Summary: Fourteen years after Future-Max changed the past, Liz Parker's about to do it again. But when things don't go as she expected, how's she supposed to make a better future with only the help of a bitter teenage Zan?
Disclaimer: I do not own Liz Parker, Zan, or any of the other characters, settings, or technologies of the TV show (and book series) Roswell. However, if you're an avid fan of the series and see something you don't recognise, that's probably mine.
AN: Hi. It's been a while since I've posted any fanfiction, and to be fair and accurate with my readers, I've never actually finished any. But that's something I'm really trying to change, so please, if you like this story, bear with me. Also, I want to point out that this is just the first chapter of the story, and I'm posting it more to gauge potential interest than to actively start posting. I've gotten a couple of chapters written, but I don't want to start posting until the story's almost finished.
So if you're interested in reading more, please review. :)
Liz had never been a gambler, but if there was ever a time to be lucky, this was it.
Liz shook her head and fisted her hands against their shaking. The petit brunette closed her eyes, trying to muster up a shred of calm. There was no question in her mind it was only an illusion; despite the quiet atmosphere and the stillness of the room, she couldn't be less calm. What she was about to do would make the most morphine-addled dental patient nervous.
What you're about to do? Liz scoffed. Don't fool yourself, Parker; you've been planning this for years. There's nothing new about any of this.
Way too late to be getting cold feet now, and you know it.
But despite theself assurance, Liz still felt incredibly unsteady. This feeling wasn't actually cold feet - not really - and she'd only used that phrase to try and trivialize this nerve-wracking experience. This moment… this was the culmination of everything she'd worked for since she'd turned twenty-three. This was the point before the point of no return. She felt like she was standing on the edge of a cliff looking down, and she had nothing but faith to insure that that first step into the chasm wouldn't end in oblivion.
Liz took a deep breath.
She'd changed in fourteen years, obviously. There's not much that doesn't change in almost a decade and a half. But it was more than just time; the things that had happened – the things she had been through… She wasn't anything like the girl she was at seventeen. That girl had been a romantic; self-assured and completely caught up in the moment. The teenage Liz had never fired a gun, lost a loved one, or killed someone. In fact, that girl would probably have been devastated by any of those three things, but the thirty-one year old Liz… she'd done all of that, and most of them more than once.
Liz didn't regret it either; she'd had no other choice. Of course, that was just one more thing the younger her would never have understood, or have cared to understand. Back then, she'd been just a normal teenage girl who met the love of her life and decided to give it everything she had. And now, Liz was a woman who'd lost the love of her life, and a million other things beside, and who would sacrifice everything to get it back.
She didn't envy her younger self, though. How could she? Liz had been a naive little girl who'd been completely blindsided by everything that'd happened – she'd never had a clue just how bad it would all get. How could she ever envy a girl who was so blissfully happy when the destruction of her world waited for her just around the corner?
Liz opened her eyes to the inside of the Boston warehouse she'd been living in for the past three years, and her gaze automatically locked on the gigantic piece of machinery that dominated the room. Monstrous and deceptively still, it served as the only tangible result of half her life's work.
It didn't look like much. In fact, it looked like the bastard child of a mechanics nightmare and the entire genre of science-fiction; not surprising, considering it was one desperate woman's attempt to fuse human and alien technology. Wires stuck out in places, the surface was a patchwork of different metals, the stairs up to the machine were actually made of wood, and the strange crystals and symbols of Antar littered the surface like oddly linear graffiti. It was a slightly tilted platform surrounded by giant metal rings, and if looked at just right, it almost looked like the spread out insides of a clock. The whole thing was nearly forty feet tall – just shy of hitting the warehouse's ceiling.
Liz had gotten lucky; she'd made friends with a Skin named Serena early on in the war, and the woman had been kind enough to teach Liz everything she knew about Antarian technology. Of course, that hadn't been anywhere near enough information to do what Liz'd been planning – she'd had to track down several leading physicists and a few gifted Antarian engineers before she'd collected everything she'd needed, and even then… even then it was like trying to create cold fusion; completely workable in theory, but almost impossible to actually do.
If this didn't work…
If this doesn't work, I'll be dead anyway.
Liz remembered what Future-Max had told her about the end of the world, back when that thought had seemed impossible. She remembered that she'd actually believed – the way she'd assumed Max believed – that the future would go just as he'd told her it would once Tess became a part of the group. It had never occurred to her back then that for Max, this wasn't anything like a guarantee. But he'd been willing to pretend like it was, in order to get her compliance – because he'd thought that his plan had to change something.
Max'd believed any future had to be better than his.
Liz smiled bitterly.
It hadn't been, of course.
Government agents had ambushed them outside of Utah when Liz was nineteen, and they'd almost managed to kill her. Max had healed her, but she'd been so close to death that the next round of cellular restructuring had left her sick and starting fires for weeks. When she'd come out of it, she'd gotten a major power boost, but her abilities were so twitchy that she'd spent almost all of her time a few minutes ahead of everybody else. At least until she's learned how to 'block her inner eye' and hold back the prophetic visions.
It also meant that, although Liz's visions let her be an early warning system, she was completely useless in a fight. She'd dodge a hit too early, and they'd just change direction on her, or she'd move to strike an opening that hadn't been created yet. For a while, Liz had been a major disadvantage to the group. Again, this little setback lasted only a few months, right up until Liz boxed up that particular ability – and, unfortunately, much of her power along with it – and promised herself that she'd never use it again.
This brush with death soon sparked several personal developments. Maria and Michael got married, Kyle and Isabelle grew closer, and Liz got pregnant. Liz eventually decided she was going to keep the baby, despite the many hardships they were facing. Max supported her decision, although a lot more cautiously. In the end, it didn't matter what either of them wanted, though; the decision would be taken from them.
Kivar's servants had been looking for them, and one of his Skins spotted Liz and Max at a store. Although he'd gotten the news earlier, he waited till the night that he planned to invade Earth before he sent soldiers after the six of them.
Michael lost his right arm up to the elbow, and neither Maria nor the baby survived.
After that, Michael completely lost himself to his grief and rage; he wanted more than anything to go on the offensive, to hurt the people who'd taken away the biggest piece of his new family. Liz – whose furious guilt quickly became a permanent emotional state – agreed, and she too pushed for war. Max was still uncomfortable with his position as King and was reluctant to say anything definitive.
Isabelle and Kyle had been reluctant too, at first, but Liz had given a rather convincing speech about Kivar's ultimate goals – the biggest of which was the complete annihilation of the Royal Four. And with how easily he found them this time, could they afford to try and hide again? Could they afford not to go on the offensive? After a long debate, she'd gotten their agreement.
They were going to fight back.
Some governments surrendered pretty quickly, while others fell shortly after that to the overwhelming force Kivar had at his beck-and-call. It wasn't long before Kivar had complete control over Earth – technically. Most people still refused to follow him, though, and before long the Roswell gang had had a huge group of rebels ready to back them up.
Honestly, for an army comprised of six teenagers, some refugees from the Whirlwind Galaxies, and a bunch of humans completely unprepared for alien invasion, they'd held off Kivar's forces for a surprising amount of time. Almost four years in, the odds looked to favor humankind.
Then a lucky Skin shot Max in the back of the head, and everything changed.
Before she could fight her way through, Kivar's exultant forces had carried away Max's corpse, and the horrified Rebels fled – forcing Liz out along with them. Liz had felt him die, but she still remembered Clayton and Max's miraculous revival seven years before. Unfortunately, this was not the same thing; Max hadn't simply forced all of his healing energy into another being, where it could regenerate his physical self – his physical self had been killed without any previous 'storage'. It was something like the difference between 'cloning' your laptop and then beating the crap out of it with a baseball bat, and just plain beating it with a baseball bat.
Max hadn't left behind enough of his energy to come back.
After months without feeling his revival, Liz had had to come to terms with that. But that instant, when she'd watched them take Max's body away, she'd felt something – a sort of sudden, shocking certainty. Instinctively, Liz knew they were going to lose, and so that was when she began her first serious work on an idea she'd toyed with since Maria and her baby had died.
Max's death killed the confidence of their Antarian supporters, and in less than a year the tides had completely reversed. Kivar's forces swept over the planet, enforcing terrifying new security measures to keep his captive societies 'in line' with his regime, and the Rebellion found it harder and harder to continue with their guerilla warfare. They simply did not have enough supporters in high places to get the resources they needed past the system. The best of them learned to get around it, but… the Rebellion as a whole still fell short.
By this point, the only survivors of the original group were Liz, Isabelle, and Michael, but they'd been joined by Ava, Serena, and a number of other exceptional people. Isabelle eventually – in a rather kamikaze gesture she'd had to spend months talking Michael into – surrendered herself to Kivar, where she played an influential but deadly game as a spy, stealing information and passing it on to the Rebellion. Michael went underground, recruiting fighters and using his old name like a taunt against Kivar's new monarchy. He happily played the gingerbread man for just over a year.
At which point Kivar caught Isabelle stealing information, and had her executed.
Michael couldn't take the loss. It was just one more thing he considered his failure, just one more loved one he'd disappointed, let slip between his fingers, leaving him behind...
He took a big chunk of the remaining Rebels and set off to storm the fortress. His forces managed to push their way almost to Kivar, and then Michael launched a truck-load of Antarian fission grenades into the fray, taking out half a city block. But despite the healing power he'd inherited from Max's death, Michael was not immortal. He died in the explosion.
That attack is remembered as the closest Kivar ever got to actually being defeated. It took a week and all of the most advanced medical technology in the universe to save him.
But he did survive. And eventually, it was as if he'd never been hurt at all.
Kyle, who was by now completely different from the gentle soul he'd been back in high school, stepped up to fill Michael's shoes as leader of the Rebellion. He'd been good at his job, but that alone would not have been enough to save their cause – the sudden dip in morale when it got out that Kivar had survived the attack cost them too many of their supporters. But then one day he was approached by a woman and her nine year old son, who begged him for protection.
And the nine year old son was a dark haired, dark eyed boy named Zan.
When people heard that the Rebellion was sheltering the child of Max Evans – the son of the True King of Antar – the sudden surge of new blood returned hope to the Rebellion. For the first time in a long, long time, it seemed like they might stand a chance.
But Liz knew better.
Liz wasn't sure why, but she was still felt the same sinking, terrifying certainty that they'd already lost. It had felt like a vision, in a way – this sick abyss deep in her stomach, and a vague, haunting pressure in the back of her mind. Despite everyone's assurances, despite all of Kyle's talk about the bright future… Liz knew.
Eight years later, when the sharp edge of Max's death had long since worn away, when she should have been long past the silly sentimentality that came along with strong emotions, when she'd stopped feeling that desperate grief, that still hadn't changed. At thirty one, Liz had no doubts whatsoever that whatever train they were supposed to have caught, whatever path they were meant to have taken… they'd missed it. They'd lost their chance.
But Liz had a back-up plan.
Liz herself hadn't played an active part in the fight since Max died – not even when Michael had lead his last great attack. Sure, she'd smuggled black market weaponry, passed along information, and protected the occasional refugee, but actual fighting for the cause? No. She'd been too busy gathering information about her impossible idea.
She got even less involved after Michael and Isabelle died, and she dropped off the radar entirely after Kyle started grooming Zan to be the next King. She and Kyle had had the biggest argument in her memory over the issue; he told her measures needed to be taken, that human kind was losing God damn it and this kid might be their last remaining advantage. And Liz had told him that Max would never have allowed it, that a world that used children to fight wars was not a world worth saving.
Liz'd tried to convince Zan's mother of that, but the woman had been completely destroyed by her husband's murder, and she'd been willing to do anything for protection against Kivar. She'd closed her eyes and ears to Liz, and even though it broke her heart, Liz knew she couldn't take the boy – he was already completely in love with the idea of being King, and her plans were too important to risk that he might respond badly. If she took him with her and he fought her, he'd draw attention.
And Liz could not afford to bring eyes to her machine.
So she'd left him there, and reminded herself daily that if her plan worked, little Zan would be one of the millions of people who'd benefit from it. She'd save him, and he'd never remember that his adopted father had ever died in the first place.
Liz sighed shakily as she stared at the machine.
If she could pull this off… maybe the world would be worth saving again.
Max had said it had to be 'surgical'. He'd come back to change one singular event, believing that any more interference would cause more damage than it'd heal. But obviously there was a bigger problem than Max had ever guessed at; despite all his precision, the world had still gone to hell the second time around.
At some point, Liz had started reminding herself that not all surgeries were small. Sometimes, if the damage was already extensive, if the cancer had already spread too far for any small operation to completely remove, much more would have to be done. And Liz… Liz had an idea of what needed to be fixed – what had gone wrong that needed to go right –if anyone had been around who knew how to do it.
And if Max could find a way to go back, to be that person… then so could she.
Of course, they no longer had the Granolith. That could only be used the one time, and Tess had used it on her unexpectedly useless journey home. Still, Liz refused to believe that that was the only possible way to travel through time; if the technology existed, then it could also be replicated. But she first needed to understand Antarian tech; she needed to understand what she was doing, and to do that, she needed to spend a lot of time tracking down the necessary information.
It took her years to realize how much more complicated it really was.
The Granolith was not just a machine – it was an artifact created during the one of the darker historical periods of Antar. Back then, the government was made up of the strongest and most ruthless beings on the planet, and they had obsessively hoarded all forms of knowledge. When the Red Prince defeated Emperor Hyn, his Priests had immediately destroyed everything that could increase their enemies understanding of the universe. This included all experimental technology, thousands of libraries and museums, and almost a hundred thousand scientists employed by the government. This final, bitter attack of a dying regime would set Antar back a full millennia.
The Granolith was one of the few artifacts to survive that massive destruction, and the actual means of creating it had not yet been rediscovered. Of course, with a little searching, Liz found out that that was not actually because the Granolith was such an advanced piece of technology (although that certainly added to the difficulty), but rather because the Red Prince's line had used it as symbol of their power. Any efforts to recreate the machine were met with swift and vicious reprisal, and because this had been practiced for several centuries, it eventually became instinctive for Antarian scientists to avoid that area of study.
Of course, when King Zan came into power, that practice – and a hundred others – was changed, but he'd still been a young man when he was overthrown, and he hadn't had enough time to get anywhere substantial. And then, of course, he was killed, and his followers had sent the Granolith along with his clones to Earth for safe keeping, which meant no one had had the chance to study it in more than fifty years.
Subsequently, there was no instruction manual to build another Granolith, so Liz not only had to learn everything she could about alien technology, but she'd had to quickly familiarize herself with alien history and all temporal theories, both human and Antarian, and track down any possible records of the Granolith (such as pictures or detailed descriptions), which might help her to understand how it worked.
She'd needed six years – ignoring the four between her baby's death and her husband's, during which she'd only tinkered with the idea – and a lot of help from several of the biggest experts in those fields (some of which Liz had to use alias's to see, since that those individuals supported Kivar) before she'd been able to get a solid idea of what she was doing. Even then, it had taken her two years and about a thousand mistakes to finish her project. The same grief-stricken rage she'd used to fuel her search for Alex's killer had kept her focused; that's how she'd finished in eight short years a project that should have taken decades.
Well, that, and she couldn't afford to waste time testing it out – the amount of energy one test would take would have Kivar's street police on her ass in a heartbeat. Which meant that not only would she be risking her life on the hope that her theories were all sound, she'd also be risking it on not having made even one single mistake when she'd built the machine.
But after all this time, all this planning –
The sudden flash of crimson light caught her off guard, and Liz turned to glance at the silent red siren on the table.
The perimeter had been breached. Liz snorted.
"Right on time." Liz muttered and ran to the nearest computer. She pulled up the appropriate program, entered the password, and ran like hell to grab her coat and bag before the monstrous rings could being to spin. As she climbed up onto the platform, she turned breathlessly toward the back doors into the warehouse.
The doors they'd use when they came for her.
Liz smiled toothily, and for the first time in ten years, she felt almost human again.
"Ready or not, assholes."
Kivar had never made any secret about his policies. Thus, it was common knowledge that he had a group of hand-picked soldiers known only to him, trained specifically for jobs like torture and assassination. Of course, this was nothing his usual enforcers couldn't do, but these men weren't trained for handling just any criminal. These men were trained specifically to target special enemies of Kivar.
These were the men he sent after Liz Parker when he finally got confirmation of her whereabouts. Unlike other annoying key Rebellion leaders, Liz Parker had dodged almost completely under the radar after he'd dealt with Rath and Vilandra. He'd been worried at first; he'd spent long enough fighting the woman to know her usual reaction to grief was always some vicious form of counter-attack. It was nothing he couldn't handle, of course – she was, after all, only human – but everything he knew about Parker told him she wouldn't let this new injury go unavenged.
Except… that's exactly what she'd done.
Years had passed with only the occasional confusing lead. He'd almost caught her in Cairo, and the only intel he'd gained was that she was interested in the mechanics of Antarian navigational systems. Another time, he'd connected her to the alias Beth Larienne, which had led him to a subservient old professor who specialized in complex dimensional dynamics. The old man had told him he'd just missed the 'dear girl', that she'd interned with him for a month and had shown herself to be both driven and intelligent.
In those early years, Kivar had found one odd and confusing lead after another. The only common factor he could find was that Parker was always studying something, be it higher order mathematics, various schools of engineering, or even Antarian Political History. He'd eventually come to the conclusion that Parker was trying to collect a variety of information in unrelated fields of study – perhaps in hopes of teaching Zan's pathetic offspring?
Shortly after that, he got another hit on Beth Larienne, and one of his agents had almost managed to kill her, before those damn Rebels had shown up and spirited her away again.
Ever since then, she'd gotten much, much more careful with her aliases. Someone even taught her to avoid the SkyWatch camera's – and if Kivar every figured out who that was, they'd be lucky to spend the rest of their life under his… tender care. There'd been no leads at all in almost three years. Kivar had grudgingly accepted that barring a bit of good luck or an uncharacteristic mistake on Parker's part, he may never again get a shot at killing her. She'd simply spent too much time learning how to stay unnoticed.
And then one of his spies had reported that she'd made herself at home in Boston, and wasn't showing any sign of running.
Which meant she probably had no idea he'd found her yet.
Kivar had made it his goal a lifetime ago to insure that no remnants of the Royal Four survived to give him problems, and he'd recently made it his hobby to kill off anyone who'd sided with them in the past. Parker had been at the top of that list since the beginning, but she'd also been one of the hardest to kill. To Kivar, the idea of finally getting rid of her seemed almost a resolution – closure to an era that should have long since passed. Kivar wouldn't miss this chance.
The fact that he'd gotten this information now, on the eve of his greatest triumph…
Kivar felt the odd, living Husk he wore over his face stretch into a human smile, and for the first time since he'd come to this wretched planet, he was not disgusted by the feeling.
Tonight, Parker would die.
Right alongside her precious Resistance.
The seven black clad Skins of Kivar's Red Hand circled the warehouse. They'd all been briefed on the intel gathered about Elizabeth Parker. This included her usual tactics, her allies – apparently there weren't many – her skill set, her odd, not-quite-Antarian abilities (which included precognition, of all things), and her psych profile.
It was probably overkill to be so careful with the simple execution of a retired Rebellion leader, but apparently Kivar had a personal vendetta against Parker and didn't want them taking any chances. For the vast majority of the Red Hand, that was more explanation then they required; they would follow Kivar's orders till death and beyond without question or hesitation. They were the Red Hand, the elite of the elite, and Kivar stood as a god in their eyes.
Alamar, the leader of this particular unit, was not quite like his men. Of course, he would also follow every order, and he'd never question Kivar aloud, but unlike others of the Red Hand, he did have doubts. Alamar believed this may have had something to do with his own natural ability to defend against mental compulsion, which suggested that it was not necessarily genuine loyalty that drove his peers.
Still, Alamar always pushed that thought quickly aside. There was something in his mind – the same odd, silent voice that told him something was not right – that wondered if he was truly alone even inside his own head. That voice could sense eyes watching, and ears that were not his listening, and it knew that to start questioning now would lead to something terrible.
Almost before that image had formed, he pushed it away.
I do this of my own free will. He told himself. For my beloved King, Kivar.
Alamar signaled silently for his people to converge on the door. He went first – as was the custom and general expectation of an Antarian leader's place on the battlefield – and he quickly felt his heart begin to pound against his ribcage. The adrenaline rush was one of the few perks of this job, and he felt his lips start to stretch into a grin behind his mask.
As soon as he reached the door he held up his hand and sent a pulse of energy toward it. The door was made of old, rotting wood, and it instantly exploded in a shower of shards and sawdust. Alamar ran inside and sought cover, his men following immediately after with the smooth, quick ease of experience.
Alamar quickly glanced around, taking in his surroundings and cataloging the interior to memorize the layout and look for potential exits (they had already determined that there were no viable entry points visible from the outside). There were boxes everywhere – clustered against the wall, built up like pyramids and tables… The only place free of them was a large open area directly in the middle of the warehouse, where an assortment of tables and computers were laid out at the foot of something… big.
This was all noted and accepted at a glance, and Alamar and his men moved in quickly for the kill.
Elizabeth Parker was standing in the middle of a giant machine. Obviously the switch had been flipped 'on', because the rings that circled it were spinning faster and faster even as he watched. For a moment he felt a little tickle of dread along his spine, but unease led to suspicion, which led to doubt. He ignored the feeling.
Do not question.
Do not hesitate.
We are King Kivar's Red Hand, and we pass his judgment on the enemy.
We will obey his wishes.
Alamar winced but accepted the conditioning. There was a very real chance that any extremely insubordinate thought would earn him a Wipe, and maybe even termination (of the permanent kind). He could not afford to think freely; no one in the Red Hand could.
Do not question.
Do not hesitate.
His men circled the platform and raised their hands to the ready. Alamar felt that trickle of unease again – she'd definitely seen them, but she wasn't reacting in any way. Had she known they were coming? Was this… some kind of trap?
Do not hesitate.
Alamar pushed the doubt away and prepared to send another pulse into that fragile human body. He reached for the energy he needed, focused on his ultimate goal, pictured – for a moment very visibly – the exact point on her stomach he was aiming for, and.. .
Alamar frowned and tried again, but it wasn't working; he could feel the energy inside him, but it wasn't… it wasn't responding the way it should. Alamar glanced around and noticed that most of his men were in various states of growing frustration – a few were staring at their hands, and one determined boy was frowning harshly, face growing red as he shoved his palm forward time and time again.
A sudden intuition brought his eyes back to the machine, and Alamar remembered a comment one of his trainers had made years before.
"Be careful around human machines. Most of them're harmless, but the wrong kind of electrical field can literally cancel out the signals your brain sends out to manipulate your environment. Antarian machines are required to pass certain inspections, and those inspections will check for this particular field, so you're safe here. But when Kivar invades Earth, you'll have to keep an eye out for things like this."
Alamar watched the rings spin faster and faster, fascination blooming in his mind.
"Bullshit…" He murmered, but the odd whir of the machine meant he could not be heard beyond a few feet away.
He could still see Parker though the blur of spinning rings, and while he'd been realizing the implications, she'd caught the expression on his face. Alamar met her gaze, and the bitch actually smiled at him.
She said something then, and if Alamar hadn't had some minor skill in reading lips he might not have understood–
"Boom." Alamar's eyes widened. He turned quickly, looking for any explosive devices, but by the time his eyes landed on the computer to his left, it was already too late.
Project: Do-Over initiated.
Alamar had just enough time to think, Oh, thank God…
And then the world went white.
At the same time Liz Parker was gearing up her machine, sewers and safe houses all around the planet were being suddenly swarmed with soldiers loyal to Kivar. In the smaller units, some people were simply arrested and beaten. In more hectic, crowded ones, the Rebels took up their weapons and fought back. The soldiers killed them all.
Kyle Valenti looked up from his desk to see Kivar himself stroll into the room. Kyle got to his feet and looked the devil in the eye, smirking unrepentantly. He didn't show the fear wiggling in the back of his head, or the worry for his subordinates, or even his snarling urge to reach out and wrap his hands around his enemy's neck.
This... this animal who'd had his dad murdered.
Kivar smiled. "Well, well. If it isn't Kyle Valenti, the failed Rebellion leader. So nice to make your acquaintance."
"Well, well." Kyle mocked, grinning despite the insult. "If it isn't the infamous false King of Antar! Wish I could say it was a pleasure, but honestly I've never been that good of a liar."
Kivar's smile had slipped just a little at the king comment, but at the end what was left of his expression was more than a little acidic. "That's funny. You're a very funny man, Valenti. I think you missed your calling." He reached up and gestured over his shoulder to his men, and one of the soldiers stepped out of the way of the door. As soon as he did, another soldier stepped inside the room, dragging the bound form of a terrified little boy.
Kyle slowly closed his eyes; hope slipping gently into death. He'd sent his best soldiers off with Zan. He would not be here if they were still breathing.
And if they were dead...
Briefly, Kyle thought back to that moment all those years ago when Max had died. Michael had taken over. Isabelle had become a spy. Kyle had had to learn to be second in command. And somehow, without even realizing it, they lost Liz to an altogether different cause.
She'd just drifted off. She'd lost interest in everything and everyone; she'd seemed to exist purely within her own mind. Kyle spent a long time thinking that she'd just... broken. When he'd finally gotten the guts to tell Michael about his worries, he'd just stared at Kyle for a minute, looking pensive. Then he'd told Kyle about Liz's little 'idea' – go back to the past, change the future, save Max…
Of course, Kyle figured she'd lost her mind. But Michael just smiled and went back to what he was doing, some secret practically glittering in his eyes. Mike had believed in Liz, no matter how crazy she'd sounded. No matter how angry Kyle had been at her for giving up on the real world.
He'd been so sure they could still win.
"Shit." He muttered. Kivar laughed.
"You're going to die, you know." He finally said as he laid a gentle hand on Zan's head. The boys eyes glazed over, and he stopped fighting. It was odd to see that feisty, angry little kid standing so still. Even with ropes binding his arms and legs and duct-tape covering his mouth...
"I'm going to have the both of you executed in front of whatever pathetic little remnants of your Rebellion survive the night." Kivar stepped forward, looking Kyle directly in the eye. Kyle looked back, past the pretty face and the charming smile, and caught a glimpse of the obsession underneath. In that instant, Kivar looked every inch the megalomaniac they all knew him to be. "They're going to watch as the two of you bleed to death, right there in –"
"Oh, shut up, you raging dick." Kyle finally snarled. "We get it already! Doom and gloom, you can't win, join the darkside – whatever. You really think you're impressing anybody with your threats, Kivar? We already know what you do to people who fight you."
Kyle remembered Iz twitching, strapped down to a chair in the middle of Time Square, blue energy crackling from Kivar's hands to her head...
Kyle felt his throat constrict and his hands fist.
Kivar sneered, amusement still evident on his face, but now tempered with annoyance. To Kyle, this was a major improvement. "Oh? So why is it you still fight me, Kyle? I suppose it's because your little Rebels are so very brave. Noble, stubborn, brainless little warriors, fighting off the evil King?"
"No." Kyle laughed. "I mean, sure, we may be all of those things, but that's not why we fight you."
"It's not?" Kivar tilted his head, looking both condescending and unconcerned. Kyle put his hands in his jacket pockets and fingered the little metal tube inside. He'd watched the monitors. He'd seen his people fall. He'd watched the little lights go out on the map on the wall, each one a mark of a safe-house found and destroyed. Obviously, they'd been betrayed - someone trusted had given Kivar all he'd needed to destroy them.
After tonight, there would be no more Rebellion.
But he still had tonight.
Kyle smiled and gripped the tube, his thumb finding the button on the top.
"Nope. We fight for two reasons. One being that… well, we hate you. " Kyle started after a pause, stepping around the desk and ignoring the sudden lifting of palms from Kivar's jumpy gaurds. He looked briefly at Zan and almost let himself give in to the twinge of remorse before the image of Isabelle's face twisted in agony flashed through his mind, hardening his heart. He slowly pulled his hand out of his pocket and held up the little cylindrical detonator.
That same hard heart swelled with glee as he watched Kivar's smile suddenly disappear. "And two… because we're really not afraid to die."
Kyle started to push down, and Kivars gaurds started to pull their King out the door. Kyle glanced toward the dazed little boy still standing in the room, forgotten by Kivar's soldiers... Looking back at him.
Good luck, Liz.
The button clicked into place, and the facility went up in flames.
AN: Sorry it's so long, guys, but a lot had to happen before the rest of the story could start moving. Anyway, if you like it, tell me, and if you don't, tell me what you think needs to change. I love constructive criticism, so don't be afraid to tell me what you really think.
P.S. I should hopefully update by the end of the month. June, that is.