the guard protested.
“And I see every one of those faces every night when I try to sleep,” Alex implored. “Go home! Leave us in peace.”
“I have my orders,,, so go ahead,” the hapless skin spat defiantly. “I was a dead man the moment I was given this assignment. I don’t even know how to recognize Vilandra, let alone find her and take her back.”
Alex hobbled over to the guard and quickly searched him. He didn’t find much in the way of weapons, only a baton and stun gun. He slipped the stun gun into his pocket and held the baton on one hand while he put his other hand on the man’s shoulder. “There is no need for this. It doesn’t have to happen. Swear allegiance to the Royal Four, to the rightful heirs to the Antarian Crown. Promise me to live here in peace, and I’ll see to it that you are allowed to live the rest of your life in safety and comfort.”
“You know I can not do that,” the now calm man said softly. “My programming,,,”
“I know,” Alex replied, his eyes moist as he watched the man, his head now bowed as his lips moved silently. “But I have to try.”
Moments later the guard looked up. “I have made peace with the Architect of the Universe,” the guard said levelly, his eyes falling on Isabel, who was watching the proceedings in stunned disbelief. “Do what you must.”
“Then go to him. May God be merciful and grant you a safe and swift journey,” Alex implored as he struck the guard in the small of the back with the handle of the baton. Ignoring the swirl of dust, he tossed the glowing crystal on the ground safely away from the group, the wormhole instantly appearing as he hobbled towards it.
“Alex!” Isabel shouted, as she charged into the melee. She approached Alex, intending to block what she knew he felt compelled to do. “Where do you think you’re going?” she demanded.
“Since when have you cared?” he implored. “You’ve seen what I’ve become? Besides I have one more bad guy who needs some up close and personal encounter with my own special brand of the Whitman Family Charm.”
“I see what you’ve become, exactly what you promised so many years ago. A man who would do anything to protect the ones you love. You can’t go!” Isabel pleaded.
“I must,” he insisted. “My entire life has been preparing me for this moment.”
“Don’t leave me again,” she pleaded.
“Izzy,” he replied brokenheartedly, “I’m already gone.”
“Alex,,,” Isabel’s protest was cut off as he swept her into his arms and kissed her with the passions of a lifetime of unrequited love.
“Why did you do that?” an obviously stunned Isabel gasped as he took the opportunity to step to the very edge of the wormhole.
“Because I’m weak, and a coward, and because I had to know if a lifetime of wondering ‘What if?’ was accurate,” he explained contritely. He turned to Claudia who had approached the edge of the group unnoticed. “Take care of Auntie Izzy-bell while I’m gone?” he asked.
“With my life Uncle Alex,” was the young girl’s reply as she walked forward and took the older woman’s hand, displaying confidence beyond her years.
Alex smiled in recognition of the first in a new generation of kindred spirits. “That won’t be necessary Princess, that’s my job. But whenever you see your Aunt Isabel I want you to give her a kiss for me.”
“And strawberry ice cream?” Claudia asked hopefully.
“Yup, and strawberry ice cream,” Alex replied wistfully, looking the taller princess in the eye. “Because Isabel deserves the best.” Alex took a moment to compose himself, then he turned and stepped into the beam of light without looking back.
|Author:||lvlyfem [ Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:48 am ]|
I do love this story...but at the same time, I am just so sad for Alex and Isabel...please tell me that there is going to be a happily ever after.... please, please, please!!
|Author:||Stargazer md [ Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:08 am ]|
...He should never have surrendered to the selfish notion that he could see them one last time. He had never stopped to consider how much his visit would cost them when he left again, letting them go forever. Their happiness at seeing him again was writing a check that his body just could not cash...
Doesn't look very good, does it,,,
But the handwriting seemed to be on the wall even before he left for Antar.
If you read the seekers, you know i like a good tearjerker,,,
but if you read my big story, well they are having a good run right now.
So i guess we'll see.
|Author:||Rim [ Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:49 am ]|
please tell me it will get better. and if alex is so hurt how can he take out the skins? oh well i will have to wait to see. love it so far
|Author:||Stargazer md [ Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:26 pm ]|
The Littlest Stargazer
That night found Liz and Isabel preparing tea in the Evans’ family kitchen when the peace of the night was shattered by Claudia’s screams. Isabel followed her sister-in-law up the stairs and into Isabel’s room where they found Max struggling with an agitated daughter who absolutely refused to go to bed. Max turned towards his wife, and quickly passed their squirming daughter to her.
Liz rubbed Claudia’s back while murmuring calming words. “What’s the matter Sweetie?” she asked as Claudia calmed down. “I thought you liked staying in your auntie’s room.
Claudia squirmed to get down, and then scrambled to sit on Isabel’s bed next to her aunt who had been watching with trepidation.
“What’s the matter Claudia,” Isabel asked in her best teachers voice, wanting to give her full attention to whatever was bothering her young niece.
“I can’t see the stars from my bed,” Claudia moaned as Isabel brushed her hair with her hand. Claudia sat up straight and turned to look at her aunt. “We need to move our beds and take down the curtains so that we can sleep in the starlight,” she instructed.
“Well we know for sure that she’s Isabel’s niece,” Max teased.
Liz gave her husband a dirty look before kneeling in front of her daughter. “Honey, why is it so important that you be able to see the stars?” she asked.
“Because Uncle Alex is living in the stars now, and he promised that he would watch over me and protect me from the boggy men because I’m a princess and he loves me, and he will watch over Auntie Izzy-bell and protect her from the bad people because she is a princess too because of her first daddy and because Uncle Alex loves her too,” Claudia gushed, ending breathlessly.
Liz looked at her husband in alarm as she heard their daughter mention that Alex was now in the stars, not to mention that she seemed to realize her own and her aunts status in the world,,, well their other world.
“Oh Sweetie,” Isabel replied, trying to keep her own emotions in check while she tried to calm the young girl. “Uncle Alex is going to be alright,” she replied, not willing to accept anything less. “But I’m sure you’re mistaken about how he feels about me.”
“That’s silly,” Claudia replied as she slid over onto her lap. “You’re his girlfriend,” Claudia continued as she raised the palm of her open hand towards her aunts face, resting it gently on her cheek. “Watch.”
“Alex was sitting under a brilliant starlit sky in the Evans’ backyard with Claudia in his lap. He had Liz’s old comforter wrapped around his shoulders, with the ends crossed over his young charge.
“Cassiopeia?” Claudia asked.
“That’s right, Cassiopeia. The Princesses,” Alex answered tenderly. “Do you see their throne?”
“Yup, right there,” she answered immediately, tracing the double-u shaped constellation in the inky northern sky. “But where is the princess?” she asked with wonder in her voice.
“Princesses,” Alex corrected her. “I suspect that the young princess is swinging from a big magnificent tree in a beautiful green field, while the older princess is at the mall shopping for shoes.”
Claudia laughed at this claim. “No silly,” she corrected. “The big princess is pushing the little one on the swing, and they are going to go shopping together later.”
“For shoes?” Alex teased.
“No silly,” Claudia giggled. “For strawberry ice cream.”
“Do you see Orion?” Alex asked tentatively.
“Of course,” Claudia replied, sweeping her hand south. “Right there next to Beetle Juice.” (the star Betelgeuse, the right shoulder of Orion)
“That’s right,” Alex replied, again impressed at her knowledge. “That’s Orion, the Policeman,,,”
“Policeman?” Claudia interrupted. “Auntie Izzy-bell says that Orion is the hunter.”
“Orion used to be the hunter,” Alex explained softly, “But for as long as there are two princesses, Orion will be a policeman, who watches over them and keeps them safe. He will do anything,” Alex gently kissed Claudia on the top of the head, “And give anything,” he kissed her again, “To keep them both safe, because he loves them.”
“Are the princess his family?” Claudia asked innocently.
“He wishes that they were,” Alex answered, his voice tight. “But he’s a policeman. And policemen have to watch over princesses from afar. He doesn’t get to be with the princesses, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love them more than anything.”
“Anything?” Claudia asked.
“Anything,” Alex replied tenderly. “Even more than strawberry ice cream.”
“That’s a lot,” Claudia agreed, snuggling deeper into the warm comforter. “But I think the princesses love him right back.”
By the time Claudia finished their connection, Liz had moved her cot directly under one of the windows in Isabel’s room, which delighted our youngest stargazer. She happily skipped across the room and knelt at the edge of her bed, starting her prayers. “God bless Mommy and Daddy, and Auntie Izzy-bell and Uncle Alex. God bless Grampy and Grammy, and God bless Grampa and Nana. God bless Auntie Maria and Uncle Michael, and God Bless Uncle Kyle and Auntie Tess. God Bless all the good boys and girls everywhere, Amen.” Claudia jumped up and started to scamper into bed, but then her eyes opened wide, and she scurried back to the side of the bed. “And God? I almost forgot. God bless Uncle Larek and Aunt Serina, and God bless Cassie and Andy.” Thus corrected, she climbed back into bed.
“Sweetheart?” Liz asked carefully. “Who are these new people you prayed for?”
“Uncle Alex is visiting Uncle Larek and Auntie Serina,” Claudia answered levelly, not recognizing the bombshell that she had dropped on her family.
“And Cassie and Andy?” Max asked softly, almost afraid of the answer.
“They’re secret,” Claudia answered with a giggle, but she wasn’t able to hide a quick look towards her Aunt’s belly.
Isabel’s eyes grew wide as she looked down at herself while Max almost fell off the bed. “Claudia Patricia Evans,” Liz demanded in a voice that got Claudia’s attention. “Who are Cassie and Andy?”
Claudia looked at her mom, her bottom lip quivering, “They’re going to be my friends Mommy,,, Someday.”
Liz couldn’t keep up the pretence. She sat down next to her daughter and scooped her up into her arms. “I’m sorry I scared you Princess, but you can’t keep secrets from Mommy and Daddy. We can’t keep you safe if you keep secrets from us.”
Claudia timidly buried her face in her mother’s side, but upon hearing her mother’s voice return to normal, she quickly calmed. Moments later she straightened up and sniffed. Smelling Ylang-Ylang, her bubbly nature was restored. She beamed at Liz, “Your brown’s back.”
“Her brown never left,” Max added reassuringly. “We still love you Pumpkin, but can you tell Daddy where these new names came from?”
“I don’t know Daddy, they’re just there.”
“Okay Sweetheart,” Liz interrupted, pulling rank. “Lie down and let me tuck you in.”
Max and Isabel stepped out into the hall and separated, Max pacing in the hall and while Isabel went downstairs, neither wanting to discuss anything until Liz was with them, but as soon as they came got downstairs Liz looked at her sister-in-law. “Cassie and Andy?” she asked, glancing down at her abdomen.
“What?” Isabel gasped. “No! If I’m pregnant, you’d better put a candle in the window, because the last time that happened three wise men came from the east.”
“You and Alex didn’t,,,” Max let the sentence dangle.
“How could we?” Isabel sighed. “He couldn’t bring himself to kiss me until he decided to go halfway across the universe,,,”
“He loves you Iz,” Max implored.
“There’s something going on with him,” Liz agreed, “We’re going to find out what it is, we’re going to fix it, and we’re going to get him back for you.”
“What about Larek and Serina?” Isabel asked.
“I don’t know, hopefully we’ll be able to find out more in the morning,” Max answered.
“Listen guys,” Isabel sighed. “I’m going upstairs so you two can talk, about Claudia.”
“Sit down!” Liz commanded. “You’re family. Besides, in some ways she’s closer to you than she could ever be to me.”
“That is so not true!” Isabel protested.
“Be honest Isabel, she’s a hybrid. That’s something I can never share with her. There are times where she’s going to need her Auntie, and I don’t know how I’ll be able to thank you.
“She’s not like me,” Isabel said softly, taking Liz’s hand. “They took cells from my dead body, mixed them with some cells from some poor human that got beamed up in the middle of the night, and then they let their alien brew simmer in a cocoon for fifty years. Claudia was born, not created, and combines the best of both worlds. She’s the first of her kind.”
“Do you think the fact that she was born has anything to do with her abilities?” Max threw out.
“Alex said her abilities would appear as she grew into them,” Liz added.
“Everyone seems to know more about us than we do,” Max snapped in frustration, causing a moment of silence.
“He’s spent an awful long time with skins,” Liz answered.
“Fighting my war while I was living the good life,” Max complained.
“Lets not get bogged down in that mess,” Isabel commanded.
“I’ve been thinking,” Isabel started tentatively. “The night I killed Whitaker, she seemed surprised that I didn’t remember anything from before. Same with Nasedo and Tess.”
Liz looked over to her husband. “I’m not saying a word,” he said in answer to the reference to their early days with Tess.
“The district gave me a new laptop when I won my award, but in order to save money, it had Linux in it,” Isabel pondered. “Everything I have is in Vista (© Microsoft) and Vista Office, so I backed up my old laptop, and restored it onto my new one. It totally blew up. It was damaged so bad I had to ask Maria to fix it.”
“What does that have to do with Claudia?”
“Maria taught me that software can’t be copied into a machine, it has to be installed. She explained it as if it had to make basic connections with the hardware early on that it could build on as the higher level functions are loaded. Without those early connections, the software will never run right. Now let’s say that everything we need to know is hard-coded into our DNA, but that we can’t access it because of the way we were,,,” Isabel trailed off, searching for the right word.
Are you saying,,,” Liz pondered, beginning to catch on.
“I’m saying that Claudia is the first of her kind,” Isabel replied confidently. “And she’s going to be capable of things we’ve never dreamed of.”
“Tess is going to have her hands full,” Liz cajoled.
“Hey, what about me?” Isabel snapped.
“But you said,,,” Max answered.
“You get my Alex back and I’ll show you kids.”
|Author:||Stargazer md [ Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:00 pm ]|
We Hear Voices
Monday morning found the pod squad scattered, for despite the momentous happenings of the previous day, they all had their jobs to attend to, along with their regular lives to live. Kyle left for home on the first plane out leaving Tess and the little one’s behind. The Houston Astro’s were starting a three game home series, and they needed their star left fielder, but Tess, who was now content with her personally defined destiny as wife and mother, refused to leave until the ‘Antar’ situation was under control.
Isabel was hard at work shaping young minds, as one of the most valued teachers at West Roswell High. She practically taught the school’s entire hard sciences curriculum by herself and in her free time lead the gifted student program. During her short tenure in Roswell she had single handedly doubled the number of students attending college from her program, quite an achievement for such an improvised school district. In fact, at the end of the last school year, every one of the students she mentored had earned multiple scholarships and gone on to college, an accomplishment that resulted in her being named New Mexico’s Teacher of the Year.
Max, a recent graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, had returned to Roswell with his family to become the junior partner in the recently renamed law firm of Evans and Evans. Having graduated fifth in his class as befit his need to maintain a low profile, he had nonetheless spurned many an offer from prestigious East Coast law firms in his desire to return his family to the slower paced life of the South West. Blessed to find himself in a situation where he could balance his time between his family and career, he was nevertheless already developing a reputation as a fair and honest lawyer who was willing to help the many poor and needy residents of Roswell, most of whom would have no one else to turn to.
Liz had gotten her wish, or at least part of it, when she had been accepted to the molecular biology program at Harvard University, conveniently just across the Charles River from her husband’s school. Oh, wait a minute, his school is actually just across the river from hers. We need to keep our priorities straight, this is Harvard after all. Liz had dreaded graduation, knowing that Max wanted to bring the family back to Roswell, a distant backwaters city at least as far as the bio-tech field was concerned, but her lucky streak manifested itself again when she was introduced by the dean of her school to the CEO of Meta-Chem Pharmaceutical, who personally recruited her to head the Roswell plant’s Research and Quality Compliance Department. Their company had come under investigation by the FDA, (Food and Drug Administration) for the inconsistent quality of their products, and they needed someone of her stature to bring the operation back up to snuff. Liz, well aware of the cyclic nature of the industry, listened politely as he laid out a cornucopia of benefits and perks, followed by a wonderful incentive package of stocks, options, and bonuses, but she insisted on two nonnegotiable points, autonomy within her department, and wanting to support her husbands philanthropic efforts within their community, a cash salary large enough to choke a horse.
Maria proved to one and all that her time with Alex was well spent. She graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell with a degree in E-Business, which allowed to go partners with her mother and bring their shop onto the internet. Maria’s greatest opportunity however, manifested itself a year later when a secret admirer brokered a deal that gave Maria merchandising rights to several of the major Hollywood studio’s. They now shipped Men-in-Black, Babylon 5, Star Trek, Star Wars, and much other Sci-Fi related merchandise around the world from their newly expanded shop in Roswell, but their greatest accomplishment was that with their web exposure, they had revitalized Roswell as a tourist destination.
Michael, now part owner and managing partner of the Crashdown Café, also graduated from Eastern, with an Associates in Culinary Sciences. His almost uncanny skill in bringing out the most vibrant flavors in the most simple of comfort foods expanded the Crashdown’s reputation far beyond Chavez County, but by far his greatest accomplishment to date involved his successful campaign to have the Crashdown listed in the book ‘The Ten Quirkiest Places to grab a Road Trip Meal.’ It didn’t hurt that the book had been made into a documentary that had proven to be one of the most requested programs on the Food, History, and Travel channels. In fact, the restaurant was now so successful that Jeff and Nancy were allowed to enjoy an early partial retirement.
With Liz at work, and Isabel and Claudia in school, Max was in the Crashdown’s break room bringing the others up to speed concerning last nights developments when they were interrupted by an unexpected visitor.
“Max,” the newcomer exclaimed. “You’re here?”
“Yea,” Max replied hesitantly. “One of the advantages of being self employed.”
“No, I mean here on Earth.”
“Brody?” Max asked cautiously.
“Larek,” Brody’s body replied. “But if you’re here, who’s on Antar?”
“Alex,” Maria answered. “Alex is on Antar.”
“Well then, Alex has captured Kivar,” Larek announced.
“He what?” Max snapped.
“Alex has taken the throne room,,,” Larek started to explain.
“How the hell could that happen?” Michael demanded. “The war’s been going on for over fifty years and you’re telling me that one man, a cripple at that,,,” a comment that earned him a slap to the head from Maria. “With all due respect to Alex, a cripple none the less,,,” The question on the floor, Michael let his voice trail off as he watched his wife warily.
“Kivar is a fearful man, who trust no one, and takes no chances,” Larek explained. “That’s why we have never been able to get to him in all this time. He does not even trust his own paladin guards. During the guards selection process, he mind rapes the candidates to insure their loyalty, then during their initiation, he strips them of their powers. When on duty within his citadel, they aren’t allowed weapons.”
“What good are guards without powers or weapons?” Max asked skeptically.
“In the event of an attack,” Larek explained patiently, “They are expected to swarm any interloper, and if necessary, to die protecting Kivar. In the meantime, they don’t have the recourses to stage an attack of their own.”
“That’s pretty cold,” Michael spat out.
“Really?” Larek challenged. “Kivar doesn’t care about anyone but himself. That’s why he kept the worm hole device in the throne room. He doesn’t trust anyone with it. So when Alex appeared he was right there with Kivar and his personal guards. They swarmed your friend, but with the advantage of possessing a weapon, he was able to beat the mucus out of them,,,”
“Beat the snot,” Michael corrected.
“I’m sorry,” Larek continued. “Alex beat the snot out of the palace guards with a club that had a side handle on it,,,”
“How do you know this?” Max challenged.
“We have a spy within his citadel,” Larek confessed. “One of Kivar’s kitchen wenches. She’s been there a long time, allowing herself to grow old, gray, and fat. As a result she’s been able to stay close to him, under his radar so to speak, and she’s been keeping us informed of his activities.”
“Sounds like a brave woman,” Michael observed.
“She should be, she’s Max’s and Isabel’s cousin Serena.”
“We have a cousin?” Max gasped.
“You were part of a large extended family my Lord,” Larek replied respectfully. “In fact if I sat down with Serena, we could figure out how you and Michael are related. But as for Serena, she is one of the few that have survived Kivar’s purges.”
This sobered Max, who quickly got back to business. “What about Kivar’s powers, how was Alex able to protect himself?”
“The last piece of information that we have is that Alex used some kind of lightning device,,,” Larek answered.
“A tazer,” Michael corrected again.
“Thank you,” Larek said with a trace of irritation. “Alex maintained control of Kivar with a tazer while he raided the kitchen. Then he wrapped Kivar with cellulose food wrap to immobilize him, and then covered his hands and head with metalized meat preservative which block Kivar’s powers.”
“Kewl!” Maria squealed. “Alex shrink wrapped Kivar, but you haven’t said how he is. Was he injured during the fight?”
“He appears to be fine, although tired,” Larek replied softly.
“When will you know more?” Michael demanded.
“I would hope to know more by evening,” Larek answered.
“You’d better hope so,” Michael warned. “Isabel’s going to be with us by then, and she’s going to want answers.”
Later that afternoon, the gang was sitting around Michael and Maria’s kitchen. Max was relating the information that he had received from Larek, while Isabel was pacing back and forth cajoling the group for ideas about how she could get to Antar so she could ‘kick her boyfriend’s loveable but stupid, stubborn, and impulsive ass back home, one star system at a time.’ Her latest tirade, about how they could find out if the Granolith was more than a religious icon, was interrupted by a knock at the door.
“I’ll get it,” Michael exclaimed, leaping up from his seat. “Before my ears start bleeding,,,” he added under his breath, a comment which earned him a swat behind the ear from Isabel on his way by. He returned moments later, and all discussion slowly died off as everyone noticed a visibly uncomfortable Sheriff Valenti follow Michael Into the room.
“A Federal Marshall dropped off a package about an hour ago,” Jim explained, running his hand through his hair before putting his hat back on. “He related that the Albuquerque office had orders to hand deliver this to me if they didn’t get a message from Alex for three days. He missed his deadline this morning, so they sent it out with an agent at lunch time. When I opened the package, I found a letter from Alex, stating I was to round up the group and give this to you,” he elaborated while placing a Trithiam Amplification Generator in the center of the table.
Michael took an involuntary step backwards. “Last time I saw one of those I was knocked across the room,” he said to no one in particular.
“Well you should be safe this time,” Jim teased, “Because Alex included instructions,” he added while unfolding a sheet of paper. “It says here that the device contains a message, and once you have all keyed yourselves into the generator you will receive his message telepathically.”
Max took the sheet from Jim and slid it under the generator, lining up the symbols on the paper with those on the sides of the device. He then reached for the device, but his wrist was grabbed by Michael.
“Sorry Maximilian, that’s my job,” he said. Michael may have looked nervous, but his hand did not falter as he pressed the symbols in the sequence printed behind his name. “I’m still here,” he quipped nervously as he sat back and watched as his companions stepped to the table. Max, Isabel and Tess were next, followed by Maria and Kyle.
Jim watched as Liz was the last to key herself in. “Okay,” Jim instructed softly, “Now just sit back, relax, and clear your mind. You will all receive the same message, but he will appear differently to each of you, relative to the relationship you have shared with him.” Jim left the room to give his friends some privacy, gently closing the door behind him.
Liz watched as Alex appeared to her in best friend mode. He was leaning back against one of the tables in the Quad at West Roswell High, wearing his trademark baggies and chains. She guessed that his appearance was during their first year of high school, before all the drama of boyfriends and girlfriends nosed it’s way into their relationship, let alone the alien abyss.
“Hey friends, I hope this finds you well. I can’t tell you how much your friendship has been a comfort to me over the years. Unfortunately, if you are getting this message, I have made a mistake, and something has gone wrong. I haven’t been able to check in where I need to be for the past three days, a situation which caused this pre-recorded message to be delivered to you.”
As the warrior, Michael could appreciate the actions Alex had taken more easily than his companions. His vision of Alex revealed a skilled tactician in a black battle dress uniform, with his weapons at the ready. Michael listened intently as his brother in arms spoke earnestly, desperate to lift the fog of war and pass on all the information needed to keep their loved ones safe.
“I need to make a confession, for the past eight years I’ve been with the F.B.I. working my way into the Special Unit. Before I took over the Special Unit, they had already wiped out two colonies of skins,” Alex related. “The first had been based in California, and the second in Texas. But while the FBI’s operations were highly effective, they were public relations nightmares. Both operations made it into the media spotlight. You may remember the Jim Jones mass suicide in Guyana, and the Branch Davidian fiasco outside of Waco? Both of those were colonies of Skins. Both colonies refused to surrender or become acclimated into the Earth’s general population, and both colonies had to be eradicated. Now the FBI had a huge problem on their hands. Another victory like that and they would loose the war. Another public loss of life and they would be forced to either come clean with the fact that they had been fighting a modern version of Mars Attacks, or they would be legislated out of existence.
Tess found Alex sitting in the middle of the school’s computer lab, surrounded by a wall of equipment that practically mesmerized her with their flashing lights and whirling drives. She saw Alex in his element, solving problems for his friends, and helping those that he had never met.
“After I took over,” Alex continued, “I changed the way we operated, resulting in a lot more discretion. For example, the Montana Freemen were causing us all kinds of problems. It took us several years, but no one ever connected their fade from the lime light with our carefully orchestrated plan to eliminate them. There were also several more colonies that you will never hear of. So then there were two,” Alex concluded with a sigh.
Max listened intently to his long lost friend, who was sitting across from him in a booth at the Crashdown. Alex paused to regain his breath as he sat bolt upright in the corner of the booth. From the constant ache in his knee, the throbbing in his wrist, to the stiffness in his back that didn’t even allow him to take a deep breath, Max could feel it all. But what struck him the most was Alex’s gray hair, symbolic of a short hard life that Max instinctively knew was taking it’s toll on their friend. Max felt guilty for every one of those gray hairs, for every injury that Alex had ever suffered, for while he and his fellow travelers had enjoyed peace and prosperity for the past eight years, Alex had been paying for their lifestyle with his own blood.
“Yes, the last two,” Alex waxed philosophically. “Nicholas and Kivar. Well the Nicholas situation has taken care of itself,” Alex commented, his level of intensity returning rising back towards normal. “Nicholas found himself to be a general without any troops, so he gambled everything on an all or nothing attack on us. He secreted an anti-matter bomb on his body and bluffed his way into the Hoover building. I saw him at the other end of the hallway on my floor, and shot him first, but he was still able to blow himself to kingdom come.” Alex held his splinted wrist up. “That’s where I got this,” he added almost as an afterthought. “I have to hand it to him, it took a lot of nerve to walk into the headquarters building of the FBI, right in the heart of Washington DC, and try to take me out. He almost succeeded too. But I was far enough away from him that I only received,,, flash burns. The wall that fell, that caused this,” he added holding up his wrist, “Shielded me from a lot of the destruction from that part of the building as it collapsed. Unfortunately, the twenty-seven people he did manage to kill were totally innocent. My last job with the FBI was to fabricate the evidence that made Nicholas’s attack look like a terrorist attack, instead of the last battle of a war between the worlds.”
Isabel found herself at Stargazer Rock, ensconced in his strong arms enjoying a sense of peace and security that had eluded her for so long. “So there you are,” Alex concluded to his assembled surrogate family. “There are no more threats to you, either from your enemies or your own government. Kivar is trapped on a distant planet with no direct way to hurt you, and with Nicholas’ death, the FBI has abolished the Special Unit.” Alex shuddered as fatigue overtook him. “I give you my final gift, in fulfillment of my promise made to Isabel. I give you peace in your lifetime, and protection from your enemies.”
Maria had tears streaming down her cheeks as she watched her childhood friend sitting on the edge of the music room stage, his guitar in hand. “As far as what to do about me,” Alex contemplated softly, “I disappeared almost nine years ago. While I hope that you think kindly of me for a little while, you must allow me to remain in obscurity. I don’t see any good coming from anything you do to remember me, it would only raise too many questions that you could never answer.”
Everyone watched as their differing version of Alex reached in front of him for the controls on the generator, but he hesitated at the last moment. He looked directly into the device, resulting in one and all seeing the intensity of his gaze. “I didn’t send this message so that you would think of my past, I sent it because you need to know that is safe for you to live your lives in the open and enjoy your future. Don’t mourn my loss, celebrate your lives,” he said with an passion that surpassed any he had allowed himself to display during the rest of the recording. “I never fit in,,,” he hesitated a moment. “Into the group the way I wanted to, so I found another way to feel like I was contributing to,,, you, by making all of you safe. My only regret is that as of the date I last updated this message, I haven’t found a way to eliminate Kivar as well.” Alex smiled and held up his hand in a classic ‘V’ gesture. “And so, if you’ll forgive me the pun, Live Long and Prosper.”
“He did it,” Isabel whispered. “He found a way to take out Kivar,” she continued, her voice strengthening as she stood and marched to the wall where the telephone was. She tore the memo pad and pen from the small bulletin board and started making a list as she paced impatiently. “There’s the wormhole device, the Granolith, our crashed ship,” she ticked off as her pencil flew across the paper. Turning to Liz, “Does NASA have anything that could help?” she demanded, dismissing that option before her friend could answer.
“Iz, why don’t you have a seat,” Max pleaded. “I’ll make you a glass of cherry coke, just the way you like it.”
Isabel shrugged him off. “Coke, like that’ll help.” Looking around the room in exasperation she shouted, “Where the frack is Larek?”
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