I saw it through Max's eyes, through his memories. I felt it through his body as if it was a part of me. The kicks, the beatings, the coldness, the electric shocks, the fire. They had done everything possible to break him. While I had been subjected to Sean and his father - two taunting aliens with a short temper - Max had usually been subjected to Command.
Apparently, Command didn't mind getting his hands dirty.
Or maybe it was just that no other alien could handle Max.
Because even when it was excruciating - even when blood blurred his vision, attacks with energy almost stopped his heart (over and over again), and his skin was ripped open with an order from Command's ruthless mind - Max kept on fighting. His inclination to be sarcastic mocking towards his assailer did diminish as his body desperately wanted to surrender, but his mind never gave in.
Just like with me, they assigned the bulk of the blows to his psyche. After analyzing his responses to various mental stressors, they had reached the conclusion that anything concerning me would deeply upset him.
Hence, his love for me became their greatest weapon.
But it also became their biggest miscalculation.
Because the more insinuations they made about my condition at their hands - the more scenarios they painted of me being injured and tormented - the stronger Max's determination to get to me grew. The more focused he was to get through the torture. The more tenacious he was to not give up or give in. If he gave up, I was lost. Maybe forever. Without him, without the connection, I wouldn't be able to protect myself.
As I shared the memories of his experiences I wondered how he had managed to not go insane. As Command calmly stood in front of him and I felt my lip throb with Max's pain, the unhealed open wound on the back of my thigh burn, and my inability to breathe deeply due to a number of broken ribs. I felt Max's fear of what was to come while simultaneously feeling strong. Almost as if I - he - wanted Command to 'bring it on'. To prove that not even the leader of their society, the strongest member of their civilization on Earth, could break him.
By then Command had changed tactics. He had incorporated visions into his torture of Max. Command had constructed them with cold precision, making them frighteningly realistic, practically impossible to set apart from real experiences and perceived memories.
Through Max's nightmare I got the full HD-experience of Command's cruel imagination.
Me - writhing and screaming in pain after an argument with Sean, where I had refused to obey.
Me - being slowly burnt by short energy bursts, screaming, in direct response to Max refusing to break the bond.
Me - in a near catatonic state, lying lifelessly on a bed, while Sean continuously pulled energy from me.
The messages of the visions were clear: submit or Liz gets hurt.
And if Max and I were somehow communicating through the connection: make Liz understand that she has to give in, or she'll be far worse off in their 'care'.
Me - falling to my knees, my head clenched between my hands, before completely collapsing on the ground, my eyes staring lifelessly in front of me as death claimed me.
Max and I had started to learn how to take control of our nightmares, to make them ours, to overcome them. But this one - his nightmare of seeing me dead - left me paralyzed. Max's fear and panic, his guilt and remorse (over having ever laid a hand on me and thus having contributed to putting me in this position) was deafening. His helplessness over the situation, his loss of control and lack of power had made him scream. Had made him attempt to pull his mangled body towards Command with the intention of killing him. Even with the odds stacked against him.
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Unbreakable - A Beautiful Lie · (Roswell Fanfiction) · √Fanfiction
I saw him right before Max did. When he did, his gasped "Fuck" magnified the jump of fear made by my body when I found myself standing merely two feet from an alien. His large bottomless black eyes were staring emptily into mine and I could see the...