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“Making a Stand”

Written by Kristin, Jeslyn, Liz Park, Shira, Annie, and Simon

Edited by Lisa, Lizzy, Mark, and Tiff

 

 

 

Playlist:

1.  “White Flag” by Dido

2.  “Eat You Alive” by Limp Bizkit

3.  “Someday” by Nickelback

4.  “Gravedigger” by Dave Matthews

5.  “Slower” by Mineral

6.  “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes

7.  “Falls On Me” by Fuel

 

 

Roswell Sheriff’s Office, 8 a.m.

 

Jim pulled up in his SUV and got out, his usual cup of coffee in one hand and a copy of  The Roswell Daily in the other.  It was a typical day at the Roswell Sheriff Station; the sun was already beating down on the desert town, even though it had barely begun to break over the fulgor horizon.

 

He walked inside prepared for a brand new day, but something was amiss already . . . and oddly familiar.  In the corner of the sheriff station, Sheriff Hansen was talking to a stranger in a black suit.  It could be an FBI agent, a detective, or even a car salesman; but Jim had a feeling it was the former.  The situation was deja-vu all over again.  Just around this time three years ago, he was the one trying to deal with a strange man in a black suit, that man being Agent Pierce. 

 

Jim walked directly up to Hanson and the stranger, greeting them both with a glance before removing his hat.  “Good morning, Sheriff.  Anything I can help with here?”

 

“Well Jim, this is Mr. Franks with the FBI,” Hansen began to explain, but before he could continue, they were interrupted by the secretary at the front desk. 

 

“Excuse me Sheriff, sorry to interrupt, but we just got a call . . . there is a . . .” The secretary looked at Jim knowingly.  “There’s a small scuffle going on down at the Crashdown Café. Should I send Williams, or will you handle it?”

 

“You’re obviously busy Sheriff . . . I’ll handle it for you,” Jim offered, sipping on his coffee lazily, trying to appear more bored than insistent.

 

“Yeah ok,” Hansen began.  “Take care of that, and on your way out, could you show Mr. Franks the door?  Our work is done here.”

 

“Yes, sir,” Jim said, nodding towards the door, pointing out its location for the Agent.  He had shown more than a few FBI agents out of the station and he would be happy to show yet another one all the way out of Roswell, New Mexico. 

 

The agent walked in front of Jim to the parking lot and around the side of the building towards his typical unmarked car.  They were so predictable.

 

Jim donned his hat.  “Well Mr. Franks, as happy as we all are to have so much more tourism business here in Roswell, I don’t see why the FBI needs to keep showing up unannounced in this station and in my town,” Jim said, making it perfectly clear that the FBI was not welcome here in Roswell. 

 

The agent stopped, looking at Jim silently.

 

Jim continued, “So, why don’t you take yourself, and your little buddies, and go on back to the hole where you came from, comprendé?”  Jim pointed to the agent’s car impatiently.

 

Before Jim could expect a response from the agent, the agent grabbed Jim’s arm, throwing him up against the side of the station, pressing Jim’s face against the rough brick wall. 

 

“You listen to me Valenti, I know who you are.  I know all about you, your friends, and what you’ve done.  And for the record, we have a few of your kind in custody right now, so if I were you, I would mind my own damn business, comprendé?  That is, if you want the them to remain safe and unharmed.” 

 

The agent then let go of Jim, walking stiffly towards his vehicle and getting in.  Jim was tempted to arrest the man or even worse, but instead recomposed himself and dusted his hat.  “We’ll see about that!”  Jim muttered, donning his crumpled headgear before the agent’s car sped off.

 

Jim climbed in his vehicle and grabbed his cell phone.  The number he dialed was automatically branded in his head after all these years.  Phillip Evans picked up and Jim kept it short and to the point.  “Phillip, its Jim. You and Diane need to call Amy Deluca and the Parkers. Head over to the meeting place right away.  Something going on.”

 

“No problem, Jim, we’re on our way.”

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

1.

 

The sound of several pairs of footsteps reverberated off the pod chamber’s walls. No one was speaking, at least not yet.  There were many questions, but nobody knew where to begin, or if they should even speak at all.

 

Serena was the one to break the silence, pacing restlessly.  “We have to do something.  I can’t stand not knowing if they are okay, ya know?  We need a plan . . . that’s my father out there in the hands of the FBI.  Is it even possible to find and lose your father in the very same day?  How can I find my father and lose him in such a short span?  That’s not fair!” she cried, looking around to the group insistently for help.

 

Liz stepped forward, reaching out to stop Serena, grasping her by the shoulders and taking a deep breath before speaking.  “He’s my father too.  Not to mention that my mother is also there with him, wherever they are.  But we will get them back, trust me,” Liz said, putting her arm around Serena’s trembling shoulders.  Liz led her over to the corner for some privacy.  Kyle watched them before averting his eyes. 

 

Serena sat down next to Liz, still holding her hand.  “Liz, I’m sorry.  I’m just so scared.  I mean, I just had so many questions finally answered in my life, so many new doors opened and now I feel like I am about to lose everything all over again.  I just feel so helpless . . . so scared.”

 

Liz could imagine what Serena was going through.  She had been there before, if not more than once.  Being a part of the alien club also included the constant fear of losing everything and everyone close to you.  Liz had lived in great fear of losing not only her parents, but also Max and all of her closest friends.  This was, for lack of a better word, normal.

 

Liz squeezed Serena’s hand as she talked.  It was somewhat comforting to know that Serena had the same fears, but at least now, she had a sister to share it with.

 

“Serena, I know that you are scared, trust me I do know, I am just as scared as you are.  But one thing that I know for certain is that we must stay calm.  I know my parents, our dad, and I know that they are strong.  And I know that none of us in this room are going to let anything bad happen to them.  But we need to be strong to beat this thing, and we can help each other do that… if we try.”

 

Serena let out a small smile and wiped a tear from her eye, thanking Liz for her support. “So we can figure this thing out, right?” Serena said, looking around at the group.  Not only had she entrusted her life with them in the past, but now the future life of her newfound father hung in the balance. 

 

“There’s no doubt,” Michael replied, Maria looking up at him knowingly.

 

 “Okay. Then let’s get this show on the road,” Serena said. She hugged Liz, the newfound bond of sisterhood slowly sinking in.

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

2.

 

In an underground military compound, far beneath a government sector of Washington D.C., a group of agents sat huddled around Jeff and Nancy Parker, whose hands and feet had been cuffed.  Agent Colton looked down at their unconscious bodies, his narrowed cobalt eyes brimming with curiosity at the idea of what his two hostages might be able to divulge. 

 

The two groggily began coming to.  Colton watched as their eyes feebly scanned the dimly lit room.  Despite the glare of the light bulb they sat under, there were no lights elsewhere, so he knew that they could see very little, if anything.

 

“Where am I?” Jeff said, trying to stand, but an agent stepped forward, pushing Jeff back into his seat forcibly.

 

“Mr. Parker,” Agent Colton began coolly, without preamble, “I’m only going to ask you this once.  Tell me everything you know about the aliens… now.”    

 

“Aliens?” Jeff said, feigning confusion. “Ha!  I don’t know what you’re talking about.  Now let my wife and I go,” he demanded.

 

“The first thing you need to know here, Mr. Parker,” Colton explained condescendingly, “Is that you are not in charge of this operation.  I call all the shots around here and you will answer all of my questions truthfully, or pay the price.”

 

Nancy gulped.

 

“Bull crap!”  Jeff spat.  “I don’t care who you are or what you want to know.  You’re not getting anything from us!”  Jeff spouted, squinting at the agent’s shadowy figure, his words dripping with venom.

 

“The second thing you need to know, Mr. Parker . . .” Agent Colton spoke firmly and without emotion, “Is that any disobedience has consequence in this room.”

 

He snapped his fingers, and two of his agents forcibly lifted Jeff from the chair he was sitting on.  Agent Colton took a seat on the now empty chair, and smirked coldly while the agents tied Jeff’s cuffs to the wall.  Colton was about to speak again, when Nancy broke the silence.

 

“Stop, please don’t hurt my husband,” Nancy pleaded.  “Jeff, maybe it’s okay, we could just…”

 

“No!”

 

“But…”

 

“Nancy, don’t answer any of his questions.  He’ll only use the answers to hurt innocent people,” Jeff demanded.

 

“Including us?” she countered defiantly.

 

“Enough!” Agent Colton ordered them both, “I still call the shots in this room, but you made me realize something, Mrs. Parker.  As for who will answer my questions first, I place my bets on you.”

 

“If you lay a finger on her, I swear I’ll…” Jeff started, but Colton cut him off.

 

“You’re hardly in a position to be making threats,” Colton balked.  “I’ll get my answers, and I’ll get them no matter what it takes.”

 

“No,” Nancy pleaded, “Please don’t hurt us!  We haven’t done anything wrong!”

 

“Your love for your husband, Mrs. Parker, is endearing… and also your weakness.  If you don’t answer my questions truthfully,” Agent Colton informed her pointedly, snapping his fingers with a wicked smile.  The two agents that had tied Mr. Parker to the wall stepped toward him again and began rolling up their sleeves.  Agent Colton spoke again.  “Then I’ll have no other choice but to see that your beloved husband suffers… any kind of punishment that I see fit.”

 

“No!”  Nancy pleaded again, “Please, don’t.  We can find some other way, a compromise…”

 

“Nancy!”  Jeff spat.  His look was unquestionable.

 

Nancy started sniffing, holding her tears at bay.  Agent Colton knew she was giving in.  The other agents waited impatiently for a sign to begin their battering.

 

“Defy me, and all I have to do is say a word,” he told Mrs. Parker.  “And your husband will suffer for your actions.  Is that what you want?”

 

“No,” she uttered shakily, her eyes filling with tears.  After a moment, she added quietly, “What do you want to know?”

 

“Nancy!”  Jeff started, but an agent quickly gagged him with a towel.

 

“We know your daughter Liz is one of these aliens and this,” he informed her, holding up a slip of paper. “This is a certificate stating her marriage to Max Evans.  Now, Mr. Phillip Evans, he is an alien also, true?”

 

Mmm!”  Jeff tried to yell, but could not make out any intelligible words. 

 

 “What difference does it make?”  She scoffed, wiping her eyes.  “And why would you even presume to think such a silly idea in the first place?  My daughter is not what you say she is and I should know I gave birth to her for Christ’s sake!”

 

Agent Colton motioned to the other agents and Nancy spoke up quickly, “Honestly, I gave birth to my daughter at Roswell Memorial Hospital, and I have the birth certificate to prove it!  Please don’t hurt my husband.  I’m telling you the truth!”

 

“Sir?” one of the agents spoke up holding a fistful of Jeff’s shirt in his right hand.

 

“Do it,” Agent Colton ordered, “Unless the lady here tells me what her daughter is doing back in Roswell.”

 

Nancy looked at him worriedly, wringing her hands repeatedly before sniffling a couple times.  She blinked, once then twice and finally shook her head.  She didn’t know.  He snapped his fingers and she spoke again.

 

“Please, I don’t know,” she pleaded truthfully while the agents neared her husband, one of them reaching way back with his fist.

 

“I don’t know why!  Really!  She didn’t even call, she just showed up!”

 

Colton gave a nod to one agent.  Muffled thumps of fist slamming into Mr. Parker’s gut sounded loudly and his wife flinched as if she had been the one being hit.  Mr. Parker mumbled several curse words to no one in particular, flailing the loose end of his gag about as if to whip someone to death.  Agent Colton motioned the agent to back off.

 

“Are you sure you don’t know why?”  Agent Colton retorted disbelievingly.  “I highly doubt your daughter didn’t tell you what brought her and those other aliens all the way back to UFO-central.”

 

She looked at her husband, taking a shaky deep breath when he gave her that reassuring look that said everything would be okay.  She shook her head, but her eyes remained on her husband.  If anything, he wouldn’t let her lose hope and Agent Colton could sense that.  He smirked angrily and nodded his head towards the agents.  The agent grabbed the captive by the shirt again.

 

“Stop it!”  Nancy demanded, “I really don’t know the answer, please stop hurting him, please!”

 

Jeff cried out repeatedly as three agents came at him from all sides.  Nancy feared that Colton no longer cared if she knew the answers he wanted to hear or not.  The agents kept on beating Jeff and she kept pleading and begging… but her pleas fell on deaf ears. 

 

“Please!” Nancy begged between sobs, to no avail.

 

Jeff’s loud wails, however, were not going totally unheeded. Where the walls were very thin around this corner of the compound, the howling cries of his torture fell pleadingly on an unlikely pair of sympathetic ears.

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

 

2.

 

Liz pulled away from Serena and looked at everyone else.  She remembered being in many a hopeless situation before, although few seemed as bad as this current crisis.  Reaching for some remainder of hope within her and the rest of the group, her eyes landed on Max’s.  She felt relieved when she saw the reassurance in those chocolate brown depths.  There was no way that they could sit here in the cave idly and do nothing for her parents . . . she knew that with all of her heart.  Although she didn’t know how to turn the crisis to their favor, she knew the first step she had to take.  Demanding words flew out of her mouth without a second of hesitation.

 

“We have to go back!”

 

“What!?” Michael and Maria both exclaimed, but the question came out in almost a near exhausted whisper.

 

“It’s the only way,” Max offered, immediately agreeing with Liz.

 

“Liz, that's crazy,” Kyle tried to reason, looking towards Serena, who right by Liz's side.

 

“No, she's right.  The Parkers' may still be in the Crashdown… we have to go back,” Serena said in Liz's defense.

 

Isabel nodded as she paced.  “We brought them into this… all of our parents.  We have to at least make sure that they're safe.”  She walked right up to Max.  “What if they go after Mom and Dad?  Could you live with that?  ‘Cause I know I couldn't.”

 

“I realize what you guys are saying,” Hanley said.  “But do you know what the chances are that they're even still in Roswell?  Those Feds aren't going to just hang around in a city filled with people and hold potential aliens hostage at a frequented diner.”

 

“But you can find out where they are, can't you Will?”  Raeve asked, sympathizing with the group, who all looked torn at the thought that all their parents could be in harm's way.  “You can get in and infiltrate the system.  You've done it before.  You got into the special unit before and found out tons of info and I bet they still don't know it was you.”

 

Hanley raised a guilty look towards Max and then looked away shaking his head, running a shaky hand through his hair.  “I'm not going anywhere, not unless you can promise me that you'll stay here, Raeve.”

 

“What?  Why?”  Raeve asked, confused.

 

“Because I'm not leaving Max again.  He was nearly caught by the hands of the enemy back there and it was only because I wasn't there… I'm not going to not be there again.”

 

Raeve gave out a long sigh, mumbling, “You always were the sentimental one,” she raised her voice.  “That was in Roswell, Hanley.  That was in the lion's den… we're in this cave now, in the middle of nowhere’sville USA.  They'll be fine here while we take care of business.”

 

“Who's to say that we have to stay here anyways?” Michael chimed in.  “We're not all defenseless infidels; you know we should be out there fighting.”

 

“No offense...  and I mean this in the best way possible,” Raeve started.  “But you're a loose cannon. And not just you Michael... all of you.  You let your emotions control you, and that's not your fault.  You're human.  But in a situation like this, the years and years of experience come in handy, and that's just something that you don't have.”

 

Michael started to say something barbed, but Maria beat him to the chase, stepping in front of him.  “Alright, excuse me, Miss Obi Won Kenobi, but believe it or not, we've been dealing with all of this crap for quite a long while now and we have more than a few tricks up out sleeves.  Your brother over there isn't the only one who's infiltrated the FBI, okay?  This man, right here…”  She gestured back towards Michael.  “Has done it too and he didn't even have to shape shift… he just changed his fingerprints and got in just fine.  We rescued Max from the FBI that way.  So don't tell us that we don't know how to take care of ourselves, we've done a pretty damn good job so far with the help of my mom’s old car, I might add!”

 

Raeve looked past Maria to Michael.  “What is she, your spokesperson?”

 

“Hey!”  Max exclaimed.  “That's enough!”

 

Michael pulled Maria back to his side as Max stepped up to the plate. 

 

“This is what we're going to do,” Max started, turning towards Hanley.  “You're going back to Roswell… you'll shape shift, find out what you can about where they took the Parkers.  And when you come back, I want you to be able to guarantee me that the other parents are somewhere safe.”

 

Hanley nodded.  “Fine, but if I'm making you a promise, then you better make me one.”

 

“Which is what?”  Max asked, wondering what Hanley had in mind.

 

“You,” he gestured to the entire group, “Formulate a plan of attack in the next hour. A good one, not some cockamamie shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later idea.”  He looked over towards Michael and Maria.  “You say you can take care of yourselves… here's your chance to prove it.”

 

Maria's lips quirked in an almost devilish smile as she leaned her head back against Michael's chest.  It was Calypso who spoke just then.  “We will.” 

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

 

“Now, what a brilliant plan I suggested.  Good job Hanley.  Wonderful idea,” Hanley muttered to himself, parking Michael’s bike a few blocks down from the Crashdown, feds all over the place.  “Heading right back into the lion’s den and all.  What an absolutely friggin’ brilliant plan…”  

 

Nonchalantly, he climbed off the bike, taking a glance in each direction.  No one looked familiar yet, but he knew it would take more than a few minutes to locate one of the big-shot agents from the earlier today.  After all, he should know standard procedure by now.  Especially after a major operation like this mornings, there would definitely be some agents wandering about. 

 

Continuing down the street, Hanley kept one eye peeled.  Every minute or two, someone would pass by that caught his eye, but he had to be sure before he made his move.

 

Ten minutes flew by as Hanley roamed the sidewalks, perusing the various shoppes.  And then he saw him.  Clean cut, suit, stance and all, air of importance.  He had found himself an agent, wandering over by the UFO museum.  “Either buddy boy gained a little weight or his jacket was cut a little tight, cause no one could mistake the holster under there,” Hanley thought to himself.  “Gotcha sucker.”

 

Making his way across the street, Hanley lurked behind the man, watching as the person surveyed his assigned area.  Like clockwork, the agent made his rounds right down the dark alleyway.  “Perfect,” Hanley whispered, following the other man.

 

“Hey, Jack,” Hanley called out when they were a little deeper into the alley.

 

“It’s Ted,” the guy retorted, expecting to see another agent as he turned around.  The second he did and saw Hanley, his instincts seemed to alert him to err on the side of caution.  Quickly, he reached towards his holster, but didn’t draw his weapon.  It was Hanley’s voice that stopped him.  “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Hanley warned, matching the man’s voice, pitch perfect.

 

“What the hell,” the guy muttered under his breath, grabbing the handle to his revolver.

 

“What the hell,” Hanley mimicked; trying to unnerve the man a bit before he grilled him.

 

The agent’s eyes grew wide as he finally whipped out his gun.

 

Hanley held up one hand.  “Now what did I say about that?” he scolded sarcastically.

 

Pointing his gun, the agent started to look a bit nervous.  “Who the hell are you?” he demanded.

 

“Just a guy who wants to know where you people took the Parkers,” Hanley told him point-blank.  “And you’re going to help me, whether you like it, or not.”

 

The other guy took a few steps back.  “You’re one of those… one of those freaks,” he stammered, searching for his radio.  “Take one step and I’ll shoot!”

 

Hanley thought about this for a split second, deciding on what the best course of action would be. 

 

“Then you would be shooting yourself,” he said.

 

Before the agent could react, a bright light emerged from Hanley’s raised hand, blinding him.  He tried to cover his eyes, but it was too late.  By the time he was able to see clearly again, Hanley, posing almost as his twin, was at his side, ripping the gun from his hands. 

 

“Now, I’ll only ask nicely one more time.  Where are the Parkers?”

 

The guy started shaking, and Hanley knew he was afraid.  He’d have to be scared with his own gun pointed at him, unless he had a death wish.  However, the man didn’t say a word.

 

“Dammit,” Hanley swore under his breath.  “Now, you’ve gone and made me grouchy.”

 

With that, he touched the back of the agent’s head, knocking him out instantly.  The guy collapsed to the ground like a wet rag.  Reaching down to check for a pulse, Hanley let out a sigh over the steady beat he felt.  The guy would be okay.  Passing his hand over his forehead, he altered the agent’s memories, replacing his face with another’s. He’d have one hell of a headache when he woke up, but be okay nonetheless.

 

With that easy step being out of the way, Hanley began the real task at hand, searching the guy for information.  He managed to locate a set of credentials, another gun, a radio, and a slip of paper.  The credentials identified him as agent Ted Dye.  But the most important information was on the paper.  Scribbled in almost too neat handwriting was the name Dimitri, follow by the word cave.  Then, towards the bottom, in a totally different handwriting, was marked Sector C6.   

 

“Oh man,” Hanley flinched.  This was not good.  So not good.  Yet, he didn’t have much time to dwell.  A noise came from the radio beside him.

 

 “Omega, this is base.  Do you read?”

 

Hanley quickly picked up the radio, clearing his throat.  “This is Omega, go ahead.”

 

“Is your station secure?”

 

“Yes,” he answered clearly.  “No sign of any disturbance in the area.”

 

“Good,” the voice came again.  “We are moving out.  Interrogations ETA one hour.  Over.”

 

“See you there,” Hanley replied.  “Over.”

 

When he was sure that nothing else was to come through the radio, Hanley switched it off.  He knew it would only be a matter of time before the other agents found Ted Dye missing, since he wasn’t going to be making it back to headquarters.  That meant that Hanley had to clear out as soon as possible.

 

First thing he did was toss the two guns into the dumpster.  No need to allow the bad guys to be overly armed.  Then, he waved his hand over the slip of paper, changing the message so no one could be sure just how much information had been gotten from this guy.  Tucking the credentials back into the agent’s pocket, Hanley placed the note on the guy’s chest before reverting back to his usual form.

 

“By the way,” he said, looking down at the unconscious man on the ground.  “We prefer the term ‘not of this earth,’ just for your information.”  With that, Hanley turned on his heel and made his way back to the bike.

 

When the agent woke up a few hours later at the prodding of several other agents, he had no idea what happened to him, other than a note saying ‘Thanks Teddy, XOXO’ lying on his chest.

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

4.

 

Ava glanced at her wristwatch.  “It’s been over thirty minutes since Hanley left,” she interjected, her words falling on deaf ears. 

 

“Alright, but let’s just say what if all our… you know…” Kyle trailed.

 

“No it would never get that far, it’s not a matter of if… as long as we take action now,” Max said.  “We’ll have to infiltrate their location, basically a rescue op,” he added simply.

 

Serena spoke, “What if they are being guarded?”

 

“Got that covered,” Michael pitched.  He waved his hand over his shirt, momentarily showing it change into a black suit.

 

“Creepy,” Isabel added.  “But I like it.”

 

“Thirty minutes?”  Ava said again, looking around at the unheeding faces.

 

“It’s only a matter of when,” Michael finished, looking at Ava only momentarily.  “And the sooner, the better.  Because we’re not getting any younger here, and the Parker’s… well they’re already old.”

 

“Hey!”  Liz said. 

 

“Agreed,” Raeve added.  “Serena, Max, Michael… all good points.  Didn’t think I would be impressed, but now we just need to put all these pieces together, and sometime today.”

 

“I’m up for whatever, Queen Latifah,” Kyle sneered.

 

“What was that?”

 

“Oh, I said I’m up for whatever, clean it up.”

 

“And that last part again?”

 

“Clean it up?”

 

“Uh-huh…”

 

Ava was tired of all the bickering and could only think of one solution.  The time had come for her to put her two cents in.

 

“But we can’t jus’ go in like that,” Ava insisted.  “Like the Han-man said, we gotta have a plan.  Not an idea, a plan.”

 

“Like what – blowing up their currently unknown, unobtainable base?”  Michael scowled from his perch against the wall.

 

Ava’s eyes narrowed.  “No,” she drawled.  “I was thinkin’ more like you line all the agents up in a row and blast ‘em to death then we bury them out in the sand.”

 

Michael pushed away from the wall and assumed a defensive stance.  “How do you know about that?”

 

Ava rolled her eyes.  “C’mon.  I’ve been with you guys day in, day out for the past month.  Yous really like to rehash the past.”

 

“Look, rehashing the past – or whatever – is going to get us nowhere,” Max stepped in, looking from Michael to Ava pointedly.  “Right now that’s not our concern.  Our concern is getting Liz’s parents back.”

 

Isabel nodded, looking up at the group.  “Max is right.  This bickering is getting us nowhere.  We don’t even have the semblance of a plan.”  Jesse placed a hand on her back, rubbing it reassuringly.

 

Michael drew out his hands, signaling he was open for ideas.  “Got a blueprint?”

 

Isabel sighed.  “No.”

 

“No? Well, that’s wonderful.  Why…”

 

“Michael, shut up!”

 

Michael whipped his head around to see Maria glaring at him.  “You’re not helping.  Picking a fight with your allies is pointless, haven’t I taught you anything?  If you’re going to bitch at Isabel for not having a plan, you’d better have one ready and waiting yourself.”

 

Michael scrunched up his eyebrows, opening and closing his mouth as if he wasn’t sure what to make of the situation.  Realizing his safest option was the opposite of what he was doing, he stepped back, allowing Max’s form to take center stage.

 

Max glanced to Maria, acknowledging her actions with silent thanks.  Then, taking a small step forward, he composed himself, addressing the group.

 

“So far all we’ve ever done whenever facing the FBI is run.  We ran all across the country and they still found us.  For some reason, we thought we were safe in Boston, untouchable even.  We were wrong.  And we came back to a different world because of these naiveties.”  He glanced to Liz, taking her hand and squeezing it for all to see.  “Right now, Hanley is risking his life to find Liz’s parents.  And Liz’s parents didn’t ask for any of this…”  An uncomfortable silence fell upon the group as they shifted nervously.  “None of us did.  But it’s time for us to stop running, to face the FBI head-on and fight back.  Not with guns or weapons or blast-o rays, but with our intelligence.  Because we can change the course of history, we can decide our fate and the fate of others, and we must, to survive.”  As he spoke, he looked around the room, pausing on each face. 

 

“What I need to know is who is with me on this?”

 

A silence fell over the group as they regarded one another with silent stares. 

 

“It’s all or nothing,” Max offered.

 

Isabel was the first to speak up.  “I’m with you,” she looked up at Jesse who smiled and kissed her hand.

 

“Me too,” he confirmed, nodding at Max.

 

“Well, you know me,” Michael spoke up after a short pause.  He glanced to Maria who was nodding. 

 

“Wherever Space Boy goes, I go.”

 

“Hey, I signed up for this long before your little… never mind, tangent...”  Raeve waved her hand in a geometric pattern, moving the discussion on.

 

“I guess I’m with you too,” Kyle said pensively, staring at the ground.  “I can’t stand by and watch any more innocent people get hurt.”

 

Serena glanced longingly at him before sighing, “I’m here for anything you need me for, Max.”

 

“Alright, now all we need is the plan,” Max announced. “Now that we’re all on the same ground--” Max glanced to Kyle who was shaking his head.

 

“What?”  Max asked.

 

“Of course you are,” Kyle said sardonically, directing his words to Serena.

 

“What are you talking about?” Serena pulled herself up higher, her shoulders tensing.

 

“That’s bull,” Kyle muttered.

 

“Excuse me?” Serena’s head swiveled as she threw a pointed look at him.

 

“You’re not here for anything Max needs you for,” Kyle said louder.  “You’re not even here.  You’re not human.  You’ve been lying to all of us,” he continued, a disgusted look forming on his face.  “You can’t be trusted.”

 

Serena gaped at him.  “And why can’t I be trusted!?”

 

“You cover up who you really are, just like the rest of them.  I thought I knew you--”

 

“The rest of them?”  Serena’s voice rose and her look grew thunderous.  “If you hate being around me so much, then what are you still doing here?”

 

Her retort didn’t elicit an immediate response. 

 

“Okay,” Michael drew out the word, clapping his hands together hastily.  “Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…”

 

But Serena wasn’t finished.  “Really, Kyle, grow up.  There are more important things to deal with right now.”

 

“Like the fact that you’ve lied to me this entire time, pretending to be human when you knew damn well you weren’t?  Got any other secrets in there you’ve been hiding?  Should we interrogate you about Nicolas?  See what Gandarium does to you?”

 

“Screw you!”  Serena exclaimed, taking a step forward, her face dark with anger.  “Take your personal vendetta and shove it up your--”

 

“All right!” Isabel broke in, holding her hands out to both parties, effectively stopping their fracas.  “Serena’s right.  There are more important things to deal with right now, and you guys arguing isn’t one of them.”

 

“But,” Kyle began, but Max stopped him with his outstretched hand.

 

“Right now this isn’t the time to be fighting,” Liz chimed in, glancing at Serena in show of support.  There will be plenty of time to figure out the truth, Kyle.  We need to focus on getting my parents back alive and safe and this,” she gestured to them, “This just isn’t helping.”

 

“So can you guys put a lid on it until this is over?”  Isabel glanced from one to the other, looking for a sign they agreed.

 

“Fine by me,” Kyle ground out tightly, his jaw clenched. 

 

“Whatever,” Serena waved her hand, taking a stance next to Ava. 

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

6.

 

Michael paced up and down along the middle of the chamber, impatience tattooed across his face.  Tension seemed to be swirling through the air about him.  The others remained loyal to Max, they were still waiting, as if they expected something to happen to them first.  Never the reactive type, Michael couldn’t wait any longer.

 

“Maxwell, why are we just waiting?” he asked, anxious to get out of the chamber and do something useful.  “We can’t just stay here with the FBI out to get us and your parents’ prisoner.  They’re looking for us and we’re just sitting here, waiting for them to come find us like sitting ducks.”

 

“I know that Michael,” Max countered, “And I want to do what you say, but what can we do?  At the moment, this is the safest place there is, and we still have no plan.  If we leave now, then we’ve got nowhere else to go, then we are sitting ducks.”

 

“What’s better, sitting here like fish in a barrel, or going out there and getting rid of the problem?  I’d rather be out there kicking some agent butt rather than in here waiting for them to realize where we are.”

 

“They might not find us here at all,” Max reasoned.  “And if they do, then we’ve got the upper hand.”  He paused.   “I want them gone too; Michael, but what’s better – letting them stumble into a well-planned trap, or letting them set one for us?  We don’t know where they are, we don’t know what they’ve got planned.  They’ve probably got the whole town bugged.”

 

It was true, he also wanted the FBI gone, but the risk to the others, to Liz – he couldn’t put them in that kind of danger, not like that.

 

“Well, that’s where we’re different Maxwell.  You think that waiting here and hiding is the way to beat them, I reckon that the way to win is to get them before they get us.”

 

Max didn’t reply.  He didn’t want to blindly refuse Michael’s argument, it was a good one – he didn’t need, or want, a conflict with him either but he also didn’t want to charge into a situation more dangerous than the one they were already in.

 

A long silence hung in the air as Max contemplated what to say. 

 

And then there was a voice. “I dunno about you peeps, but I agree with Mike.”

 

The group turned to face Ava, whose unexpected voice could have awoken even the most concentrating individual.

 

“I mean, I don’t think that rushin’ out there with guns-a-blazin’ is a foolproof way of doin’ things, but I don’t much like the idea of jus’ sittin’ here, waiting for them to come get us either.”  She looked at Max, and then to the rest of the group.  “I mean, I’m part of this thing too, I gots some tricks up my sleeves, and I don’t wanna end up in the hands of those thugs anymore than you guys do.  Someone’s gotta do sumthin and we just agreed that we’d all fight the FBI… so I say we fight.”

 

Max mulled it over a minute, unsure of what to make of her words.  Then he turned to the rest of the group, looking from one person to the next.

 

“What do the rest of you think?  I don’t think I should be the only one to make the decision here, not when there’s this much at stake. But I don’t want to force you into sitting here if you don’t want to either,” he spoke, looking around the group.

 

“I agree with Michael too,” Maria spoke up.  “I mean, we haven’t got many options here, but it’s clear something has to be done.  I say we go out there and do whatever we can.”

 

“Three to one so far,” Michael spoke.  Max felt the dig, and turned to say something.  Isabel, however, spoke up first, attempting to avert another argument.

 

“I don’t like the idea of sitting here, either.  I mean, I know, it’s probably the best thing to do in terms of safety, but I don’t want to keep running, Max.  We’ve all done enough of that already, and this is where I take a stand and fight.”

 

“I’m with Isabel on this one,” Jesse’s answer came.  “I also lost so much because of this and I’ve finally got it back.  I vote we fight for what’s ours, instead of letting them take it like last time.”

 

“This time it will be different,” Liz added, reminding the group.  Max turned to her, his eyes searching hers for an answer.  He began to speak; about to ask Liz what she felt was best, when he was interrupted. It was Serena who spoke this time. 

 

“Okay, so I’m not the best person to ask ‘cause I’m not as familiar with them as you, but like Liz said, they’ve taken something from me too.  I’m not going to let them take my father five minutes after I find him.  I’m not going to lose him, not now.  And I’m not going to sit here while they take him.”

 

There was a silence in which the group mulled over the situation so far. 

 

And then Kyle spoke up. “As much as I don’t trust what she says, I feel the same,” he said, taking a stab at Serena, which she bristled at but ignored.  “If this is going to happen, I don’t want to be the one to walk away from you guys; I’m no alien,” he said, taking another shot at her, “but I’m still part of this.  And if it comes down to sitting here while the rest of you go out to save the world or whatever you’re planning to do, or going out there and helping, I vote for saving the world. Hell, I’ve already done it once, why not once more to make it stick?”

 

Raeve, next to Kyle, was the center of attention now.  Noticing the group staring at her, her face adopted a sort of surprised contortion as she scrambled for what to say.

 

“I’m only a protector.  I’m here to help you, I’m not really here to make the decisions,” she said, taking on the air of a diplomat rather than a decision-maker.  “And at the moment, both sides of the argument seem pretty valid to me.  I can’t really tell you not to do it, but I can’t say that you should, either.  What I do know, is that the FBI will never go away unless we do something.  If it were up to me, I’d probably take the aggressive route but I’m not the leader.  Whichever way you choose is the one I go with.”

 

There was only one person left, Liz.  Max turned to her, not speaking but at the same time, asking what she thought was best.

 

“Max,” she began, thinking of a way to put into words what she needed to tell him.  “They have my parents…”  She paused a few seconds.  “But I know that whatever you choose is the right decision.  Whether we stay here and wait it out or whether we go out there and take the FBI on, I know it’ll be the right decision.  My vote goes to whatever you decide.”

 

Max looked down at her into her eyes.  She had just told him that if he were to choose to stay here, even though her parents were out there, somewhere, she would stand by him, and that she knew that it would be the right decision, even if it didn’t work out at the end.

 

“So, fearless leader, what’s our course of action?”  Michael chimed in, interrupting.

 

Max tore his gaze away from Liz, turning to Michael.  “The group’s decided, we’re going to go out there and give them everything we’ve got.”

 

“Finally,” Michael exclaimed.

 

“But we can’t just run out there and expect everything to go our way.  We need a master plan.”

 

“Like what though?” Isabel asked, growing impatient.  The question was directed at both Max and Michael, knowing that to ask one over the other was never a good idea.

 

“I was thinking we split up,” Michael answered off the cuff.  “We split into two groups so that if one group is caught, the other can try and help them out.”

 

“Michael, you know how dangerous it is to split up, it isn’t a good idea,” Max replied, again seeing fault in Michael’s plan.  It didn’t seem as though he had thought it through much at all.

 

“And what have you got planned, Maxwell?”  Michael demanded.  “What other choice do we have?  You’re always so fast to shoot down my ideas, but you don’t have any better ones yourself.”

 

Max stepped forward, rising to the challenge Michael had almost yelled at him.  Isabel, seeing the conflict she had so narrowly avoided before was about to erupt again, stepped in.  “We don’t need this right now; we have more important things to deal with than your petty quarreling.”

 

Max stepped down, acknowledging that Isabel was right.  Isabel stepped up to him and tried to deal with the issue before it grew into a full blown argument, as it was sure to do with Michael.

 

“Max, Michael’s right about having to split up.  It’s probably the best thing we could do.  We can split into two groups with some of us with powers on each side that way we’re going to have the best protection.  We can’t just sit here, we’ve decided this . . . and we can’t move as a single group either, it’ll be too obvious.”

 

“I know, Is…” Max sighed, “I just don’t want to put any of us in more danger than is necessary.  We all know that we’re strongest as a group… splitting up lessens our power as a unit.”

 

“But what else can we do, Max?  We don’t have any choice.  Unless we do stay here, but that’s already been shot down,” Isabel replied.

 

Max sighed.  She was right; Michael was too, and as much as he hated to admit it, they would all be better off in two groups rather than forming one big sitting duck.  He ran his hand through his hair in frustration, turning back to the group.

 

“Alright, fine.  We’ll split into two groups,” Max spoke, unpleased.

 

“Nice to see your being sensible,” Michael dug at Max, but as soon as he did, Isabel rounded on him.

 

“Don’t be so juvenile, Michael.  We don’t need it.  You know Max is concerned with the group’s welfare; he can’t just make a decision to split us up when we all know that we’re weaker that way.  You should know that just as well as he does.”

 

The glint in Michael’s eye disappeared as Isabel spoke.  He knew she was right too, and he knew that Max was only looking out for the group, although it wasn’t something he would say out loud.

 

“So who’s in which group?”  Liz asked, wondering if she and Max may be split up, which was not something she was looking forward to.

 

“I don’t know…”  Max sighed.  He knew that if it were up to him, he’d place Liz in the group least likely to be in danger, even if he wasn’t in it.  But the others, he had no idea.  And then the presence of their protector caught his attention.  “Raeve, any ideas?  I don’t want to put you under any pressure but you know all our powers and how they’d best work together.”

 

Raeve considered Max’s words and mulled it over in her mind.  Then, after a few seconds of deliberation, she spoke.

 

“Okay.  I see it like this… Max and Michael, you should be together; your powers both rely on physical energy, but you also possess skills that lie in direct opposition.  Michael, you’re the one who’s most able to strike out in danger and Max, you’re the healer.  If someone is hurt, you can heal him or her.  You two make an efficient strike-force.”

 

Max looked at Michael, who averted his gaze, it was obvious what Raeve meant; Michael was, as he had once feared, the dangerous one.  He could destroy things as easily as breathe and Max was the one who could make it all better again.  Michael swallowed hard and accepted it.  It was his idea to split them into groups, and if he was to be grouped based on his dark powers, then so be it.

 

“Isabel, you and Ava both share the power to manipulate minds,” at this Isabel shifted uncomfortably, Raeve was obviously speaking of the mind warp.  “You two should be in the same group so that your powers can amplify each other’s.”

 

Raeve turned to Liz next.  “Liz, you’re able to see the future and although you have shown physical powers from time to time, they aren’t wholly reliable or cultivated yet. Maria’s got more physical powers, so you and she would be a good combination.  You four will be in the first group.”

 

Liz and Maria were both less than happy with the pairing; things were definitely not back to normal between them just yet.

 

“I’m not being separated from Jesse,” Isabel informed.  “He’s with us too.”

 

“Okay, fine, but he could probably sit out if he wanted.  You and Maria can both use your powers to defend him, but you have to be careful,” Raeve acceded.  “Now, Kyle and Serena.  Neither of you have powers, so it’s not going to be a good idea to stick you both into one group.”

 

“I’m with Liz, then,” Serena spoke up, taking the opportunity to ensure that she wouldn’t lose the rest of her family too.  She looked at Kyle, whose gaze quickly turned away.

 

“Alright,” Raeve stated, “Kyle, you’re with Max and Michael.  I’m with them too, the four of us should be able to deal with anything that can be thrown at us.  Are the groups okay?”

 

No one made any objection; all of them knew their assignment was for a good reason. 

 

Taking the silence as a “yes,” Raeve continued.  “Okay, I’ll lead the way, I’m the protector; it’s my job to make sure its safe.”

 

“Alright,” Max said, “Let’s move.” 

 

Raeve stepped out of the pod chamber, leading the group out onto the escarpment.  The hot morning sunbeams had warmed the desert floor quickly, and the slight breeze that was making its way to their elevation was a stifling ninety degrees already.  Once everyone was out, she activated the door, sealing the chamber behind an invisible mirage. 

 

Slowly stepping down the rock, she kept her senses alert for any sign of danger that the FBI may be nearby, but there was nothing.  She continued to lead the group down the rock, pausing for a split-second every now and then to make sure it was still clear.  It was entirely possible that snipers could be targeting them from downrange, so the extra caution was warranted.

 

It wasn’t until Raeve got near the bottom of the butte, that her senses started picking up something.  Next to the van arrived an unmarked vehicle, and a small group of agents got out, inspecting the van.  But before Raeve could warn the group, one of the agents saw their movements and went for his gun. 

 

Raeve wasn’t going to let the agent shoot though.  “Split up!” she yelled, making a break towards a boulder, the rest of the group dashing in various directions, both Max and Michael following the same path as Raeve.

 

The agent, aiming his gun at Raeve, almost didn’t see Michael as he raised his hand, the gun being ripped from the agent’s clutches.

 

“What the!?” the agent began, seeing the firearm fly from his grip and land on the ground just out of his reach.  It took Raeve only a fraction of a second to use the opportunity to her advantage.  She quickly made her move.  Raising her hand, she used her powers to send the man reeling backwards through the air and crashing into the ground.  The agent made contact with terra firma with a sickening thud, and didn’t move.

 

Another agent stepped forward now, being met by the icy glare of Isabel.  She stood in his way, blocking his path to the others.  The agent made a quick move for his firearm, but it took less than this for Isabel to wave her hand, sending him flying backwards into the dirt, just like his colleague. 

 

This agent, though, was going to be harder to beat down.

 

Isabel took a slight step backwards as the agent’s form slowly got up again.  A shadow appeared by her side, and turning quickly, Ava was there standing next to her.

 

“Need sum help?”  Ava asked jokingly, knowing full well that Isabel could use the assistance.  “I can distract ‘em, you just do that again,” she said, referring to the tactic Isabel had just used.  Isabel nodded silently, and readied another volley for at the agent, though not without some internal doubt as to what Ava was about to do.  Swallowing hard, she put it to the back of her mind, for the moment at least.

 

Ava closed her eyes, and judging by the agent’s strange behavior, Isabel knew the mind warp was working.  Raising her hand again, she waved it fiercely this time, the agent flying backwards for the second time.  This time, the agent hit the ground, rolled a few feet, and then lay still.

 

Ava turned to Isabel and gave a smile, and Isabel, almost involuntarily, returned the gesture.

 

“Thanks,” she said.  It was hard to think that she had just seen Tess’ likeness used in the very same way that had taken someone so important from her life.  This time, she was on the same side as it, allied with it, knowing what harm it could do.  Until now it had been easy to ignore, but it was painfully clear that the power that had killed Alex was still a part of her; subdued, but not forgotten.  Faced with its use in front of her, she knew that she could no longer run from it - the power was a part of her, and there was the possibility that she, too, could end up using the same power for evil.

 

Isabel wanted to ask Ava how she could do it, how she could use her powers without being tempted to do malicious things with it.  However, her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of gunfire.  Pushing them to the back of her mind, she frantically searched for the origin of the noise, Ava ducking and pulling Isabel with her.  Looking around quickly, Isabel immediately caught sight of Max’s upraised shield and the agent who had fired the gun still standing before him, his hand clutching the smoking weapon.  The bullet he had fired hovered on the surface of the shield, and then, as the shield dissolved, the bullet fell to the ground, a small wisp of dust floating up above it.

 

The agent, though aware of the group’s powers, stood in front of Max with a shocked look on his face.  It took him a moment to realize that he still had the gun in his hand.  Max looked away from the agent for a split second, his hand still protectively in front of him but the shield down.  The agent took the opportunity to raise his gun a second time.

 

“Max, look out!”  Liz shouted from behind the agent, raising her hand and forcing all of her anger and worry for her parents into an energy blast which vaulted the agent out of the way.

 

Max watched as the agent fell to the ground several feet away, twitching violently.  Liz looked in horror at his crumpled body and let out a gasp.  “Max, is he . . .”

 

Max grabbed his wife by the arms and looked down into her tearful eyes, “Thank you.  It’s okay, everything will be okay.”  He gave her a quick hug and wished that he could believe himself.

 

Raeve moved over to each agent in turn, touching the back of their necks and making sure they were immobilized for now.  After pausing momentarily at each one, she made her way to Max, providing her report.

 

“They’re all out of action.  I’ve jumbled their memory circuits so they’ll wake up confused.” She lightly kicked the nearest agent. “I don’t think these three will be giving us any more trouble, at least, not for awhile.” 

 

Max looked towards the still form of the agent Liz had just blasted.  “What about that one,” he half-whispered, “is he dead?”

 

Raeve looked at Liz and saw the worry etched onto her face.  “No, he’s not dead.  He isn’t going to be fighting anymore, though.”

 

“Is he going to be okay though?”  Liz’s urgent gaze beat into Raeve’s eyes.

 

“I’m not sure, Liz.  He isn’t dead, and he won’t be anytime soon,” she skirted around the question, making the decision to be honest rather than make something up to allay Liz’s fears.  “You did what you had to do,” she said before turning to Max.  “Max, we can’t stay here any longer.  No doubt one of the agents radioed others before we took them out and the whole flock will be circling soon.”

 

Still worrying, Max had to push it to the back of his mind and turn his thoughts to getting away.  Running . . .  like so many times before.

 

The rest of the group was assembling when Max reluctantly began to speak.  “We can’t stay here anymore, the FBI knows where we are and it won’t take them long to get here,” he said, reinforcing Raeve’s words.  “We can’t fight them all . . . we need to go, everybody needs to divide into their groups.”  He turned to Liz, still held in his protective grip.  “Liz . . .” he began, but didn’t know what else to say. 

 

“Max,” Liz spoke back, “I’ll be fine.  You can’t worry about me, what we are about to do is more important for everyone.  I’ll be fine; I’m going with Isabel, Ava and Maria.  They’ll keep me safe.  We won’t be apart long and we’ll only be in different vehicles.  You don’t need to worry but you do need to go with Michael and Raeve, okay?”  She stepped back from him and made her way over to where her part of the group was gathering.  It was hard to do, but she knew that the separation wasn’t forever, even though it may seem like it.

 

Max stared after her, wishing that he didn’t have to leave.  It was hard enough normally, but after critically hurting that man it was harder still.  However, she was right; he had to go with the others so the group as a whole could do the most damage.  With a lot of luck, perhaps they could rid themselves of the FBI forever.

 

Michael and Maria were thinking the same.  They both stood stoically, knowing that they had to be apart, if only just for a while and accepting that fact.  The success of the group depended on it.

 

“You okay with this?” Michael confirmed, knowing that the answer was going to be before he asked.

 

“Yeah . . .” Maria said, thinking it over.  “Well not really, I mean, what if we get separated and can’t find each other again? I don’t want to have to fight them alone.”  Maria took Michael’s hand in her own.  “I only have limited control of my powers, remember.”

 

Michael stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her, trying to comfort her.  “It’ll be okay.  It’ll be over soon and we’ll have done the FBI in,” he assured her, releasing his hold.  Stepping back, he nodded. “I’ll see you soon.” 

 

Even if it was the wrong thing to say, Michael knew it felt right saying it.  He wasn’t going to write out his will and testament now, and Maria felt the same.  Michael turned and made his way towards the car where Max, Kyle, and Raeve were growing impatient.

 

“Okay, let’s go,” Max gestured, prompting the group to get in.  Kyle was slightly hesitant, and threw his gaze over in the direction of Serena, who was in the process of getting into the van.  Seeing she wasn’t interested in what he was doing, he quickly turned back and got into the car, trying to chase her incessant thoughts from his mind.

 

Serena turned back to see Kyle already in the other car, apparently unconcerned with her.  Had she ruined it forever between them?  All because she was afraid of telling Kyle who, and what, she really was? Closing her eyes, she dropped her head down and got into the van, sliding the door shut behind both her and Kyle, perhaps forever.

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

 

Secret underground government facility: Cell 1209, Washington D.C.

 

Agent Colton finally decided to leave the room, and the agents shoved Jeff’s limp body onto his chair.  Colton would be back in a few hours however, again demanding answers they refused to give, and eventually bringing pain to both of them. 

 

Jeff’s breathing was shallow and Nancy cradled him, praying that he would be okay.

 

“Dear God, please,” she managed between sobs. 

 

She kept crying and could no longer help it.  Even when Agent Colton had demanded her to calm down, she couldn’t stop.  The fear she felt rushing up and down her spine forced her hormones to rage, making her emotions uncontrollable.  Although Jeff tried to console her in his weakened state, she remained a complete emotional mess. 

 

In a nearby interrogation room, Agent Colton and his FBI Special Unit goons discussed their next plan of attack against the unyielding Parkers and the aliens at-large in Roswell.  A group of the most powerful men in the unit sat around the metal table in comfortable leather office chairs.  The leader was not Agent Colton, however, but his superior – a man by the name of Agent Rosco Demitri

 

“Agent Colton, I think I must have praised you one time too many for ransacking their apartment in Boston, because it seems to have gone to your head.  What were you thinking kidnapping this Parker couple?”

 

“Their daughter is one of them, sir,” Colton explained, “They--

 

“They know absolutely nothing that we need,” Demitri finished.  “The aliens aren’t dumb, did you think they would tell their foster parents their real intentions?  It’s too dangerous.”

 

“We didn’t know sir,” Colton’s partner spoke up.  “It was an educated decision, the laws of probability dictated a positive outcome . . .”

 

“The lack of intelligence in dealing with, in any other circumstance would make me very unhappy,” Demitri assured him, his voice rising in anger. “But this is beyond unhappy though.  You all knew that there were other people in the same vicinity, who would have given exactly what we wanted, simply because those people have the information to give.  Surely you knew this, but you grabbed this couple anyway.”

 

“What do you suggest then?”  Colton spoke up.  “That we take the Parkers back to Roswell and let them go?”

 

“No,” Dimitri uttered thoughtfully after a few seconds.  “They’ll make good bait.  In the meantime, we have to find a better plan.”

 

“There are other ways to ensure the containment of these aliens, Sir,” another agent spoke up.

 

Dimitri knew how agent Colton felt about the issue.  Colton believed that the aliens were threats and he was ready to follow any orders necessary to obliterate them.  They did after all, destroy the entire military base in Roswell.  The destruction had to mean that these aliens were enemies of the vilest kind – enemies who wanted to destroy the world, starting with the government first, at least according to some of the more powerful people in the room.  But not Dimitri.  He had other plans for the aliens, long before wanting them dead. 

 

“Colleagues, I want all of these aliens brought back alive,” Dimitri ordered them stoically.  “The military officials want them dead, but they are of no use to anybody that way.  Our primary job is simply to keep them from harming other innocent human beings, and any other objective is simply not to be our concern.  The information you successfully confiscated prior is of a great advantage to us.  I suggest we use whatever information we can from those findings to propagate a plan.  At this point, we cannot, under any circumstances, kill these aliens . . . unless they are trying to kill us first.  Is that understood?”

 

“Yes sir,” echoed throughout the room.

 

“Every time an agent has pulled a weapon on these aliens, that agent has died,” Dimitri added.  “It’s useless to assume they can be killed.”

 

Agent Dimitri looked around at his fellow agents, glancing for a few seconds at the rather quiet and elusive Agent Dobson who did not respond to his question except with a smirk.  He knew the nervous look in the young agent’s eyes, but the man had proven fearless and at times, defiant.  Glaring at Dobson, he spoke again.

 

“Do you have a problem with the orders, Agent Dobson?”

 

“No sir,” Dobson blurted as though he had been distracted.

 

Dimitri knew his men well, and that Dobson would succeed in the unit.  Knowing how to read his men however came at a price, a rather interesting one in Dobson’s case.  He would be sure to teach Dobson a lesson when the time came.  After all, spies in the unit never escape, not truly.

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

5.

 

Stolen FBI car – Dirt road, Roswell, NM.


“Do you think the others will be alright without us?”  Michael asked as he looked away from the window to Max, Raeve, and Kyle.

 

“They should be fine,” Raeve drawled, not amused at such blatant human emotion in light of their present situation.

 

“Second thoughts?”  Max mumbled, too low for anyone to hear over the roaring engine.

 

Michael bit his tongue, turning back towards the window only to turn back once again.  “Do you think . . . never mind.”

 

“Okay what is it Michael?” Max asked.

 

“Yeah, spit it out already,” Kyle mumbled.  “You've never had a shy tongue before.”

 

His eyes widened with the double implication his statement had. Raeve smirked, tossing a line back to Kyle. “So. . .how exactly do you know how Michael’s tongue is?”

 

“Okay yeah, that didn't come out right,” Kyle admitted sheepishly, turning to the window.  “Continue.”

 

Shaking his head a little in annoyance, Michael continued.  “I'm just worried about Maria with everyone else.  She’s only got partial control of her powers, and this is the first time she's been alone with everyone since…”

 

“What happened to her?”  Raeve asked, looking in the rear view mirror at Michael.

 

Max rolled his eyes and let out a heavy sigh, saving Michael the trouble.  “Let's not get into that right now, it's a long--”

 

“Was it Calypso?”  Raeve asked, ignoring Max entirely.

 

Michael blinked.  “Yeah, well…”  He said, scooting up in his seat towards her.  “Maria had a little mishap.”

 

“No doubt caused by you, I'm sure,” Raeve said with a sarcastic smile.

 

“Watch it,” Michael barked.  “Anyway, Calypso was able to fix her, you see--”

 

“Yeah, yeah… you don't have to explain.  I know how she done it,” Raeve stated.  “Love that stretches entire galaxies… silly humans.”

 

“Can we focus… Max tried to interject.

 

“How'd you even know about her,” Michael asked, a curious yet suspicious tone in his voice.

 

“I knew her,” Raeve shrugged.  “She trained us all.  She was head of security in the palace.  She was, well… a real bitch.”

 

Kyle raised an eyebrow.  “Yeah, we noticed that during her short time with us.”

 

Michael eyes shot daggers in Kyle's direction.  “No she wasn't,” he bit out.

 

“Kyle, please don't get him started,” Max moaned, looking out the passenger window distractedly.

 

“Well, what would you expect…  Raeve stated.  “Rath and Calypso were two of a kind, both bauers, double duce, snake eyes,” She smirked.  “In fact, it was usually after a night romping with Rath that Calypso was just that little bit happier and easier on us… it was refreshing.”

 

Michael nodded approvingly.

 

“Too bad it was only once a week,” Raeve added, trying to hide a smirk.

 

“What!”  Michael contested. “Wait, how old does that make you then, Rae?”

 

“Hey, hold it for a minute,” Max snapped, focusing in on the side mirror.  “We're being followed.  Don’t everyone look…”

 

“Are you sure?”  Raeve asked, looking up in the rear view mirror herself.  “Yeah, that's definitely the Feds alright.”

 

“I told you to work your voodoo magic on the car, you know, perhaps a bright red, or even a Barney purple but nooooo,” Kyle blurted nervously.

 

“It wouldn’t have made any difference,” Raeve added dryly, spotting the blinking light under the dash.  She ripped the lo-jack car alarm out, tossing the contraption out the window, sparking wires and all.

 

“We had a transmitter in the car?”

 

“Suppose it is the new millennium and all,” Rave said pointedly.

 

“I'm on it,”  Michael said, rolling his window down and proceeding to climb out and sit on the window frame.  From there, he raised his hand and was about to blast the car back a few years, when there was a loud pop, and he was nearly thrown from the window.  The car swayed back and forth as Raeve struggled to regain control of it, Michael climbing back inside a bit shakily.

 

“Hey, what the hell?!  Are you trying to get me killed or something?”  Michael exclaimed.

 

“No!  We must have ran over something and busted the tire . . .  I'm going to have to pull over!”  Raeve cried, trying to force the steering wheel to no avail.

 

“Does that mean I get to do some ass-kicking?” Kyle asked.  “Cause I'm totally up for that at his point.”

 

“Let's go then…”  Max said, the car screeching to a halt, a dust cloud flying up everywhere.  Max jumped out of the car along with everyone else, watching through the dust as the guys in suits stepped out of their car, drawing their guns.

 

Michael almost laughed.  “Too easy…”  Raising his hand, he sent all of the guns flying off into the cacti in unison.

 

With the guns gone, it was a real fight…except, no one was moving.  Each group stayed by their prospective car like opponents in a Hollywood western, not really sure they want to get into this bloodshed.

 

“Ah, to hell with this…”  Raeve grumbled, walking through both Max and Michael straight towards the FBI, who patiently waited for her.  As she walked towards them, she deliberately began shape-shifting from one person to the next as a way of distracting them.  Max, Michael, and Kyle followed behind her.

 

While Michael blasted one off into the sand, Max and Kyle proceeded to fight off the others, just as Raeve got knocked to the ground by the largest of the FBI drones.  The largest one turned from her, extracted a bayonet knife from a hidden sheath around his lower calf, and came up behind Max.

 

“Max!  Behind you!”  Michael suddenly cried out, raising his hand once again, sending the agent up into the air only to land on the hood of the car, denting the metal and cracking the glass.  The knife lay spinning at Max's feet.  He looked up from it and took a deep breath before looking to Michael. 

 

“Thanks.”

 

“Yeah... you can count on your partner for one,”  Michael nodded, looking around Max to where Kyle was still punching his already unconscious agent.

 

Kyle finally stood and nodded in self-approval.  “I think he's down for the count.”  He threw in one more kick for good measure.

 

“Yeah, just possibly…”  Raeve mumbled, licking her cracked open lip, the sand gritty in her mouth.

 

“You okay?” Max asked.

 

Raeve nodded.  “Just a scratch.  I heal quickly… third generation and all.”  She said, and it proved to be true because as soon as she walked back to the car, her lip was healed.  She bent down at the right front tire, it’s collapsed shape calling for little more than a quick head scratch to fix.  With a wave of her hand, the punctured wheel sprang back to life, looking like new.

 

“What do you say we get a move-on and find these parents already?  Hmmm?  Time’s-a-wasting,” asked Raeve dutifully.

 

Max, Michael, and Kyle all nodded, then as Kyle trekked back to the battered car he added,  “Ass-kicking accomplished.” 


 

~.~.~.~.~

 

 

Lets get out of here,” Isabel stated.  “Before more agents arrive.”

 

“I’ll drive,” Jesse offered, taking the keys.  “Did I ever mention I did some off-road racing back in college?  Had this little blue RX7, man that thing was fast…”

 

“Great, let’s put the racecar driver behind the wheel,” Maria said sarcastically, climbing in the back.  “We do have a roll-bar in this van, right?”

 

Jesse rolled his eyes at her.

 

“No honey, you never mentioned that,” Isabel pondered, ignoring Maria and clearing out the passenger seat before climbing in.  “Is there anything you didn’t do in college?”

 

 “Well, nothing else that’s really interesting,” he doled out, adjusting the mirror.

 

Everyone inside, he fired up the behemoth, the loose steering wheel and flimsy pedals not quite the vintage racecar of yesteryear.  Still, he was probably the best qualified for desert driving and accepted the role dutifully.

 

It grew silent in the van after pulling onto the main thoroughfare, much to Jesse’s distress.

 

 “You know,” Jesse spoke up.  “There has to be a way to end all this, once and for all.”

 

“There is,” Liz replied.  “But we have to find the source first.”

 

“Where do we go?”  Serena demanded calmly, “’Cause I’m all for this plan.”

 

“I’m bettin’ the Han-man was right,” Ava pointed out.  “The real source ain’t in this town, so there’s no point in stickin’ around here unless we gonna set them a trap.”

 

“I’m sure they want more than one of us, they never give up,” Isabel said, turning in her seat.  “We need to go somewhere where they’ll be expecting us, like my parents’ house.  Logically, that would be one of the best places to find them.”

 

“So we go there, look like we don’t know anything is going on, mind-warp any leftover agents, and hope that does it?”  Liz spoke up again.

 

“We have to stop by my mom’s house first,” Maria suddenly spoke up.  “In case there are any agents there, ya know?   So we can lure them with us to the other house.  Herd them, like cattle.”

 

“No, we can’t take on that many at once.  It would be best to deal with as few at a time as possible,” Isabel thought aloud.

 

“So then, my place first, then Isabel’s?”  Maria suggested.

 

“Can anyone think of anything better?”  Liz contended, met with no reply.

 

“Okay,” Jesse said from the driver’s seat.  “Have we finally decided on a plan then?”

 

“Yeah,” said Ava.

 

“It’s all we’ve got for now,” Isabel replied.

 

“It’s a start,” Liz concurred.

 

Jesse chuckled mentally while he concentrated on the road.  It was amazing really, that they could form a decent plan so easily without their leader or second in command.  Perhaps the plan formed itself simply in desperation, but still he was glad they had one.   

 

Jesse stopped the van at a very desolate Deluca residence.  No lights were on, all the windows and doors were shut and the shades drawn; it looked like the occupants had deliberately locked down the house.

 

“Look,” Liz said, pointing to the doorstep.  The morning paper still lay there, alongside the day’s mail.  Nobody had been there all day.

 

“Did anyone see any cars, any people, anything around here?”  Isabel said, looking around carefully.

 

“No, nothing,” Jesse contemplated.

 

“They must have left,” Maria thought aloud, seeing the flickering light from the TV in the window.  “In a hurry, I might add.”  She stood, reaching for the door, but Liz stopped her.

 

“They’re not here,” Liz said knowingly.  “No use looking around.  There are no agents around either.  They must not have found anything worthwhile here, else they’d be waiting for us.”

 

Maria looked at Liz’s hand as it touched her, and Liz immediately let go.  “Yeah, okay,” Maria conceded.

 

“Maybe Valenti knows something,” Liz offered.

 

Maria didn’t respond.

 

“Okay next stop,” Isabel spoke, a tinge of anxiety in her voice.  Jesse put the van into drive, easing the vehicle back into motion.

 

Ya know, for being a racecar driver, you’re not that bad,” Maria commented approvingly.

 

“Hey!”  Jesse said.  “This thing isn’t exactly a spring chicken, you know?”

 

It seemingly sputtered on command, jostling the occupants.

 

“I didn’t mean it personally,” Jesse said, stroking the vehicle’s console reassuringly.

 

Jesse’s humor lingered long enough to carry the vehicle into Isabel’s neighborhood, where Jesse slowed down, his eyes fixated on the rearview mirror.

 

“Did that car just make the same turn as us,” Jesse asked.

 

“Yes, go around the block,” Liz ordered.

 

The car turned off, much to everyone’s approval.  Jesse let out a tight breath and turned back towards Isabel’s.

 

“Oh, that’s definitely an agent,” Maria said, pointing at a man walking his little dog down the sidewalk.  “That’s so obvious, it’s not even funny . . .”

 

“Uh no, that’s Mister Fleer,” Isabel said mockingly.  “Pastor at Faith Lutheran.  His dog is more dangerous than he is.”

 

Liz managed to crack a smile.  It was nice that not all humor was lost, even in these trying times.

 

Jesse neared the Evan’s house and so far, nothing was looking amiss.  There were lights on inside, and the front door was open, so somebody must be home.  Pulling into the driveway, Jesse shut off the ignition, finally able to take a full breath.

 

One by one, the foursome opened their respective doors, stepping cautiously onto the driveway. 

 

As Liz touched the ground, a premonition came over her.  In her mind, she saw the scene unfold:  Two agents coming out from the bushes lining the front of the house, and three more bursting out of the car that tailed them from the Deluca house.  She saw herself and the others surrounded.  Returning to reality, her eyes met Isabel’s.

 

“Premonition?”  Isabel asked first, seeing Liz just standing there in a daze.

 

“Split up,” she whispered to the others.  “Three in a car, two in the bushes, go!”  With that, she opened her phone, dialing Max.

 

“Hello?”

 

“We have a situation at your parent’s, trouble will be here any second,” Liz spoke into the phone.

 

“Got it, we’re on our way.”

 

Serena looked over her side, catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure, her blood running cold.  Everything else around her seemed to slow down, the feeling somehow vaguely familiar.  She turned to face the assailant just as he raised a high-power rifle at her, his motions becoming slower and slower, her heart seeming to beat faster and faster.  She raised her hand in defense, catching sight of a strange blur behind it that lasted for several seconds.  Confused, she moved her hand some more, painting opaque streaks into the air, the sight sending chills up her spine.  Then came a flash and a low but powerful sound, which brought her back to reality.  Serena watched as the muzzle of the weapon in front of her flared to life, the bright streaks lighting up the entire area and making it hard to see.  And from the center, she could make out a small black dot, and it was moving . . . moving directly towards her.  Serena panicked, trying to run, but no muscle moved.  She watched the bullet move closer and knew it was already too late, she could not move fast enough to escape the igneous projectile even if she tried. 

 

She cringed in terror.  The searing pain sent her reeling, her body folding around the impact as the bullet ripped through her chest.

 

In all the confusion, Liz didn’t even realize that the agent pulled the trigger until Serena lurched backwards, collapsing to the ground.  “No!”  Liz cried, running over to Serena, pulling her limp body up into her arms.  The agent was frantically trying to reload the rifle, but the shell had become lodged in the barrel.  In his haste, he knocked over the glass birdbath Isabel had purchased for her mother last Mother’s Day, the article crashing to the walkway in a million bits, getting Ava’s attention.  Ava turned, composing herself and concentrating, using her powers to distract the agent. 

 

Grabbing a baseball bat from the van, Jesse started beating any agent he could, knocking their weapons out of their hands while he had the chance.  In a bad swing, he lost grip of the weapon and it fell to the ground, the agent coming at him full-bore.  Maria, seeing this, reached out with her mind, raising the instrument vertically just as the agent stepped over it – the man collapsing to the ground.

 

“Hang in there Serena,” Liz pleaded, grabbing her cell phone once again.  Hitting the redial, it seemingly took ages before he finally answered.  “Hello? Liz?”

 

“Max, Serena’s been shot!  We need help, now!” she blurted into the receiver shakily.

 

“Okay, don’t panic. We’re almost there!”

 

Liz slammed the phone shut, tossing it aside, her fingers trembling.  Brushing Serena’s long red hair from her face, a red spot began growing on Serena’s shirt.  “Everything’s going to be all right,” she reassured her, wiping her eyes quickly and pulling Serena closer.

 

Serena tried to stand, tugging on Liz, but it was no use, she didn’t have the strength.  She tried to speak also, but all that came out was a moan, no words would form.

 

Shhh,” Liz said.  “Help is on the way, just stay with us.”

 

A second black agent car came screeching to a halt, this one quite beat up, the front of the car crashing up over the curb and onto the sidewalk.  Maria looked around frantically, looking for any kind of projectile to volley their way.  Spotting the broken glass by the steps, she began concentrating, levitating shards of it pointedly; the sharp ends directed towards the car.  Her eyes were glowing a deep, iridescent violet color.

 

“Wait!”  Max said, jumping out of the car, Michael following right behind. 

 

Maria came to, dropping the salient instruments, her eyes returning to normal.

 

Liz reflected, looking around at the carnage before her.  Ava broke her mind warp just in time to send an agent flailing from a well-placed roundhouse kick.  Jesse then disarmed that agent, and Ava struck him again with another karate move as the agent crumpled to the ground.  “Nice moves,” Jesse said, glancing around for his wife.  Isabel stood in shock; she could do nothing but stare.

 

Max spotted Liz and their downed ally, and began running towards them when two more agents appeared from the back.

 

“Isabel!  Max!  Help!”  Liz shouted, Isabel turning around to see Max confronted by two agents.  She did the only thing she could think of, she closed her eyes, envisioning the two as being enemies.  Michael lowered his hand, watching the two agents beating themselves up.

 

Isabel opened her eyes, Ava there to steady her.  “Couldn’t have done it better myself,” she said.  Isabel could only nod.

 

Kyle, Jesse, and Raeve were able to disarm the remaining agents, pinning them to the ground.

 

Max came running to Liz, a tattered and clinging-to-life Serena held in her arms.  He took Serena gently, placing her on the ground, starting his magic.

 

Liz looked at her husband, relieved that things were going to be okay. But as she watched him heal Serena, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something like this was going to happen to Serena again.

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

 

Hanley paced back and forth along the sand and dirt in the desert, where he and the remainder of the parents were waiting for the others to arrive.  Finally, when his legs started to give out on him from all the exercise, he knelt down and wrapped his right hand around a pebble, chucking it down into the reservoir below.  He watched it skip, while deep down he said a silent prayer.  He knew that Raeve would not fail and she knew what they were already knee-deep in, but the others did not understand the situation the way the protectors did.  Sure, the royals were smart, but they hadn’t even begun to grasp the real politics of the situation, and Hanley thought about ways to explain those concepts … until Amy Deluca’s voice flooded his ears.

 

“We don’t need babysitters,” Amy protested.  “How many times do I have to tell you that?”

 

Hanley groaned in frustration.  “And how many times do I have to explain that this isn’t my choice, but when it comes to the FBI, you need one of us around.  Trust me, none of you have any idea what the they will do to get to your kids.”

 

“Oh we don’t?” Amy challenged.  “You mean that we weren’t there when they tried gunning them down during their graduation?”

 

“Or when they practically shut down the whole town,” Diane added, “Searching house to house with helicopters and search dogs?” 

 

“Or dragging one of them out of the white room after a man, who could only be classified as evil, tortured him for hours on end,” Jim finished off.  “Trust me, sonny.  I think we know.”

 

Hanley heard Diane let out a little whimper at the mention of Max’s experience in white room.  She turned to Phillip, who was now the one pacing back and forth.  God, he hated to do this, but he had to make them understand.

 

“I’m sorry for my implication,” Hanley apologized a moment later.  “I know that none of this has been easy.”  He glanced around trying to meet each of their gazes.  “For any of you.  But, you know those memories you just listed off for me?  The white room, Tess’s baby, the fiasco at graduation.  Why do you think they kept them a secret from you for so long?”

 

Silence fell.

 

“To protect you,” Hanley answered his own question.  “That’s why they had me stay with you now.  They know what the FBI is like firsthand, and they know that the FBI will use you all to get to them.  They have Jeff and Nancy, and I don’t even want to know what they are doing to them.”

 

There was nothing that any of the parents could say to that.  Deep down, each of them knew that what Hanley was saying was true.  They needed to stay on the sidelines for the time being to keep their kids safe, but that didn’t mean they had to like it.

 

“Fine,” Amy, the most vocal, caved in.  “Fine.  Babysit us.”

 

Hanley let out a limited breath of relief.  However, he should have known that the victory would be short-lived.  The second his cell phone began to ring, Hanley knew it was true.

 

“Hanley,” he answered instantly.

 

“Is that how you were raised,” the voice on the end laughed slightly.

 

Xae,” Hanley exclaimed.  “Xaedon, is that you?”

 

“Of course,” he said.

 

Hanley smirked.  His brother still sounded like the same cocky, self-assured guy that he was when he last saw him, and that had been over three years ago, such a long time ago. 

 

“Do you have any idea how worried Raeve’s been about you,” he launched into a lecture.  “I mean six months and you couldn’t even connect with her.  You know how she is when she gets like this.  Rae has been nearly impossible.”

 

“Yup, I can imagine,” Xaedon chuckled.  “Sounds like her.  Some things never change, including you.  Not even thirty seconds into the phone call and I’m already getting a lecture.”

 

“And I’m not finished,” Hanley retorted.  “Six months.  And you couldn’t…”

 

“No,” Xaedon said abruptly.  “It was too dangerous.  I have no idea how, but I have a feeling that if I did, they would know about it.  The others… they were not so fortunate.”

 

“Which ‘they’ are we talking about,” Hanley asked, curious as to his brother’s whereabouts.

 

“Government,” Xaedon replied.  “I’m not as sure about the other protectors.  They may have one more in here as well, but I haven’t been able to siphon any information out of those FBI bastards.”  

 

“So how long have you been doing this,” Hanley asked, irritation in his voice.  “Hiding out among them?”

 

“Hiding?” he heard Xaedon scoff.  “You think that this is easy?  For three years, I’ve been busting my ass, getting information out, and this is the thanks I get?  From my own brother no less!  Thanks for the vote of confidence,   Hanley.”

 

“This has nothing to do with confidence,”  Hanley shouted into the cell phone, doing something he rarely ever did . . . lose control.  “This is about our duty.  Our duty to serve our King, remember?”

 

“Let’s not forget his second, the princess and her human husband, the former queen, or Calypso,” Xaedon listed off.  “And the newly appointed, changed human bride of his that is now queen.  Oops, I forgot to mention the human and his deceiving girlfriend.  Did I get them all now?”

 

“How did you know… Hanley started, only to be cut off.

 

“I may not have been in touch,” Xaedon told him.  “Doesn’t mean that I was out of touch.  As for what comes first, do you remember how you started this conversation? Did you inquire right away about any possible information that I might have or did you simply start to lecture me, big brother?”

 

Damnit Xae, listen to me,” Hanley muttered, trying to reign in his emotions, but giving up with a flail of his free hand.  “Do you have information or not?”

 

“Protector till the end, forever will defend,” Xaedon remarked.

 

“As was my vow,” Hanley replied.  “And yours.”

 

“Well enough,” the other man let the topic drop, for the time being.  “I do have news.  A day or two ago, the unit brought in a couple.  Since they got here, the head cheese has been making preparations for several more ‘visitors,’ as it were, if you get my drift.  They are going to try to bring them all in, Hanley.  And they plan to use this couple to do it.”

 

“And you know who and where they are,” Hanley questioned.

 

A shapely laugh resonated through the earpiece.  “Well, duh?  I’d have to be a special kind of stupid not to know.  They’re the Parkers.  Owners of the Crashdown and pseudo-parents to our new queen.”

 

“At least I don’t have to explain that,” Hanley sighed.

 

“Like I said, I’m not stupid,” Xaedon joked slightly.

 

“Then you know how they are, how they’ve been treated,” Hanley wondered.

 

“Yeah, one word… badly.  How would you think?”

 

Hanley rolled his eyes, balling his fist.  “Then you know what you have to do.  You have to get them out.”

 

“I hate to be the one to break it to you, but no-can-do,” Xaedon refused.  “It’s too big a risk.  They’ll figure me out if I help, and we can’t afford to lose the information I supply from the bureau.”

 

“You have got to be kidding!”  Anger welling up inside Hanley.  “You said yourself that they’re bait, and you know that the others will take it.”

 

“My hands may be tied dear brother, but yours are not,” Xaedon told him.  “Ergo, that is why I called.”

 

“Not a chance in hell.”

 

“What? Why not?”

 

“Cause we’re dealing with Zan here,” Hanley answered simply.  “In any version of him, he is still Zan to the core.  And we are talking about his beloved’s parents.  There is not a damn thing I can do to change any of that, or what he is going to do.  So, here is the plan.  Find out as much as you can and get back in touch with either me or Rae… however you can.  We will go from there. Even better yet, how about you get the Parkers and yourself out of there.”

 

There was a pause on the other end. “Fine,” Xaedon ground out reluctantly, still unsure of Hanley’s idea.  “I’ll do what I can.  Tell Raeve I called and I’m not dead, just had to quell the supernatural stuff, you know.  Give her a hug from me, and make up some lame excuse if you can get a word in.”

 

“You know I will,” Hanley mumbled.  “Thank you, Xaedon.”

 

“I’m still against this,” Xaedon reminded him.  “Just for the record and all.  But what else are brothers for?”  With that, the line went dead.

 

Hanley pressed the off button, taking a deep breath, and then another before putting the phone away.

 

“Intense call?”  Jim commented.

 

“The Lakers lost by one point,” he said sarcastically.

 

“What?” Dianne questioned.

 

“Never mind,” Hanley finished.  It hit Hanley that the other parents had heard everything, at least from his end.  Man, he would bet anything that the conversation he just had wasn’t sitting too well with them.  There would be no way of getting around explaining what was going on except with the truth.

 

“You all know that Raeve is my sister,” he began.  “What you may not know is that she has a twin brother… Xaedon.”

 

“And that was him,” Phillip asked.  “On the phone just now.”

 

Nodding, Hanley walked over to Michael’s bike, leaning onto it. “He’s been out of contact with everyone for the past few months, including Raeve, which is difficult because of the bond they share.”

 

“Why,” Diane asked.  “Why is it difficult?”

 

“Because they’re twins, they have a special connection, or bond, that allows them to communicate telepathically.  They can also sense one another,” Hanley explained.  “Each of them spent years honing it, so they could keep in contact when they got separated here on Earth.  Raeve was sure he was dead.  For Raeve not to feel it, Xaedon had to be making a constant effort to keep her cut off.”

 

“Did he have a reason to do that?” Amy spoke up.

 

Hanley found himself nodding again.  “He said that where he is located, it would not be possible to use the connection.  He doesn’t want to be uncovered.”

 

“Where is he,” Jim questioned.  “With the enemies?”

 

“Yes,” Hanley told him.  “In a sense.”

 

Amy let out a loud huff.  “That is not a real answer, ‘In a sense.’  Just what in the hell do you mean by that?”

 

Bringing his fingers up to rub at his temples, Hanley searched his already racked brain for the right words to explain the situation.  “Listen, none of you are going to like me for saying this, but I’m not going to tell you which enemy, or where.  This is for both yours, and his protection.  I have no idea who is watching or how close they are, and you all are the most visible means to an end.  And trust me when I say that any of them will use any of you to capture any of the others, just as they are using the Parkers.  If you know where Xaedon is, then you’re in the same danger, and chances are, they will exploit that weakness.  Therefore, I have said all that I can say at this time.”

 

The group watched as Hanley walked over to a large outcrop of rocks away from the group and sat down, his back to them.  Flipping open his cell phone, he dialed.  “We have an ally in the unit . . .”

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

Secret underground government facility: Cell 1209  (Washington D.C.)

 

Nancy Parker knelt on the cold, hard floor of the little room, stroking her husband’s arm.  Her eyes were red from her vain attempts to wipe away the wetness that kept forming, blinding her to her current situation.  Perhaps that was a good thing, the tears welling there blotted out the image of her gruesome husband lying there in pain, leaning against the dank wall of their prison. 

 

Jeff sighed, wincing at the pain even this brought.  He looked over at his wife as she continued to stroke his arm, trying to comfort him. 

 

“Some infinitesimal bastion of strength I turned out to be,” he said, criticizing his own inability to defend himself and his wife against the agents.

 

“You were up against more than you could manage,” Nancy tried to comfort him.  “If you had tried to fight back, they would have made it even worse.  Besides, you didn’t give in, you didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear.  You can’t beat yourself up for that.”

 

Jeff gave a brief smile in self-mockery.  “Looks like they did a good enough job for me.”

 

“It isn’t your fault,” Nancy countered, not finding any humor in it.  “Besides, it’s over now.  They’ve gone.”

 

“They won’t be gone forever,” Jeff sighed, again wincing.  “They’ll be back soon enough.  And if they don’t get what they want…”

 

“Don’t talk about that,” his wife silenced him, “we’ll get through this.  We will, one way or another.”

 

The door to the room clicked as the lock was disengaged.  It opened with a screech, revealing yet another agent dressed in a dark suit.  Striding into the room, he looked at the two of them as they cowered on the floor.

 

“Looks like we’ll find out soon enough,” Jeff said, bracing himself against what he knew was coming next.  Looking at the agent, he spouted as forcibly as he could, “We don’t know what you want.  You’re not getting anything out of us!”

 

The agent cocked his head to the side, taking in the injured man’s slurred words.  A faint smile spread across his lips; making the Parkers unsure of what was about to happen next.  The agent, however, didn’t wait to act.  Moving over to Jeff, he took hold of one of his arms, and moved to pull him to his feet.  The agent wasn’t as rough as the others had been, but the contact still made Jeff wince in pain.

 

“Stand up,” the agent said in a hushed tone.

 

“Stop it, leave him alone!”  Nancy choked out, tears again falling down her face, her husband once again becoming the target for the brutality of the special unit.  He was already in agony, and she couldn’t bear to see him go through it all again. 

 

Working on pure adrenaline, she made a rush at the agent and started hitting him across the back with her small bound fists that, in this moment, had become like clods of steel striking her husband’s aggressor.  She didn’t care what happened, she just wanted him to stop, to leave him alone, to leave them alone.

 

The agent, however, had other ideas.  Turning from the crumpled form of Jeff, he turned to Nancy.  Taking hold of her arms, he rushed her up against the wall, and pinned her there with what seemed like minimal force.  Holding Nancy’s hands up against the wall, he lent down and looked right into her eyes.  Nancy’s face was one of absolute determination; she was going to stop this person.  She was, or else.

 

“Leave her alone!” Jeff yelled this time; now he was the one to speak out against the agent’s actions.  “Stop it, let her go!”

 

The agent continued to stare down at Nancy, not prepared to listen to the demands being shouted at him.  And then, he spoke.

 

“Calm down, both of you,” he instructed in a quiet blend of authority and reassurance.  “I’m not here to hurt you and I’m certainly not here to torture secrets out of you.  I know all of them anyways.  I’m here to help.  I’m going to get you out of here.”  With that, he let go of Nancy’s arms and let her move over to her husband.  Nancy clung to Jeff’s side and crouched there, holding her husband and stared with hatred at the man in black.

 

The agent rolled his eyes, and moved across to help Jeff up.  Nancy opened her mouth, about to tell him directly to keep his distance, but Jeff spoke. 

 

“Nancy, it’s okay,” Jeff assured her.  “He’s, well he must be here to help.  I don’t exactly trust him, but what choice have we got? We either trust him and let him help or we stay in this room and wait for the next round.”

 

Nancy said nothing, but continued to frown at the agent, who had now moved across the small cell of a room and was in the process of helping Jeff to his feet, unlocking his restraints.  She wasn’t prepared to just let go of what the agents had done to them, not that easily, even if this particular agent said that he was here to help.

 

“Do you want to remain locked up?”  He spoke to Nancy, holding out the key to her.  She took it and undone her restraints, rubbing her wrists briskly.

 

“Stay here a minute,” the agent spoke again, making his way to the door.  He opened it slowly and looked out, and then moved off down the hallway.  Moments later, he returned and taking hold of Jeff, helping him out the door.

 

“Where are we going?”  Nancy demanded, not sure of whether going out into the main hallway of the building, whatever it was, was any safer than staying in the room.  There was no response.  “Where are we going?!” she demanded again.

 

The agent, sighing, turned to look at her.  “Away from this place,” he said, and with that single word, made his way out the door.  Nancy stood for a moment, and then followed, stepping out into perhaps even more danger.

 

The hallway was just as frigid as the room they had just been in; not merely to the touch, but more so to the other senses.  It was very clinical, as if it was some kind of hospital, or a morgue.  Nancy considered this for a moment, and quickly pushed it to the back of her mind in an attempt to rid herself of the feeling that the FBI was prepared to do anything to get answers.

 

This agent, who had shown behavior unlike the rest of the FBI, led the Parkers down the shadowed hall, urging them to be quick and quiet.  It wouldn’t be long before agents, having seen him take the prisoners from their room, would be searching the complex.

 

Speed, on the other hand, wasn’t something Jeff found easy to accomplish in his current state.  But the pain was almost nullified by the urge to make a break for it.

 

The group approached an intersection in the corridor and the agent, after hastily checking for other agents, led the Parkers down a dimly lit hall.  After a short way, they reached a small, seemingly insignificant door, just the other doors in the area.

 

“Stand back,” the agent warned, and then rushed the door, forcing it open, and revealing an even more dimly lit passage that led to what appeared to be the maintenance areas of the compound.  Ushering the Parkers through the door, the agent then closed the door again as well as possible.  The sound of the lock clicking back into place surprised Jeff; he hadn’t noticed a manual lock on the door aside from one on the other side.  He looked at the door, trying to figure out how the agent could have locked it again from the wrong side, but the agent stepped in the way.  “This way,” he said, and motioned for the two to begin moving again.

 

The man led them through a maze of corridors, the walls of which seemed to be, to a large degree, constructed of pipes and various cables and wires.

 

“This way,” the agent instructed again, seemingly to remind himself which way to go as much as to let the Parkers know which way to turn.  It seemed that the agent hadn’t been here too many times himself, if at all, and the route to be taken was less than familiar.

 

The sound of an alarm sounded as the group turned yet another corner.

 

“What does that mean?” Jeff questioned.  The agent didn’t turn around, and for awhile, no answer came, as if he was concentrating on something else.

 

Finally, he replied.  “They didn’t find what they were looking for through the two of you as easily as they had hoped.  The alarm is to put the whole base on alert.”  He turned back to see the faces of both Nancy and Jeff contorted in anxiety.  “Don’t worry, they won’t find us.  By the time they look down here, we’ll be long gone.”

 

With that, he moved on.  It wasn’t long before they reached another door, if you could call it a door.  It was more of a hatch or service entrance, which led to a steeply graded and concealed causeway, which was actually a fire escape route.  Turning to look at the Parkers, the agent beckoned them to enter the tunnel, and then entered himself to lead them out of the compound.

 

The group slowly made its way through the steep tunnel upwards for what seemed like eternity, stepping cautiously through the almost complete darkness.  On the wall ahead at a tunnel junction, a small red light gradually came into view, oscillating slowly back and forth on its pedestal.

 

“Stop,” the man said. “Infra-red surveillance camera.  Wait here a minute.”

 

In the darkness, the Parkers couldn’t see the agent moving, but heard him take a step forward and then pause.  A moment later, the red light on the wall paused in its motion, and then faded out completely.

 

“By the time they notice, we’ll be gone.  Come on, we have to move,” the man urged.

 

“How do you know where we’re going?” Came Nancy’s worried voice, anxious to know how the agent could lead them through the pitch darkness without a hint of doubt as to where they were going.

 

“I know where we are, it isn’t long now,” the agent replied.  Nancy noticed he was skirting around the question in an attempt not to answer it.  About to speak again, she was halted by the sudden noise of a metallic grate being lifted and the agent’s hand on her back guiding her down into what appeared to be a drainage pipe leading out the side of the tunnel.  Jeff was already in the pipe, laboring through its murky residue, the pain from the torture session of not long ago causing him to traverse slowly.

 

Replacing the grate behind him, the agent told the Parkers yet again to move.  The group made its way, slowly but surely, down the pipe, noticing that with each forward movement, the speck of light at the end of the pipe got brighter and brighter.  It wasn’t long before fresh air began sweeping down the tunnel, indicating that freedom was near.

 

Finally, Jeff was able to stretch out his arms and see the sunlight, shining on his skin.  Climbing out quickly, despite the pain, he turned and pulled his wife out and stood, holding her in his arms, happy that they were now free.

 

“Sorry to interrupt the Kodak moment, but we still aren’t safe yet.  We need to move,” the man urged, pointing to a car behind the brush that neither had yet noticed.

 

“Where are we going?” Jeff asked this time, getting into the car alongside his wife, who had, despite her still quite obvious distrust of the agent, already claimed a seat.

 

Getting into the car himself, the agent spoke.  “Somewhere safe.  Somewhere where they can’t get you.” He turned on the ignition, and set the car in motion, making it move at high speed away from the compound.

 

“What about home?  When can we go back?”  Nancy asked, already thinking about their apartment in Roswell and their daughter.

 

“Not now.  It isn’t safe yet, not for you,” the man spoke, not taking his eyes off scanning the road ahead.

 

Jeff reached over and grasped his wife’s hand in his own, in an attempt to comfort her as she had done to him earlier that day.  He moved to say something, but paused.  They would be home soon enough, he thought.  Right now, he was content just to be with his wife and alive.

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

Evan’s house, front lawn - Roswell, NM.

 

“Michael!”  Maria bounded from the van, running straight into Michael’s arms.  He picked her up easily, engulfing her into a hug.  Breathing deep, he inhaled her scent.

 

“You’re okay,” he questioned gruffly.

 

“Of course I am,” Maria pulled back, smiling.  “I’m no wuss.  In fact, I was kicking some serious ass.”

 

“You wish, Deluca!”  Raeve called out, smiling her victory smile.

 

“Hey, you’re ruining the lovey-dovey groping moment with the boyfriend,” Maria bit back, smiling.  “Back off, Rae.”  She pulled Michael closer to her, if that were even possible.

 

Raeve threw her hands up.  “I was just saying…”

 

“She’s possessive?” Michael cut in, earning a few good laughs from everyone and a playful punch in the stomach from Maria.  

 

Oblivious to the rest of the group, Liz reached up, gently touching Max’s split eyebrow. 

 

“It’s gonna scar,” she warned, wincing as his muscle spasmed under her feather-light touch.

 

“I’ve had worse,” Max smiled gently down at her, kissing the tip of her nose.  Looking back at Serena, he concluded, “We’ve had worse, much worse.”

 

Serena looked up to Max at his comment, silently thanking him again for saving her life.

 

“It’s nothing that a little steak wouldn’t fix, right Max?” Jesse piped up, mockingly.

 

“True,” Max replied, a grin creeping out the corner of his mouth.

 

“Serena,” Liz questioned, needing an answer to what she saw.  “What did you do right before you were, you know. . .”

 

“I panicked,” Serena said.  “Plain and simple. I froze like a deer caught in headlights,” she finished with a despondent sound.

 

“No, I mean with your hands I’ve never seen anyone move that fast before.”

 

“I just don’t know,” Serena replied, looking down at her hands, then the floor.

 

“Well I hate to break up this lovely family reunion, but shouldn’t we go inside and see if anyone is home?”  Isabel stepped beside Max and glanced anxiously at the house.

 

Max looked from his sister to the front door of the house.  Sensing his reluctance, Raeve started towards the door.  After unlocking the door with her powers, she cautiously stepped in.  “All clear,” she shouted back to the group.

 

Isabel raced into the house and wildly looked around.

 

“Mom?  Dad?  Where is everyone?”

 

“It’s deserted,” Jesse noted, returning from the kitchen.  “Coffee’s still on the pot.”

 

“Oh, my God.  What if the FBI has taken them too?  Max?”

 

Max walked in and put his arm around Isabel, trying to comfort her.  “Let’s not jump to any conclusions, okay.”  Looking around he noticed something glowing on the wall by the kitchen table.  “Isabel, look,” he said gesturing to the wall.  Three glowing, wavy lines streaked the wall.

 

“What, I don’t see anything,” Jesse reported, examining the wall closely.

 

“Me either,” Kyle replied.

 

“They’re at the reservoir,” Michael said, coming up from behind the brother and sister, seeing the wavy lines.  Michael glanced back at Maria, who was nodding her head in confusion.

 

Max looked at the wall, then at Michael, then back to the wall again.  “How in the world did you deduce that?  From these squiggly lines on the wall?”

 

“Easy. Because it looks like water?  It’s not rocket science,” Michael commented dryly.

 

Max nodded.  “I see… point taken.”

 

“But I still can’t see anything,” Jesse said, confused.

 

Kyle took the bait.  “Alien thing...”

 

“Oh.” Jesse scrunched up his face, studying the wall some more. “I didn’t know that was possible.”

 

 Isabel laughed. “Believe me honey, you and me both.” She took his arm. “Let’s go find my parents.”

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

7.

 

“We’re almost there.  Isabel, could you stop squeezing my arm?  It’s going to fall off soon,”  Jesse looked down at his wife and her anxious face, wishing there was more he could do.

 

“Sorry, I just want to make sure they’re okay,” she said, rubbing his arm briskly.  Jesse wrapped the arm around her shoulders and leaned in to kiss her forehead.

 

Raeve glanced into the rearview mirror of the van, taking inventory of the worried and tired faces everyone wore.  “It’s been one hell of a day,” she thought to herself.

 

Serena sat in the passenger seat weakly, replaying the day’s events over and over in her mind, unable to escape them.  So, she had gained a father and lost a boyfriend . . . what was Kyle to her anyways?  It didn’t take much for him to turn his back on her.  Maybe whatever they had been sharing over the past few months had all been in her head, an illusion.  Sighing, she rubbed her forehead, hoping that the answers would come and come soon.

 

Max looked out the window from his perch in the back, spotting Valenti’s SUV and his father’s car, but nobody was within sight.  “Raeve, do you see anything?”

 

Raeve shook her head, braking to a stop next to the other vehicles.  She opened her door cautiously, stepping out, her senses working double-time. 

 

“Took you long enough,” yelled a voice from behind the rocks, Hanley emerging.

 

“William, don’t do that!  At least give a girl some warning before jumping out like that!”  She smiled sheepishly, glad to see him.

 

As the rest of the group piled out of the van, the parents warily climbed down from the hiding place on the other side of the rocks.

 

“Mom!  Dad!”  Isabel rushed to them and nearly tackled them with a big hug.

 

“I’m so glad you all are all right!” Isabel exclaimed, hugging her parents yet again.

 

“I’m not so sure about that,” Diane glanced from her son to the others.  “This was an exhausting day.”

 

“Exhausting?” Isabel exclaimed incredulously.  “Mom, c’mon, waiting here must have been nothing!  You’ve exerted more energy beating me to the sales rack at the Gap,” she quipped, so happy to have some form of normalcy in her life again. 

 

Jesse laughed and joined his wife’s side.  “She has a point there.”

 

“I kinda have to agree wit you, Miss Evans,” Ava stretched, yawning.  “I’m dead tired, yo.  I need a nap.  Who’s with me?”

 

Raeve poked her side.  “Wuss, wuss.”

 

Ava smacked her hand away.  “FYI Miss-Hot-Shot-Protector, I don’t have endless supplies of energy. I’m gonna need to reload on ice cream and chocolate for a few days.”

 

“Who said I have all the energy?” Raeve grinned, sticking her tongue out.

 

“Has anyone heard word of our parents?” Serena suddenly asked.  Her comment immediately sobered the group up, who looked from one to another.  “I don’t mean to be a mood breaker, but…”

 

Liz glanced at her sympathetically, reaching over and grabbing her hand.  “Yeah, where are they?”

 

Raeve took a deep breath, glancing at Hanley.  He nodded slightly.

 

“They’re with Xaedon.  They’re safe.”

 

“Where’s Xaedon?”  Liz immediately asked. Max glanced at Hanley who continued.

 

“We can’t tell you any more than that.  It’s best if we lay low for a few days,” Hanley put in.

 

“Obviously,” Isabel added, thinking of how her front yard was now wrecked.

 

“When can we see them again?”  Liz looked Hanley directly in the eyes. 

 

“I’m not sure,” Hanley said quietly.  “It could be days, months.  The important thing is that they’re safe.”

 

“But what about the Crashdown?”  Serena asked, her eyes darting around the group.  They landed on Kyle and she immediately averted them to Hanley.  “That’s their life… if they’re gone, who’s gonna run it?”

 

“We will,” Max said confidently, tugging Liz closer to his side. 

 

“What?”  Isabel scoffed.  “No way.  Ugh, I don’t think I can handle being a waitress again.  I don’t think my feet could take it, nor my hair.  And the dishes, yuck!

 

“Sounds like I’m on dish detail for the next month… again,” Jesse joked.

 

“This is why I said we need a dishwasher, you know that machine, under the sink?” Isabel drew a rough diagram with her hands.  “You put the dirty dishes in…”

 

“So…”  Serena crossed her arms, taking a few steps in Kyle’s direction, scuffing her shoes on the ground.

 

“So, what?”  Kyle asked, not looking at her.

 

Serena exhaled hard, glancing at the others.  “You’re still mad.”

 

“You’re observant.”

 

“Look…”  Serena reached into her pocket, pulling out a small white piece of paper.  “This is for you.  Read it and… whatever.  Just… whatever.”

 

Turning, Serena walked back to the others, not glancing back.  Flipping the piece of paper over, Kyle read the words once and then again before slipping it into his pocket. 

 

“C’mon, Dad,” he said, walking over to Jim’s side.  “Let’s go home.”

 

 

 

© 2002-2003 Roswell: The Final Chapter.  Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.  Any similarities to events, real or imaginary, are strictly coincidental.  Roswell: The Final Chapter is in no way affiliated with UPN, the WB, Regency Television, 20th Century Fox, or Jason Katims Productions.

 

 

© 2004-2005 Roswell: The Final Chapter.  Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.  Any similarities to events, real or imaginary, are strictly coincidental.  Roswell: The Final Chapter is in no way affiliated with UPN, the WB, Regency Television, 20th Century Fox, or Jason Katims Productions.

© 2006-2007 Roswell: The Final Chapter.  Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.  Any similarities to events, real or imaginary, are strictly coincidental.  Roswell: The Final Chapter is in no way affiliated with UPN, the WB, Regency Television, 20th Century Fox, or Jason Katims Productions.