Roswell is the property of the WB networks its producers and creators, and are not mine. The same goes for Smallville and all related characters, events and concepts.
"Drop Dead Gorgeous" by Karen
Clark can smell the mingled and distinct aromas of damp, cold earth; moss growing and creeping from any and all crevices; his own sweat; the stone of the cavern; and the wooden support beams holding up the roof. He figures that the amount of time he has spent exploring the cave network he should have accustomed him to the smell by now.
The light from his electronic torch cast wavering and shimmering shadows along the floor, the roof of the tunnels, and, more importantly, onto the cavern paintings. He's spent the majority of his teenage years and some even earlier than that in learning how to keep secrets; some of those secrets, despite his best efforts, managed to seep out. First, with his parents, then his closest friends: Chloe, Pete, Lana, and Lex Luthor. The list is growing.
That last is a more complicated and unsettling relationship. One he would rather not dwell on. Mainly because their friendship began with Clark
saving Lex's life from a near fatal car crash which made Clark recall something Lextold him, after their initial meeting; that their friendship would be the stuff of legends. Clark smiles, Lex always did have a flair for the dramatic.
If Clark is right about the significance of these cave paintings, then it's best that no one outside of his inner circle of friends and family learn about the existence of the caves on Smallville's town outskirts.
The design has a pattern, a subtle one; it made his head swim attempting to determine when one began and the next ended. Clark feels he's beginning to learn. The first time he realized that he wasn't alone down here, that someone else has a keen interest in the caves. All right more like bordering on an obsession.
Clark's ambivalent reaction to the intrusion on his private search had been a topsy-turvy mess of anger, astonishment, and surprise. Lionel Luther is the kind of man a teenage boy learning about his extraordinary, perhaps extraterrestrial, powers puts off with anger or an objection.
The key Clark had found must lead to some kind of locking mechanism, more than just metaphorically speaking, but for the life of him, Clark cannot figure where or even what that might be. The key is metallic and made of no metal than can be readily identified, formed in the shape of a hexagon. For right now it's been safely buried in the root cellar back at the Kent family farm.
Roswell, New Mexico
The air inside the Granolith Chamber is dry and hot. Isabel does not mind the heat so much as she minds the stuffiness and the confined space. It brings back too many memories that she has done her best over the years to firmly suppress. She has lost track of how many hours have passed since they stuffed her inside here, and she wants to blame her brother, Max Evans, for her predicament. After all if he hadn't take their little group on the sightseeing tour he had insisted was so damn important, found their pods and led the authorities right to them, then she wouldn't be in trouble now.
Isabel often wonders if her adoptive mother had been right, maybe her problem is that she pushes people away. After all, just look at that mess between her and Alex.
Alex was a sweet boy, the kind that she would have gone through with marrying him if something inside her had not been broken at the last minute. His death was an accident, and proved that the Pod Squad's tenure on Earth was just temporary. She hates the flashes on her life flickering across her
mind's eye. It's too painful to watch let alone relive.
Again it makes her wonder if this is the Coalition's idea of a torture. A slow, dragged out, and unusual kind of torture, much like the slow sound of water dripping onto a stone floor.
It occurs to her that she read in one of her high school history classes about an ancient Chinese torture where they tied one to a chair or left one locked in a cell and let water drip onto the person's head.
"It works, fellas, oh believe me, it does work," she mutters aloud wondering if anyone is out there listening to her. "You won't break me. I'm already broken, so you're a little late."
Isabel licks her lips and can taste a dry sensation in her mouth, like cotton balls. She realizes it's just
her mind playing tricks on her.
The old green pickup clanks along at a good 55 miles an hour. Despite its refinished paint job and retooled engine that needs service before the 30,000 miles Sheriff Valenti is not one to let a little thing like automotive problems stand in his way. The group of teenagers that hang around the Crashdown restaurant; the group that are friends of Liz Parker and Max Evans.
After all this time, then it his responsibility. If one has gone missing, even if its out of his jurisdiction, well then, it's his job to track them down and bring them back. Isabelle vanished from Roswell only a matter of 48 hours ago, and it took at least another day and evening to get a lead on where she might be.
So he oiled up and packed his shotgun, along with a map of the interstate highways, a thermos and a bag lunch along with his wallet. He threw on his leather jacket and hit the highway.
As he made a quick stop to refill his tank with gas it occurred to him to make a phone call to his superior at the precinct to inform them he would not be coming into work for a while. He wanted to follow up a lead on a case he was working and it would require a quick weekend trip out of town.
The chief had been less than pleased with this news, but the man had given in. Now, in the middle of nowhere, he wonders: If Isabel is going to run away why in the name of a name does she pick some hick town in the Midwest? Hell, Las Vegas would have been more exciting and lot closer for a runaway on the lam? No, instead she picks some nowhere town.'
Scene 4 Encounter
Isabel wonders why the heat has gone down, it's cold inside the chamber now. Have they had a power failure
when the world quite literally drops out from under here, a whooshing sound resounds in her ears like
she's inside a wind tunnel like the ones the military boys on the base use to test the aerodynamics of their
high price fighter jets.
It takes a few seconds for her senses to process this new information before a bright white light blinds her
and when she can see again the chamber, the bright light, and the four nondescript walls of the chamber
vanish; only to be replaced by four equally damp, black walls. These walls are much more interesting
because they are covered in curvy, geometric blue, red, and green paintings.
Isabel is no stranger to the odd and bizarre, after all she's spent the better half of her young adult life has been very difficult knowing just whom it would be safe to trust. Isabel is rather painfully aware that by letting her brother, Max, know that's she harboring grave doubts about their mission and life in general of late, would only worry him and cause him to do something noble and no doubt dangerous and crazy.
Besides Max is dealing with his problems of his own; such as taking off on some crazy search for his son.
The only official that might be able to help them, their circle of friends and allies, is Kyle's father, Sheriff Valenti, but even going that route poses risks that she isn't comfortable thinking about just now.
Isabel wonders where the Granolith chamber has dropped her. It's a cave, obviously, ancient and weathered by both time and erosion. So when a tall,
dark, and well-muscled young man emerges from behind a niche in the rock wall, gazing at her with a mixture
of both shock and solicitation, Isabelle realizes that maybe she should trust him, just maybe.
"Hey, are you all right?"
"Depends on your definition of 'all right," she replies, shaking the blond locks of hair out of her
eyes with one hand, using her free hand to lever herself up off the ground.
"Well, strange beautiful girls don't just fall out of the sky," he tilts his head to one side, actually let
me rephrase that. My name is Clark. Do you need help?"
"Funny, coming from someone who looks as if he's been grubbing around in a dark cave for the better part of
the day." She doesn't mean to be snappish; it just comes out that way.
"Are you always this pleasant?"
"It's been a difficult past few nights, so I would like to pre- apologize for any surliness on my part." Isabel glances around at the electric torches set into
niches in the walls and along the floor in stanchions, at the strange geometric figures. "Tell me, this is a class field trip and you happened to get separated
from the others in the group?"
"Something like that," Clark shrugs. "You got a name?"
"Isabel." She figures it too much work to keep her guard up and she is going to have trust someone here
enough to get out this cave.
"Welcome to Smallville, Isabel. You want to get out of here?" Clark said, offering an outstretched hand and a
"Where are we going?" she asks aloud. 'Smallville.' The name registers in the silence of her mind, 'What kind of name is that? And where exactly am I?' she thinks then shoves it aside, concentrating on watching her footing as Clark helps her sidestep some of the larger pieces of rock and then up a embedded rope to the surface.
As she steps away from cave's darkened interior and then into a brilliant, gleaming mid afternoon sunshine of a Midwestern small town caused her a moment's disorientation, Isabel blinks until her eyes adjust to the change in the light.
"To this coffee shop, it's got great ambiance and I personally know the owner."
"Great, I could use a cup and then some."
"I hear you." Clark replies, nodding as if ounces of distilled wisdom.
Scene 5 Interlude
At the Talon
Lana Lang makes the rounds, balancing a tray of beverages and an order pad, keeping the customers replenished with their drinks and their baked goods. She's had her moments of doubts, moments when she's worried that taking on the challenge of rebuilding an old theater and turning into a hub on main street coffee shop would be too much for her, but on the whole it has probably been the best move of her life.
Lana catches a glimpse of her friend and neighbor Clark Kent walking into the coffee shop with a blond girl. At first she think its' Chloe who has done something different with her hair, then she realizes it's a stranger. It's not that's she has some kind of dopey school girl
crush on Clark, far from it, she's gone that route and its become rather painfully obvious that Clark, if he's noticed her affections has no doubt mistake them for friendship. It's just that she's been aware that Chloe has feelings for Clark, and again he has been a typical male, and completely oblivious. That being the case, Lana thinks that he shouldn't be escorting around another female.
A smile plastered on her face and her tray of coffee mugs balanced in front of her Lana approaches the table where Clark and the stranger sit. Her intention is not to confront him but to inquire what they would like to have; it's her job as the owner of the Talon
after all. "Hey, Clark, long time no see."
"Hi, Lana. Sorry, but things have been crazy around the farm and with Chloe insisting I put in long hours
at the Torch," Clark shrugs. "I guess I lost track of time."
"Yeah, I hear you. Who's your friend?"
"Uh, Lana, this is Isabel, she's new in town and I was just helping her out of a jam." Lana puts down her serving and takes a seat across
from the blond girl, "Just a FYI, whatever kind of jam you're in, you couldn't have a found a better person
to help you out of it. Clark's a regular good Samaritan"
"I don't' understand the reference," Isabel replied, shaking her head. The shock of her arrival in Smallville had gradually worn off, but leaving behind
a dull buzzing ache in the back of her skull. The dark haired girl Clark had introduced as Lana appeared to be quite taken with the handsome youth, but if anyone should know, she was well aware that appearances were often misleading.
"Relax, Clark," Lana smiled, 'I was only giving you a hard time."
Isabel's attention drifted to the mugs of steaming coffee and tea on the tray that Lana set aside, and reached for the nearest. "If no one minds, I could
really use a cup."
"Sure," Lana replied. "I meant to ask you what you wanted to drink. Go ahead."
Isabel grabbed the mug with and cupping her hands around the handles, she raised it to her mouth and downed a healthy swallow. As the steaming liquid touched her tongue she felt at least some of her built up tension melt away. All that time in the Granolith Chamber, all that endlessly dripping water,
she never realized just how hungry and thirsty it had made her. Various conversations floated around her, and as Clark
said her name again she set down the coffee cup and concentrated on what he was saying.
"I'm sorry, my mind wandered." Isabel blinked and tried to focus.
"I was telling Lana that I found you in the caves," Clark said.
"Truth to tell, it's a far better place than where I
was." For the first time since her arrival in the
cave, Isabel thought maybe, just maybe, she had been
mistaken about the intentions of the builders of the Granolith Chamber. This town of Smallville seemed like a normal enough place, and if she were careful enough, she could probably fit in just fine here.
"Big news! I think I've got another candidate for the Wall of Weird!" Another voice broke into the lull in the conversation.
Chole Sullivan entered, coming towards them with a bag slung over one shoulder and her laptop sticking out of the unzipped pouch. "Sorry to burst in on you guys like this, but I just heard that an out of town sheriff is scouring the town looking for someone, and your friend here matches the description that he has posted all over main street."
Isabel glared at the girl. 'What's wrong with this picture. Didn't she know any better? In a way that she could not explain, her instincts warned her that this was one person it was best not let on about some of the odder things that went on in Roswell. Irritated she focused on twirling the swizzle stick in
her steadily cooling coffee cup.
"Whoa, Chole, slow down. What are you talking about?" Lana said.
"What did you do, jump bail?" Chloe questioned Isabel, staring at her, and undeterred by Isabel's icy glare.
"Whether I did or not, is none of your business."
"So, this guy is after you," Clark remarked trying to get back into the conversation.
"In a manner of speaking."
"That's awfully cryptic, even for these parts," Clark replied.
"Is he really a sheriff?"
"Yes, and I can't imagine why he would go to all this trouble, even outside of his jurisdiction to come after little old me. I'm not that important,"
"Obviously he thinks otherwise."
"Where did you come from? Clark asked.
"New Mexico, if you must know. Roswell, to be exact."
"That's a long way from Kansas," Chloe remarks." In her mind she thinks. 'Roswell, Isn't that were they had the alien landing way back in the 1940's?' Nah, just has to be just a coincidence.'
"Most of what happened before Clark found me is a big gray blur."
"What will happen if this guy finds you?" Chloe asked, unable to let this go.
"Most likely he will yell at me, followed up by an argument, then insisting I go back. Whether or not that will require him to throw me over his shoulder
and drag me back kicking and screaming, I don't know." Isabel shrugged.
"Sounds like a nice guy." Lana remarked.
"In his own way." Isabel sighed and put her empty coffee cup back on the table. "I imagine he believes he's doing me a favor. Or maybe it's for my brother."
"Your brother?" Clark asks.
"It's a long story."
"Did you run away?" Lana asks.
"Seems like I've been running away from something or someone for as long as I can remember."
"Maybe it's time to stop running," Clark said, as he placed a comforting hand around her shoulders. In his awkward manner Clark fumbled around a bit and dislodged part of her blouse, baring her shoulder. The instant of contact produced an unexpected result; an electric jolt of energy traveled from the point of contact into his fingers and into his arm. Clark felt Isabel tense up and instinctively draw away from him.
He hopes it is not because he has done or said anything to arouse suspicion, or give away his abilities. It's getting hard enough to keep his secrets from people he knows in town, let alone an out of town girl he has only just met.
That fleeting moment of contact, the shock still running up her spine Isabel's eyes glaze over and for a moment she isn't seeing her immediate surroundings, or even picking up and processing sensations from her own perspective. Instead, she realizes she is
reliving Clark's memories.
It is noon on Main Street; the sky is wide open and as blue as a robin's egg. Without much warning at all an ear piercing whine tears through the empty sky, and a long, tapering streaks of gray smoke lance downwards.
People are caught interrupted in their mid day activities crane their heads to look up at the phenomenon; Wonder at first, shock, but that wonder turns to fear as meteors begin to fall from the sky. Logic tells Isabel that it's the wrong time of day for a meteor shower.
Logic also tells her that the odds of one repeatedly happening in the same location, at any given time, are pretty few and far between. However, logic takes a back seat to the emotional landscape of these stolen memories.
The focus shifts suddenly to a road outside of the town, a meteor impacts with the ground the force over turns a pickup and she watches as a couple scramble out of from the wreckage. The truck is most likely damaged beyond repair, but the people are all right.
She then witnesses as a much younger version of Clark emerge from the crater caused by the meteor's impact and staggers over to the huddled couple. As if the truck weighed nothing at all, the boy places his hands underneath the bed of the truck, and heaves it to one side. The memories, the clarity of the scene flickers in and out of focus, and eventually fades to black.
Isabel blinks, only partially aware of those around her, that Clark is shaking here and inquiring if she is all right. She wants to respond but that unasked for glimpse into his memories make her realized that she isn't the only person around here with secrets.
At that instant the door to the Talon opened with a great deal of force, as an older man with grizzled salt and pepper hair entered. It is raining and his leather bomber jacket clings to his lean frame like a second skin. He approached the table, hands in his pockets and unreadable expression on his face."
"Isabel Evans,' you've led me on a merry chase, but this is where the game ends."
"I'm not entirely certain of that, Sir."
"Back to being formal are we?" Valenti remarked.
"For the record I didn't exactly plan on running away, in fact I never planned anything at all."
Clark stands up and maneuvers his body in between the two of them. "Look, Sir, I don't mean to be rude, but
Isabel here obviously does not want to go back with you, so please leave."
Sheriff Valenti blinks, and stares up at the young man. "Well, I never. That has got to the most polite not to mention sincere bunch of hogwash I ever heard. "Tell me, he's being serious about this? Somebody?"
"Well, I don't know, but somehow he's not how I pictured him," Lana remarks.
"Don' worry about it, kiddo." Valenti smiles. "I get that a lot."
"You're not some kind of law enforcement officers that brings in bail jumpers? Chloe asks.
"No, and if I was Isabel here is little bit beyond jail bait age. I'm wet, I'm tired, and I'm hungry.
Not to mention that I've got a very play- by-the rules, boss back home who will be wondering where the hell I am."