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New Beginnings, Chapter 19

Reply to Alex Parrish

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list October 6, 2003

Part: 19/19 "New Beginnings"
Author: Alex Parrish
E-mail: alexparrish@wi.rr.com
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Katims, Metz and the WB. No infringement is intended. I own nothing, Trust me. Suing is futile!
Paring: M/K
Feedback: Please
Distribution: Roswell Slash Archive/Others Ask
Rating: X? Explicit sex and language
Spoilers: Nothing in particular and seasons 1,2,3 in general
Thanks: To aunty_mib, Beta extraodinaire, eh!
Summary/General: The lives of the 7 primary characters for 9 months after they leave season 3.
Summary/Chapter: Danger approaches -- the seven take the final plunge.



The Last Hurrah or Black is Back

      Max and I both bolted up and were instantly awake.

      "What? What is it?" We both replied more as a reflex than a question.

      "Come look. There's a helicopter!" Albert yelled as he charged around the balcony and to the stairs.

      Theoretically, I have thousands of languages at my disposal, but all I could think of to say at the moment was "Oh Shit!" Max jumped into his PJ bottoms and I grabbed my bathrobe and we raced off after Albert.

      Albert was waiting by the huge oak door, but had not opened it.

      "Don't let them see you." Max called out.

      I opened the door and the three of us crept out onto the porch, taking care that the roof over the porch obscured the helicopter.

      "It flew right over the cabin and then went off by 'The Old Princess' and circled around and now it's back. This can't be good; I haven't seen a 'chopper in the valley since -- forever." Albert was tip-toe-ing closer to the edge of the porch trying to get a peek at the aircraft without being seen."

      "The Old Princess?" Max asked.

      "That's the rock formation on the mountain over there that looks like an old woman's face. I'm guessing it's about two miles over to the face." Albert quickly ducked back in as the helicopter shot into view passing over the lodge.

      The 'chopper was headed away from the lodge, and quickly disappeared from view. The three of us stood silently looking into the empty sky.

      Finally Max spoke. "I don't like this. They were clearly scoping out the lodge, and I'm sure they could tell that someone's here; even if they didn't see us, all the chimneys are smoking, so we're spotted. I'm freezing, let's get back inside.""

      As we re-entered the Great Room all the others, awakened by the noise, were coming down the stairs. After a quick run-through of the facts, we adjourned to the kitchen and made breakfast, still in our bedclothes. Grouped around the counter, we mulled-over the possibilities as we ate.

      The possibilities were:

A: It was nothing at all -- just a nosey tourist.
B: It was the US Government task-force, or the MIB and they decided there was nothing to bother with here.
C: It was the US Government task-force or the MIB and we were found.

      If it was A, we could just relax and forget about it, but we had no way of knowing, so we needed at the very least to be on 'high alert.' If it was B, we could just relax and forget about it, but we had no way of knowing, so we needed at the very least to be on 'high alert.' If it was C, we were screwed.

      We decided we had no choice other than to prepare for C.

      This will be my last entry into my journal. I will try to setup a way for Albert to send it to Dad. Obviously, if you are reading this, I was successful. I have called the spacecraft from behind the moon, and it is on its way. We are leaving Earth sometime within the next 4 hours -- that's how long it will take the craft to reach us; they can't use faster-than-light engines for such a short trip, so conventional spacecraft power will be used, making the trip rather slow.

      Dad, I don't have time to say much, we have some preparations to make before leaving Earth. Please don't be sad. Back in Roswell, remember when I was trapped in the cave by the Gandarium with Alex Whitman? I kind-of bitched about having to be a part of the whole Alien thing. What Alex said to me has stuck with me, even more so since his death.

      He said, "Take a step away from your life, Kyle, I mean you're part of this amazing thing; this amazing knowledge that you have that 6 billion people on this planet don't. Do you really want to step out of this cave if it meant you're gonna be another dumb jock?"

      My answer to Alex still applies. "You know what? I wouldn't."

      As much as I know, I still do not know the future. I don't know what lies ahead of us on an Alien world, but whatever it is, I do know two things; I have followed my Destiny as faithfully as I possibly could, and, Max will be there with me. I truly believe that is enough.

      Signed by my own hand.

      Lord Kyle of the House of Valenti, Avatar to the Sacred Granolith of Antar, and Consort to his Royal Majesty, Zan VI of the Antarian Federation.

      Jim Valenti's son. I love you Dad.

      Kyle

      Editor's Note: Attached to this journal is a document of several pages on the stationery of The Law firm of Stevens & Stevens, Barristers and Solicitors. The text of this document follows:

      Dear Mr. Valenti:

      I am sending this journal to you at the request of your son, Kyle James Valenti. The reason for this will be revealed to you as you read this journal.

      I was privileged to know your son for only a matter of a few hours, but my Grandson, Albert Stevens, spent several days with him, and your son treated him with great kindness and hospitality, so I am pleased to be able to be of service to Kyle in forwarding his journal, and, also at his request, I will attach my own observations of the last few hours we spent together. I hope that this will provide you with some peace and comfort by revealing his whereabouts, and, perhaps, some closure may be realized by the knowledge that, at this time, he is safe from those on Earth who would harm him.

      Also, at the request of those involved, I am forwarding the following personal journals and my observations to:

Mr. Philip Evans, esq., & Mrs. Diane Evans: Journals of Maxwell Evans and Isabel (Evans) Ramirez
Ms. Amy DiLuca: Journal of Maria DiLuca
Mrs. Estelle Ramirez: Journal of Jesse Ramirez
Mr. Geoff & Mrs. Nancy Parker: Journal of Elizabeth (Parker) Evans.

      The respective writers of each of these journals have granted permission for you to share their journals among yourselves, including the above-named persons only and exclusively.

      FYI: A container of 53 individual artworks by the artist Michael Guerin, has been shipped to Ms. Amy DiLuca, with instructions to keep or sell the art, as she chooses, and instructions to return certain labeled personal articles (also included in the shipment) to the parents of the individuals involved. The remaining personal articles of your son are included in this shipment. I believe you know how to contact Ms. DiLuca.

      If I can be of service to you in any way, please feel free to contact me.

Gordon Stevens, esq., Senior Partner
Stevens & Stevens, Barristers and Solicitors
924 Lava
Gitwinksihlkw, BC ÝV0J3T0

Sim'gigit Daxhaat (Chief Gordon Stevens)
Laxsgiik (Eagle) Clan
Nisga'a Nation
Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City), B.C.

      (Next Attachment)

      To the best of my recollection, these are my memories of the events that took place concerning your children.

      My Grandson, Albert, the fourth son of my oldest son and partner, Gordon Jr., came to me early in the morning and told me of a vision.

      Albert is an exceptional child, gifted in the skills of our ancestors, and especially gifted in communicating with the spirits. Although these gifts are not often recognized or valued in the modern world, our Nation holds these gifts in great honor, and Albert is being trained in the proper use of these gifts.

      His gifts are to be used in the context of Ayuukhl Nisga'a - our code of laws. There are ten laws which govern our nation. These laws deal with respect, education, chieftainship and matriarchy, (the fourth and fifth deal with the) settlement of an estate, (laws governing) marriage, divorce, war and peace, trading, and the tenth is restitution. Embedded in these ten laws is that almighty force we call compassion. That's one of the gifts that each Nisga'a still carries: Compassion.

      It is in the spirit of compassion that Albert was engaged by a spirit to take a message to your children. He explained to me that they were to be found living in an abandoned hotel lodge in a remote area, quite removed from civilization, and informed me that he would need me to drive him to the closest place from which he could reach the lodge on foot -- the only method of access at this time of year. We studied maps and determined the route he would follow, and I drove him to a village about twenty Imperial Miles from the lodge. He set out on foot using snowshoes. I was to wait there until he returned. We anticipated that a days travel would be required in each direction, and allowing for two days at the lodge, we expected a four-day trip.

      At the end of the second day, early in the evening, just after dark, I observed a strange electrical phenomenon taking place in the direction of the lodge. There were strange purple beams of light coming from the sky for about ten minutes, then they disappeared. When I turned on the radio, I discovered that the light had been seen by many people from all directions, and was the lead news- story in British Columbia for several days thereafter. Scientific instruments in the region had recorded unidentified, very powerful readings, and no explanation was forthcoming.

      Just before dawn on the third day, I was approached in my truck by a man in a black military-style uniform who questioned me about what I had seen, and what I knew about the area. I didn't like his attitude, and didn't trust him because he was armed. As he questioned me I observed three black SUVs with blacked-out windows, towing closed trailers, just down the road. I didn't like the idea of a group of armed men headed towards where my grandson had gone, so I took advantage of prevailing attitudes and played the role of "Dumb Indian." I was apparently successful, since he gave up questioning me without having learned anything at all from me. He then went through the village, questioning everyone he saw, and then the trucks pulled over to the path which Albert had taken and began to unload snow-vehicles and items which I suspected to be arms.

      When I felt I was not being observed, I drove away from the village in the direction they came from. When I was out of sight, I took a little-used route to another place which, I knew, would provide access to the lodge. Albert and I had discussed the possibility of his using this route which would have cut 1.5 to 2 hours off his trip, but discarded it because it required an impossibly-steep descent of a local mountain face known as "The Old Princess." I had walked and climbed this trail many times in my youth, so I immediately set- out to try to remove my grandson from the path of the military group. About two hours after I set-out, I observed a black helicopter passing through the valley where the lodge was situated. The helicopter circled "The Old Princess" and then returned in the direction from which it came. I do not think I was observed by the helicopter crew.

      Although, at 78, I'm not as spry as I used to be, 'protection of a grandchild' is a great motivator, and I made very good progress. I made the journey without incident, but it required great effort, so I was relieved to be greeted by my grandson as I approached the lodge on foot. The journey had taken me nearly six hours, but I reckoned, that it would take the troops a good seven to eight hours. The snow-vehicles would be of no use to them once they reached the really deep, drifted snow and the steeper parts of the trail, so they had no advantage there.

      I entered the lodge with my grandson and was greeted by seven people. They were, Max Evans and his wife, Liz, Michael Guerin and his wife (?), Maria, Jesse Ramirez and his wife Isabel, and a very unusual-looking gentleman who was introduced as Kyle Valenti. He constantly wore sunglasses and a hat, but I could see traces of pure-white hair around the hat. From observation, I would guess that he was in charge of the group.

      After I took off my heavy wraps, and introductions were made, I began to explain why I was there.

      As I told about the men-in-black, the group were all exchanging eye-contact, as if this was something they expected.

      "Grandpa, how did you get here ahead of them?" Albert asked. "You didn't climb down 'The Old Princess' I hope."

      "That, I did. It was the only way to get to you before the men-in-black."

      "O-o-o-o-o-h, dad is going to be really angry with you. You know you're not supposed to go on the mountain trails alone. Dad is gonna be really mad!"

      "It was necessary," I countered, "but I don't think it's absolutely necessary that he find out just how I got here, now is it, Albert?"

      Albert just grinned, then said to the others in a stage-whisper, as though I couldn't hear, "Last year, Grandpa fell on a trail and broke his ankle and it took us a day-and-a-half to find him, so dad laid down the law."

      Kyle asked, "How soon do you think they'll get here?"

      "I imagine it could be from one to two hours -- not very long, but if we start out now on the trail I came in on, we can stay well ahead of them."

      Kyle continued, "Listen, Mr. Stevens, er..., Chief Stevens...,

      "Call me Gordon"

      "OK, Gordon, we're very grateful to you for risking life and limb to warn us that the MIB were coming -- of course you had Albert in mind -- but, we still are grateful for the warning, but we don't intend to leave the lodge at this time. We have made other plans"

      "Yeah, Grandpa," Albert chimed in with all the enthusiasm of an 11-year-old, "there's a spaceship on its way to rescue them. Isn't that boss? A spaceship!"

      I must tell you at this point, I was entirely skeptical of such a scenario; I know full-well how an 11-year-old's imagination can turn the mundane into the supernatural at the drop of a hat. I am an educated man, and although I DO believe that there are mysteries which Mankind cannot explain, little green men in flying saucers is not something which I believe to be true.

      There were a few moments of silence, then Kyle and Max made eye-contact, and Max said, "Why not tell him -- there's nothing to lose at this point, maybe he can help us."

      We sat down while Max told an outrageous tale of spacecraft, and pods and shape-shifters, and Kings and aliens, and all manner of impossibilities too far-fetched to repeat. I didn't believe a word of it, but I did believe that my Grandson had stumbled into a cult of crazies, and I suddenly wasn't sure whether Albert and I were in more danger from the men-in-black or from this little group. Albert sat glued to the story, wide-eyed and eager.

      As though, reading my mind, Kyle said, "He doesn't believe us."

      Jesse spoke up, "Of course not. Why would he? I didn't believe it at first, and I was married to Isabel! Kyle, take off your hat and sunglasses."

      As I suspected, Kyle sported a full head of snow-white hair, but his eyes! His eyes were something else altogether. I still was not convinced however, as I too had seen the work of Steven Speilberg and such artists -- it could easily be makeup of some kind -- contact lenses or the like.

      "It's going to take more than a bleach-job and special contacts to convince me, I'm afraid." I wondered whether saying it would endanger us more, but, it was too late, I'd already said it.

      Max just said, "Isabel?"

      She raised a hand in the air and made a little curlicue motion, and the room was suddenly the calm eye of a tornado of objects swirling around us; books, sculpture, pillows, almost anything not fastened down in the room was swirling in this maelstrom. Then, just as suddenly, everything resumed its assigned place, as though it had never moved.

      I was speechless.

      She came over to me and took the drinking glass from my hand which was half-full of water. She turned and dropped it on the hearthstone and it shattered into a thousand pieces with water splashing about -- some hissing as it entered the fireplace. She then made a stirring motion with her finger, and it was as though there was a whirlwind of glass shards, all coming together, and then, there, right before my eyes was the water glass, whole, and half full of water.

      I still had no idea what to say, but it was clear that SOMETHING extraordinary was going on here.

      "Wow! That's so-o-o cool, eh? Albert then turned to me. "Do you believe it now, Grandpa?"

      "Surely, you believe us now?" Isabel was looking directly at me.

      After a moments silence, Max added, "and don't call him Shirley!" and everyone but me had a good laugh.

      I didn't know what to believe.

      Albert tried to reassure me. "Don't be afraid, Grandpa. They're OK folks -- all of them. They won't hurt us."

      I looked around the room and all eyes were on me, looking -- if anything -- hopeful. At least they didn't look hostile or angry. I had not fully accepted their story, but nevertheless, I said, "What is it you want me to do?"

      There were smiles all around. Jesse then took me upstairs to a room which appeared to be a bedroom-turned office. There was a new-looking flat-panel iMac on the desk, and several bags of shredded papers. There were but a few papers left whole on the desk, and several large stacks of US currency -- some of them 'hundreds.'

      "This is where we did all of our banking and bill-paying. I handled it all on the internet, linking account to account and moving money around repeatedly so that it would become almost impossible to trace. As an additional measure, one of the banks I always used in the succession was 'Lienhardt & Partner Privatbank Z¸rich AG,' a private Swiss bank with very closely-held records; it's almost impossible for anyone to get anything from them."

      "Very clever," I offered.

      He continued, "These bags of shredded records are headed for the fireplace and the kiln, downstairs. These items on the desk are all that remain."

      "What about the computer?"

      "I've thought of that," Jesse gave a toothy smile. "Several months ago I started creating a set of false records -- just in case. I have those on these CD-roms which I made. This morning, I deleted all the records on the hard-drive and reformatted. Then I used a sweeper-program which is supposed to clean up residual stuff. Then I reformatted twice more for good measure. When that was done, I began loading the false records I've been creating these last few months -- they look real -- and I have enough data here to completely fill the hard drive so that every block available is overwritten by junk. In a moment, I am going to delete everything on the hard drive -- the false records -- so that it looks like I am trying to hide them from the feds. I expect that the feds will take the drive and have their experts work on retrieving the deleted material, but what they will be retrieving is the fake records -- I hope."

      "Wow, you've given it a lot of thought and effort, I hope it works. Can I ask, why it is so important to keep these records from the feds."

      "To tell the truth, I'm not really sure if it is that important, but we all have friends and relatives in Roswell whom we care about and who have helped us in the past, and I don't want to take the chance of anything being traced back to any of them through us. It's worth the effort for the peace-of-mind."

      "That sounds reasonable. What about the real records?"

      Jesse held up a CD-rom. "All on this single disk. I'm going to give it to you, but not right now. If the feds do find the lodge, they are sure to search you as well as the buildings, so we are going to hide this, and this cash in a place which only you and Max will know about."

      Jesse then gave me instructions for how everything was to be distributed. The instructions on what to do with the journals, personal effects, and artworks were included at that time. We counted the cash together. There was $67,400.00 in cash. He instructed me to take $25k to pay for any damages or charges which the realtor levied on the lodge, and to pay for the shipping fees on the art and personal effects, and told me that the balance of that was for my fee. He gave me another $25k and told me it was for Albert; and for me to decide how to provide it to him (Education, travel, whatever.) Receipts for the realtor and shipping are enclosed and there is also a copy of a bank statement in Albert Stevens name, designated "College Fund" which shows the deposit of the balance of those funds. He instructed me that the remaining cash funds, and the funds remaining in the various bank accounts were to be divided equally among a number of charitable causes, primarily world-hunger. He gave me signed letters transferring control of those accounts to me as 'Power-Of-Attorney'. That is when I learned that he is also a lawyer in the US; and a good one too if I can judge by the thoroughness with which he drew-up the documents. The distributed amount comes to US $127,145.40. Copies of the letters of transfer to POA and canceled cheques for those donations are also included with the shipment.

      We then proceeded downstairs with the bags of shredded material and began feeding the several fireplaces with them.

      When we were finished, Max took me to the basement, explaining, "We thought it was best to hide these things in the basement. That way, even if the feds burned the place down -- and they've been known to do that -- these old bricks and stones in the foundation should remain. He took me to a corner, and we counted bricks, then he waved his hand and the mortar disappeared around several bricks, making them easy to remove. We placed the CD-rom and the cash and the records and the journals in a space he created behind the wall there, and Max sealed it up. The wall was perfect. No one could tell it had been breached. I was amazed.

      "Just don't forget where it is." he warned. Then we went back upstairs.

      This had taken the better part of an hour and I was getting nervous. "Shouldn't we be doing something to prepare for the MIB?"

      After a moment it was Kyle -- the odd-looking one, who answered. "We ARE prepared. We're just waiting for them to show up, or for our Taxi to show up -- whichever gets here first, we're ready."

      "Taxi? Here?" I was doubtful. "Just wait, you'll see." Kyle gave a mysterious smile.

      While we were waiting, Michael took me aside mysteriously, then asked if I, as chief, had the authority to perform marriages. He seemed pleased when I assured him that I did.

      When we rejoined the group he called out, "Listen up everybody. We don't have much time left, so, with Gordon's help here, we're gonna have a wedding."

      There were big smiles and patting on the back and happy sounds all around ..., except for Maria.

      When Michael noticed her reticence, he said "What's wrong? I thought this is what you wanted."

      She didn't hesitate. "It's usually considered polite to ask first."

      Michael put both hands on his head and shook it a little. "Oh yeah. I forgot." He then got down on one knee in front of her and took her hand.

      Isabel spoke up. "Let's give them some privacy." The group started to move away.

      "No, stay." Maria countered. "I want witnesses."

      Michael began to speak. "Maria, I..., uh,..., I mean, we, that's not right. Maria, marry me please?"

      "I believe it's customary to state why." She wasn't going to make it easy on him.

      Michael looked down at the floor and thought for a moment, then began again. "Maria, I've got alot of faults, and not that many strengths, but one thing I have become very sure of in these last few months is that being with you makes me a better man. I love you, Maria. Will you marry me?"

      "Yes!" She pulled him up in an embrace accompanied by applause and a few tears around the room.

      Michael then reached in his pocket ahd pulled out a small red velvet pouch. Opening it, he produced a ring which featured one of the most brilliant diamonds I have ever seen, and slipped it on her finger. He then pulled out two other rings, both plain silver bands and handed them to Albert saying, "You're the ring-bearer."

      "You planned this?" Maria was astonished.

      Michael shook his head. "Max helped me with the diamond, and Liz made the little bag. The rings are silver because there was nothing gold around here to use, but you know that sterling tea-service that used to be in the pantry? You're wearing what's left of the tray."

      "It's gorgeous, just gorgeous!" Maria beamed as the other two women admired the ring on her hand.

      The group then assembled in front of the fireplace and I performed a legal, if minimal, ceremony uniting them in marriage under Canadian law and according to the customs of the Nisga'a. After the double-ring ceremony, they shared a passionate kiss, and the group began to disperse a little.

      "Wait, Michael called out." There's more to take care of." He tossed a small blue velvet bag to Max and handed a green one to Liz.

      Max was beaming from ear-to-ear. "Kyle, back in June, I made a promise to you that, so far, I haven't kept. Now I intend to make good on it." He reached into the bag and produce a broad silver band with another brilliant large diamond set into it. "I promised you a diamond, although I suspect that you could probably make your own at this point, I mean to keep my promise to you. I made this diamond for you, and had Michael make the ring." He reached for Kyle's left hand but Isabel interrupted.

      "No, Max. The other hand. The Antarian custom is that it goes on the middle finger of the right hand."

      "That's right." Kyle tilted his head and asked Isabel, "How did you know that."

      "It was obvious. Are Michael and I really the only ones who saw it?"

      The rest of the group looked at each other in silence.

      Isabel gave a knowing smile to Michael and explained, "It was on the painting. In Michael's painting the figure had a ring on the middle finger of the right hand. I'm amazed no one noticed but me."

      Jesse chuckled and said "It's just that you have such a keen eye for jewelry, my dear!"

      Max and Kyle shared an intimate kiss, then Liz spoke up. "My turn for a surprise." She then opened her little pouch and produced a ring. "I was in on Michael's secret -- so that I could make the little pouches for him, and I realized that Max was going to be the only one in the group without a wedding ring, so..., Kyle, I think you need to help me with this."

      Kyle and Liz slipped a broad band containing two beautiful diamonds onto the middle finger of Max's right hand and then both kissed him.

      Beaming, Max asked, "Where did you get the diamonds?"

      Michael answered, 'Well, you did show me how to make them-- twice!"

      In the chatter and celebration, we almost lost sight of the danger that was steadily approaching. Almost.

      Suddenly, Kyle interrupted the small-talk. "They're here."

      "WHO?" nearly everyone spoke at once.

      "The feds."

      I wondered how he could know that. He hadn't moved from the group, hadn't looked out the window, nothing. It took only a few moments for his announcement to be confirmed.

      The sound of a window breaking announced the tear-gas canister as it entered the lodge. We all hit the floor. Nobody moved.

      Suddenly, Maria, jumped up and dove for the fireplace tools. She grabbed the shovel, and, in a single graceful move, scooped up the canister, and flung it back at them, breaking another window. We heard the third window break before we heard the report of the high-powered rifle, and something on the other side of the room exploded.

      As Maria hit the floor again, Michael was screaming her name, and Liz was shouting "No, no, no!"

      Maria just said, "Damn! I'm hit!"

      Lying on the floor, looking in her direction, I could see that she had suffered a shoulder wound and that it was bleeding profusely.

      Michael was crawling, gator-like over to where she was all the while screaming, "Dammit, Maria! What the hell were you thinking of? When I get out there I'm gonna kick some federal ASS!"

      Maria uttered a very un-lady-like word in response. "(Blank)-you, Michael, no one else was doing anything!" (the mouths on these kids today!)

      Over the tumult, Kyle shouted, "Everybody relax, I've got it under control."

      No one moved. There was no more sound coming from outside either. Finally, Kyle just stood-up and said, "See. It's like I said, I've got it under control

      I confess, I was expecting to see -- well, I don't want to get graphic, you are their parents -- I was expecting to see harm come to him. It didn't. Nothing happened. Nothing at all.

      In another few moments, Max rose, then one at a time, each of us followed. There was no sound outside.

      Michael was at Maria's side. He had ripped off a piece of his shirt which he was holding against her wound to stop the bleeding. "Max get over here and help me"

      Max started to move over to where Maria was, but Kyle shook his head 'no' at Max, and Max stopped in his tracks.

      Kyle spoke. "She's your responsibility now. You do it Michael."

      "Max I need you." Michael pleaded.

      "You can do it Michael." Kyle repeated. "You can heal her yourself, just give it a try."

      "Max, please?" Michael was begging now.

      "Max looked at Kyle, then said, "You CAN do it, Michael. You do it."

      Michael closed his eyes and placed his hand on Maria's bloody shoulder, his brow wrinkled and his face contorted from the concentration. After a few moments, his body sagged and he opened his eyes. "I CAN'T do it. You know I can't. Please quit messing around and get over here and do it, dammit!"

      Instead of Max, Kyle walked over to Michael and laid his hand on Michael's shoulder. Very quietly and calmly, Kyle spoke. "Try again. You CAN do it Michael. Just visualize the wound closing."

      Once more, Michael closed his eyes, and contorted his face. In a matter of seconds, the bleeding stopped, and the wound closed right in front of our eyes. It was a miracle."

      "See?" Kyle said gently.

      "Sure," Michael replied, almost sarcastically, "With your power flowing through me, of course I could."

      "I didn't help you, Michael. All I did was put my hand on your shoulder so you THOUGHT I was helping you. I did nothing. It was all you."

      Maria broke up the debate by wrapping her arms around Michael and kissing him passionately.

      Then Liz said, "What about the soldiers?"

      "Did you kill them?" Michael asked Kyle anxiously, still embracing his wife.

      "No I didn't." Kyle grew very intense. "I didn't kill them. Do you know why, Michael? Do you KNOW why?"

      Michael suddenly flushed and looked at the floor and mumbled, "Yes."

      Kyle abandoned his ruse of intensity and flashed a broad grin.

      After a moment of silence, Max asked, "What was that about?"

      "Nothing. Just a little joke between my brother Michael and me." With that, Kyle put his arm around Michael's shoulder, and Michael grew a small smile.

      Kyle continued. "They're asleep. They'll sleep about half an hour, which is just long enough, because our ride will be here in ten minutes."

      "How do you know? I asked.

      Jesse looked at me with a grin and said, 'Trust me, he knows."

      "Let's have a look." Max headed for the door with Kyle, Michael and then the others right behind. I followed too.

      I was astonished at what I saw. The men-in-black had exchanged their black uniforms for arctic white outfits, and there was a group of about 30 of them circling the lodge. Each was armed, and there were some with rocket launchers, too. Each man and woman was sound-asleep.

      "Grab as many guns as you can carry and pile them in the Great Room" This time it was Max giving the orders. Everyone complied, and in two or three trips, the entire sleeping company was disarmed. We didn't check for side-arms or other weapons because Max said he didn't think it was necessary. Max explained, "This way, hopefully, they won't wake-up and just start shooting. We'll leave the door open and they can just walk in and get their guns."

      Max turned to me. "If you want to head out now, this would be a good time."

      "Not yet, Grandpa," Albert pleaded. "I want to see the spaceship. Ple-e-e-ze?"

      I thought for a moment, and decided that the sleeping soldiers had no reason to hurt us, and truthfully, I was curious too. I didn't have long to wait.

      It was smaller than I expected. I guess I really didn't know what to expect, but this was smaller. It appeared to descend straight down directly over our position -- it's movement at that point was completely vertical, not horizontal at all, stopping about 30 meters above the ground. It wasn't exactly saucer-shaped either. It consisted of an orb, about 30 meters in diameter, surrounded by a ring which was about 40 meters. But the orb was not centered in the ring -- it was off on one side, actually becoming part of the ring at the extreme edge. It wasn't silver either, but flat black. There was a very quiet "whooshing" sound coming from it.

      Kyle, the odd-looking one, raised his hands as if he were signaling a touchdown, and a bright green beam of light, about 2 meters around appeared, streaming from the craft to the ground. "This is it." Kyle announced.

      Max took a step towards the beam. Michael moved quickly to block his way. "No way, Max. this could be a trap."

      "Michael...," Max started but was cut-off.

      "No way Ma-a..." Michael stopped mid-word. "I mean, Your Majesty, No way are you going first. That's my job."

      "OK, you've got a point, but you're not going alone. Take Kyle with you -- he's the most powerful of us."

      Michael thought for a beat and then said, "I don't think so. He's too valuable. He's one-of-a-kind; as important to protect as you are. Besides, he may be the most powerful, but he doesn't know how to use the powers very well."

      Isabel jumped in, "Michael's right. I'm going with him -- I have the most experience."

      Max shook his head, "Isabel..."

      "Listen Max, once we get to Antar, you're the King, but until then, I'm your big sister. It just makes the most sense for Michael and me to go first. We'll both come back down after we check it out."

      Jesse stepped up. "Isabel?"

      She turned and put her arms around him. "It'll be OK, I promise. I'll come right back down for you."

      Jesse didn't look convinced, but he did let go of her after a warm kiss.

      Michael, taking a hint, turned to Maria and kissed her passionately.

      "Be careful and come right back" she ordered before letting go.

      "Promise."

      Isabel and Michael held hands as they walked over to the beam, but entered back-to-back, hands raised to ready.

      We held our breath. It seemed to take forever. In about three minutes, they both reappeared, this time standing up, relaxed.

      Isabel stepped out of the beam. "It looks OK. There's a crew of two; a pilot, and a steward to see to us. Everything seems to be in order, and they both speak English."

      "Are they scary-looking?" Maria asked breathlessly.

      "No more so than Michael in the morning"

      "Hey! I heard that!" He looked stern for a moment, then broke into that wide crooked grin of his and held out his arms to Maria. Slowly she started towards him. He met her halfway. When the two of them stood facing each other holding both hands, he looked up and said,"OK Scotty, beam us up." With that they were gone.

      Max came over to Albert and me and squatted in front of Albert, clasping Albert's right hand in his own. "Albert, you have been incredibly helpful to us -- more than you could possibly know. How would you like to be the Antarian Ambassador to the Nisga'a Nation? From time-to-time we could check-in with you and see what's happening and check for messages. What do you say?"

      "Really, could I?"

      'You could, but just remember that the most important thing of all is that it has to be a secret, Everything you've seen is top-secret. Can you do that?"

      Albert looked a little disappointed. "Everything?"

      "Everything."

      Albert thought for a moment then burst into his best smile. "OK, I accept. What's the job pay?"

      Max laughed.

      I put a hand on Albert's shoulder. "As your lawyer, Albert, I've already negotiated that with the King, and it has been taken care of. You don't have to worry about it."

      "OK"

      Max stood and solemnly placed his hand on Albert's head. "Do you, Albert Stevens, of the Eagle Clan of the Nisga'a Nation promise that you will be the best Ambassador for Antar that you are able to be, and that you will keep it in absolute secrecy until such time as I return to Earth and release you from your promise?"

      "I promise."

      Max then shook his hand. "I declare that you are Ambassador to the Nisga'a Nation for the Antarian Federation. Congratulations."

      Albert beamed.

      Max then shook my hand. "Thank you Chief Stevens..., Gordon, for all your help."

      I bowed. He reciprocated then turned and took Liz by the hand and the two of them took Kyle by the hand. They walked to the beam and stood all holding hands, facing each other as a trio. Then they were gone.

      Jesse took Isabel's hand and they stepped into the light. Isabel gave a little wave and they, too, were gone.

      With no more sound than it made standing still, the craft began a vertical ascent at an amazing speed. In five seconds, it was out of sight.

      Albert and I strained to see it for another few seconds, but it was gone. We went back into the lodge and took seats by the fire. In a few minutes the soldiers began to wake. They wandered into the lodge and one-by-one claimed their guns. Eventually, the officer who had been so rude before dawn came to me and began intense questioning while his troops turned the place up-side-down. Albert and I both managed to stick to our story. "Albert was on a hike. I came to find him and we both found the lodge empty, just as it was. There were no people, or if there had been, they left before we arrived." Eventually he bought it, or, maybe he just gave up.

      I waited a full month after the MIB left before returning to the Lodge to fulfill my promise to your children. Your receipt of this journal and the belongings in the container being shipped constitutes the extent of my duties.

      I don't know if you are prepared to believe my story or not. I don't know if I would believe it had I not seen it in person. I have tried my best to record all that I witnessed. I share these things with you with the hope that it brings some sense of closure and peace to your families. Please know that you and your children are in my prayers.

      Gordon Stevens, esq.

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