Title: It Has Begun (7/?)
Author: Kata
Disclaimer: No, they're not mine.
Rating: PG
Summery: Talk, talk, talk, nothing but talk. :-)
Distribution: Give your URL first, unless I already have it
. Feedback: Give me some, and I'll love you forever!
Author's notes: Sorry so short. I'm supposed to be doing homework. :-)

******

It was Sheriff Valenti. "I guess old habits die hard. I still feel responsible. I still have to protect you."

Max nodded. "Are you sure?"

"You may be adults now, but it's still my job to protect you. I take it that the deaths of your parents weren't just your average murders?"

"It was our enemy," Isabel said in a cold and emotionless voice.

"The Pignas," Michael added. "We're the Kizmas." Michael went on to give the sheriff a quick overview of the situation. "There's more," he concluded. "But you have a job to do. Meet us at... um the Crashdown?"

Maria shook her head. "Liz might be there."

"Right," Michael said, not missing the look of pain on Max's face. "How about..."

"My apartment," Maria suggested. "I don't think they know where it is yet."

Michael nodded. "Okay, Maria's apartment. At seven."

The others nodded in agreement. Alex and Isabel dwifted of to a corner of the room.

"I'm so sorry, Isabel," Alex said."

"It's so awful," Isabel almost whimpered. "I knew we were in danger, but I never dreamed..."

"You have to be stong, Izzy. The wanted to get at you, make you weak."

Isabel couldn't help smiling at the use of her nickname. No one had used it in years. "I know, but it's so hard. We hadn't seen them for so long, and now we'll never see them again."

"I know," Alex whispered, as he drew her into a tighter embrace.

Max and Michael had also waundered off together. Michael could tell that Max was angry, and only barely holding it in.

"The didn't have to do this."

Michael folded his arms. "They have no requard for human life, Maxwell. They're nothing to him. Less than nothing."

Max shook his head. "It's not right! It's not fair!"

"We're not teenagers anymore. You've gotta accept this and move on. It's the only way to survive."

"But my parents? They didn't have anything to do with this!" Max's voice was full of regret and pain.

Michael leaned against the wall. "They wanted to get our attention."

"It worked." Michael's voice was bitter.

Michael grabbed Michael by the shoulders. "We're working blind here, Maxwell. We may have the home field advantage, but that's the only one we have. We need *you.* We need our leader."

"I don't know if I can be your leader anymore."

"You don't have a choice. No one else can do it."

Max's face was full of pain. "I'l do it, Michael, you know I will. I don't think I have a choice."

TBC...

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