I know I shouldn't be starting a new fic when I haven't finished my others, but I had inspiration and just had to write this. I am hoping this will help me work through the writer's block I have with my other stories, hope you like it!


Chapter 1

"Please buckle your seatbelts, we will be landing at LAX very shortly, thank you." The somewhat nasal sounding voice of the pilot woke Tessa Andrews from the light doze she had finally been able to slip into 10 minutes before. Straightening up she quickly locked her seatbelt into place and looked out the small porthole like window to her right. Below her she could just begin to see the outline of the Las Angeles airport. The sight of that big facility made what was happening to her finally feel real, and it scared her to death.

She was really going to Las Angeles, she who had only gone outside of her small Massachusetts town maybe twice in her lifetime was now going to be living in one of the biggest cities in the country. Talk about a big change. As she turned from her outside view she overheard a conversation between a couple seated next to her. To any one else it may of sounded like a bunch of clicks and strange sounds but to Tessa who had studied Tecktanise for the last year she could catch enough of the words to know the jest of the argument. The woman was complaining that the airline weasel was just awful and next time she would be getting the salad. The male said something about all airline food being awful and for the woman to settle down because it would make the pod upset.

Tessa smiled at that, the couple was expecting a child and if it was still in the pod stage they still had a couple of months to go. The couple were newcomers, part of over 250,000,000 slaves from an alien spacecraft that had crash landed in the Mojave Desert over five years before. They had assimilated into Las Angeles a town not unused to strange and unusual groups of people living among them. Yet in the past few years newcomers had begun to immigrate farther east until even Tessa's small hometown of Spencerville, MA now had two new families of the aliens living there. Tessa had been one of the first people to welcome and befriend them soon becoming a common face among their households. She had learned a lot about their culture and also some of their language although she had to admit there was still so much she still did not know. Not all of their neighbors were welcoming however and Tessa also saw first hand the predjuce some of the townspeople showed to her new friends.

This hospitality was part of the reason why she decided to move to Las Angeles the other was Keith Thompson. Keith was a deputy at Spencerville's small town sheriff's office. He only worked their part time but he was a full time purist. He was one of the main opposers to the newcomers coming to stay in their town. When Tessa stood up with her new friends against him Keith had seemed stunned. He also treated her as if she had been brainwashed by Katie and Tom Seleck, gotta love those guys at newcomer affairs with their name choices, one of the newcomer couples. They were kind, hardworking people and Tessa had become good friends with them, especially Katie who was close to her in age. They found they had a lot in common and hung out a lot. Tessa knew that by being friends with Katie she was pushing away others she had know for most of her life but she also knew Katie and the others deserved a chance and respect. Keith just didn't seem to get that she was friends with the newcomers by choice. He also didn't seem to understand that she was not interested in him in the slightest.

Tessa thought she had the situation under control until one night Keith pulled her over as she was on her way home from work. He said she had been speeding but Tessa knew otherwise. Even so he made her get out of the car to do a field sobriety test and while she was standing on one foot touching her finger to her nose feeling like a complete idiot Keith attempted to fondle her and kiss her. Furious and also full of panic Tessa did the first thing that popped into her head, she kicked him in the groin hard and ran to her car. This time she really was speeding as she made her way to her parents' house not wanting to be alone in her apartment that night. After telling her parents about the incident her mother told her she had had enough and didn't feel like Tessa was safe in town. She told Tessa that she wanted her to move to L.A. to live with her Uncle Matt.

Uncle Matt was Detective Matthew Sykes of the L.A.P.D. He had been an infrequent yet much beloved visitor in Tessa's youth. He always came with presents and war stories of his time as a cop, edited for small ears of course. Tessa had idolized him growing up and even though most of that hero worship had dimmed over time, she still loved him to pieces and missed him terribly. Still she hated people to think that some small town horny sheriff's deputy had run her out of town just because he couldn't take no for an answer. Yet Tessa's mother could be as stubborn as her daughter and in the end Tessa caved under her mothers concern and logic about the situation. Just like she knew she would, whatever Marlene Sykes Andrews wanted she usually got, and most often she was always right.

The feel of the aircrafts tires hitting the runway knocked Tessa out of her thoughts. Well she was here; she just wondered one thing as the plane made its way to its gate. What am I going to do now?

Marlene Sykes Andrews looked at the clock on her kitchen wall. It was now 2:00 pm; Tessa's plane would have just landed. God she hoped Matt remembered to pick her up from the airport. Matt's memory was never his strong suit, at least when it came to his personal life. Marlene could never figure out how he could remember the date and time of when a drug bust would be going down but couldn't remember her birthday to save his life. Sitting down in the chair she had abandoned only moments before she picked up her needlepoint for the fourth time trying unsuccessfully to finish the nose of a dog on what would be when finished a blanket for her new grandson. Yet again she placed it back down on the table after only a few stitches too nervous to concentrate fully on the task. She knew she had nothing to worry about, Tessa was very responsible and she was going to stay with her uncle who also happened to be a cop. She would be perfectly safe, still she was a mother and she wouldn't be a good one if she didn't worry needlessly about at least one of her three children. She knew she had done the right thing by sending Tessa to L.A. Things were getting to hot here and as much as she knew Tessa wanted to stay and help, Keith Thompson was becoming too much of a loose cannon for it to be safe for her little girl anymore. That boy had always worried her from the time he was little. He was just too quiet for her always looking at Tessa with those piercing blue eyes of his, following her around like a puppy dog. When they both got older he seemed to be a little too interested in her daughters' comings and goings for her to feel comfortable, especially after he became a sheriff's deputy. When the newcomer families moved into town, it was just the thing Keith needed to cause even more problems. When Tessa befriended them and began standing up to Keith and the other purists in town it seemed to make Keith even more determined to make more trouble. He couldn't seem to understand that Tessa was friends with the newcomers by choice, and he took every opportunity to try to "save" Tessa from the aliens. Marlene had been worried with Keith's ever increasing strange behavior and tried to warn her daughter. But in typical Tessa fashion she just blew it off contributing the behavior to his ego being bruised by her rejection combined with his purist views clouding his good judgment. It took the last incident of him physically touching her for Marlene to decide enough was enough and to pick up the phone to call Matt. She knew the safest place her little girl could be was with her big brother the cop. The fact that he lived over 3,000 miles away was an added bonus. After talking to him and 'getting' him to agree she then made her daughter see reason also and three days later after a tearful good-bye loaded her only girl child onto a plane. Now here she was three hours later waiting, waiting to hear from this same child to make sure she had arrived at her destination safe and sound. At about the time she thought she would go crazy from impatience the phone she had put down next to her began to ring.

"Yes mom I'm fine, yes Uncle Matt remembered to pick me up we are on our way to his apartment now, yes mom I'll call you later before I go to bed, I know even with the time change I will call you before I go to sleep, okay love you mom, bye." Hanging up she gave a sigh of relief. She loved her mom she really did but her mom tended to go into over protection mode when one of her children were in any type of trouble or extremely far away from home and it sometimes got on her nerves. A small laugh to her right made her turn and look at the man in the driver's seat. Uncle Matt hadn't changed much in the past 6 years. A little gray to his hair maybe, and maybe a few extra pounds but other than that he looked almost exactly the same; same somewhat lanky form, collar length hair and warm brown eyes. Yet one thing that had changed was the happiness and contentment she now saw in those eyes, she had a feeling that his new fiancée Kathy had something to do with that.

"So how ya been doing kiddo?" Her uncle's warm somewhat coarse voice asked her

"Pretty good Uncle Matt, except you know the reasons why I am out here, other than that things have been good."

"How's your dad doing?" Silence was heard as Tessa paused before answering the seemingly simple question. Her dad, well any question about her dad was anything but simple. Thomas Andrews was a military man with over 20 years in the service. As a kid she had moved numerous times by the time she was 12 living mostly on army bases or sometimes off base in a house nearby. While Tessa loved her dad she also didn't know him very well considering that he had been gone for a majority of her childhood on missions for the U.S. government. Then in 2001 when she had been nineteen 9/11 happened along with the war in Iraq. After that her dad had been shipped out on his first tour. Now years later he was out on yet another tour and doing his parenting over a satellite phone a snippet at a time. He had agreed with her mother that coming to live with Uncle Matt was a good idea. He told her to remember the self defense training he had taught her, told her to be safe and that he loved her and then he had to go. She probably wouldn't hear from him for another month or so. Another month or two of worry to deal with, no biggie she ought to be used to it by now.

"My dad", she murmured softly "Last I heard he was doing fine." And that was the end of that conversation. The rest of the ride was conducted in strained silence. The only time it was broken was when Matt spoke up halfway through the drive.

"Oh by the way I have to stop at my partners house for a few minutes to update him on a case we're working on, actually this will give ya a chance to meet him, you'll like George he's a good guy, if you like them bald and spotty."

To be continued…..