Laura J. Burns



TV Series Placement: Summer 2001 – Pre-Season 3

No One Is Safe.

There's a new corporation in town – Meta-chem – and Liz is psyched to land a scholarship program working in the lab. But when the giant pharmaceutical company creates a disease that accidentally infects the town, Liz is among the first to fall ill – and, despite his powers, Max is unable to heal her. There's also a new girl in town, Sadie, who's come to Roswell searching for her half sister, who she believes is Maria. Maria doesn't know how to feel: what if she and Sadie do share a father? Maria hasn't seen him since she was seven years old, and she's not sure she wants to see him now. but when news of the quarantine breaks, Maria has no choice but to keep Sadie with her in town, all while trying to find out who is sick and whether anyone can be saved in time…

For Jason, Ron, David, Gretchen, Aaron, Russel, Garrett, and, of course, Melinda.

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as 'unsold and destroyed' to the publisher, and neither the audior nor the publisher has received any payment for this 'stripped book.'

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the authors imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

First Simon Pulse edition March 2003

™ and © 2003 Twentieth Century Fox Film. Corporation, Regency Entertainment (USA) Inc., and Monarchy Enterprises B.V

All rights reserved


An imprint of Simon amp; Schuster Children's Publishing Division 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020

A.ll rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Printed in the United States of America 10 987654321

Library of Congress Control Number 2002107314 ISBN 0-689-85519-2

1 SNAP.'

The thick red ribbon broke, its two ends fluttering down to rest on the ground in front of Meta-chem's main doorway. The petite blond woman who had cut the ribbon smiled and waved to the cheering crowd in front of the state-of-the-art building. Meta-chem's new headquarters had been designed by world-famous architects and fitted out with the latest laboratory technology money could buy. And Marts Wheeler knew it was all a sham. The new building, the company's move to Roswell, New Mexico… it was all a big show she was putting on to hide the real reason she was here. She was here to find one person, a person who lived in Roswell and who possessed extraordinary powers. The one person in all the world who would be able to heal her dying husband, Clayton Wheeler III. And today, at last, Mans would lay her trap for the Healer.

'Thank you!' Marts cried over the cheering. Half the city of Roswell seemed to be here for the Meta-chem ribbon-cutting. And why not? The giant pharmaceutical company

was prepared to offer hundreds of new jobs to the community, everything from business managers to research assistants to janitors. Roswell loved Meta-chem, and Maris would see to it that the feeling continued for as long as she needed it to.

'You're certainly making us feel welcome in our new home,' Maris continued as the clapping quieted. 'Now, as you know, Meta-chem is committed to giving back to the community. And we're going to begin that process today by announcing the winner of our new college work-scholarship program. We've chosen one Roswell high school student to become a research assistant here at Meta-chem. This student will not only receive the invaluable experience of working with our world-class scientists, but he… or she… will also receive a scholarship of ten thousand dollars toward the college of his or her choice.'

'Got your thank-you speech ready?' Maria DeLuca teased, nudging her best friend.

Liz Parker smiled nervously. She glanced at the beaming faces around her… her parents, Maria and her mom, and Max Evans. Liz knew they were all expecting her to win this scholarship. And two years ago, she would have felt completely confident that she would. But her grades had been slowly slipping ever since she'd become involved with Max and his 'family' of aliens… his sister, Isabel, his best friend, Michael Guerin, and, of course, his ex- girlfriend Tess Harding. The truth was, there were more important things on Liz's plate these days than winning scholarships. When she'd started high school, all she'd wanted was to excel in school, to continue her studies in science, and to get into Harvard University, her dream college.

But now, she just wanted to get through senior year without a major global crisis.

'Our scholarship student will be working with the director of research here at Meta-chem,' Maris Wheeler was saying from the front of the crowd. 'So I'll let him be the one to announce the winner. Please welcome Dr. Alan Sosa.'

There was polite applause as Dr. Sosa, a wiry man in his fifties, made his way to the podium where Maris stood.

Liz shifted her weight uncomfortably. Her father had, insisted that they get to the ceremony early enough to find a place in the front… so she'd be able to get to the podium easily when her name was called. Liz didn't have the heart to tell him that she wasn't expecting to win. Jeff Parker had kept an eye on Liz's grades when she was younger, but it had been years since he'd felt the need to look over her report cards. Liz herself had always cared about her straight As enough for both of them. Right now Jeff was beaming at her proudly. Liz shuffled her feet and tried to stay calm.

Dr. Sosa was talking now, but Liz couldn't seem to follow his words. She didn't want to be here! So what if she used to be into science? She'd grown up, changed her mind about what was important to her! The problem was, she wasn't sure what she had changed her mind to. There was always some kind of alien crisis to take up her time, so she'd stopped thinking about herself, her own needs. She mostly just thought about Max's needs.

As if he could feel that she was thinking of him, Max

put his hand on the small of her back. Immediately, Liz felt calmer. Max was always a grounding force for her. He leaned over and spoke softly into her ear. 'Take a deep breath, Liz,' Max murmured. 'Whether you win or not,

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