|"Finding My Way Back From Sanity"
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Roswell. I have borrowed the characters from this excellent program and the books. |
Summary: This is a Max/Liz Dreamer story with a shocking ending. Larek comes to give the Pod Squad history lessons in an effort to help them understand what part they each played in the downfall. He wants to help them understand what they need to do to correct this, but even he doesn't know everything. In between his visits, the aliens and the humans interact in ways that bring them closer. Everything that has happened from the Pilot through a Roswell Christmas Carol has still happened. I tried to answer those nagging little questions in a way I would want to see them.
Authors Note: Might be a little spoilerish. I hope you like it. I would love feedback.
|I'm finding my way back to sanity, again |
Though I don't really know what
I am gonna do when I get there.
Take a breath and hold on tight.
Spin around one more time.
And gracefully fall back in the arms of grace
I am looking past the shadows
As Maria walked across the street she thought how much she liked bringing Brody his lunch. He was sweet and normal. Not like a certain space boy she associated with lately. Maria walked into the UFO center and down the stairs. She had his usual sandwich with pepperjack cheese. He greeted her with a genuinely enthusiastic smile.
"Hi Brody. So how is Sidney?" Maria said in her usual sing song voice. "Maria, she's great. I just wish…I wish I knew why aliens keep doing this for my family," Brody questioned.
"Like I told you, maybe you're special," Maria reassured him, feeling guilty that she knew exactly what had been happening to him, but could never tell him.
As they began talking, Brody began to appear distracted. He explained that he was having memory lapses again. Then, in an attempt to be humorous, he asked Maria if she would water his plants while he was away. She smiled and gently touched his arm and told him that she would be honored to water his plants. She said that she would even talk to them for him.
Later that evening, the entire gang of aliens and humans, including Kyle this time, was gathered at the UFO center. Maria told them what Brody had told her earlier in the day. Just as she finished saying, "..and he thinks he is going to be abducted again," Brody came in. Maria felt as if she had betrayed a trust and began to babble some explanation, however Brody ignored her and walked directly up to Max.
"Zan, I have come to offer you information regarding your past. I thought that if you understood your history you wouldn't be in such a hurry to repeat your mistakes. It must be a disadvantage not remembering your past?" It was immediately apparent to Max that this was Larek, not Brody.
Remembering the peace conference and Larek's little lecture, Max asked, "Why should we trust you? Why do you want to help us?
Before Larek could answer, Amy DeLuca burst into the UFO center and walked down the stairs, with Sheriff Valenti right behind her.
She walked up to Max and answered for Larek, "Because I asked him to."
Maria - "Mom?!!"
Amy looked at Maria and in a voice not quite her own, but pleasant just the same, said "Child, I am not your mother, but I am Zan and Vilandra's mother." Looking back at Max and Isabel she said, "My name is Kayla. I cannot maintain this form for very long, but I wanted to let you know that Larek is here at my request. You can trust him. You were friends as children and to this day he remains loyal to you and our family. Let him tell you of your past so that you may learn from it and help us."
She then embraced first Isabel, then Max. The emotion they each felt was almost overwhelming and obvious on their faces. Within seconds, she collapsed into Max's arms.
Maria immediately began running toward the her mother "Mom!"
Sheriff Valenti walked up and took her from Max, and tried to reassure everyone, especially Maria, "Maria, its ok. I'll take care of her."
Larek also tried to reassure the group with, "She will be alright. This doesn't harm the humans in anyway."
The sheriff picked up Amy and carried her outside to prevent her from finding out anything. Jim placed her in the car and quickly got in on his side as Amy began to wake up.
Kyle just quipped, "Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore."
As she awoke she immediately began talking, "What .. what was I saying? Boy, I must have had too much wine at dinner. You must think I am a lush."
Jim - "No, I think you are incredible" Amy just flashes that infamous smile, as they drive off.
* * * * * *
Larek began, "I don't think that the humans should be present for this meeting. I don't feel comfortable discussing this in front of primitive beings."
Alex - "Hey I resent that!"
"They have helped us in more ways than you could even begin to imagine. More than anyone else from our system has so far." Max shot back.
"Alright, but you may not want them to hear everything I have to tell you." Larek warned.
Isabel looked at Max with something between a pleading and panicked look. "Max, maybe he's right."
Maria began babbling in anger, "You guys use us in various ways and now we aren't good enough to hear about you. You know all kinds of things about us through your Czechoslovakian methods and you don't trust us enough to hear about your lives. Well that's just great."
Isabel looked to Michael for support, but was surprised at his response.
"I think they should stay. If it weren't for humans we all would have died 50 years ago." Michael voiced his opinion in his usual matter of fact way. It surprised Maria, and caused her to smile in spite of her angry outburst.
Max shook his head in agreement. "Our pasts may hold surprises, but we are different people now." Then turning to Larek he responded to his rude comment regarding their friends, "Incase you haven't noticed, the four of us are part human now too." Max looked around the room and received final confirmation from Tess, Michael and Isabel. "And by the way, my name is Max"
Larek thought, this Max is a more like Zan than he realizes. "How much do you remember?"
"Nothing, really. What happened on our planet? Nicholas said I made bad decisions. You said I tried to make changes too quickly." Max asked in quick succession.
"First of all I wouldn't put too much faith in what Nicholas tells you. He was right though, you did make some bad decisions, you used some truly cruel methods and you made changes too quickly. But you have to understand why before I can tell you what they were." Larek responded.
And so Larek began to provide them with their past and their childhood. Liz remembered a history project last year and how scary it must have been for them all those years not knowing who they were and how awful if would have been if someone found out before them. Now, here they all were, learning of it together.
"Zan was probably the most passionate person I have ever known. He felt things much more intensely than others. Everything he did, everything he participated in, received 100% of his attention. He was highly sensitive to injustice. He was loyal to his friends. Zan had one weakness, he was never secure with his position, even though he had an inner strength that I've not seen in many people."
"On the other hand he was very humorous. He loved playing practical jokes and no one was spared. No one could be around Zan for very long without laughing, but he always knew that he would be king. He was raised for it and accepted it for the most part. He was uncomfortable with the pomp and circumstance though. He was more at ease with his friends or studying history."
Looking turned and looked directly at Max. "Zan, you cared about the people deeply, but I don't think that you ever felt that you could be the same kind of leader as your father. You learned to keep your ideas hidden from your father to avoid his disappointment. You were very curious and always wanted to know why. Your tutors would lose patience with you on a daily -- hourly basis. You must remember how they would take offense at the way you questioned tradition. It questioned their reality. Thankfully you learned at as we grew older when to stop asking questions and begin seeking answers for yourself."
"You used to constantly discuss with Rath and I your inability to understand why there were two similar, yet different, beings in our system. Our species is made up of energy that appears as light with a solid core. I can still hear you going on and on and on. 'Why would we be so alike yet so different. We both can transcend time and space with our thoughts and our bodies. We are both primarily made up of energy, making us appear as light in various shapes at various times. We can both change shape through thought and become any tangible item that we want to'."
Larek looked up at the group and said, "By the way, this is something that Zan loved to do as a child. He would make himself into one of Vilandra's toys or pets and scare her when she would try to play with them. Zan used to be in trouble a great deal as a child."
At this little piece of information everyone began laughing. Max just looked embarrassed and blushed, and silently began to question his decision to let everyone stay.
Michael flashed his famous smirk. "Figures"
"That doesn't sound like our Max. He is always so serious." Isabel said with a sweet voice, but the sarcasm wasn't lost on Max.
Liz just looked at him with adoration and realization that she had seen this side of him the night of her blind date. This did not go unnoticed by Larek.
Trying to regain some control, Max said, "Could we get back on the subject. Why did I do that?"
Answering directly, Larek replied, "Because you thought it was funny."
"Not the shape shifting! Max said with more than a hint of exasperation. Why did I question everything?"
"I used to wonder why myself. You always possessed great strength of conviction in your belief that everyone should be treated the same, but somehow I think that it had more to do with Rath than anything else." Larek provided.
Michael stood suddenly and blurted out, before he realized the strain in his voice. "Why because of me?"
Larek looked Michael squarely in the eye and asked, "Are you sure you want to hear the answer? Are you sure you want everyone to hear the answer?"
Michael just stared at him for a minute with a look that displayed both insecurity and anger, until Maria put her hand in his and looked up at him with that supportive look that only Maria could give him. God how she gave him strength.
While still looking at Maria, Michael gave Larek his answer. "Go ahead"
"All four planets of our system have two species or races - One race rules and the other does not. Zan continually questioned why there was a difference- why one was better suited to rule than the other? The religious leaders taught us that the gods created them that way. The ruling class seemed to possess a level of intelligence above the others. The scientists proved that we do have some differences as part of our genetic make up. They felt that this is what gave us increased intelligence, proving our superiority and right to rule. Some believed that we used to be more tangible beings and that we evolved over thousands of years. Zan, you used to say that you didn't feel superior. You didn't really believe in the superiority of your race, or the gods for that matter, but you couldn't explain why or prove it."
"It had always been forbidden for marriages or joining between the races. It was said that it would reduce the intelligence and strength of the ruling class to join with the others. No one really questioned this. Well they had, but those who did were immediately dealt with in manner that deterred others from doing the same. It had been that way forever."
"Rath, you were the product of one of those unions. Rath, you are one of the few people that were of mixed heritage in our system, though only a few people knew this. Your parents had been dealt with, but Zan's mother would not allow any harm to come to you. You were after all, her sister's son. You were raised at court and treated like a full royal cousin to Zan and Vilandra."
Michael looked devastated at this point. Again he had no parents to go back to. No parents were waiting for him. Maria still had his hand, and as he looked down at her he could see the pain in her eyes, pain for him, for his loss. He looked up at Max who had the same look, as did Isabel. It was then that he realized something for the first time in his life. His family really was here with him. They always had been.
Larek, wondering at this connection between the humans and the Royals, continued, "Rath you were outgoing, and appeared confident, but I always sensed that you were as insecure as Zan. It was as if you were faking it, as an act to please others. And you were always eager to please others. Everyone who met you liked you immediately. You were fiercely loyal, just like Zan. You stood up to anyone, anytime, to voice your opinion, but you would always listen to the other person's point of view. You differed from Zan in that you found some peace of mind in religion. You were a great storyteller, and would make up great stories when you would all come to visit. We would sit for hours listening to your stories of great make believe adventures."
At this little bit of information Michael looked at Maria with a look of amazement - she was after all, everything Larek had just said about him.
"You were a good companion for Zan and helped to keep him on his best behavior, something that I might add was not an easy task. As young boys the two of you were inseparable. You even slept in the same room sometimes."
Isabel exchanged a glance and a smile with Max. "Well some things never change."
Larek - "Vilandra, you were beautiful, intelligent and kind - and very spoiled by your father. Vilandra, unlike Zan and Rath, you had an innate sense of self-confidence. You shared Zan's sensitivity to injustice. You loved to read stories of ancient mythology. You said they were very romantic. You were a dreamer. Your primary interests were to help those in need on your planet. You got this from your mother. But you loved the pomp and circumstance and that, you got from your father. He never listened to your ideas though. He always thought of you as just a pretty girl to be pampered. Zan and Rath listened to you. You and Zan were very close, as were you and Rath. They both came to you for advise, and they listened to your ideas. It was as if they each needed your strength to become the men they needed to be. They both confided in me that they hoped that their selected mates had the same strengths that you possessed."
Maria raised her hand and began waving it. "Excuse me, selected mates? As in arranged marriages?"
"Yes. It is our tradition that those in the ruling class have a mate selected on the day of their birth. This ensures the genetic purity and strength of our race. It also prevents the possibility of falling in love with someone that would not be the best genetic match." Larek explained.
At this, Alex shook his head in various directions and rolled his eyes while providing his two cents. "Yeah, we had something similar on our planet, long, long ago, but we found it created …lunatics. No offense."
Liz, shot Alex a "behave yourself" look. "I think what Alex means is that we have found that continued inbreeding creates a weaker genetic base and creates abnormalities. A broader base of genetics is needed - at least on this planet." "Regardless, Zan knew it was his responsibility to take a wife and settle into the roll of future king. Even with all his questioning of traditions, he would always have done what was expected of him."
"Zan, you had known your selected mate your entire life and though you cared deeply for her, and even found her interesting, you didn't love her. Your father would have laughed at that. He would have said, ' What difference does that make?' Your mother understood, though."
"But unfortunately - for all of us - shortly before you were to marry and bond with her, she died in an accident. She was called Sarin and she was one of the kindest people I have ever known. She was my sister. It happened on one of your trips to visit us. You had tried to save her, but you couldn't. I told you then, and many times after, that it wasn't your fault, but I think that you felt guilty for the rest of your life that you couldn't save her." Max shyly looked up at Liz at this point, but quickly looked away. Larek remembered how Zan had learned early to keep things private to protect himself. Larek wondered how Max could have no memories of the past and yet still be so similar to Zan.
"You were very saddened at her death. But I always felt you were also somewhat relieved at not having to marry someone you didn't love."
"Rath came up with an idea to take Zan on a great adventure to other planets. Zan didn't want to go at first, but Rath's enthusiasm finally won him over. Rath just forged ahead and began to plan the trip. He asked, actually begged, your father to let you travel. The answer was -no."
"After that Zan began to become depressed. I think the real reason was that he felt that his last chance at life was slipping away. I think that he began to think that he would rather die than have to live the life that was planned for him. The King only agreed when Vilandra and the Queen interceded on his behalf. In the end, they were both allowed to go."
Each person in the room thought how much Max was still like Zan, though no one voiced it.
"Zan, you had to hide your great joy at leaving. Your father insisted that you take an entire entourage, but in the end he conceded to allowing you to go with only Rath and a ships crew. You had both studied all forms of self-defense and even though your abilities far exceeded Rath's, your father knew that Rath would always look out for you."
"Rath chose a far away and somewhat primitive planet to visit. High adventure, you both told me. Rath presented your chosen destination to your father with the rationale that you would certainly be safe on such a remote and primitive planet. The inhabitants couldn't even communicate telepathically. Their technology was still in the infant stages and you could easily shape shift into the species on the planet, or you could just inhabit one of them from the ship, just as I am inhabiting, this one."
"You spent a week on the ship studying the language and the culture of the planet to try to fit in. After monitoring the planet's message systems and looking through its records you each chose a being to shape shift into. Ironically, I am sure that this was the first time you both felt sure you could be yourselves without the restraints and controls always required at home."
As Larek continued everyone seemed to have their own mental picture of seeing these two on a strange planet, Max and Michael, together on an adventure. How unlike them, yet so familiar. Kyle imagined them on an episode of Star Trek, with all the assorted odd-looking aliens.
"As you transported to the surface you tried to reassure yourselves that everything was going to be ok. You kept telling each other how great it was, to finally be real explorers. This was an adventure you would talk about until you were old. One you would tell your great-grand children about. You talked about what great new discoveries awaited you."
Larek began to show signs of exhaustion and fatigue. "Unfortunately, you discovered more than you had ever expected."
With desperation not usually revealed by Max, he quickly asked, "What did we find?"
Larek, though strained, managed. "I cannot maintain this connection any longer. I will come back in one week with the rest of the story." With that, Brody collapsed into unconsciousness. Michael and Alex carried him to the back room and laid him on the couch. Maria covered him up with a blanket and gently kissed him on the forehead, with a "thank you" on her lips.
Klye couldn't help himself and whispered to no one in particular, another quote from the Wizard of Oz, "Oh my, people come and go so quickly around here."
|Index | Part 2|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|