Roswell 41: Hubble

VALENTI

Valenti studies the photos Hubble gave him, in particular the shot of the dead girl he claimed to have photographed himself.  She is lying on her back, behind a car with the license plate showing.  The picture is old but the number is readable, barely.  When he puts the number into the computer it comes back:

Shiela Hubble

477 Sky Hawk Road

Bitter Lake, NM 24952

 

So Hubble did have a wife.  Why lie about that?  It doesnt make any sense.  But there she is, dead behind her car with an alien handprint visible on her neck.

 

At the nursing home Valenti says to his father, You were right.  Hubble had a wife.  Hubble came to you, didnt he?  He told you someone was trying to steal his car that night and that he found his wife dead, that she had a handprint on her.  Just like the one you saw on that corpse in 1959.  And that he saw a man run away.  A drifter.  And he thought the drifter was the murderer.  Two years after the murder Hubble came back, didnt he?  And he found you and persuaded you to help him find that drifter.  Am i right?

A drifter?  Dad says.

Valenti hands him the newspaper clipping.  As Dad looks at it Valenti says, And when you found him you killed him.  You killed an innocent man because of Hubble.

No!  Dad exclaims.

Dad…

No!

Dad, please tell me what happened out there.  Please.

I did help Hubble, Dad says.  We tracked him.  The drifter.  We were just going to get the truth out of him.  Hub told me he wouldnt hurt the man.

Hubble shot him, Valenti says.  Didnt he?  He shot the drifter, not you.

Whatever you do Jimmy, dont trust him.  He’s a serpent.

 

MAX

Shatner and Frakes never showed up for the panel discussion of UFOs that’s supposed to be the highlight of the whole convention so i had to talk Hubble into taking their place.  He finally agreed but said he had to get his slide show back at home at Bitter Lake.  And his car was fucked up and so i end up driving him.

The desert at twilight is humid and the wind makes for a chilly ache.  Red clay escarpments falling into dark and shadows sharp as razors.  Winter’s chromatic face.

You dont think much of Valenti do you?  Hubble says to me

I dont think of him at all.  He’s a redneck sheriff in a redneck county in a redneck state.

Beautiful country, dont you think?  Hubble says.  Especially at at sunset.

I guess.  It’s all i’ve ever known.  Mr. Hubble, you said you would answer some of my questions.

My Shiela and me, we liked to slip away sometimes, just take a drive.  Nothin’ like flyin’ down the highway with the woman you love at your side, is there?

I guess.

Of course it has to be the right one.  Know how you know that?  A kiss, that’s how.  Ever hear the expression, ‘the earth moved?’

Yessir.  I surely have.  Hemingway.  For Whom the Bell Tolls. 

Did it ever feel that way when you kissed a girl?

Well, i say.  It sure wasnt a guy.

Smart ass, he says with frail, aching laughter.  Well, it was our first anniversary.  She told me she had a surprise for me.  And i had one for her.  I took the last of my paycheck from the refinery and bought some fireworks from an old indian by the side of the road.  Just outside of town i remembered i forgot to bring matches.  So i pulled into Peppers Cafe.  But you know that, dont you?

Sir?  I say in utter bewilderment.

There’s Peppers Cafe right over there.  It’s been closed for years but there’s something i want to show you.

Now i know what he means by Peppers Cafe.  It’s been closed all of my lifetime but is a kind of landmark.

You recognize it?  Hubble says.

I dont know what you’re talking about, i say.  I’ve never been here.

It is full dark and fully claustrophobic now as i get out of the car.  I am feeling uneasy, i guess because this man who has seemed merely eccentric now appears to be a real crank and IDK if i should be worried or not.

He walks around for almost a minute while he revisits some dusty thing that happened here, that happened to him in the cobwebbed past.  Finally he says, It was just getting dark.  All i needed was a pack of matches and there they were right on the counter in a goldfish bowl.  Ten cents a pack.

Mr.  Hubble, i say, trying hard to be polite, If we’re going to make Bitter Lake in time to get back for the panel…

And you know what?  He goes on.  I didnt have it.  Not even ten cents.  I thought about going back and getting some loose change i had in the car’s ash tray but that wouldve broken the mood.  I said, ‘Hey buddy, dont make me embarrass myself in front of my lady.  It’s our anniversary.’  And he says, ‘Have a good time.  It’s on the house.’  And he gave me a book of matches.

I dont understand, i say, getting more and more anxious.

But i didnt have a good time, he says, ignoring me.  Not that night or any night since.  She never got my surprise.  And i never got hers.  Not until i got a copy of the coroner’s report.  But there it was.  She was three months pregnant.  A little girl, it said.  She was carrying our child.  Surprise!

That’s awful, Mr. Hubble, i say.  I’m really sorry.

So am i!  He rages.  Four innocent people lost their lives that night.  My wife, my baby.  That drifter and me.  Dead man walking.  That’s what i’ve felt all there years.  The only thing that’s held me together all these years was you.

Me?  I say.  But i dont even know you.

Well, i know you, he says turning to face me with a big ass automatic pistol in his hand, pointing right at the middle of my chest.

Whoa, i say, realizing that he is a madman.  You are making one big mistake.

I dare not move while he has that gun on me at this close range.  I could release enough EMR to turn him to atoms but to do that i’d have to raise my hand and he will surely kill me before i have time to even twitch.

I know you can change your face, your body.  You’re a shape shifter ’cause you’re always running.  You changed yourself to look like that drifter when you killed my Shiela, trying to take her car.  What were you running from then?  Somebody else find out your filthy little secrets?

Sir, i know you’re upset but i did not kill your wife.  I wouldnt kill anybody.

And this crazy son of a bitch is gonna kill me if i dont do something fast.

Valenti told me about the healing, he says, working himself into homicidal lather.  That girl with the handprint on her stomach.  A handprint just like the one on Shiela.

I am not him, i say desperately.  Whatever he was.

I know who you really are, what you’re capable of.and i wont let you kill again.

I am watching Hubble so closely that i dont see Michael but he sees me.  When he yells Hubble takes his eyes off me just long enough that i close the gap to him and wrap my arms around him and take him to the ground.  In all this confusion Michael is running this way and Hubble’s gun gets away from him and lands on the ground and we roll and struggle and i see him reach for the gun.  He almost has it before i generate an EMR pulse that pushes the gun away.

Hubble sees this and struggles harder for the gun.  He says, I knew it was you.  You bastard!

And in this chaos a Sheriff’s car pulls up and Valenti steps out just as Hubble gets his gun back.  And Hubble has me at gunpoint again.

Valenti walks toward us, his gun drawn.

Put the gun on the ground and step away from it, Hub, Valenti says.

It was him!  Hubble shouts in triumph.  I just saw it.  I was right.

Saw what?  Valenti says.

His powers.  We have to stop him!

I dont know what he’s talking about, i say.

Liar!  Hubble roars.

Put the gun down and walk away from it Hub, Valenti says with urgency.

This son of a bitch is gonna die today, Hubble says.  And nothing’s gonna stop me so go ahead.  Shoot me.  Every round in that gun.

It only takes one, Valenti says.

Coward!  Hubble says.  Pussy!  Your father was too chickenshit to do it and so are you.

I see Hubble’s eyes narrow and his finger starts to pull the trigger but Valenti’s gun speaks first and Hubble’s head disintegrates.

Valenti says, Max, i’m sorry.  I didnt know this was gonna happen.  I didnt know how crazy he was.  How dangerous.

What did you tell him?  I say in a swell of purple rage.  Why did he come after me?  You’re the sheriff.  You’re supposed to protect me from this.  But all you have ever done is go after me and make me hate my life.  Do you believe all this crazy shit?  You’re just like Hubble!  You want my ass?  Well, here it is.  Take it.  Just take me and be done with it!

Max, come on, Michael says.  Settle down..

No, no, no, i say, shaking my head.

Son…, Valenti starts to say.

Would you treat your son like you have me?

Get out of here, Valenti says.  Both of you.  You were never here.  Go on!

Come on, Max, Michael says.  Let’s go.

I turn and walk away but Michael continues to watch me carefully.  He says, That guy was crazy, Max.  He didnt know what he was talking about.

He wasnt that crazy, i say.  I think the one we’re looking for has killed people.  A lot of people.  Hubble found himself an alien.  He just found the wrong one.

 

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Roswell 40: Alien Hunter

The night of the first day of the UFO convention Hubble stands outside the UFO center with Valenti.

Looking for someone?  Hubble says pleasantly.

What did you come back for?

Well, i’ve been tracking what’s been going on around here for the last few months.  The shooting in September at the Crashdown.  What happened over there?

Valenti is seething.  He says, You got to my father when he was at his weakest and you pushed him over the edge.  Because of you i had to have him committed.

You’re giving me more credit than i deserve.

You get the fuck outta town!  Valenti says.

I thought we already talked about…

I’m not talking to you as the sheriff now.  This is coming from me, from everything you cost me.  I dont ever want to see your face again.  Ever.

I can understand your being upset, Hubble says.  But remember this.  All those years your father has been in that nuthouse i’ve been living in my own hell.  Now from what i hear your Dad isnt all there these days.  And i bet you still have a lot of questions.  About your father, about that silo murder and why he was arrested for it.  I’m the only person in the world who has the answers to those questions.  I was there.  I saw it all.  I’m your link, Junior.  So before you run me outta town you should think about that real hard.  I can help you.  We can help each other.

 

At the nursing home Valenti talks to his father.

It’s cold in here, Dad says.  Like an icebox.

Dad, try to focus.  The night of the murder at the silo.  Hubble was there?

Hub?

Yeah.

Hubble couldnt let go of his wife, Dad says.  That was his problem all along.

Valenti sighs heavily, Dad, he says…

His wife and kid, Dad says.

He didnt have a wife and kid, Valenti says.

Dad looks at Valenti sideways, conspiratorially.  Dad says, They’re trying to kill me.

 

Valenti in his office with Hubble.

Thanks for hearing me out, Jimmy, Hub says.

Valenti stares at the glossy photos Hubble shows him.  Pictures of various dead people with the alien handprint with the bioluminescent glow on them.

This guy has been leaving carnage all over the southwest for decades.  No reason to think he’s gonna stop now.  Those handprints are the only trail he leaves.  It only lasts a day or two and disappears so i always carry a camera with me.

Where did you get these?  Valenti says.

I know you’ve been investigating this but you’re a weekend enthusiast.  It’s been full time for me.  I got nothing but time.  One of them’s my own work-the girl.

Who is she, Hub?

That’s not important, Hubble says uncomfortably, evasively.  The others i procured.  Like i said, i have connections.

Who are they?  The victims, i mean.

They’re just people.  People with bad luck.  People in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Jimmy, listen.  Your father may have made a mistake that night, pulled the trigger on the wrong man.  But he wasnt crazy.  Not then.  But you already know that, dont you?  You knew it when i showed up here.  It was in your eyes.  All your father wanted was to make the world a better place and they crucified him for it.  This isnt some happy go lucky ET we’re looking for.  This is a killer, Jimmy.  If you know something about it then it’s our duty to team up and do something.  What about this kid, this Max Evans?  Does he have something to do with all this?

IDK, Hub.  He’s only sixteen.

This alien is a shapeshifter, Hubble says.

Roswell 39: Convention

Poets, mystics, fascists, fools.  All converge on Roswell for the annual UFO convention held by the UFO center.  Max stands outside the UFO center in an uncommonly ugly alien suit, handing out flyers.  The Crashdown is right across the street so he can see Liz and cannot avoid stealing glances at her.  He is acting like a love sick adolescent because that’s what he is.  He is also part alien but that is all but irrelevant because he is in love and when you are in love nothing else matters.

The Crashdown does most of its yearly business this week and it is packed.  And no customer looks remotely sane.    Right now Liz is bringing food to a guy with moth-like antennae and a body suit that looks like an insectile carapace or exoskeleton.  It’s in segments and would not look out of place on the ocean floor.  His companion sitting across from him has the same costume but it just doesnt suit her as well.

Okay, Liz says.  I have one green eggs with moon rock hash and one convention special.  Can i get you guys anything else?

The insect man regards her with peremptory condescension and says, I am Zinaplox from the planet Zodogon.  I come to enslave humanity and return to my home planet.

Well then, Liz chirps brightly like the twinkie she is, It’s great that you’re starting out with a nice, hearty breakfast.

When Zenoplox is halfway thru his meal Maria walks past him and he tells her that he is Lipitor from the planet Zocor and is here to destroy Earth.

Of course you are, dear, Maria says and walks past without looking at him.

 

VALENTI.

When Sheriff Valenti opens the door of his office he can barely see the man in the dark with his feet propped on Valenti’s desk.  From the dark the man says, been a while, Junior.

How did you get past the front desk?  Valenti says, checking his anger.

Better beef up security, the man says.  He holds up a picture of Kyle and says, Heard you had a boy.  Bachelor myself.  No kids for me.

You’re not welcome here, Hub.

Oh, Junior.  I expect more from you than small town threats.  Well, i just wanted to stop by.  Regards to your dad.  From what i hear you’re starting to come around to his way of thinking.  See ya, Junior.

As Hub is leaving Deputy Hanson walks into Valenti’s office.  Who was that?  Hanson says.

That, Valenti says grimly, Is a bona fide alien hunter.  Maybe an alien killer.

Roswell 38: Leaving Roswell

ALEX

Close the door, Alex, Topolsky says.  Sit down.

I have a class in a couple of minutes…

I know, Alex, she says.  I know everything.

He sits.  He says, What’s everything?

The hospital, she says.  The blood test.  What you did for Max.  And why.  I dont have to tell you how serious this is.  But i can help you.  I have friends, Alex.  They can be your friends too.

What kind of friends?  He says.

The sheriff wont be involved if that’s what you’re worried about.  Nothing on your permanent record.  I want you to be safe.

Alex winces.  He says, You think i’m not safe?

Can any of us be safe with Max Evans around?  Why dont you write everything down?  Everything you know.  And sign it.

He flinches and moves away from her.

Whenever you’re ready Alex, i’m here.  Think about who it is you’re protecting.  What friend would put you in a position like this?

About your friends.  Who are they?

People you can trust.  Like me.

Alex says nothing else.  He leaves.

Alex goes to his locker and opens it and puts his head in it and leaves it there.

Max finds him there and says, RU alright, Alex?

Alex removes his head and closes the locker door.  Not really, he says.

I think we need to talk, Max says.

About what?

About what you did for me at the hospital.

Yeah, what…what was that?  I’d like to know.

You saved my life, Max says simply.

Yeah, well, you really fucked up mine.

That was not my intention, Max says.

So you’re here to what, threaten me?  Try to scare me into shutting up about faking the blood sample.  You’re too late, Max.  She already knows.

Who already knows?

Topolsky.

You told Topolsky?

No.  She told me and wanted me to sign a confession.

Did U?

Now you know what it’s like to be in the dark, Max.

Alex, Max says impatiently, I’m trying to protect you.

I didnt know so many people cared.

 

Late when the Crashdown is closed Alex comes in the unlocked door quietly.  Liz waits for him.  He sits down across a table from her and she says, Thanks for coming.

He says, I’ve met you here a thousand times but it isnt the same this time.

No, she says.  It isnt.  Alex, you’ve been my friend since 5th grade.

Actually it was 4th when we met but you didnt notice me till 5th.

That’s right.  And since then i’ve come to you with every problem i’ve had.

Until now, he says.

No.  Even now.  Especially now.  What happened at that hospital with Max was the most important thing i’ve ever had to do in my life.  And who did i call?  You, Alex.  This is the hardest thing i’ve ever asked anyone to do.  And i need U now.  I need U to believe in me even though i cant tell you what you want to know.

Because of Max.

No!  Forget Max.  This is between us.  I said this was complicated.  But maybe not.  Sometimes you do things for practical reasons in your self interest.  That’s complicated.  But sometimes there is a right side and a wrong side and then it’s very simple.  And if U choose the wrong side this time something awful is going to happen to all of us.  I am begging you Alex.  If all the years of being my friend have meant anything to you, please trust me.  I swear to you i am on the right side.

 

Alex goes to Topolsky’s office and knocks and goes in quickly as though ashamed of what he is about to do.  When he is inside he says, I thought about what you said.  I’m not worried about me right now.  I’m worried about Liz.  Look, if i do this, if i give you what you want what happens to her?  What do your friends do?

She’ll be questioned, Topolsky says.  They’ll do some medical tests to see if she’s been harmed.

But no police, right?

No.

But if they’re involved with drugs-it is drugs, isnt it?

Just write down everything that happened at the hospital.  Then we’ll take it from there.

Liz knocks at the door timidly and comes in and looks at Alex anxiously.

She says to Topolsky, Can i see you for a second?  Privately?  It’s really important.

I’ll be back, Topolsky says to Alex.  U can go ahead and start that project we talked about.

Alright, Topolsky says to Liz when they are outside. What’s the emergency?

IDK what Alex has been talking to you about, Liz says.  But there is something you should know.

I’m listening, Topolsky says coldly.

It’s just that Alex has sort of changed all of a sudden.  IDK, it’s like he’s paranoid.  See, we’ve been friends since forever and now i’ve made new friends and he’s insecure and he’s jealous and he’s hurt.  Has he told you any of this?

Liz, U know i cant discuss my counselling sessions with other students.  It wouldnt be right and it sure wouldnt be legal.

Yes i know, i understand that.  But i’m afraid he might be saying things that could really hurt somebody just because he’s mad at me.

We both know Alex.  I think we can trust him to do the right thing.  Dont you think?

But you dont know his state of mind right now.

Let’s let Alex speak for himself, shall we?  Now i really should get back to him.

No wait!  Liz says desperately, placing herself between Topolsky and her office.  I mean, could we talk about this some more?

Topolsky suddenly realizes what is happening and fairly flies to her office.

 

After they leave Alex gets to work quickly.  It’s maddening because the server is slow and he has to hack into the laptop and create a new password and create an account for her e mail, but he gets where he wants to be before Topolsky bursts thru the door.

When she comes in he turns the laptop screen toward Topolsky and Liz and shows them the unmistakable logo of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Topolsky says to Alex, sitting at her desk and Liz standing behind her, If you think you’ve just helped yourself you’re wrong.

She looks around with sadness and anger.  She gets a bag and packs her computer and her stuff from the office.  It is surprisingly little.

Her voice is bitter.  She says, You’re playing games with something very dangerous.

What is the FBI doing at Roswell High School?  Alex says.

This isnt going to end just because you know what i am, Topolsky says.  She gives Liz a very hard look and says, I was on your side.  I just hope your friend Max doesnt end up in the wrong hands without me here.

And Topolsky walks out of Roswell High forever.

Alex says to Liz, UR going to tell me exactly what has been going on with Max and Topolsky and the FBI or i swear you are not my friend anymore.  Ever.

Please dont say things like that, Liz says.

You think i wont go thru with it?  Is that what you think? Liz, i am not kidding.  Now either tell me the truth or i walk.

She sighs an exhausted sigh and says, I’m sorry, Alex.  I cant.  I just cant.  Please dont…

Okay, he says from his archives of bitterness.  And he walks out.

Roswell 37: Alex

ALEX

Alex eats alone on the piazza, as usual.  He doesnt see Topolsky.  Underdressed as usual, she comes over and shoves her titties at him.

Can i join you?  She says.

Sure, he says.  Sit here.  Wait a minute, he says as he removes books from the seat beside him.  When he is distracted so his eyes are not on his drink Topolsky dumps some white powder into it.

I’m glad i ran into you, she says.  Remember that class in computer languages you wanted next semester?  You’re in.

Thank you so much, he babbles.  I cant believe you put that together for me.

They toast each other and Alex drinks some of the poison Topolsky wants put in him.

Good things do happen to good people, Alex.  I heard what you did for Max.

Alex is seized with a violent coughing fit.  You did?  Alex says.

Going over to the hospital right away like that after his accident.  I heard a group of you went.

Alex feels the flutter of suspicion’s wings very briefly.  He says, How did you…

Oh, the school keeps me in the loop about these things, she says, lowering her eyes coyly.  In case anybody wants to talk about it afterward..

Yeah.  It wasnt such a big deal.  Just went to see how he was doing.

Dont sell yourself short, Alex, she says.  That’s how you find out who your real friends are.  Who shows up in situations like that.  I must admit i have reservations about Max Evans but if he’s a friend of yours…

Liz scowls when she sees this.  She walks over, trying desperately to stifle the extreme dislike she has felt for Topolsky since she first cast eyes on the woman.

RU talking about Max?  Liz says cooly.  Well, Max is just fine.  In fact he’s back in school.

Liz turns to Alex and says with an edge in her voice, So there’s nothing to worry about, right?

Right, Alex says.

I heard you got a little shaken up as well, Topolsky says to Liz.  Everything okay.

Everything is fine, Liz says, unable to keep the hostility out of her voice.

Topolsky turns back to Alex.  Her voice is seductive.  She says to him, Why dont you come by my office a little later?  We’ll talk more.

Sure, he says.

Liz sits down.  When Topolsky is gone she says, Alex. please.

Alex gets very snotty with her.  He says, If i had a therapist he’d say talking to you is detrimental to my mental health.

Frustrated, she says, Alex, i am so sorry.  For every goddamn thing.

Feeling better now?  He says rudely and gets up and leaves.

She goes after him and says, Now look, Alex, i just have to make sure you havent told anybody about the thing at the hospital.  If you’re really pissed off at me i can understand but please…

Are we all covering for Max Evans now?  Alex says.  Is that it?  Me and Kyle…

No, Alex.  Kyle?

Well, he knows too, right?  How long do you think you can keep a thing like this secret?  Before it all blows up in your face and then…

Alex stops as he notices the blood coming from his nose.  He is bleeding like a warfarined rat.  

Let me help you, Alex, she says.  That nosebleed looks bad.

No, Liz, i can take care of myself.

Alex goes into the bathroom and uses a lot of toilet paper to stanch the hemorrhage.  He tosses the bloody paper into the trash.  And looks into the mirror and to be sure he’s not still bleeding and says, Loser!  to himself and leaves.

Topolsky is waiting.  When Alex is gone she goes into the boys’ bathroom with an evidence baggie and puts in the bloody toilet paper and seals it and leaves.

Roswell 36:The Man in the JC Penney Suit

ALEX

Warm December afternoon and the piazza is crowded at lunch.  Alex invites himself to sit with Kyle, who is struggling with a written assignment and cursing.

Alex sits with him and says, Hey.

Kyle does not look up when he says, Oh, hey.  Look.  A fuckin spy.

No, Alex says.  I’m just eating lunch.

Yeah, right.  Liz sent you to find out if i’ve told anybody anything.  Right?

No, Kyle.  There was nowhere else to sit.  Told anybody what?

You know what hurts the most?  Kyle says with alkaline bitterness.  That she sent you, the B team.  You!  Not even Maria!  Tell you what, Alex.  I’m gonna send you back to headquarters with a little message.  U can tell Liz i’m tired of being lied to.  She’s not who i thought she was.

She’s turned into a stranger, Alex says.

Oh, you’re good, Kyle laughs.  That whole sympatico tactic.  But this fool wont swallow that bait.  You really think i’d believe Liz didnt let you in on her little secret?  You cant fool me, Alex.  I’m too stupid.

Kyle gets up and lopes off like the wounded buffalo he has been rendered.

Tucked into the high plains shadows, Izzie watches this exchange with grave concern.

 

MAX

Ice cream in December.  Liz and i walk the streets close to the Crashdown while she eats an ice cream cone from the place where Milton Ross thought he saw an alien long in his troubled past.

Love how you look in that skirt, dushka, i say.

You horny little bastard, she says.

Thank you, i say.

For what?

For helping me grow up a little.  Among other things.

It’s different being lovers, isnt it?  She says.

I just dont know how you got birth control pills without your folks knowing.  You’re sixteen years old.

Well, i did.

Let me guess.  Maria helped you.  Never mind.  I dont want to know.

Do you see him?

Oh, yeah.  Look into the window like you’re shopping.

Reflected in the glass i see Ray Bans in his Ray Bans and JC Penney suit, stumbling down the street like a spook from an unmarked black helicopter.

Okay, i sigh.  There he is.  Now laugh like i just said something funny.

Her laugh is not hers.  It is forced and anxious.

Dont overact, i whisper.  That’s enough.  We cant let him know we’ve seen him.

Do you really think this’ll work?

Have to try, i say.  Be sure he really is following us.  As if there’s much doubt.  He always .acts like he thinks he’s being very clever but he moves like a hog on skates.  Or maybe that’s to draw our attention from the real surveillance.  But one step at a time.

We walk down the street among salsa music to the UFO center.  The day is so warm the front door is propped open and we can walk right in without even breaking stride.  Ray Bans lopes behind us like a big overfed Rottweiler.

The UFO center is crowded for this time of year, which suits our purpose well.  The noise of the people milling thru cant cover Milton’s booming voice as he lectures but in the relative darkness the mass of people makes it easy to take a step into the shadows and lose him.  In frustration he takes off his Ray Bans and looks around angrily and i know we’ve lost him.

Well, i say as he hustles back out the front door, We’ve done our part.

 

MICHAEL AND MARIA

From inside Maria’s car parked across the street Michael spots Ray Bans coming out of the UFO center after Liz and Max have backdoored him.  It’s him, Michael says.

Him?  Maria says.

What?  Michael says defensively.  U think i’m wrong?

No, no.  It’s just that he seems so avoidable.

Ray Bans lopes across the street to a government sedan so nondescript it couldnt be more obvious.

If we didnt need your car, Michael mutters to himself.

Izzie gets in the back seat and says, There’s no one around for a couple of blocks.  I think we’re safe.

Safe isnt the word i’d use, Maria says.

Safe to follow him, Izzie says with condescension.

Oh.

But not too close, Michael says.

Relax, Maria says.  You guys act like you’ve never tailed anyone before.

 

They sit in the motel parking lot staring at Ray-Bans’ room.

How long is this gonna last?  Maria complains.  Us waiting here like this?

Why?  Michael says.  Got a hot date?

Maybe.

I’m the one who should be complaining, Izzie says.  Stuck out here with the two of you.

He’s never gonna leave that room, Maria says.

As she says it Ray Bans stumbles out of the room in a way that is anything but ninja-like.  He has changed into a fresh JC Penney suit to go with his Ray Bans.

Never, huh?  Michael says.

When Ray Bans is gone Michael and Maria walk to the shadowy corner where his room is.  Maria says, I still dont know why i have to do this.

I told U i needed a lookout.

Isnt that what Isabel is doing?

Okay i need two lookouts.

Michael unlocks the door and walks in.

You dont trust me, Maria says.  That’s it, isnt it?  You give Isabel the real job because…

Michael yanks her into the room and locks the door and says, You’re going to get us caught is what you’re going to do.  Now stay, watch and shut up.

This is the second time you’ve dragged me into a cheap motel.

Dont spread it around.  You’ll ruin my reputation.

What exactly RU looking for, Michael?

ID maybe?  Anything to tell us something about this guy.

Luggage tags, Maria says.

Michael goes thru the luggage.  No tags, he says.

He looks thru the bathroom.  Maria says, You know toiletries say a lot about a guy, which BTWU should take note of.  But i’m guessing you’ll have better luck by the phone.  U know, note pads, messages…

Just keep looking out the window, would you?

Michael looks in vain for anything by the phone.

Maria says, Any baby sitter worth her salt knows the best place to look is in the garbage.  It’s always revealing.

Michael searches carefully thru the trash until he pulls out a crumpled paper and says, Moss.  His name is Moss.

First or last?

IDK.

Keep looking, Sherlock.

Michael searches until he finds a wadded note.

What is it?  Maria says.

Looks like a phone number.  Local one.

Maria takes the note from him and starts dialing the number on the motel phone.

What RU doing?  He says.

U want to know who’s on the other end of the line dont you?

Someone picks up at the other end.  Topolsky, the voice says.  They are both so stunned it takes a moment before Maria hangs up the phone.

That was Topolsky, Maria says.  As in Ms. Topolsky at school.  Either she’s taking her job too seriously or she’s not exactly a guidance counsellor.

She’s a FEEB, Michael says.  And Moss is her attack dog.

 

Roswell 35: Blood Brother

giantstepblog

Smell of hospital in winter.  White noise and and shadowlands.  Voices in Spanish.  As Max is being wheeled into the ER Liz follows and tries to get somebody to take her seriously.  When she finally gets a doctor to notice her he says, U were with him?

Um, yeah, she says.

When did her lose consciousness?

Right after the accident.  He isnt bleeding is he?

Not as far as i can tell.  What’s your relationship with him?

He’s my friend, she says.

Liz stands there trying to think of what to do.  They’ve put an O2 mask on Max and are putting heart monitor leads on his chest.  And when she realizes they are going to take some of his blood she knows shit will hit the fan if something isnt done.

TOPOLSKY

Miss Topolsky?  A teacher says.  We were just notified that we have a student in the hospital…

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