|Primary Characters:||Pretty much everyone|
|Warning:||Serious, scary stuff – but no sex, direct violence or strong langauge.|
|Description:||This is it. The aliens are launching their big attack. Something happens to the Roswell aliens and their human lovers are forced to deal with everything on their own.|
Max was lifting the last packing crate out of the back of the car, when suddenly, he felt his surroundings fade away. It was as if his corporeal form had been left behind and he was soaring in a place that didn’t seem solid. Something was there. Something – or someone. He thought he recognized the malignant presences, but at the moment, he was far too terrified to do more than, just barely, hold his consciousness together.
Someone was calling his name. The voice seemed familiar, but he didn’t know how to reach whoever it was, and he felt as if he was falling, falling, into such an enormous emptiness he knew he’d lose himself forever.
A hand grabbed his shoulder and held on, seemingly pulling him back from the void.
“Max, what happened? Are you ok? Max. Wake up.”
Someone was shaking him and piece by piece he felt himself return to normal. He opened his eyes and looked up into Liz’s face. She was bent over him, anxiously scanning his face.
“It was – I was just – lost. Gone. It was empty. Where I was seemed to be so enormously huge, that I knew I was never going to find myself again. But someone was there. I think – Liz – we have to call Izz and Michael and the others. They’re back.”
“Tess, Rath, Lonnie – I think Nicholas was there too.”
“I thought he was dead?”
“No, I never sensed him go. He’s just been lying low somewhere, waiting to strike again, when we least expect it. Come on, we don’t have much time. They’re coming. Now.”
Gripped by his urgency, she helped her boyfriend to his feet, then hurriedly put the few things that had fallen out of the crate back in again, under Max’s impatient stare, then aggravated his concern further by returning inside briefly. She returned right away, jumped into the car, in the driver’s seat, then turned the key in the ignition and stepped on the accelerator. Fortunately, the street where they lived was completely empty this late at night. They’d just been picking up the last of their things from their parents’ homes. From now on, they were going to be living together. Except now – who knew?
Liz drove straight to Maria’s place, where she knew she’d find Michael. From there they could go and pick Isabel and Alex up or call them. Not that she thought Isabel or any one of the aliens could have missed what was going on.
She’d been right. At Maria’s house, Isabel’s car was already parked and she could see Ava and Kyle jumping out of it, right behind Isabel and Alex.
“Did anyone think to call Sean and Laurie?”
Isabel glared at Maria. If she’d had any say in things, she’d pack Alex and the other humans off to some underground shelter so she and the others like her could get on with the business of saving their own hides as well as those of their loved ones.
“If you really think your delinquent cousin can contribute at all to our defense, why don’t you call him?”
Maria’s eyes narrowed and she sensed rather than saw Michael opening his mouth to argue with Isabel, but the blonde girl just waved them both aside and, a firm grip on Alex’s arm, she hurried inside.
Kyle and Ava said hi and followed the others inside too.
They sat down in Maria’s living room, where she and Michael had set out enough chairs for all of them.
She decided to take Isabel’s suggestion seriously and got up to go to the phone.
Liz went to sit with the rest of the humans. In a way, they were all consorts. The Royal Four’s consorts. Kind of like wives. Not that she’d mind marrying Max. If only he’d ask. Now it might even be too late. It seemed everyone was married now, except for her and Kyle and Ava.
A minute or so later, Maria sat down beside her and began to whisper rather loudly, despite the dark gazes Isabel sent her way.
“I called Sean and Laurie. They’re coming over.”
“Great, but don’t you think we should have gone to my place? It’s sort of more of a meeting place.”
“I know, but there were some who just wouldn’t listen.”
Maria rolled her eyes and pointed exaggeratedly towards MIchael and Isabel. It looked as if Isabel was doing most of the talking, with Michael filling in a word here and there. Max and Ava mainly listened, but in the end, even Isabel waited to hear Max’s reply.
“We need a safe place to hide, so we can gather our strength. What about the caves? With those stones?”
Isabel looked as if she was about to object, then closed her mouth again and thought some more about it. Reluctantly, she agreed.
“I guess so.”
The next ten minutes or so were a little hectic. Sean and Laurie arrived right in the middle of it all.
Isabel and Michael were pacing around, until everyone was ready to leave.
“It might be too late already, but if we’re going to face them, we’ll need all the edge we can get. The trouble is, Tess knows about that place.”
Kyle looked as if he was wondering if he would be allowed to speak, then seemed to decide he’d try anyway.
“Then let’s go someplace she won’t guess. Dad told me of a place that would be perfect. A leftover from the Cold War. An old disused bomb shelter. It’s not far.”
“Whatever. Even that might mean we’ll be too late. They’re already here.”
“Yes, but where? They’re not outside. It will take them a while to find us, won’t they? If we mask our emotions.”
Max found the idea of the bomb shelter reassuring. It was exactly the sort of place where they would be able to make a stand.
They made it there, without running into any of their enemies, and Michael couldn’t help thinking it had been too easy. What was going on? He could sense all four of their worst enemies and others – far too many others.
Kyle pointed to a door in what looked like a mound, covered with shrubs.
“It’s in there. Dad showed me around once. It was quite cool actually. More spacious than you might think from the outside. Come on.”
Isabel studied the unimpressive mound, and the door which looked as if it hadn’t seen any paint or other maintenance since the end of the Cold War.
“Do you have the key?”
“No, but you guys can just open it anyway, right?”
Isabel made a face, walked up to the door and placed her hand against it.
Suddenly, the sky was lit up by a blinding light. A shockwave swept them all off their feet. They landed in the dirt in front of the entrance to the shelter.
Liz had closed her eyes, instinctively. She remembered thinking this was the end. This was how her life ended. The impact winded her, and for a long time, she just lay on the ground, bracing herself for – whatever form the end would take. After nothing had happened for what felt like at least five minutes, she opened her eyes and tried to take stock of the situation.
They were all lying in more or less the same position. On their backs, except for Michael who was just picking himself up and Sean, who for some reason seemed to be lying face down.
Liz glanced around, to see if anyone appeared to be injured, but to her surprise, there was no blood and no apparent damage done to their hands or faces. No stains on the clothes seemed to indicate internal injuries.
She began to get up. Strangely enough, she didn’t feel particularly badly hurt. The fall had winded her and she felt a little beat up, but whatever it was that had caused the shockwave seemed not to have harmed them in any apparent way. That led her to think of radiation. Biological weapons. Maybe whatever it was, wouldn’t manifest itself until later.
All around her, the others were getting back on their feet.
Isabel looked irritated.
“What are we doing out here? Who’s lame idea was this?”
Kyle looked stung. They had needed somewhere safe to gather their strength. He’d suggested a place that might fit their requirements. Now Isabel was going to pick on him again. He was betting she’d manage to somehow pin this on Bhuddism too.
Max looked blank, as if he had no idea where they were or what had occurred. Liz was beginning to worry that he’d hit his head when he fell. She placed her hand on his forehead. No temperature anyway.
“Max, maybe we’d better get you inside so you can lie down?”
“I – what are we doing here?”
Seriously alarmed by now, Liz looked at Maria as if seeking help, but she was too busy talking to Michael.
Kyle turned to Ava, hoping she might be able to open the door, since they were obviously under attack. The blonde girl smiled back at him, as if she couldn’t care less where they were, as long as she was with him. For a second that sidetracked him, but he couldn’t let that stop him.
“Could you let us in, please?”
“It’s locked. How should I be able to open it? Was that a joke?”
Kyle stared open-mouthed at Ava. Was she having a joke at his expense? At a time like this?
“Michael? Max? Anyone?”
It soon became clear that all four aliens were staring dumbfoundedly at their human friends, clearly unable to grasp that they were in danger and that someone would need to open the door.
In the end, Sean shrugged and stepped forward.
“Hm. If I get us inside, you guys won’t tell my parole officer, right?”
“Of course not. Can you open the door?”
“Officially no. I don’t suppose one of you girls has a nail file, a needle or anything else sharp?”
Maria smiled smugly and produced a small bar-shaped object out of her pocket.
“Here. It’s a barrette. Will that do?”
Sean studied it briefly, then nodded.
“It will probably bend out of shape -”
“It’s one of a set. I dropped the other one last night. Go ahead.”
Sean began to do something to the lock. There was a clicking sound, then the door swung open. Liz and Maria began to herd the others inside.
Once the door was closed and bolted from the inside, Liz made sure Max sat down. She noticed that all the other humans did the same with their alien friends. Not until now, did they realize that Laurie was just as vague as the other four. None of them appeared to have any injuries, certainly no lumps on their heads or anything like that.
Liz stared at Max, a concerned look on her face.
“Are you feeling sick?”
“No. Why? What happened? Why are we out here?”
Liz and Maria exchanged glances. Clearly, all the aliens, or rather the ones of them who shared the alien DNA, had been hit by a sudden bout of amnesia.
On the spur of the moment, Liz decided not to tell Max and the others the whole truth, just the bits of it she had to. She was hoping the others would catch on and follow her lead.
“Don’t you remember that odd flash, like lightning? It was sort of like fireworks or searchlights.”
“Was that why we fell down?”
“Yes. There was a shockwave and we all fell over. We thought it might be best if we could get inside, so -”
“But what were we doing out there? It’s the middle of the night.”
“You don’t remember anything, do you? We were going to explore this place, then suddenly, that weird thing happened. I don’t know – maybe it’s some natural phenomenon or – maybe the military is testing a new weapon.”
“Excuse me for a moment. Will you guys be ok? I just thought of something. Alex? Do you think you could come along, please?”
Alex looked startled to be asked, then glanced worriedly at Isabel. She caught his glance and shrugged.
“You go ahead. I’ll be right here. If you and Liz want to go treasure hunting, there’s nothing stopping you.”
She used a grudging tone which made Liz believe Alex was going to refuse, but to her surprise, he came along.
“Just a second. Kyle, will you come as well?”
Isabel rolled her eyes, but didn’t comment.
As soon as they were out of earshot, Liz turned to the guys.
“Kyle, do you know if there’s some equipment left here?”
Alex and Liz exchanged glances, then Alex spoke up.
“I think Liz is talking about radiation. That blinding light and the shockwave – what if we’ve been exposed to radiation or – some biological weapon? That’s what you were thinking, right?”
“Dad mentioned – yes. There should be some geiger counters. In here. It was supposed to be an infirmary, well, the equivalent of one. Dad said this was a private shelter, so it’s not as well stocked or spacious as the military ones.”
“Good. What about blood test kits?”
“No idea. Possibly, but would we be able to read the results? What exactly are we looking for?”
Again, Alex replied.
“Infection. There might be some sort of test kit for that. During the Cold War people were scared to death of things like that. My dad told me grandpa had told him about that sort of thing.”
“Oh. Here it is.”
Liz and Alex had no trouble identifying the geiger counter and to their relief, the instrument started up without any trouble at all. Liz aimed it at Alex, then at Kyle, and finally at herself. She breathed out, almost dizzy with relief.
Kyle stared at her, not sure what to make of her reaction.
“Well? What’s the verdict?”
“Nothing. No radiation. We’re clean. Just in case, I’ll bring it back to use it on everyone, but I think we’re clear.”
“Great. What about those aliens? The enemy?”
“I don’t know.”
“Now that Isabel and the others have forgotten everything about that, we won’t even have their help.”
Alex was already glancing nervously in the direction of his wife. He didn’t like her to be out of his sight for long.
Liz tried to get him to focus on their current problem.
“The blood test kits?”
They searched for a few more minutes, but didn’t find anything like that. Just a fire extinguisher, a fireman’s axe and some ancient vitamin supplements, covered in dust, on a shelf above their heads. There was also a locked cupboard, which Liz planned on letting Sean open for her, in a minute.
“Right. Let’s go back to the others.”
Liz shook her head.
“Hold on. As long as you’re here, we’d better discuss that other thing.”
Again, Alex glanced anxiously over his shoulder, clearly still concerned about Isabel. It was touching, but Liz knew that Isabel was normally more than capable of looking after herself, powers or not. Besides, for the time being, they were all as safe as they could be, down here.
“About them all losing their memory? Yeah, do you think that’s a side effect of that weapon or whatever it was?”
“It has to be. We were all knocked to the ground and at least I was winded. That has to mean it was more than just an odd weather phenomenon.”
“When I hit the ground I sort of blacked out for a moment.”
Kyle was touching his head gingerly, as if trying to determine if there were any injuries.
Alex appeared to be distracted but he answered readily enough.
That confirmed what Liz suspected.
“Ok, the question is how do we get Max and the others to fight back, if they don’t even know they have powers? Or -”
Liz’s eyes widened as a thought suddenly struck her.
“Or – they really did lose their powers.”
“We can’t tell unless we remind them of who they are. I don’t think we should do that. Izz – I know she’s wanted to be just like everyone else, from as far back as she can remember. If she can have a chance to do that, I’m going to let her.”
“I agree. Max has been under so much pressure with all this – I hate to see him like that. Being the result of some kind of genetic engineering has never done them any good. I say let them enjoy being like everyone else. Who knows how long it will last?”
Kyle agreed with Liz, and yet –
“That’s fine, and I agree with you, but what about this attack? How do we defend ourselves if our only chance lies in their powers – Ava and Max and the others?”
Alex paled. He’d known all along that it would come to this, but now that the time had come, was he really prepared to die for Isabel? Or – worse – to watch her die, just because he felt protective of her feelings?
Liz put her backpack on the bench which stretched along one of the walls.
“Actually – but you’ll have to return to the others now, Kyle, or someone’s bound to come and ask what we’re up to. Ask Sean to come here, please.”
“Ok, but – you couldn’t tell me a little about what you’re planning?”
“Maybe we’re not completely helpless. I don’t want to get your hopes up, but I have an idea. Tell Maria everything’s fine. Tell all of them.”
“Alex – remember that Maria had to kill a skin? The one that attacked Max?”
“Sure. Izz was so angry with you, but I can see why you wanted to come along.”
“Right. I took a sample of the husk. There was still enough residue of the alien DNA for me to be able to extract it. That gave me an idea. What if we could engineer a sort of biological weapon to strike back at them?”
“Do you think you could do that? What else do you have in that backpack?”
“Not a lot, I’m afraid, but I think I could do it. I’ve been preparing for this day for a long time. When Max collapsed, I just grabbed my backpack and brought it along to Maria’s place.”
Kyle left, as soon as Liz had finished her story.
Sean looked in, studying Liz and Alex closely.
“Ok, what’s up? Anything I can do?”
“Yes. I was hoping – that cupboard over there. It’s locked – do you think you could -”
“Who? Me? Do I look like a burglar to you?”
“No, but – please.”
“Sure. I was just trying to – but you’re right. This is too serious. Right. I have that barrette, so I’ll just use that, but you know – look at that old door – it’s falling apart. I could probably just put my hand there and push.”
“Ok. Just get it open. Maybe there’s nothing in there, but you never know.”
“Always happy to be of service. By the way, what’s up with this amnesia thing? Did that weapon cause it? I mean the attack?”
“We think so. Did you explain to Laurie about – all the alien stuff?”
“No. I think she’d like to feel more like – you know – just a human being again.”
“Good. Don’t say anything to Michael or Isabel or anyone. We’ll try something else first. Besides – the others might have lost their powers for real, not just forgotten they had them. Oh, thanks. Now go back to the others so Isabel won’t come running to find out what we’re up to for so long.”
“I realize you might need me here, Liz, but I’d better go and see how Isabel is. Do you think you’ll manage on your own?”
“Of course. If I need you, I’ll call for you. Tell Isabel and the others that I’m – looking at the supplies. If Maria wants to come, she can, but don’t ask her, ok?”
Alex nodded and he and Sean vanished in the direction of the main room. There was another supply rooms further along, so Liz’s story made sense. Fortunately, there were blankets and mattresses and so on, in the main room, so everyone would be comfortable.
Liz was hoping Max or Michael or Ava wouldn’t come to see what was going on, but she needn’t have worried. Maybe the aliens were still feeling the residual effects of the attack – or – she didn’t want to consider this – they were feeling sick because of exposure to some bio weapon. If so, even if she was able to make the weapon she had in mind, it might all be in vain, as far as Max and the others were concerned. But she forced her mind away from that thought. She had work to do.
When Maria showed up, she wasn’t too surprised.
“Hey, can I help?”
“Let’s talk. This is complicated, but I can manage. You didn’t tell Michael about – his special powers, did you?”
“Are you kidding? The way he was beating himself up over killing that agent? The alien hunter? No way. I’m glad he’s out of it, as far as that’s concerned. So what are you doing?”
“I’m trying to put together a bio weapon. To kill off the skins. They’re genetically different from Max and Michael and the others. And Tess and Rath and Lonnie, unfortunately. But if we can get the skins, that should help.”
“Oh, good. I remember you picking up those remains of the skin I killed. Gross. But if you pull this off, it will have been worth it.”
“I hope so. How are the others holding up?”
“They’re – Michael and Max and Ava are taking it calmly, but Isabel wants to go home. She says she’s not afraid of some weird weather conditions.”
“I was afraid of that. Did you try feeding her that story about the weapons testing?”
“Alex did. I think she bought it. She’s frantic about him not getting hurt in any way. So she said that she’d stay here for as long as it took, but she really thought it was a dump. Which it is, kind of.”
“Yes, but a safe dump. Ok. Don’t you think it would be better if you returned too? To keep Michael’s spirits up? You don’t think he’s coming down with something? Do you know what he’s like when he’s getting sick?”
“Yeah, so do you, remember? Those rocks or whatever they were. All that sticky stuff he secreted. Gross.”
“Yes, but does he ever get a cold or something?”
“I don’t think so. Does Max?”
“No. But no one’s secreting any stuff now?”
“No. They’re just waiting. Like the rest of us.”
“And no one seems to have been hurt?”
“No. Relax. For now, at least, I think we’re safe. Go on. Make that bio weapon. That stuff is way over my head. Just make sure we beat those bastards. Ok. I’ll go and talk to Michael.”
“Thanks. Make sure everyone’s comfortable and not worrying too much. Especially -”
“The Czecho-Slovakians. Check.”
Liz smiled briefly, as she recalled Maria’s code word for the aliens.
The second Maria had walked away, Liz was deep into her work. She set out her stuff and began to inventory the contents of the formerly locked cupboard. To her suprise and relief, it seemed to contain a full chemistry set, only slightly dated. Not ancient, just from – the seventies – maybe. This should do it.
She almost dropped the test tube containing the alien DNA, when she heard someone coming up behind her.
To her astonishment, it was Isabel, with Michael and Alex in tow. Isabel smiled coldly.
“I’m not even going to ask what that is. Don’t let us stop you. We’ll just pick up some of the supplies from one of those storage rooms over there. Get on with your experiment. Though I really think it’s an odd time of the night to be playing around with that sort of stuff.”
“Ok. Maybe there will be food and -”
“Yeah, we’ll see.”
They returned maybe ten minutes later, arms full of blankets and pillows and other bedding. Isabel had a small paper box of cans, that looked as if they contained food.
She noticed Liz’s stare and commented.
“Some of us might prefer something different from Maria’s – or rather – Amy’s veggie stuff.”
“Oh. Right. I’ll be out later.”
Isabel sought out Alex’s gaze and made a face. He smiled placatingly, but Isabel wasn’t paying attention. That girl, Liz, didn’t even seem to know what she was saying.
Liz hardly noticed them leave.
She came awake, violently, when her head nodded. It felt as if she could sleep for a week, but the second her eyes opened, she remembered where she was and what she’d been doing. She’d done it. If she wasn’t mistaken, she’d just created a virus that would wipe out the skins, but not any ordinary humans or – just as importantly – Max and the others.
She went to check on the others and noticed that Alex was awake. He met her gaze and, seeming to sense something, he got up and joined her in the other room.
“What’s going on?”
“I did it. This -”
She indicated the paraphernalia that lay scattered across the table against the shorter wall.
“It’s a bio weapon, that will target skins – or rather the aliens inside the husks.”
“That’s – fantastic. How are you going to distribute it? In what medium?”
“Primarily, it’s just bacterial soup. You know that stuff we used in school for experiments? Then I was thinking we could – well, one idea I had was to pour it into water and somehow spray them with it. It’s very strong. A small quantity will be enough. Or – do you have any idea?”
“Hm. Something that will explode? Like a molotov cocktail?”
“Yes, there is some gas in here. And kerosene. That’s the easiest part. But it’s a bit unstable, and we’d need to get quite close to set them off. There’s also dynamite in there. I have no idea why.”
“What about detonators? But we don’t even know if that stuff is still capable of exploding.”
“No. And handling sticks of dynamaite will be tricky enough.”
“Oh – this might be too – flamboyant – but what if we could rig something up in one of the cars, then release the brake and let it roll towards them and hopefully, it will explode on impact.”
“Sort of – yes, maybe, but you’d still need to get really close to be able to tell if it’s going to hit or not. There’s also a weather balloon or – whatever it is. Here in Roswell, haha. Maybe it’s been left here as a sort of joke, but I was thinking we could attach some kind of container underneath it and release the balloon, then puncture it. There are some guns and ammunition in there too.”
“You mean someone would have to shoot at it?”
“Yes. It’s daylight outside and if those aliens are coming, we’ll be able to see them.”
“Hm. Yes, that sounds like a really good idea. No one would need to get very close and – Kyle’s really good at target shooting, so – I think it will work. Let’s set it up. Who knows how long we’ll have?”
“That’s what I was thinking.”
For about twenty minutes, Liz and Alex made the preparations. When it was done, Alex got up to return to Isabel.
“Ask Kyle to come along, please.”
Kyle walked into the room, looking sleepy but alert at the same time.
“Alex said you wanted to – hey, what’s that?”
“That’s a bio weapon I designed. It will – at least I hope it will – get the skins out of commission. But we’ll need to send it up with a weather balloon, then someone’s going to have to shoot at it, to bring it down again, once it’s over the skins’ position.”
“A weather balloon? Oh, never mind. I see. And I guess that someone, who’s going to have to shoot that thing down, is me? Ok. I’m assuming you have guns and ammunition and so on?”
“In there. I hope they’re still in working condition.”
“Ok. I’ll find out. Just one thing – Don’t you think they should have been here by now?”
“Yes. I don’t know what’s – just hurry, ok. They’ll probably be here any second now.”
“No problem. Just a sec.”
When he returned, he held a rifle under his arm.
“This won’t be a problem. It’s been kept in good condition and the ammo was fine too. I’ve loaded it and – I’ll be ready when you need me.”
“How much range does that thing have?”
“Long enough. For as far as I’ll be able to see.”
“Good. Then I guess all we have to do is wait. Will you – wake Ava and the others? They’ll have to tell us if – unless – if they’ve lost their powers -”
“You don’t think – that I’ll have to go out there? Because if Ava and Max and the others won’t be able to tell they’re coming, how will we know?”
Liz looked unhappy. She’d been worrying that it might come to this.
“It’s ok. I’ll do it. Just release the balloon and I’ll -”
“We’ll have to go outside and check things out – but – I don’t think we should release it until we know for sure they’re coming. Or it will probably just pass them by, harmlessly.”
“Ok. I’ll go outside and check. Don’t worry about it, I can do it.”
“No. I’ll go. It was my idea and besides -”
“Listen to me, it’s better if I go. Someone will have to shoot at that thing. That has to be me, so I’m going to have to be out there anyway. I might as well -”
“It’s just that – what if Rath and Lonnie and -”
“Tess. It’s ok. You can say it. Yes. What if they show up? This won’t work on them, right?”
“No. If I found something that did, it might hit us too, and definitely Max and the others. So that just won’t be possible. We’ll have to deal with them some other way.”
Kyle didn’t say it, but he was wondering what chance they really had, if those three aliens attacked, with their own four either suffering from amnesia or – had lost their powers too. Tess was the strongest of them all and unfortunately, what he’d heard about the New York aliens hinted that they too were more powerful than ‘their’ aliens. But worrying wouldn’t help, so he forced himself to relax as much as he could. Maybe Tess wouldn’t find them out here.
“If – Ava and the others have lost their powers – will those skins be able to detect them?”
“I – I don’t know. But I think they will. The DNA will be the same. Their thought patterns will remain the same, whether or not they actually remember or still have their powers.”
“Ok. In other words, we can expect an attack any time now?”
Liz nodded unhappily.
Kyle tried unsuccessfully to smile, but put a hand on Liz’ arm, just to reassure her, and himself too. He never imagined it would end like this. Now he was beginning to wish he’d asked his dad to come along, but he knew his dad’s place was with his new family. He was grownup. Even if he missed his dad, didn’t mean he needed him for this.
“Right. I’ll be back in a moment. Should we decide on a password or something?”
Liz’ face was twisted into a semblance of a smile, but it appeared she took his suggestion seriously.
“Ok. I’m not going to ask. Czechoslovakia it is.”
“It’s what Maria used to call them. You know, Max and the others.”
“Oh. I get it. Aliens. Yeah. That’s a good one.”
“Are you sure? About going?”
“Positive. Wait here.”
On his way out, Kyle felt as if his legs had just run fifty laps around the stadium. This was pathetic, but he still couldn’t do more than force himself on, step by step. When he passed the main room, he realized that Ava, Max, Michael, Isabel and Laurie were all asleep. Either they’d been more badly injured than they’d thought, or they simply didn’t sense any of the buildup or the nerves. The others were awake, but had made themselves as comfortable as they could.
Sean got up, and followed Kyle to the door.
“Hey, what’s up? What are you doing?”
“Just going out to take a look. I’ll be back in a -”
“Ok. I’ll go with you.”
“You don’t have to do that. I’ll be -”
“Sure. I’d just like to come along, if that’s ok with you. Two sets of eyes see more than one, etc.”
“Ok. Fine. Let’s just make sure we don’t wake the others.”
Sean nodded and they began to unbolt the door. The sun was already coming up and in the eerie early morning iight the area around the shelter was clearly visible. There didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary.
Kyle took a few steps towards a thicket only thirty yards or so, away, but Sean put his hand on his shoulder and shook his head.
Kyle broke off in mid-stride, wondering for a moment if Sean had seen or heard something he hadn’t, but he really knew that there was nothing over there. Those bushes weren’t that thick and nothing bigger than a cat would have been able to hide over there.
They returned inside and shut and bolted the door. Sean showed no signs of continuing into the main room.
“You know, there’s no reason why they should hit here first. I’ve been thinking and that attack earlier, might have been their attempt to get the competition out of the way. Makes sense. After Max and the others are out of commission, they’re not going to expect anyone to fight back. I think our worst problem is if they’re attacking in several places at once. If we’re going to be able to make a difference, I think we’ll need to go to them. If they’ve begun the attack, and I’d have to say that’s likely – Max said so and the others too – we should be able to find them. They can’t attack and hide at the same time.”
Kyle paled, but he knew Sean was right. He’d known that all along, really, he’d just not wanted to see it.
“If there’s any point in lauching a counterattack. I was kind of hoping Liz could cook up something in there. That’s why she wanted me to open that cupboard, right?”
“Yes. She cooked up something, alright. It will kill all the skins it can touch. And we have enough to mix into water to make a solution that will last for as long as we need it to. But there’s so many of them, and just a few of us. I don’t know how much it will help.”
“Better than nothing, I guess. Come on. You and I can take one of the cars and go after them. I doubt if Alex is up to putting up much of a fight, and besides, he’ll never leave Isabel. If Liz will let us go without her -”
Kyle didn’t think so, but he could understand Sean’s reasoning. On the other hand, he knew Maria well enouogh to be able to tell that if they were going, she’d be going too.
“I’d prefer it that way too, but it’s useless. She’ll notice if we try to leave withot her and besides – is it fair? She’s the one who designed it. Do we have a right to stop her?”
Sean shrugged. He’d never thought that far.
In any case, Liz came to meet them in the doorway and seconds later, Maria was there too.
“What are you two up to? Just getting some air?”
Kyle glanced nervously at the sleeping five and Alex, who only seemed to have eyes for Isabel. Liz waved at them to join her in one of the storage rooms at the other end of the shelter.
They closed the door behind them and sat down on the various crates and piles of blankets.
“Sean was just saying that we’ll need to take the fight to them. Either Max and the others have lost hteir powers or they’re leaving them for last.”
“I was afraid of that. Ok, let’s go. Alex will have to lock the door behind us and we’ll -”
She broke off when the door opened and Alex looked in.
“What are you doing?”
“We – have to go. The skins aren’t going to wait for us. They’re probably launching the attack now and we won’t have any trouble finding them. If we want to strike back, we can’t keep hiding in here for ever. You know I was trying to create something that will kill the aliens inside the husks?”
“Yes, I was hoping it would be something like that. Ok, what are we waiting for?”
“I was thinking you could stay and bolt the door behind us. We – I – didn’t think you’d want to leave Isabel at a time like this.”
Alex looked ashamed of himself. He didn’t comment directly on what Liz had just said.
“I want to come too. If I can be of any help -”
“That’s just it. It really only takes one person, possibly two, but – I can’t bear sitting around here, waiting. I’m coming along.”
“Me too. Just try leaving me behind.”
Maria’s eyes flashed dangerously, as if someone had suggested that she stay behind.
“Fine. We’ll all go and we’ll leave Max and the others here.”
“Besides, that door slams shut from the outside. They won’t be able to bolt it, but it will lock behind us. Which means we can’t get in if we have to – unless someone opens for us.”
Sean looked a little embarrassed too, at his expertise with doors and locks. It was this familiarity that had landed him in trouble in the past, or at least that was part of it.
“Come on. It’s time to go. If everyone’s sure?”
Somehow, Liz had taken on the role as leader, and Kyle for one, was grateful to her for that. If he had to, he knew he could force himself to go on, but it felt a little easier to have someone take the initiatives.
They managed to get out of the shelter again, all of them, without waking the others.
Alex couldn’t help dwelling sadly on how Isabel would feel when she realized that he was gone. There was no guarantee that he’d be back this time. If Nicholas got his hands on him now, there wouldn’t be any aliens to get him back alive.
They took Kyle’s car, which was had a four-wheel drive. After all, they didn’t know where they’d run into the skins.
Alex looked pale, but collected and Sean had an idea that he actually felt good about taking initiatives again.
“Look, do you think Nicholas might still be out where he -”
He couldn’t bring himself to continue.
“I thought Isabel more or less razed that place?”
“Well, the room Nicholas was in, definitely, but I’m not sure if the entire complex was destroyed. It might still be more or less intact. That’s a good idea, but will they still be out there? Aren’t they more likely to hit the town or the military base or -”
“The base seems a likely target, but we’d never get within a mile of that, so -”
Suddenly, the ground was vibrating as if by distant detonations. Even in the bright daylight, flashes of lightning could be seen from an area between the town and Nicholas’ hideout.
“I guess that’s it. What’s over there anyway?”
Liz’s face suddenly lost all trace of color. Maria stared at her.
“There’s a weapons plant out there. I was hoping I could do my internship out there. They’re making bio-weapons and chemical weapons. I didn’t have any luck, but I do know they have hazardous material out there. If any of that gets out or gets into the wrong hands – Kyle – go faster. We have to put a stop to them before they get a hold of that material.”
Kyle swerved over to another road, then stepped on it. For whatever reason, there wasn’t any oncoming traffic in the opposite direction, or for that matter, in the same direction.
After they’d been driving for just over five minutes, Liz told him to stop.
“Ok. From here on we have to walk. We don’t all have to go. If some of you -”
“Uh-oh. If you’re going, so am I. Michael’s not here to stop me this time and I’m going. I already killed one of them and I’m going to try and get some more, before they get me.”
“We’ll all go.”
Alex said that in a way that everyone realized was final. No one said anything more about staying behind.
Kyle clutched the rifle, while Sean and Maria carried the weather balloon. Liz still had her backpack, filled with her invention.
“Stop. In there. That’s a clinic of some kind. There should be water available.”
She was pointing at a relatively tall glassed in building. It was still quite far from the actual fighthing. No one, human or otherwise was in view. They found the door unlocked, which saved Sean the trouble of displaying his lock-picking talents in broad daylight.
Just as Liz had guessed, there was room with a big sink, and some white coats, among other things. Clearly a room where the surgeons scrubbed before performing some procedure.
“That weather balloon might not be enough. We should use the car and start it rolling -”
“Ok. But I have a better idea. Did you notice that delivery truck on the side of the building? That will hold a lot more water. Let’s find some cans or bottles or whatever.”
“I have some plastic cans in the trunk.”
Kyle ran back outside and returned, carrying two medium-sized plastic cans. He looked alarmed.
“We’d better hurry up. It’s getting more intense out there.”
They all got to work, fililng up the cans and the bucket Liz had brought along to hang underneath the balloon. Within five minutes, they’d filled up both cans and one more, a bigger one, that they found in one of the other rooms.
“Let’s forget about the balloon. It’s too unsure. Just get it all into the car. Kyle?”
“Can you hit the gas tank from back here? If the truck blows, it will spread the water further and besides, heat will only make these bacteria more effective.”
“Are you sure it’s harmless for us?”
“Positive. That’s what makes this so perfect. It should kill them, but it won’t affect us at all. We carry these bacterias around with us all the time, without even noticing. Well? Do you think you could hit the tank?”
“Sure. No problem. But we’d better take cover afterwards. The explosion could be powerful and pieces of the metal might hit us.”
They filled up the back of the delivery truck, then found a tool box which was heavy enough to put on the accelerator. Sean was the one to start up the car, put the box inside, then throw the door shut and step back hurriedly.
Kyle took aim and waited for Liz’s signal. When the car was about ten yards from the plant, he fired. For a second, he thought he’d missed, then the engine went, causing a huge fire ball to billow upwards. He forgot to take cover and besides, by now he was partially blinded by the flash of light. Someone grabbed his arm and pushed him onto the tarmac, then began to drag him along towards the building they’d just come from.
His eyes began to adapt and it wasn’t long before he could see again. Sean was lying beside him, grinning widely.
“What happened afterwards, though? Did you forget to take cover?”
“Uh – yeah. I was blinded and – What do you think, Liz? Will this do it?”
“You tell me. That truck is still burning, but their weapons have gone silent. There’s been nothing from that direction since the agent was distributed.”
“Does it work that fast?”
“It should do. Their skins – if you pardon the expression – will absorb it right away. Once it’s in their bloodstreams it should work almost instantly.”
“Right. Now what? Since we still have my car, don’t you think we should get back to the others?”
“Yeah. Why don”t we?”
Liz nodded, but she kept glancing back towards that weapons plant. It all seemed to have gone a little too easily.
They got back to the shelter and found that nothing much had changed. Ava had woken up and she’d been wondering what they had been up to, but she didn’t seem too alarmed. They told her they’d just been outside for a moment to take a look at the sky.
“When can we go back? This is quite an interesting place, but – it’s not that comfortable.”
“Soon. There’s just some more things I’d like to check out. If that’s ok with you? Since we’re here.”
“Oh, ok. No problem. You won’t mind if I lie down again? I’m feeling a little sleepy still. What time is it?”
“About eight thirty.”
“I’m getting hungry.”
“No problema. Here. Have a piece of pie. Sorry, no orange juice or toast, but these pies taste great cold too.”
“I know. Thanks. Is there any water?”
“Yes. I brought some bottles. Here.”
Ava had a small piece of pie, then a few sips of water. Kyle sat down with her, but it wasn’t long before she stretched out and began to doze off. If only it had been that simple. The rest of them were just as tired, but they knew that the day’s work had only begun.
They returned to the storage room and sat down again, not wanting to wake the others. Maria had left some more pie and two more bottles, in case someone woke up and felt hungry too.
“I don’t know. I guess – we wait.”
“We should have brought a radio or something. Out here, we’re cut off from the news and -”
“But we do have a radio. I saw one – hold on -”
Alex got up and looked over all the shelves, then went outside again to look in the other storage room. He returned, with an old-fashioned transistor radio. Fortunately, it had a cable to plug into a wall socket, and there was one in the room they were sitting in.
Unfortunately, all they got was static. Either the radio was too old, or the aliens were blocking all transmissions, at least over Roswell.
Suddenly, the walls of the shelter began to shake. Dull thuds came from the direction of the entrance. They got up and stared at the door. Someone, or rather some people, were standing outside, banging on the door.
“We know you’re in there. Come on out, all of you, or we’ll demolish this place.”
Alex seemed to shrink. His eyes retreated into his head, and his face lost all trace of color. That voice was only too familiar. Nicholas. Before he had time to finish the thought, someone else spoke. It was a girl’s voice, eerily similar to Ava’s.
“It’s true, you know. This time, it won’t matter if you’re in there or not. We’ll just tear it down either way. Kyle – I know you’re in there. If you come out, I might let you live. Don’t tell me you didn’t miss me, just a little? I’ll bet no one else can make you feel what I did.”
“Maxwell? Just come out, will you. If you do, we might let your little brunette live. Bring your brother so we can all have some fun.”
The aliens – their aliens – were now standing in the corridor, looking just as terrified as the rest of them, but Liz caught a puzzled look in Max’s eyes. He didn’t seem to have any idea who those four were. To him, this was probably just a case of some unknown people attacking them for no reason. No one else seemed to be any more coherent.
If Max and the others really had lost their powers or at least lost their abillity to use it – they didn’t stand a chance.
Now Nicholas was talking again.
“I don’t know about letting that tiresome little brunette live. Something tells me she’s the one who killed off all my troops. How very annoying of you. Do you have any idea how long it takes to grow one of those husks? Oh, well, it’s not the husks that are missing, it’s my actual troops. I wonder how you figured that one out. Just so you know, this might slow us down a bit, but it won’t stop us. In any case, you lot, in there, are ours. Velandra, are you there?”
Automatically, Liz stared at Isabel, but she didn’t seem to have any idea who Nicholas was referring to. In fact, she couldn’t have any idea of who Nicholas was either.
“Oh, it worked. Brilliant. They have no idea who we are, and better still, they have no idea who they are. Ok, last warning. If you’re not out in – one minute – sixty seconds, starting now, you know what will happen.”
Instinctively, Liz walked up to Max and took his hand. Maria did the same with Michael. After a second’s hesitation, Kyle did the same with Ava. Alex pulled Isabel into his arms and Sean grabbed Laurie and held her. If this was the end, they weren’t going to face those insane aliens on their own.
In the mother ship orbiting the Earth, the Commander reeceived a transmission from the home world. He told the Bridge officers to hold. He placed the visor over his eyes and opened the interface. His features didn’t move, but inside, he felt a momentary twinge of dismay. He did something he rarely did – he re-initiated the recording. Unfortunately, there was no mistake. He had no idea how the powers on his home world were reasoning, but as a warrior, he had no choice but to obey the orders that came from above.
With a studiedly calm movement, he tore off the visor and placed it on the console.
“Abort. I repeat abort. We have received new orders. Transport all personnel directly to the troop quarters.”
“Yes, sir. What about – the special operatives?”
“I want them here, where I can see them. There were special orders concerning them.”
“All four. Even if those two are undisciplined and uncouth, they have provided some useful information in the past. Besides, the orders concerned them too. Proceed.”
The signal to return to ship went out to all the bridgeheads where their troops were lauching their attacks on the tempting world underneath them. Those who were still alive, heeded it.
Tess suddenly buried her face in her hands. The sudden arrival of the transmission had caught her unawares and besides, she hated receiving them while in this form. Human ears were so inferior. No wonder she got a headache.
Nicholas had a look of intense irritation on his boyish face. They couldn’t be serious. Abandon this perfectly delectable world and his unfinished business with Velandra? No way. He’d do what he’d come for or – But the order was clear, not to say blunt. All troops and operatives to return at once, or risk being abandoned.
“Damn. I could just -”
Tess looked as if she agreed with Nicholas, but after a brief mental struggle, she acknowledged defeat. No matter how much she’d love to stay and teach Max and Kyle and Liz the lessons they so deserved, she couldn’t risk being left behind. She was tempted to break down the door and grab at least Max and Kyle and bring them back with her. Nicholas would love taking Isabel with him and probably Alex too, just to use him to get to that tiresome blonde. As if she’d ever submit to him. Ridiculous. Nicholas wasn’t even handsome in his true form and this – was simply pathetic.
Rath and Lonnie didn’t get anything of their companions’ inner turmoil.
“What are we waiting for? You said we could get Max and Isabel and Michael. Besides, it might be fun to take Ava too. I didn’t like her bailing on us.”
“We’ve had orders from above. Let’s go, or they’ll leave us behind. If you want to spend the rest of your lives like this – be my guest, but I’m going back.”
“What are you talking about? We just got here. Don’t we even have time to demolish that shelter they’re hiding in?”
“You heard her. I’m not going to be left behind. This world might have been tolerable if I was made King, but I’m not staying when all the troops are pulling out. Politics. I never trusted those -”
He broke off, recalling that Tess was listening. If things had gone the way he feared, he wouldn’t count on her not trying to score favors with the current powers by informing on him.
They melted back into the shrubbery and moved as fast as they could – far faster than they normally dared – so they wouldn’t alarm any of the natives and accidentally give themselves away. Not that most of them had any more intelligence than the rest of the animal life on this miserable world.
An hour later, all aliens were back on their ships. The entire fleet lay in their course back to the home world and blasted off. Most of the troops were relieved to be allowed to leave, but some, like Tess and Nicholas, bitterly regretted all the years they’d spent working towards this invasion, which was now cancelled with no explanation.
Nicholas, Tess, Rath and Lonnie, stood before the Commander, awaiting their new orders. The Commander felt nauseated by their repulsive forms. What a relief it would be to see the last of those dreadful bipeds.
“I have orders to take you into custody and make sure you don’t cause any more harm.”
Tess tried to let her voice fill with the honey she used to influence human males with, while allowing just a little bit of her native hiss to get into it. If that old fool couldn’t sense her natural beauty – he was probably a typical warrior. In that case, she might be able to get Rath to charm him instead. He’d thank her afterwards.
“Not another word from you. Apparently, your scheming brought about this pitiful ending to all our efforts. Now you have exactly one choice if you want to avoid captivity for the rest of your life – or -”
He brandished his claws for better emphasis. If they would let him terminate her – he knew how lovely her natural form was and she would taste just as sweetly as any other prey, he was sure of it. It was almost a shame a way out had been offered to her.
“You will marry your – worthy associate here, or -”
Tess didn’t think she’d heard the Commander correctly. Surely he wasn’t saying she had to marry Nicholas or – die? No, that was impossible. If only she had a little time, she might still be able to sway him. She should have prepared Rath for the eventuality that he could be called on to save all their lives, by – charming the Commander. If he hadn’t been so ancient, he would almost have been attractive.
Nicholas studied Tess out of the corner of his eye. The idea wasn’t entirely displeasing to him. Of course, if he’d had any choide, he would have picked Lonnie. She was the very image of his beloved Velandra. Yes. If only he could find a way of making Tess or – Rath – seduce that old fool, so they could adapt the plan a little, all this might still work out to his advantage.
“Yes. No more delays. I have orders to lock you up until we can send you to the temple to perform the ceremonies. Oh, don’t eat or drink anything and please destroy these foul shapes. No – mating either. Save that for after the ceremonies. Dismissed.”
“Sir? Couldn’t I suggest a slight – alteration of the plans? If you recall, sir, Velandra was my -”
“No. You may not, and besides, you know as well as I do, that Velandra was never yours. That was all your wishful thinking, my – friend. In any case, my orders are clear. If you wish to argue with the Tliu’c’o’r, be my guest.”
If the Commander hadn’t been so old, he might have betrayed his amusement at the thought of anyone arguing with the Tliu’c’o’r. As it was, he merely waved his tentacle to dismiss the four prisoners. He had a ship to run, no matter what the powers decided.
Rath and Lonnie still didn’t understand, but Tess didn’t feel up to explaining and Nicholas retreated into a sullen silence. Four guards arrived to take them to their separate quarters – they really had been serious about the no mating rule – and were forcibly made to remove their human forms and to ritually and literally cleanse themselves in preparation for the marriage rites.
Tess was seething inside, but if she had to, she’d marry anyone, only so she could live and begin to plot her revenge. This world might be lost to her, but the home world would still be there and that, in its fading splendor, was worth more to her than any alien planet.
This wasn’t over yet. That revolting idiot, Nicholas, wouldn’t be able to resist her and once she held him under her sway, she’d get him to help her. Rath and Lonnie were still partial to her, so they would probably follow her lead. Yes. If she handled this the right way, she could still salvage something out of all this.
They remained standing in the corridor, not quite able to believe that their attackers had just left without realizing any of their threats. Finally, Sean gathered up all his courage and opened the door, just a crack. No one was there. Despite all the powers Tess and the others must have unleashed, the shelter walls didn’t look too damaged.
“Are they gone?”
Liz wasn’t far behind him.
“Looks like it. Everything seems calm. Do you think we can go back now?”
“We can’t hide out here forever. Ok.”
Isabel was standing right behind Liz, looking as irritable as ever.
“I’m not staying here another second. This place is filthy and – I’m going home. Alex, Max, let’s go. We’ll call the Sheriff, or rather – one of you will call the Sheriff. I’ll be having a long, hot shower. Come on. What are you waiting for? If you want to do any more field trips, Liz, count me out. I don’t know what possessed me to come out here with all of you.”
“Right. We’re about done here anyway, so -”
“Don’t tell me anything about it. Do I look as if I want to know? Alex.”
“You can drive. My neck hurts and -”
Before Isabel had time to finish the sentence, Alex was behind her, rubbing her neck, kissing it, alternating between the two, until Isabel thawed out a bit.
Maria stared enviously at them, then turned to face Michael, an imperious look in her eyes. To her surprise, Michael grabbed her, dipped her down and stunned her by kissing her as passionately as he’d only rarely done up until now. Whoa. That was unexpected.
Finally, they all filed into their cars and drove back to Roswell. All the buildings they passed looked intact and people seemed to be going about their business like on any other day. Had everything they’d experienced only been a prolonged hallucination?
Two and two together, they all vanished into their homes, feeling slightly let down. What had happened – really? Was it all over? In any case, people didn’t seem to be in a panic, so clearly they weren’t in any imminent danger.
Liz turned on the tv, in their living room. Her and Max’s living room. With all they’d been through, she hadn’t even had time to dwell on that. They were now officially living together.
According to the newscast, an industrial plant outside of town had been the target of some sort of attack, but the story seemed to be extremely short on details. There wasn’t anything about the masses of husks that must have been lying around.
Something told Liz that everything would be classified and whatever physical evidence the investigators could uncover would go into Area 51 or some other secret storage facility. After all, this was Roswell. The military would have had plenty of practice. Not until now did it occur to her, that if it really was all over, they were no longer in any danger.
She and Max were free to live as they pleased. No alien business for Max and the others. In fact, if his amnesia was permanent, he wouldn’t even be alien anymore, for all intents and purposes. That felt quite nice. She’d only just had time to imagine the possibilites this opened, when Max put his arms around her.
“How are you feeling? You look tired. Maybe we could put off calling the Sheriff until we’ve had some – rest. What do you think?”
“That sounds like a great idea. I don’t think there’s any rush now.”
“No. Those people were probably just some kids who had had too much to drink or smoke or something. Nothing to worry about. Except – they must have heard of us, since they knew our names.”
“Yeah, but you know, this is a small town. People will recognize other people. It’s no big deal. Or do you know who they were?”
Max looked puzzled.
“No. Why should I? Did you recognize any of them?”
She hesitated. Lying didn’t come easily to her and she was eager to find out if Max had any traces of memories of his earlier life, but in the end, she decided that his peace of mind was more important.
“I didn’t even see them. Never mind. You’re probably right. Let’s go to bed. We never even got to sleep the first night in our own home.”
“Ok. I keep thinking something going to happen to pull us apart again.”
“Not this time. I have a feeling our run of bad luck is over. We won’t get into any trouble now. Come on.”
They hurriedly undressed, and rushed over their morning routines in the bathroom, then stretched out on the bed, facing each other.
Liz smiled contentedly. She wanted to freeze-frame this moment so she could bring it back any time she wanted, to relive it.
“Nothing. I’m just so happy to be here with you. Did I ever tell you how much I love you?”
“Mm. No, I guess you didn’t. Did I – oh, I guess I did.”
“Yes, but don’t let that stop you. There are some things a girl can’t hear often enough.”
“Ok. I love you, Liz Parker. I think I always have, ever since I first started coming into the Crashdown after school. You, in that silly waitress’ uniform and – have you any idea how cute you look in that?”
“Shut up. I think I’ve had my eye on you since – kindergarten.”
“Really? Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“I guess I was just shy.”
“Oh. Like me. If it hadn’t been for that attempted robbery, and I thought you were going to die, I don’t think I’d ever have dared to talk to you. Even if you weren’t injured at all. It was just that bottle of ketchup you’d been holding. You can’t imagine how relieved I was.”
“Mm. Me too. Anyway, we’re here now. You’re here with me and I don’t want to do anything except lie here with you.”
“You’re reading my mind.”
Max closed the distance between their faces and kissed her, causing fireworks of visions to explode inside her head. She almost pulled back, wondering how Max was going to react to that, but he didn’t let go of her and after a while, she decided that he probably didn’t make anything of it. Besides, they had other things on their minds, than analyzing their reactions.
Almost exactly the same scene was played out in all the other homes of the Roswell aliens and their human lovers.
If anyone reacted to the fireworks in their minds, no one mentioned it afterwards.
At first, Kyle was a little reluctant to let himself go, causing Ava to pull back and study him closely, eyes filled with concern.
“Are you – I mean – is this the first time -”
He hastily pushed the memory of Tess out of his mind. If he worked hard at it, he might be able to almost forget –
“Don’t be nervous. We could just sleep if you -”
“No, it’s ok. Well, it might as well be the first time so -.”
She leaned closer again, and this time, Kyle was able to shut out the memories of Tess completely. This was Ava, even if she didn’t remember anything of her past life. Or maybe she did, all without the alien bit. In any case, that was probably for the best. He preferred her as unlike Tess as she could possibly be. And little by little, he became aware that she was. Nothing could be more different. It didn’t take him long to work up a matching enthusiasm and from then on, he didn’t have any trouble at all.
Later that day, Liz and the other humans discreetly explained to Valenti about what had happened. He was able to to pull in a few favors and eventually, they learned that there had been no suspect activities that could be referred to alien involvement since that day. It really seemed as if all the aliens had evacuated their planet. All they could do, was hope they’d never return.
In the meantime, they all had their own lives to live. It was amazing how much living you could fit in, when you didn’t have to constantly look over your shoulder.
None of the aliens ever regained their memories of their alien heritage and they never showed any signs of unleashing their powers, whether those powers were gone or they’d simply forgotten how to use them,
In the end, their human lovers even learned to relax a little and let down their guard. Even though they lived in Roswell, they never had any alien contacts again and no one was complaining.
Max continued working a few hours now and then at the UFO center, and found it as amusing as the average Roswellian. That was the extent of their alien interests. They had degrees to finish and relationships to enjoy. It wasn’t long before even the humans began to forget.