An Unexpected visitor

CHAPTER IV

Michael opened his eyes, it was still dark and he didn't know what had woken him. Then he remembered he had had another dream. He gently nudged Maria off him and clambered out of bed. He stumbled drearily into the bathroom and stood over the basin, splashing water onto his face. The icy cold of the water made him shiver.

"Oh, Michael. I thought I was the only one up."

Michael looked into the mirror to see Tess standing behind him.

"What are you doing up?" Michael asked.

"Couldn't sleep," she replied.

Michael stared at her, his dreams had never lied to him and he was sure this wasn't an exception.

"Why are you here, Tess?"

"I don't understand," she said innocently.

Michael chuckled, "drop the act, Tess."

"What? Michael?"

"Don't think I don't know what you've been up to. Maybe you should just go back to your boy Kavar."

"Michael, I would never..."

Michael turned and left her standing in the bathroom, looking bewildered.

"Maxwell, get up." Michael said, nudging Max' arm. Max opened his eyes and looked questioningly at Michael. "We gotta go for a walk."

"Michael, we can't leave."

"Maxwell," he urged.

"Okay."

"I had another dream," Michael said when they were sanding on the dark street outside his apartment.

"What happened?"

"It was Tess,"

"Was she hurt?" Max asked, his eyes wide.

"No Max, she was with Kavar."

"He captured her?"

"Max, it wasn't against her will."

"You mean? No, Tess wouldn't do that." Max took a step back.

"Max, it was real, she's against us. We should never have trusted her."

Max said nothing. He did not want to believe Michael, but he knew he was right. Tess couldn't be trusted, she was going to sell them out to Kavar. After a while he spoke.

"We have to do something," he said, but right at that moment he didn't know what. He didn't know anything. He had trusted Tess and now his trust had been broken.

"Maybe she'll listen to my advice," Michael chuckled.

Max looked up from his shoes, "what advice?"

"I told her to go back to Kavar," he shrugged.

"What? Michael, if she knows we know, she'll go straight to Kavar and they will come for us."

"We can fight them." Michael defended.

"You know our powers aren't strong enough for Kavar, we all do."

"Maybe not, but," Michael began. But he was interrupted by a scream coming from his apartment.

"Liz," Max gasped. He turned and ran back the way they had come.

"We finally meet again, your highness." Nicholas' voice sneered as Max and Michael entered the apartment to see Liz, Maria, Alex, Isabel and Kyle lying unconscious on the floor and Tess smiling behind Kavar.

"You bitch," Max said, turning his gaze to Tess. The smile on her face only grew bigger.

"I would say sorry, Max. Only I'm not."

At this Michael got angry, he held his hand up, but before he could do anything Kavar's hand shot up in the air and Michael was thrown back at the wall and he slumped unconsciously on the floor like the others.

"Good," Nicholas smiled menacingly, "I'm going to have much more fun getting this out of you." He walked forward.

Max extended his hand and a thick green shield protruded in front of Nicholas. Nichloas shook his head and just as at Copper Summit when all the skins were alive he and Tess touched the shield and it suddenly got harder for Max to cope. It was his power against both of theirs.

'Why would this help, anyway?' Max thought to himself, 'they are just going to over power me. I can't do this.' Max' head felt heavy, there was too much pain, he couldn't handle it anymore and he collapsed onto the floor, the shield disintegrating.

Nicholas chuckled, "too much for you, is it? You never were much of a king."

At that he placed his hand over Max' head and let the memories and thoughts come crashing out. But Max was too weak to fight it.

Suddenly Nicholas took his hand away and smiled triumphantly, "The Pod Chamber..."