Earth Date - October 5th, 1988)
(Capitol city of Roistar - formerly Tageonon)
(Secret Headquarters of the Resistance Loyal to the Tageonants)

"Your Highness," General Toaks addressed the dowager Queen Nedra as he bowed formally. "Our operative inside Khivar's inner circle has discovered that Khivar sent troops to Earth within a month of when the transport left with the Royal Four."

Nedra rose to her feet in surprise. "They left that long ago and we have not known about it," she said distractedly, her mind rushing through the many possible scenarios.

"Khivar has told very few people of the mission," Toaks said.

"Who is leading this mission?" asked Nedra

"General Nicaron," he said, noting the Queen's shock. "Apparently a shape shifter has been impersonating him in Khivar's court to disguise his absence."

"Was the operative able to determine Nicaron's mission directive?"

"The troops are to retrieve the Granolith and..." Toaks trailed off with a sigh. There was no easy way to tell the dowager Queen his news. "I am sorry your Highness, but Nicaron’s orders are to eliminate the King and Queen and General Varros."

Nedra accepted the news stoically, "And Vilondra?"

"Khivar has given strict orders that the Princess is to be returned to Antar to be reunited with him. As you know, your Highness, rumors have been circulating for years that Princess Vilondra betrayed her brother and her entire family because of her great love for Khivar. And he has used Vilondra's supposed support for his position as King to gain sympathy among the nobles. If she were to return and continue her relationship with Khivar..." he let his sentence trail off to avoid causing the Queen more pain.

But Nedra finished his thoughts, "Vilondra's presence could lend credence to Khivar’s claim to the throne because he would have married into the Tageion line." She turned toward the image cubes on the table that depicted the likenesses of her children. She did not know exactly when the four would emerge from the pods, since communication between Earth and Antar would be dangerous, but when they did leave the protection of the pods they would be defenseless children. A shiver of dread raced through her but she pushed it aside and turned back to the General. "Khivar's men cannot have completed their mission or Khivar would have announced his victory to the people of Antar."

"Yes," the General agreed, "I believe the Royal Four must be safe, for now."

"We cannot contact them through the communicators, the signal is too easily tracked. But we have to find a way to warn them." She dismissed the subject for the moment and concentrated on the question uppermost in her mind. “How did Khivar discover our plan and where the Royal Four were sent?”

“It appears that when the pods were sent, Khivar was able to find the lab, as we had feared. But his troops arrived before the lab was destroyed and he captured several of the scientists who were unable to escape. Among them was Jensto.”

Nedra sighed, “I thought he had been killed. Jensto would never willingly betray us but, no doubt, General Nicaron pried the entire plan out of his head.”


(April 14th, 1989)
(Roswell Sheriff's Department)

Deputy Jim Valenti Jr. knocked on the doorframe of the Sheriff's office. "Gary?" he called into the Sheriff, "Can I talk to you?"

"Sure", replied Sheriff Miller, motioning him inside, "Take a seat, Jim."

Jim took the offered seat and Gary's gaze quickly took in his disheveled appearance and tired expression. "Is something wrong, Jim? You don' t look so good."

Jim rubbed at his tired eyes to avoid looking the older man in the face as he imparted the news. "Gary, you know Kathy and I have been having some problems. Well," he paused to clear his suddenly tight throat, "she left last night."

Gary looked down at his desk to give Jim a moment of privacy with his grief, but his deputy's words brought his eyes up to meet the younger man's.

"She left the boy too," Jim said.

Gary's surprise was evident, "Kathy left her son?"

"Yes," Jim said tonelessly. "It seems she wasn't ready for marriage and motherhood. Said the boy and I were tying her down."

"Oh Jim, I'm sorry. I knew you and Kathy didn't always get along but I had no idea things were that bad."

"Thanks Gary," Jim said distractedly. "I actually came to ask you a favor."

"Just name it. I'll do anything I can to help."

"Gary I have some vacation time coming and I would like to take it now. Kyle is upset and I would like to spend some time with him, to help him get through this."

"How much time do you want?"

"I have two weeks..."

Sheriff Miller cut him off. "I don't want to see you back here for at least a month and I'll work it out so you receive your full pay."

"Thank you Gary," Jim said, emotion making his throat tight. "I don't know what to say." He stood and offered the older man his hand.

"You don't have to say anything," Gary replied as he took Jim's hand and came around the desk to clap him on the back. "Just make sure you take care of yourself and that boy of yours."


(April 17th, 1989)
(The Pod Chamber)

Kaldar was so certain the danger would come from the direction of the highway that when he heard the grinding sound of the pod chamber door opening, he didn't immediately recognize it. His eyes flicked quickly around but after a moment, recognition dawned and he turned toward the sound. And sat dumbfounded as his young master emerged from the dark chamber.

Rath appeared to be a human child but Kaldar would have known him anywhere. He watched as the naked child looked around, taking in his surroundings, shielding his eyes from the bright sun overhead. The child-General scrambled down the incline on unsteady legs and instinctively headed for cover as he reached the bottom.

Kaldar was sure the pods should not have hatched for more than another Earth year and quickly checked his watch. He had only bought it a couple years previously but he had kept it in good condition and regularly changed the battery. The watch confirmed the date and he shook his head, trying to clear it. Sometimes he became confused about things, but he had been positive of the date the pods should hatch, August 15th, 1990. Some kind of glitch in the pods must have caused them to hatch early, he thought to himself as his eyes followed the progress of the boy among the rocks, or maybe the malfunction was only in his master's pod.

Starting forward out of his hiding place, Kaldar's attention was drawn back to the pod chamber by the sound of scattering rocks, and two more small figures emerged into the afternoon sun. He recognized them immediately; they were undoubtedly King Zan and Princess Vilondra. They made their way slowly down the incline, hand in hand, supporting one another but as they reached to bottom, they separated, the Princess continuing, while the boy-King stopped to examine a dying bush.

Kaldar looked back toward the General, his master. The child had not left the cover of the rocks but he had seen the two others. He appeared distrustful of them, as if they might harm him.

Kaldar was unsure about what to do. He was not equipped to care for the children and there was no way to contact the others without possibly leading their enemies to them. He glanced back toward the chamber, Queen Ava had still not come out.

After a few moments of indecision, he sneaked back to the chamber, careful not to reveal himself to the three children. From the doorway, Kaldar could see that the Queen remained in her pod and the fluid within was still in a liquid state. Cuerena had told them when the pods were getting close to hatching, the fluid would become more viscous until it was the consistency of the ocean on Antar. That meant Queen Ava was nowhere near ready to come out of her pod.

There must have been a malfunction in the three pods, he thought to himself, as he sealed the pod chamber door. Somehow the malfunction had caused the three pods to hatch early but it had not affected the final pod. Kaldar remembered the feelings he had followed, urging him to stay near the pod chamber. If he had not been there when the pods had hatched, three of the Royal Four might have been lost.

Sodan had been assigned the task of caring for the Royal Four until they reached their maturity but he had not returned to the pod chamber for almost forty years and there was no reason for him to come back a year early.

Kaldar discretely followed the three children as they wandered through the desert, trying to decide what to do. As the day progressed he found himself referring to them by their first names, the grandiose titles seeming somehow out of place on the small beings. Vilondra was bold and curious, scrambling up rocks and examining every plant, while Zan seemingly oblivious to his sister just a few yards ahead proceeded slowly, approaching each new discovery with caution.

The day was scorching hot and Kaldar could see that the sun's relentless heat was taking its toll on the children, causing them to appear listless and burning their delicate skin. He used his powers to create a spring that flowed from the side of a large rock formation ahead of Vilondra and watched as Vilondra, then Zan and finally Alarath, separately found and eagerly drank from the cool water.

As it grew dark, Zan and Vilondra found each other again but Alarath had still not made his presence known to them. They continued walking in the general direction of the highway and Kaldar knew he would have to do something before they reached the road.

It was past dark when Kaldar amusedly watched as Alarath stealthily made his way around Zan and Vilondra and scrambled up onto a rock where the other two would pass.

They rounded a corner and when they saw him, approached eagerly, Vilondra extending a hand to him. Alarath jumped down, took her hand and the three continued toward the highway.


Diane and Philip Evans drove silently toward Roswell. They had attended a dinner party in a nearby town and it had run late as usual. Diane was exhausted and kept catching herself dozing off.

Philip turned toward her as she jerked awake again. "Honey, it's okay. Let yourself get some sleep."

She shook her head. "I can't. I just have this weird feeling."

"What kind of feeling?" Philip asked, putting a comforting hand on her arm.

"I don't know. I can't explain it..." she trailed off. "It's like something important is going to happen."


Kaldar had still not decided what to do when the three children reached the road. They stopped at the edge of the pavement and seemed uncertain about which direction to continue until their attention was drawn toward two pinpricks of light in the distance approaching slowly. Kaldar's first instinct was to hide the children from the approaching humans but he stopped himself almost immediately. Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea to let humans care for the children. He looked at them consideringly for a moment. The children appeared human and Kaldar knew the humans would take them in as their own.

He was not capable of caring for them, he knew that with certainty. He quickly reviewed his options and did not see any harm in leaving the children in the care of humans. The children could not reveal the location of the Granolith to anyone because they had been engineered to repress the memories made in the first few hours after they emerged from the pods. And their powers wouldn't develop immediately and hopefully Sodan would have returned by then. Kaldar could still protect them from afar as he had done since his arrival on this planet and when Sodan returned, he would reclaim the children and the plan could proceed on schedule.

Kaldar stayed in the protection on the rocks, having made up his mind and watched. Zan and Vilondra seemed to know instinctively that the lights could be trusted because they turned toward them but Rath balked, afraid to trust, and stood his ground. Zan turned and held his hand toward Rath but Rath shied away and as the headlights drew closer Rath concealed himself in brush beside the road.


"What on Earth?"

Philip's exclamation jolted Diane's attention to the road as the car slowed and pulled onto the side of the road, but what she saw left her speechless. When the car stopped, neither of them moved as they unbelievingly watched the two small children revealed by the car's headlights. Philip was the first to act, opening his door and Diane quickly followed him.

As they approached the children, Diane could see they were no more than five or six years old and completely naked. A chill ran up her spine as she shrugged out of her coat and started to reach for the girl but she hesitated, afraid she might scare them. She dropped to her knees and addressed them in a quiet tone. "Hi, my name is Diane."

The two children turned curious faces toward the sound of her voice but they did not speak.

Diane continued, "This is Philip," motioning to her husband who had joined her before them. "What are your names?"

Diane's eyes quickly darted around the area but seeing nothing she turned back toward the silent children. "Are you out here alone?" Her eyes raked over their exposed bodies, looking for injuries. "Are you hurt?"

When the children still didn't respond, she started to inch forward. "We won't hurt you. We just want to make sure you're okay." She reached toward the girl and the bracelet she was wearing slid down her arm, the moonlight glinting off the shiny surface.

The reflection captured the girl's attention and she boldly approached, dragging the boy with her, hand outstretched toward the bracelet. Diane stopped and let her examine the bracelet, while she draped her coat around the girl's narrow shoulders. She removed the bracelet and handed it to the girl as she gathered her in her arms and Philip quickly bundled the boy in his coat.

He easily lifted the small boy and turned to his wife, "Let's put them in the car and you stay with them while I look around. It's pretty obvious they're in shock. They must have been in an accident or something. Maybe there are other survivors."


Kaldar watched in confusion as the car drove away with Zan and Vilondra. The humans had put them in the car and the man had looked around the area briefly, but in the end they had driven away with only two of the three. Kaldar looked over to where his master was hiding. He had not emerged the whole time the humans had been present. Kaldar had expected the three of them to be together and now he was not sure what to do. He would have to make sure the humans found Alarath so he could be cared for.

As he pondered the possibilities, a plan formed in his head. With a wave of his hand, he sent a burst of power into air, stirring up the wind to erase the children’s footprints that lead back to the pod chamber. Then he silently approached his master from behind and used his powers to ease the child into sleep. He gathered the small form in his arms and using a burst of Antarian speed arrived at the place where he had hidden the truck, that had belonged to the woman he had killed all those years ago. He deposited the sleeping boy onto the seat beside him and devouring a mouthful of Tic Tacs, drove in the direction he had seen the car disappear.

He caught up with them easily, because they were driving so slowly, and decelerated to keep a distance between the two vehicles. He followed them into town and to Roswell Memorial Hospital, parking in the far corner of the lot and carefully locking his young master inside. Kaldar altered his clothing to resemble a hospital worker and slipped unnoticed into the emergency room where the humans had taken the children.

He stayed close to watch as the children were thoroughly examined, but he started to become worried when the doctor ordered blood tests. Kaldar knew the children's anatomy was human but he was unsure if the Antarian genetic material would be visible in the tests. He followed the technician who took the children's blood to the lab, and waited for an opportunity. When he was alone, Kaldar quickly changed Zan and Vilondra's samples to appear like human blood. He had helped Cuerena in the lab on the ship often enough with the samples of human blood they had taken, and he knew how to make it perfect.

When he returned to the room where the children were being kept, a deputy was also there. Kaldar was careful to stay hidden, but he listened to the conversation.

"You didn't see a wreck or anybody else in the area?" Deputy Hawk asked as he took careful notes.

Phillip shook his head, as he answered. "No, I looked around the area, but there was no sign of a wreck, at least not that we saw."

The deputy made a note. "We're sending a cruiser out to take a look, just in case."

Diane spoke up, "What will happen to the children?"

Deputy Hawk smiled sympathetically, knowing she was concerned for them. "For tonight they will stay here and then it will depend. We will try to find their parents, but it's odd, I mean the way they were found."

He looked toward the two hospital-gown clad children and turned back to Diane and Phillip, ushering them a few paces away and lowering his voice. "If we don't find a wreck," he paused shaking his head, "I mean it's almost like they were dumped on the side of the road like a dog you don't want."

Diane felt tears prick the back of her eyes as she thought of the children being left purposefully in the desert. "What if you can't find their parents?"

"They will be put into the system and sent to the Westlake Orphanage."


Kaldar waited until all of the tests came back clean to make sure the children would not be in any danger and then he headed toward the exit. He emptied the box of Tic Tacs into his mouth to combat his headache as he grabbed some clothing on his way out of the hospital. He climbed into the truck's cab and used his powers to size the clothes for Alarath. He pulled them onto the boy and settled him back onto the seat, knowing his young master would sleep for hours.

Kaldar closed his eyes and let his head fall back against the seat. It throbbed horribly from the use of his powers but he had to give Alarath to the humans before he would allow himself to rest.

Kaldar feared the humans would perform blood tests on Alarath too and he needed to get his strength back before he could attempt using his powers again. Perhaps if he took Alarath to a hospital in the next town, the humans there would forgo the tests.

He straightened in his seat and let his eyes roam over the small form at his side. He had guarded this boy, who would become a Duke and General, since his infancy on Antar, and he felt honored that he had the chance to do it again. Kaldar now knew why he had experienced the feelings to stay near the pod chamber. If he hadn't been there when the pods hatched, the children might have perished in the heat before they reached safety and all of the planning and waiting would have been for nothing.

He smoothed the hair off of Alarath's forehead as he slept, oblivious to the world around him. He wished he could have cared for the children himself, but the throbbing pain in his head was the perfect reminder of why that was impossible. Kaldar started the truck, drove to a convenience store to restock his Tic Tac supply, and then headed toward his destination, Artesia General Hospital.


The Evans had stayed in the waiting room eager to hear the results of the tests on the children, and with each passing moment Diane grew more certain of her feelings. She had fallen in love with the children at first sight and she wanted to make sure they were taken care of. But what she didn't know was how Phillip would react, and she approached the subject slowly. "Phillip, what if they were abandoned? Those poor children will be put in foster care."

Phillip nodded and turned to his wife with a smile, already knowing what she was thinking. "I know someone who works in Family Services. I will get us signed up tomorrow as foster parents. Bob will rush the paperwork for us and if the kids are put into foster care, we will be there to make sure they have a good home."

Tears came freely to Diane's eyes as she hugged her husband and he leaned down and whispered into her ear. "We have wanted a family and maybe we weren't blessed with one because we were meant to care for these children. Maybe they are our ready-made family."


(April 18th, 1989)
(Artesia General Hospital)

Kaldar had taken Alarath to the hospital claiming he had found him in the desert, which he thought ironically, was actually true. He had been asked many questions by the Artesia Sheriff's department but in the end, they had realized he could not provide the answers they wanted.

The hospital had preformed various tests on the boy and Kaldar had been forced to use his powers again. He waited until the tests had come back on Alarath and they showed the boy to be in perfect health, as Kaldar had known they would. Alarath had awoken not long after Kaldar had deposited him at the hospital and Alarath had fought the humans with a stubbornness that made Kaldar proud. One of the nurses, Vivian, had finally been able to calm him down, her gentle manner soothing the boy's fears.

Exhausted by the day's events but knowing his master was in good hands, Kaldar excused himself, making his departure. He used the last of his strength to drive back to his home in the desert. He camouflaged the truck and returned to his dwelling where he collapsed into a deep sleep.


(April 19th, 1989)
(Roswell Memorial Hospital)

The director of the Westlake Orphanage, Mary Simpson, came to retrieve the two children the next day. She looked into the children's ward where they were engrossed in early-morning cartoons and turned toward the nurse at her side. "They haven't spoken since they were brought in?"

The nurse shook her head, "No. Neither of them has said a word. The doctor thinks maybe it's trauma induced but there is not a mark on either of them. They don't behave as if they have been through a traumatic experience. They seem fine, happy even, they just don't speak."

Mary nodded. "Maybe they just need some time."


(April 20th, 1989)
(Roswell Sheriff’s Department)

Deputy Hawk knocked on the Sheriff's office door as he entered. "Gary I wanted to report that I haven’t made any progress on the case with the kids the Evans found."

The Sheriff sat back in his chair. "Tell me what you've got."

"I've checked the missing persons reports for the last six months from all of the surrounding states and nothing even comes close to their descriptions. No one has reported these kids missing. It's like someone just dropped them off in the desert."

Gary shook his head, "I was afraid it was something like that. There was no accident they could have wandered away from and obviously they hadn't been out there more than a day, they were relatively clean and well nourished."

"Do you want me to alert the press?” Deputy Hawk asked. “If we run a story, someone might come forward who knows them.”

Gary considered the idea for a moment and then shook his head. "No. Let's wait until they talk. Maybe they can tell us who they are. I don't want to involve the press. If we’re right and those poor kids were abandoned, they will have to live with that the rest of their lives. If we get the press involved everyone else will know too. Let's just keep it quiet and hope for the best."


(April 22nd, 1989)
(Artesia, NM)

Hank glanced at the clock as his wife entered the house. "Viv you're late again."

She crossed to him and wrapped her arms around his neck. "I know. I'm sorry, but working in the ward with that little boy…" she trailed off with a shrug. "I just lose track of time. He is so troubled and I feel like I can make a difference in his life."

"Is that right?" Hank asked pulling her into his lap with a smile. "You’re a nurse. You make a difference in people's lives every day."

Her face became serious. "Hank, I know it's early to be thinking things like this but..." she let her sentence trail off.

"Like what?" he prompted.

"I would like to foster the boy."

Hank opened his mouth to reply but Vivian cut him off. "You don't have to answer right now. Just think about it. Please."

"Viv, before you cut me off, I was about to say, whatever makes you happy."


(April 28th, 1989)
(Artesia General Hospital)

The boy has been here over a week," the psychologist addressed the others, "and it is obvious something happened to him. He is distrustful and violent and he hasn't uttered a single word."

Another doctor spoke up, "I think it's time we do some in-depth neurological testing."

Others nodded their approval. "There may be more wrong with him than we suspected."

"I will set up a schedule for the testing to start..."

They were interrupted by a knock on the door.

Vivian opened the door and addressed the doctor in charge, "I'm sorry to disturb you Doctor, but you said you wanted to be notified right away." She smiled, "The boy spoke."


(May 10th, 1989)
(Rock Formation near the pod chamber)

Kaldar jerked awake and winced. His whole body ached as if he had been sleeping in the same position too long. He carefully stretched his limbs and noted with surprise that he had reverted back into his natural state. He stared unbelievingly at the pink-gray skin of his arms. He had not been in his true form since he had been revived and he wondered what could have made him change back.

He glanced at the watch that seemed strangely out of place on his alien anatomy and did a double take when the date registered. May 10th. It couldn't be May 10th. He quickly checked the batteries and found them to be in perfect working order. He had been asleep for over two weeks. He must have used his powers to the point of exhaustion and even in sleep was unable to hold his adopted form. He would have to be more careful in the future not to over-tax himself.

He crawled out of his dwelling and changed his appearance back to human. He had to make sure the children were okay.


As Kaldar approached the hospital where he had left Alarath almost a month ago, a feeling of foreboding settled over him. He was worried about what might have happened to Alarath since he had last seen him. He had decided to see to Alarath first because he knew the location of Zan and Vilondra. In the hospital that night he had overheard the deputy say they would be taken to Westlake Orphanage and he knew they would be well cared for there. But he was uncertain about what would have happened to his master.

Kaldar changed into the face he had worn the evening he brought Alarath to the hospital. He hoped the staff would remember him and would give him the information he required. If not, he would have to come back and break into the records.

He entered the building and the first person he saw was a doctor whom he remembered from than night. Kaldar reintroduced himself and asked about the boy he had 'found.' "I was in the area and I just wanted to know what became of the boy."

"One of the nurses and her husband decided to foster him," the doctor replied. "I don't know if you met her. Her name is Vivian."

Kaldar felt the tension go out of his body. He did remember Vivian. She had been the one Alarath had responded to that evening. He was glad his master was in a good home. "That's great, I do remember her," he said with a smile. "How is the boy doing?"

"He's doing great," the doctor assured him.

Kaldar left the building feeling much better about what he had been forced to do.

While he was in the hospital, he had been able to obtain Vivian's address and he headed toward his truck eager to see for himself that everything was okay. As he walked across the parking lot a sudden weariness overcame him and he fell to the ground. Surprised, he got up as quickly as his aching body would allow and stumbled to the truck. He must have expended more energy than he had thought. But now that he knew all the children were safe he could return to his dwelling and properly recover.


(May 12th, 1989)
(Westlake Orphanage)

Mary Simpson looked across the desk at the two anxious faces before her. "Mr. and Mrs. Evans, as I told you on the phone, the children did start talking two days after they were brought here. We thought they would be able to tell us who they were but they still don't remember anything before the day you found them."

The disbelief was evident in Phillip's voice, "They don't remember anything?"

Mary shook her head, "No, not even their names."

"They must have been through something terrible," Diane said shakily.

"The police think they were abandoned in the desert," Mary continued softly as Phillip took Diane's hand in his. "They have found no missing persons reports and no leads. They have given up the investigation."

"What does that mean for the children?" Phillip asked.

"We will place them with you as fosters, and if in a year the parents still haven't been found, you will be able to adopt them." With a smile, she noted the look of relief that passed between them. "Of course they will need therapy and a special school at first but they should grow into happy, well-adjusted children."


(December 18th 1989)
(Artesia Memorial Cemetery)

The minister clutched Hank's arm as the last of the mourners departed. "Hank I am genuinely sorry for your loss. I know you and Vivian were very happy together."

"Thank you Reverend," Hank managed before his throat closed up.

"I know this is a hard time for you but have you decided what you are going to do with Michael?"

Hank looked over to where Michael was standing with Vivian's sister. "I’ll keep him," he said without hesitation. "That's what Vivian would have wanted."


(August 13th, 1990)

Kaldar had looked in on Alarath every week for the first few months. He had a feeling he should stay close to his master but he could see that Alarath was being well cared for and his own continuing bad health forced him to make the trip less and less often. He had to use his powers often when he was in town and he'd been forced to cut the visits to once a month and then stop them altogether. He had only seen Zan and Vilondra at the orphanage one day last year but he was satisfied they were well cared for.

For months he had been recovering his strength, preparing for the day when Ava would emerge and he would be reunited with Sodan and Letras. Kaldar was sure they would not be angry with him for disobeying orders and staying near the pods, when they discovered the special circumstances surrounding the early hatching.

He opened the pod chamber door for the final time before the arrival of the others. Because the three had hatched early, he had often looked in on the final pod checking its progress, determined not to be caught off-guard again. He noted with relief, Ava was still in her pod and the fluids were becoming thick and viscous just as they should.

Glancing around the pod chamber for the first time in over forty years, his eyes lit on words written in the Antarian language inscribed on the wall. He had never noticed the writing before and quickly skimmed the message. Sodan had written that he was living in a cave near the Mesaliko Reservation. Kaldar smiled at the irony of it as he sealed the pod chamber door. They had been living so close to one another all of these years and he had not discovered it until the eleventh hour.

If he had known sooner, he could have contacted Sodan and handed the three children over to him. But Sodan would have them soon anyway. And since it was only two days before Sodan and Letras were due to arrive Kaldar decided to look in on the children.

He drove to the house where Alarath lived, only to find another family in occupancy. He asked about the previous tenants but the new humans did not know where they were. Kaldar drove to the hospital and inquired about the woman Vivian only to be told that she had died months before and her husband had moved on with the boy.

Kaldar sat in the truck uncertain of what to do. He had lost his master. He would have to wait until the others returned and then they could help him find Alarath.

He suddenly felt the need to check on Zan and Vilondra and he drove to the Westlake Orphanage in Roswell. But as he pulled up to the building, he could see something was terribly wrong. Where there had once been a fence and playground equipment, now stood a parking lot, and a sign hung from the door that said Westlake Medical Clinic and offered the names of several doctors.

Kaldar inquired at the reception desk about the orphanage and was told it had been closed down just a few months earlier due to an increase in the number of people registered as foster parents. Children were placed with families immediately and there just wasn't a need for an orphanage any longer.

Kaldar stumbled back to the truck unbelievingly. He had lost all three of them. Sodan was due in two days and only Ava was left for him to find. Kaldar knew he couldn't face Sodan until he had recovered the children. He wouldn't admit he had failed.


(August 15th, 1990)

Sodan stopped his car in front of the rock formation that had housed the Royal Four in pods for over forty years. Finally his years of waiting were over. He approached the door eagerly and opened it ready to welcome his King.

As the sunlight filtered into the chamber and illuminated the pods, the sight that greeted him made Sodan stop dead in his tracks. Three of the pods were empty and the occupants gone, including his King. He quickly looked around the chamber, hoping to find them inside, but three of the Royal Four were absent. He ran out into the open and completed a cursory search of the area but there was no sign of them and after a few moments he returned to the chamber.

Zan, Vilondra and Alarath had obviously hatched early. Sodan's first thought was perhaps they had been taken by Letras or Kaldar but as he studied the footprints on the chamber floor, he could see no sign of adults, only the small children had left their bare foot prints in the thick dust coating the floor. The three pods had hatched early and the clones, with no memory, had wandered into the desert. It had to have been some time ago because there was dust in the footprints and the fluids from the pods had dried completely.

He looked back at the remaining occupied pod. The young Queen Ava was the only one left. The fluids in her pod were thick, practically solid and Sodan knew she would soon emerge. He would have to wait for her to hatch and then he could go in search of the others.

He glanced at the wall opposite the pods where he had left the message so many years before. He doubted there was anyone left to read it.


(July 21st, 1991)

Sodan had searched the area around Roswell for almost a year with no sign of the other shape shifters or the three children. He thought the humans must have killed the shape shifters but the children looked human and Sodan believed they must have been taken among the humans as their own. He had done research at the newspaper morgue but there were no stories about any children found matching the descriptions. He had gone to every school in the area looking for them but there was no sign. He had even cautiously approached the Sheriff in Roswell, Jim Valenti, but the man knew of no children found in the area. It was as if they had simply vanished.

Finally Sodan resorted to the only option left to him, he sent a signal, hoping it would draw them out. But when a week had passed and the only respondents were the skins and the Special Unit, Sodan reluctantly admitted it was time to move on.

He felt as if he were abandoning his mission and his King. If he had been on his own he would have stayed to search but he had to keep the young Queen safe. He knew how much Zan loved Ava and he was determined that one day he would reunite them.

But this was a dangerous time for him and his young charge; Alyssa, as he had called her, was just coming into the first of her abilities. They were unpredictable and just like any child, she had a hard time keeping them under control. He did not know what her unique talent had been in her other life. It had been a closely guarded secret even from him but he did know she was very powerful. If she developed a blasting power or something else potentially dangerous, it would be better to keep her away from humans until she could control it and avoid calling attention to them. When it was safe, he would continue the investigation and he would find the others.

Also he needed to lead the FBI special unit and the skins away from Roswell so if the other three of the Royal Four were there, they would be left in peace.


(September 4th, 1992)
(Artesia, NM)

Michael walked home from school and warily let himself into the trailer. Since Vivian's death, things had gone from bad to worse. First, Hank had started drinking and staying out late, often leaving Michael alone. Then, Hank had lost his job and not long afterward, they had lost the house and been forced to move into a trailer. Since then they had moved from place to place, wherever Hank found work.

Michael was always grateful when they first moved because it meant that Hank would be out of the house more often. But Hank always managed to screw up and lose each new job and Michael would have to be extra careful not to make him angry. Hank had lost another job only a week ago and Michael knew it was better to stay out of his way.

Michael stopped just inside the door, when he saw Hank sitting in his chair with at least a dozen beer cans littering the floor around him.

"It'zs 'bout time youzs got home," Hank shouted. "We've gotta pack up and go."

Michael didn't have to hear Hank's slurred words to know he had been drinking heavily and he proceeded cautiously. "Where are we going?"

"I've gotta job and we're movin'."

Michael stood blinking at him, incredulous that Hank had gotten a new job so quickly, but Hank took his inaction as rebellion. "Go an' do what I tell you Mickey. Or are ya still goin' ta be standin' there next week when you're new school startzs?"

The reality of the situation was starting to sink into Michael. "What new school?"

Hank laughed, "New town boy, new school. Whatta you think you're goin' to commute from Rozswell to here everyday?"

"Roswell?" Michael echoed.

"Yeah," Hank said, slamming his beer down on the arm of the chair. "Haven't you been listenin'. My new job's at the cheezse factory in Roswell."


(September 7th, 1992)

Max huddled close to Isabel on the bus. They were surrounded by other children, and Isabel seemed to be in her element but Max did not like the crowd. He felt his differences more keenly when he was among a large group and today he felt more out of place than he ever had.

Since his adoptive mother had told them they would be attending a regular school with other children, he had dreaded the day when it would happen. For the last two years they had attended the small classes of a private tutor and Max had gradually grown comfortable in that environment but he feared facing an entire school full of strangers.

Max had been apprehensive when he awoke that morning, and the feeling had intensified as the crowded bus stopped in front of their house, and increased again when they had boarded the vehicle to confront the other students. He had let Isabel pull him to the back of the bus and into a seat, the faces of the strange children dancing before him as if they were taunting him for his shyness.

But as the bus drew closer to its destination, a calming sensation started to settle over him. Max looked around unable to determine the cause but he was grateful for any relief.

The bus pulled up outside Roswell Elementary and the children disembarked, Isabel eagerly dragging Max off the bus with her. As they threaded their way through the other children, a familiar warmth rushed over him, covering him, protecting him. A feeling, for the first time he could remember, of belonging and home.

Max slowed his pace as he was drawn toward the source and Isabel released his hand and ran ahead to join the others. Max turned toward a group of children but the only one he saw was a small girl with long, brown hair. He stopped, stunned by the instant flash of recognition, even if he didn't understand it, but he knew without question that this was the only girl he would ever love.


(December 14th, 1992)
(The Special Unit Lab)
(Washington D.C.)

Agent Daniel Summers watched as the laser failed to penetrate the smooth surface of the alien orb. Over the years, every test known to man had been performed on it, including radiation, microwaves and every chemical on Earth, but nothing had been able to penetrate it or cause any reaction in it.

Whenever a new testing technique was developed, the orb would be retrieved from the vault and subjected to the procedure, but so far all of them had failed.

Agent Summers opened the vault, constructed from depleted uranium, and walked to place the orb in its container. Someday, he thought, they would figure out how to make it work.


(Earth Date - February 27th, 1993)
(Capitol city of Roistar - formerly Tageonon)
(Secret Headquarters of the Resistance Loyal to the Tageonants)

"Your Highness," General Toaks said as he bowed formally before the dowager Queen, "I have good news. The scientists have discovered a way to communicate across great distance and the signal cannot be tracked. They have been able to successfully alter the Thought Projector we currently use, to work on humans."

"Then we can warn Zan about Khivar's troops on Earth," Nedra exclaimed.

The General looked down to avoid the disappointment he knew he would see on her face. "But your Highness, we don't know where they are or even if they have emerged from the pods."

"I have been thinking about that General," she said. "What if we simply replace the message in the communication orbs; record over it. The orbs can hold the message and Zan can access it without sending a traceable signal."

A smile lit the General's face. "That just might work. We could use a human as a local transmitter, so the signal can’t be traced back to us."

"Tell me how this technology works," Nedra said.

"Basically it works the same on humans as on Antarians,” Toaks explained. “It allows the user to take over the mind of a subject and use the body for their own purposes. A small, unused area of the human's brain will be permanently adapted to allow the user to take over and control the human. And because the humans' brains are so similar to ours the user will be able to use their powers through the human subject too. "

"So we can use a human to broadcast a new message to the orbs," Nedra said with relief. "How is a subject chosen?"

"The subject must have a certain flaw in the brain structure. The device can sense this flaw and then we simply prepare the subject, similar to coding a computer. When I was told of the device I gave the order to have a subject prepared for your use."

"The human is not harmed in any way?"

"No, not if it is prepared correctly," the General said, shaking his head. "In fact, we have saved the life of the human the devise chose for your use. He possessed a disease that eventually would have become fatal. His own body was mutating and attacking the healthy parts, spreading corruption throughout his system. Apparently Earth medicine has not progressed enough to cure him but we were easily able to rid him of the disease to make sure of his continuing usefulness."

"And this human I will be using, what is his name?"

"He is called Brody."


(Earth Date - March 4th, 1993)
(Capitol city of Roistar - formerly Tageonon)
(Secret Headquarters of the Resistance Loyal to the Tageonants)

Nedra entered the lab with General Toaks at her side. She addressed the head scientist Kranon, “I received word that the human Brody is ready.”

“Yes, your Highness,” Kranon replied. “We carefully prepared the human and moved him from an area that contained a large concentration of technology. It probably wouldn’t have interfered with the signal but we wanted to take every precaution. Now, everything is ready for you to send the message.”

Nedra put on the thought projector and started to read the statement she had prepared. “If you are seeing me now, it means that you are alive and well…”


(The Special Unit Vault)
(Washington D.C.)

The orb was locked inside the vault constructed of depleted uranium and the signal from Antar was unable to penetrate the heavy molecules.


(Beneath the Sand - Near the Pod Chamber)

The orb accepted the message sent from Antar and attempted to activate an alert signal, a single brilliant shaft of light. But the sand pressing down on the light sensor confused the programming and it stored the signal for a later time.


(Sunday, May 2nd 1999)
(Van Buren, Missouri - near the Ozark Mountains)

Sodan sat across the table from Alyssa and motioned to the two men in suits who had just come into the diner. "There are the FBI Agents."

The trap he had set worked. Sodan had stopped sending signals to draw out the FBI and the skins when he had retrieved Alyssa from the pod chamber, but when she had started gaining control of her powers he had started again, to let Alyssa see how the FBI worked. He always avoided the skins, feeling she wasn't ready to face them and concentrated her training on the FBI.

Sodan indicated the older man, "That is Agent Summers but I don't know the younger man." Sodan recognized Summers even though over ten years had passed since he had last seen him. Summers and his partner had interviewed him when he had played a UFO nut on one of the earlier 'sightings'.

Sodan turned his attention back to Alyssa. "In a moment we will leave the diner. You will use your powers to cloak me from the Agents and I will come back in and listen to what they are saying."

Sodan left some bills on the table and they exited. Sodan and Alyssa got into the car and he drove them around the side of the diner and parked. "If anything goes wrong, use your powers to get away and meet me at the agreed upon place."

Alyssa turned her icy blue eyes to her protector. "What could go wrong?"

"Probably nothing but it is always best to prepare for the worst. Ready?"

Alyssa nodded and closed her eyes in concentration, erasing Sodan's image from the minds of the FBI Agents.

Sodan re-entered the diner and crossed to the rack of pamphlets next to the table where the Agents were eating. They obviously did not see him and continued their conversation as if they were alone. They appeared to be having an argument.

Summers leaned forward and spoke softly. "Pierce, you are too quick to destroy. There are so many things we could learn from an advanced race."

The man named Pierce answered softly but his tone was fierce, "I don't believe we can learn anything from these creatures. They are only here to take us over, wipe us out. What other reason could they have for being here so long? They kill innocent people without a thought. They are unprincipled, despicable monsters and we should wipe out every one of them."

"But think of the advantages we could gain in technology, and medicine," Summers argued.

Pierce laughed, "You are getting soft, old man. You used to be the one to say we should shoot first and ask questions later."

"I haven't changed my mind, but now that I am in charge of the Unit, I can see other possibilities."

"I will never think of them as anything but monsters," Pierce said emphatically.

Sodan turned and left the diner. So Agent Summers was now in charge of the Special Unit, Sodan thought to himself. He couldn't let such a golden opportunity slip through his fingers. He headed out the door and around the building, crossing to the car. He changed the color of the paint and the license plate. "I think I can learn something from these men. I want you to go to the hotel and stay there. I will meet you in a few hours."

"But I want to help," Alyssa insisted.

Sodan shook his head. He had successfully kept the young Queen away from the sordid business that he'd had to do from time to time. He knew Zan would not want her to be involved and he always made excuses that would relieve her suspicions. "It will be easier if I do it myself. Now do as I say."

Sodan watched as she drove away and then he changed his appearance and went back into the diner where he sat sipping a cup of coffee, waiting for an opportunity. And when Agent Summers got up and walked to the restroom, Sodan followed him.

He let the door close behind him and spoke softly, "Agent Summers."

Summers swung around, "Who are you?"

Sodan smiled as he advanced, hand outstretched. "I am the one you have been looking for."






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