This is just the first part of what looks to be a very, very long story. So read and tell me what you think… please.
Also, special thanks to trickhayden for all the brainstorming time (and inspiring the 'Lisa goes to University' thing, oh, and the CharlIE thing.)
So anyway, here goes…
Legacy: chapter 1
The rain tapping on the window was hypnotic. Lisa Keys watched the little streams of water trickle down, collecting into larger rivers then spilling out onto the sill.
She listened intently to the sounds as everything else in the room faded from her thoughts. They began to create a rhythm in her head. She picked out an individual beat and tapped her pen in time, her notebook becoming a drum.
Her days in the band came flooding back all at once. She loved the drums, still did; just didn't have the time or the will to get them out and dust them off.
Something about them always seemed soothing, almost therapeutic. Maybe it was the act of hitting something, getting her aggression out. Maybe it was just the texture of the sounds. Lisa just knew she missed it sometimes, especially on days like today.
"Okay, it's about that time." The Professors voice and the stirring of the rest of the class jarred Lisa back into reality.
"Next time we'll begin talking about Mr. Jean Piaget, one of my favorites." Dr. Tammy Miller stood behind the podium at the front of the room, gathering her notes into a neat pile, "stay warm, and dry."
The class began filling out slowly, everyone's moods in tune with the weather. Lisa could relate, She always felt bad on days like today.
Tammy sat at her desk preparing the notes for her next class. She glanced up to see Lisa approaching.
"How's my favorite student this morning?" she asked cheerfully.
"Fine, I guess," Lisa's voice was a monotonous drone, "you wanted to see me about the demonstration?"
Tammy leaned back in her chair and studied Lisa's face for a moment; searching for meaning in her tone, Lisa knew.
"Yeah, I have the information here," she pulled a stapled stack of printouts from her brief case and handed them to Lisa.
"All you have to do is stand up here and help our little research subject, I'll narrate for the class."
"Oh, okay," Lisa flipped the cover page back, its heading read 'Piagets conservation task'. Her eyes scanned down the first page.
"Thank you for volunteering, I'm glad I didn't have to pick someone at random." Tammy said, Lisa continued studying the packet.
"Michael and I had a great time the other night," Tammy paused, her friend seemed to be intensely interested in Mr. Piagets experiment, "uh, Lisa?"
"What?" Lisa looked up, startled, "Oh, I'm sorry."
Tammy reached over and closed her brief case, glanced back up at Lisa, "Are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." Lisa turned away, her eyes falling on the window and the scenery outside. "Its just-," a single tear started forming in the corner of her eye, she wiped it away, "-The weather."
"It has been rather nasty recently," Tammy agreed. She had known Lisa long enough to know exactly what she really was thinking about, she decided not to put her on the spot though, "you should go home and take a break, forget about school for the weekend."
Lisa managed a weak smile, "Doctors orders?"
"Yes," Tammy laughed.
"Okay," Lisa turned to leave; "I'll see you Monday."
The whole way home the only thing Lisa could think about was the rain… and Allie, but she tried to focus on the rain. The moisture permeated every moment of her and Charlie's existence. It was so depressing, like no matter what you did, where you went, the wetness would follow you.
Maybe they should move, get away from Seattle, away from the wetness. They could find a place where it couldn't follow. But what's the use? There's always something else to run away from.
It's not such a big deal anyway,Lisa thought, just rain.
The car sat, parked in her own driveway, her hands were frozen on the wheel. She had just pulled into the driveway, but She couldn't remember driving home at all, she was just here.
What was it called?She tried to remember. They had talked about this very thing in class.
Disassociative experience! Yeah! That's what it's… called.
Lisa caught herself; she had been doing that more and more recently. Recognizing strange behaviors then analyzing them. Applying a psychological term to every thought, every emotion. That was probably a disorder in its self, She sometimes thought.
Tammy was right, take a break. Stop thinking about school. Stop thinking about everything.
Charlie wouldn't be home for several hours. Most days she would just work on homework, read, read some more. Not today.
She tossed her bag on the table, headed for the living room couch. A tough decision awaited her. Television, or music?
Music, of course. There was never anything good on TV this time of day. She headed for the CD player, The case for her favorite CD was empty.
Still in the changer, she thought, hit play and headed back to the couch.
Several moments passed before Lisa noticed that nothing was playing. She saw the display flashing 'no disk'.
"Charlie…" She mumbled, he must have reorganized the CD's, not that he had ever done it before. There's always a first time for everything.
She opened the cabinet in the bottom of the entertainment center and flipped through jewel cases, picked the one she wanted. It was empty. She chose another one, it was Empty too… they were all empty.
Several minutes and a quick house inspection later, she discovered that all the videos were gone too, along with the TV/VCR from the kitchen.
Charlie walked in several hours later to find the house in disarray. He sat his bag, heavy with papers to grade, down in the entryway and laid his coat over it.
"Lisa?" he called down the hall, he saw a shadow pass by in the light from the bedroom.
Lisa stuck her head around the door, "down here."
"What are you doing?" Charlie asked before walking down the hall toward their bedroom. The door to Allie's room, or the room they had set up for her if -- no -- when she returned, was cracked open several inches. Gently, he pulled it shut, hoping that Lisa didn't go in there. Sometimes she got upset looking at all little things, little memories that were left of their daughter.
"Looking for something." Lisa answered as Charlie entered the room. She was bent over digging through a dresser drawer, occasionally tossing a shirt or other article of clothing over her shoulder.
"Looking for what?" Charlie asked. He looked around the area where Lisa was standing; piles of clothing and other items dotted the floor.
"Something," Lisa repeated, slid her current drawer closed and moved on to the next.
Charlie watched her for a minute. He was worried now; this was exactly how it started last time. Any small occurrence would set her off on wild tangents for no reason at all.
Lisa stopped searching the drawer. Her face started to turn red. Charlie knew she must have realized what she was doing, and what it looked like to him. She took a deep, unsteady breath, then: "Some things are missing," her voice almost broke, "I am going to find them."
"What things," Charlie sat down on the bed, motioned for her to join him, "are you feeling alright?"
"Yes, Charlie. I'm fine. I just…" Lisa moved toward the bed, "I just came home, and all the CD's were gone and the videos and the TV/VCR thing… and I…" She flopped down beside him, "I don't think we were robbed."
Lisa sighed, "go see for yourself…"
Charlie looked into her eyes; they spoke of the confusion within her own mind, he could relate. There was a time when he too had felt controlled by something he couldn't see, couldn't touch, and damn well couldn't fight back against although he had tried. All this had twisted his thoughts into tortured pretzels of confused links between meaningless pieces of information, and he also knew from this that Lisa was just as disturbed by her own behavior as he was.
He got up and walked back down the hall. Glancing in the kitchen, the TV/VCR combo on the counter was right where it was when he left that morning. After making his way past the jumble of furniture in the living room, he opened the little doors in the bottom of the entertainment center. All the CD's were there, in their cases, right alongside the videos.
Holding one of the cases in his hand, he looked back down the hall. It was much more than being slightly disturbed by Lisa's behavior, now he was scared. Allies departure had torn Lisa up. It had hit him hard as well, but that was five years ago. How long does the grieving process last for someone who's not even dead?
Maybe it has something to do with Lisa and Allies mind link thing; maybe it's out of range.Charlie tried his best to make sense of it in a way that was comfortable. Not that he was comfortable with anything he had been through. Lisa is one forth… them, after all, he reminded himself.
Charlie came back into the bedroom holding a CD and videotape.
Lisa bolted up from the bed, "where did you find those!"
Charlie returned to his previous spot, Lisa sank back down beside him, grabbed the things he held and inspected them. They were real…
"They were in the cabinet… where we keep them," Charlie said calmly, "Are you sure you're feeling okay?"
"I don't know Charlie." Lisa cupped her hands around her face. "I… they were gone!" she said, her voice muffled.
"I know," Charlie wrapped his arm around her.
Lisa's head shot up, she balled her hands into fists: "I know they were! I opened every – single - one!"
"I believe you," Charlie calmed her. He took one of her hands, un-balled it tenderly and intertwined his fingers with hers. "Have you… thought about maybe talking to your friend, Dr. Miller, again?"
Lisa's eyes pierced Charlie like needles. The split second she made eye contact Charlie could feel her pain, the inner turmoil that had been eating at her for so long.
She turned away, shook her head, "it doesn't work like that, we're friends now…"
"Oh," Charlie looked away, momentarily confused, "shows what I know about psychology."
Lisa's expression softened a bit.
Both of them sat quietly for a while. Charlie tried to think of words to say to make everything all better. He needed to do something to take Lisa's mind off what was troubling her.
"Hey, I got an idea," he jumped up, "lets go out and… go to the movies… or something."
Lisa glanced up at the clock on the wall, back to Charlie, "its 4:30, you want to go out now?"
"Sure, why not?"
Lisa's eyes scanned the room around her, "but this mess, I have to…"
"No," Charlie interrupted, "don't even worry about it, I'll clean it up when we get back."
"Okay…" Lisa said reluctantly, "yeah, movies, that sounds fun." She forced a smile, even though she didn't feel happy at all.
Charlie seemed too excited, he had a big goofy grin across his face; that made Lisa feel a little bit better. He had been great at that, making her feel better. It seemed that every time a sad thought crept up, there was Charlie, saying or doing something that made her forget all about it. Lisa was grateful that Charlie had stayed with her. He didn't have to, with Allie gone there was no real tie between them.
Charlie had said that it felt wrong for them to not be together. Lisa felt that way too. She also knew that without him, she had no idea where she would be. An institution, or…
No! Don't even think that!She forced the disturbing thought away, that's the cowards way out.
Charlie peeked around the door, "I'm ready whenever you are."
"Okay," Lisa sat on the bed, still staring at the mess she had created. Charlie went back to the living room.
What's wrong with me?She asked herself, as if the answer was in her head just waiting for the question to be asked. A term started to emerge but she stopped it,
No more self-analysis!
Her mind cleared suddenly, she forgot what she was thinking about. Like refusing that urge to define her behavior forced everything away.
That wasn't it… it was something else, an energy. She could feel it strongly, moving all around her. It was a new and frightening sensation; but it felt, right, in a way.
Lisa jumped to her feet with a new spark, a sense of purpose that she had lost long ago. She walked toward the bathroom, Each step was forceful, deliberate. Not like she was being lead around like before, she was leading.
What's wrong with me now?She thought, confused but also exhilarated by this new feeling of power.
Lisa closed the bathroom door behind her, looked in the mirror. She studied her face, the bags under her eyes had disappeared and she looked… happy. There was a smile on her face and she wasn't even trying.
Several seconds passed in silence before she noticed that the mirror had started vibrating, along with the bottles on the counter and everything else. It sounded like a buzz, a hum, from far away. But it grew steadily louder, closer.
Charlie yelled something from the other room; she couldn't make it out. The vibration had become substantial shaking by now, the only thing Lisa could think was
She braced herself as best she could in the shower stall. The hum grew louder and more intense, the shaking along with it. Then, all at once, everything stopped; followed by a power outage and dead silence.
"Charlie?" Lisa yelled, "are you okay?"
The lights flickered back on. Everything in the bathroom was still in one piece.
She got out quickly; the bedroom was still intact as well. The big poster, on the wall opposite the bed, was still hanging. Blowing on it was enough to knock it down sometimes. Lisa reached out and touched it, bringing it crashing down just as she thought it would.
Lisa turned; she heard something, "Charlie?"
There it was again; it sounded like… a girl's voice. Lisa moved down the hall, curiosity peeked. She stopped cold as she entered the living room.
Charlie stood facing her; his face was blank and pale, as if he'd just seen a ghost. And there was a girl, her arms wrapped around him. Lisa's heart skipped a beat as recognition came; she didn't even need to see the girl's face.
Charlie stirred a little. He looked at Lisa and his lips started to curl into a smile, but his eyes were glossed over, like he wasn't awake.
"Allie, is this one your mother?" A young female voice said from Lisa's right. Her eyes immediately shifted in the direction of the voice. Another girl was standing in the kitchen.
"Yes, she is," the girl answered herself after seeing Lisa's face.
A powerful force enveloped Lisa's body without warning. It was like the energy from a few minutes ago but it was focused, coming from a point right in front of her and wrapping around her. She looked back toward Charlie but found Allie's piercing blue eyes instead, locked with hers.
Lisa tried to move, tried to speak; but it was no use. She looked past Allie and could see Charlie but his form was obscured, his movements slow and exaggerated.
Her vision narrowed into a single point of light, then rapidly expanded into an image of herself, with Charlie. Lisa realized it was Allies view from that night five years ago.
The blinding light that Lisa remembered from that night flared up all around her. She looked down at her feet, she was still standing, but her body was rushing through a tunnel. Images flew bye so quickly, she could only make out fleeting glimpses of color but somehow, she knew what she was seeing. Her mind was being filled with these images.
Memories, they were recorded memories, Allies memories. Awe-inspiring visions of the wonders of the universe. Their meaning was clear to her although she didn't know it yet. Her subconscious mind already understood perfectly, while her conscious thoughts struggled to make sense of it all. Allie was making up for lost time, giving Lisa and Charlie all her experiences and taking theirs. She also understood that this was a traditional greeting used by travelers.
Travelers, what?Lisa questioned. Where was this coming from? Her head was filled with strange words, ideas, sounds and smells.
She came to the end of the tunnel with a mind-numbing thud as her vision widened, returning her to the living room; first through Allie's eyes then her own.
Allie backed up several paces; Lisa gazed directly into her eyes but could not speak. She had so much to say but… for some reason, she didn't need to say anything at all. It felt like she had been there with Allie the whole time. There really was nothing to say.
The energy started to diminish. Allie took a deep breath then exhaled, forcing it lower. Lisa could feel the field coming from Allie weakening.
"I'm home, mom." Allie said. She stepped back toward Lisa, hugging her tight, normal this time.
Lisa lifted her hand, gently brushing the tips of her fingers against the golden blond head resting on her chest.
She still could not speak, she was really trying now. Her mouth silently formed the words that were in her mind but no sounds could be produced.
Allie stepped back again, "it's alright, you'll be fine in a minute."
"Here is one we forgot." Lisa shifted her eyes back toward the unknown girl, who was now holding one of her CDs. Allie took it, walked over to the entertainment center and carefully placed it back in its case. Then she glanced back over at Charlie and Lisa, both standing, staring unblinkingly of into the vastness of their new memories.
"Maybe that wasn't a good idea," Allie said, speaking mostly to herself, "help me sit them down Ka'len."
"Yes," Ka'len said with all her mechanical enthusiasm. Allie led her dad to the couch, Ka'len brought Lisa and sat her down beside him. "Their minds will need time to adjust," Ka'len told Allie.
"I know," Allie replied.
"How much did you show them?"
Ka'len thought for a moment, or paused, thinking was instantaneous for her, said: "will you tell them of the future?"
"The future is intangible, Ka'len. Just because we have plans to follow does not mean that this will all turn out the way we want it to."
Ka'len cocked her head, "that is not what I asked."
Allie grinned, "no, I won't tell them why we're here… yet."
Ka'len's expression remained blank and emotionless but Allie knew from experience that her friend understood, she had learned to sense the trace energy patterns that signaled unseen emotion and mental processes in all creatures, human, Xe and animal. It was one of her many newly developed abilities, as much terrifying and confusing as it was fun. They all said this was part of who she was, that the hybridization process was unlocking the full potential of the human mind. Allie didn't care, she just wished it would all go away, her alien abilities were weird enough.
"Allie…" Ka'len spoke up.
"May I have another one of those 'cokes'?" Ka'len asked.
Allie smiled, "sure," she looked to her parents sitting on the couch, Lisa's eyes were fixed on her but they were still glossed over, "how long do you think…" She glanced over to where Ka'len had been standing, heard the refrigerator open in the kitchen. A bigger grin spread across Allie's face; it wasn't too surprising, Ka'len always took everything so literal.
Hope you liked it. Please review! And, catch me on AIM at: CAtrox123 to chat about Taken, Aliens, other sci-fi stuff, or just how much life sucks in general (j/k on that last one, really… I'm fine).