(November 16th, 1959)
Atherton had been observing Nasedo for almost a week and had seen nothing
unusual, but as he followed the Nasedo into the desert and across a military
parameter fence to the '47 crash site, he knew he was about to get his proof.
Atherton stayed just far enough back to stay unobserved, but close enough to
catch Nasedo's every move in the darkness.
River Dog hurried to keep up with Atherton as the man disappeared over the
horizon, the full moon helping to keep him in sight. He had seen Atherton
sneaking around the cave where Nasedo lived and had become suspicious. He had
followed Atherton into the desert and as they got further away from the
reservation, a bad feeling settled into the pit of his stomach.
Kaldar watched as a man came out of the desert and walked toward the pod
chamber. No one had come into the area for almost ten Earth years but the lapsed
time had not made him less vigilant. He raised his hand to take aim at the
intruder and then lowered it as he recognized Sodan.
As Sodan approached the pod chamber, he stopped and quickly looked around but
seeing no one he opened the door and proceeded inside. He checked the pods,
which appeared to be fine, noting the growth of the clones with a glance and
left the chamber, having spent less than five minutes within.
Kaldar watched Sodan disappear inside the rocky structure but his attention was
drawn in the direction Sodan had come. A human was approaching stealthily,
following Sodan, and he had seen the entrance to the pod chamber. Kaldar readied
for an attack, waiting for the human to come closer to insure a deadly shot, but
then Sodan re-emerged from the chamber.
Kaldar used his power to nudge some rocks off their precarious perch next to the
human, alerting Sodan to his presence.
Sodan spotted the human immediately and walked rapidly toward him, and Kaldar
slipped back into his veiled shelter.
Atherton confronted Sodan recklessly, "I knew it! You’re an alien."
"Why would you think that?" Sodan asked casually.
"I told you I came here searching for the survivors of the crash. When I met
you, I just knew you were one of them, but I had no proof. Now I do have proof,"
he said, motioning toward where the pod chamber door had stood open just a
moment before. Atherton could picture Johnston and the other members of the UFO
society making hasty apologies to him and scrambling to be near him. "I will
show them all that aliens do exist. I will be the one to expose the conspiracy
that has hidden your presence."
"You cannot do that," Sodan said sadly, knowing what he had to do.
Sodan's words pulled Atherton out of his fantasy. "Why not? You can't stop me,"
he challenged with a laugh, unaware of the danger he was in.
"The reason for my presence on this planet is more grandiose than you could
possibly imagine." Sodan moved toward Atherton as he spoke and clasped his arm
around the other man's shoulder, holding him tightly. "Many lives are at stake
and I cannot let you risk them for fame and glory," he said without regret.
Sodan placed his free hand over the human's heart and poured energy into his
organs heating them to a fatal temperature in moments. And when Atherton's body
sagged lifelessly, Sodan tossed him over his shoulder and started back toward
He had only taken a few steps when he saw River Dog running toward him. "Is he
dead?" asked the young man motioning to Atherton’s still form.
"Yes," Nasedo said simply.
River Dog nodded and fell into step beside him. They made their way quickly back
to the cave and Nasedo began gathering his things.
"You're leaving?" River Dog asked, already knowing the answer.
"Yes. There are men looking for me. They want to kill me and I must stay alive."
He took out the healing stones and the book. He could not risk being captured
with them and he couldn't take the chance of returning them to the pod chamber
for fear of leading more humans to it. He thought for a moment, reviewing the
list of possible hiding places and smiled. He had only been into town a few
times in the last ten years but one of the structures he had seen being built
would make a perfect hiding place for the book. He looked toward the map he had
drawn on the wall and placed a symbol where he would secret the book, the
library. He smiled at the irony of it, hiding a book in the library.
Then he turned to River Dog. "It is possible someone may come looking for this
cave but don't show it to anyone until you are sure they are like me. Test them,
make them show you proof." He motioned to the map he had drawn on the cave wall,
"Show these markings only to those who pass the test."
River Dog nodded his head slowly, understanding the seriousness of Nasedo's
request. "Will you ever return?"
"Perhaps someday. When it's safe." He looked at the boy who had grown into a
young man during their acquaintance. "I have one other request," he said as he
extended his hand with the healing stones. "I cannot take these stones with me.
I can't risk them falling into the wrong hands. Will you keep them safe?"
River Dog took the stones from his otherworldly friend, "I will guard them with
Sodan had changed his appearance, hidden the book at the library and dumped
Atherton's body just outside Roswell in less than two hours. He had planned on
spending the time until the pods hatched in the cave near the reservation but he
did not know to whom Atherton had spoken or what he had told them. Sodan decided
it would be better to leave the area and not return until the pods were ready to
He had often wondered if Khivar's troops were still on Earth and if they were,
he had resolved to find them. Of course he had to be careful. It was unusual for
him to worry about his own safety, having been raised as a bodyguard, but it was
possible he was the only one of the shape shifters who had survived. And when
the Royal Four came out of their pods they would need a protector and an
educator. He wouldn't risk himself, he would simply try to determine if Khivar’s
troops were still on Earth.
Sodan drove west. He had been able to roughly determine the path the transport
had traveled on its fatal descent and he decided to follow the trail backward to
look for clues of Khivar's troops. The crash had been more than ten years ago
and though it was unlikely that any evidence would remain, he had to start
(November 18th, 1959)
(Roswell Sheriff’s Station)
When Sheriff Valenti Sr. had first seen the body with the glowing handprint
seared into its chest, he had known it was the work of aliens. He had been
present at the crash site more than a dozen years ago and no matter what lies
the military concocted, he knew the wreckage hadn't been from a weather balloon
or anything else of an Earthly origin.
Since the crash, he had looked for signs of alien activity and had pursued every
lead. He had seen the lights in Frazier Woods many times and even though he had
never seen the aliens, he knew they were on Earth. Many people said he was
obsessed, crazy even, but he knew the truth and now no one would be able to deny
it. The unidentified body in the morgue was incontrovertible proof that aliens
A knock at the door drew his attention and before he could answer, the door
opened to reveal the Mayor.
"Sheriff Valenti, this report is unacceptable," Mayor Harker said tossing the
folder onto the desk separating them. "Glowing handprints? Aliens? Are you
trying to turn the Sheriff's office and this town into a laughing stock?"
"Mayor," the Sheriff started in a calming tone, "everything in that report is
true. The body at the morgue..."
"I have just come from the morgue," Mayor Harker cut him off. "I wanted to see
this glowing handprint for myself. But all I saw was a body. There was no
"What do you mean, no handprint?"
"Either it faded or washed off," the Mayor scoffed. "Not my idea of proof of
"But we have the photos and the autopsy report," argued Valenti.
"The photos prove nothing and the coroner is ruling the cause of death as
unknown. Not alien related unknown, but Earthly causes unknown. Now, I want you
to change your report and take out all references to aliens." The Mayor ran his
hand over his face. "Jim, we have known each other a long time. I would hate to
see you throw away your career over something like this."
"I know," the Sheriff said exasperatedly, "they call me Sergeant Martian and
worse but I have seen things that have no Earthly explanation."
"I know you believe, but until you have direct proof I don't want to hear any
more about it. Half the town already thinks you’re crazy. The next time, the
city council may want to take action to have you removed from office."
(October 7th, 1960)
River Dog had avoided the cave since Nasedo left, but on that day almost a year
later, he felt compelled to return. Without Nasedo to light the interior, the
cave was pitch black and River Dog had to use a torch to light his way. He
approached the chamber where Nasedo had lived with an overwhelming feeling of
loss. Nasedo had been his friend for almost twelve years and he wondered how the
alien was getting along in the world.
He looked around the empty room; the few items Nasedo collected had been taken
out when he left. The light of the torch bounced off the bare, rocky walls and
dirt floor as River Dog turned in a complete circle. Finally the torch
illuminated the symbols Nasedo had drawn on the wall. Nasedo had said another of
his kind might come looking for the markings someday and River Dog wondered, not
for the first time, what the message said. He smiled. He would probably never
River Dog turned to leave and stopped almost immediately, his attention drawn by
a glint of light reflected from the torch by an object on the floor. He reached
for the object but quickly withdrew his hand when a jagged edge cut his finger.
He bent down, bringing the torch closer so he could get a better view. At first
he wasn't sure what it was but as he turned it over in his hand, realization
dawned. It was the piece of Nasedo's pendant that had broken.
He stood with the fragment in his hand. He had wished for Nasedo to return but
somehow he now knew he would never see his friend again. His memories and the
fragment of the pendant were all he would have of him. River Dog pulled his
medicine bag out from inside his shirt and slipped the piece inside.
(September 6th, 1962)
(Copper Summit, AZ)
Khivar's troops had actually been very easy for Sodan to find. He had simply
backtracked along the descent path of the crashed transport, searching each town
until he had come to the town at the beginning of the trail, Copper Summit.
Sodan had been surprised at first when he realized the beings occupying the town
were from his own planet. If he hadn't been paying very close attention to them,
he might have taken them for human. They had obviously used some kind of
technology to make themselves look human and help them survive in the planet's
Sodan had watched the town and its occupants, from the surrounding hills, for
over a week. Almost immediately he had seen evidence of their complacency and
failing military discipline. There were no patrols, almost no security and they
used their powers in the open without any concern of discovery.
By the end of the second week, Sodan had singled out a likely candidate, learned
his routine, and killed and replaced him. Because he looked like one of their
own, it was easy for Sodan to learn their plans and what had transpired in their
time on Earth. The skins, as they called themselves, had not been subtle in
their time on the planet. They had brazenly moved into the small town of Copper
Summit, Arizona, ruined the local economy and caused strange occurrences until
they had driven most of the humans away.
Sodan discovered from them that they had been sent to Earth with three purposes.
They were systematically searching the country to find the Granolith and the
Royal Four and when they found them, they would kill the King, Queen and General
Varros, and they would return Vilondra to Antar.
Sodan had known of the Princess' affair with the usurper Khivar, but he thought
it had ended long before her death. It was obvious to Sodan that Khivar only
wished to marry Vilondra to make his claim to the throne legitimate, and he
dismissed the vague talk of Vilondra's treachery as Harcion rhetoric. He had
known the Princess her entire life. Vilondra would never betray her brother and
The skins leader, whom Sodan discovered to be none other than Khivar's right
hand, General Nicaron, known as Nicholas on Earth, was rotating patrols to
different parts of the country and chasing UFO sightings in attempt to locate
the Royal Four, but so far they had made no progress. It had amused Sodan to
discover that the skins had learned the crash had happened in Roswell almost ten
years after the fact. Nicholas had sent a team to investigate but they had come
back empty-handed. It was the first time Sodan had been glad the human military
had cleaned up the area so well.
He had also made another, unexpected discovery. The skin he was impersonating
was a member of a rebel group that was working to overthrow Khivar and place
General Rath Varros on the throne. The group had been actively sabotaging the
mission from the inside by killing Khivar's loyal troops and searching on their
own for the General. Sodan respected the fact that the rebels were working to
unseat the pretender Khivar but he was deeply offended that they wished to place
the General, who was a mere ducal heir and half Harcion, on his master's throne,
and Sodan vowed they would all die for their insolence.
(October 21st, 1962)
Sodan had arrived in Delta five days ago with a specific plan. He had replaced a
local farmer, faked a UFO sighting and reported it to the media, hoping to draw
his prey to him. Using a trithium amplification generator he had obtained from
his time in Copper Summit, he was able to monitor the skins movements. And this
morning a skin investigative team, sent by Nicholas, had come to his door under
their usual cover story of writing a book about UFO sightings.
He had given the skins a story of extraterrestrials with descriptions of shape
shifters accurate enough to keep them in the area searching. Over the next two
days he would kill the skin Lieutenant, who was in charge of the investigation,
and assume his identity. Then he would kill one of the others and when they
returned to Copper Summit he would accuse the other two of the murder.
Nicholas was known for his deadly temper and Sodan was counting on Nicholas to
strike first, whether there was proof of guilt or not. But even if Nicholas did
not kill the soldiers, the seeds of doubt would be planted and hopefully it
would tear the group apart from the inside.
But before Sodan could put his plan into action, he had another unexpected
visitor. Apparently the skins were not the only ones who were investigating UFO
sightings. Sodan answered the knock at his door and recognized Agent Lewis
immediately, even though he had not seen him for over ten years. Lewis had been
in charge of Sodan's capture and torture and his was a face Sodan was not ever
likely to forget.
"Good afternoon Mr. Barnett," Lewis greeted him. "I am agent Lewis from the FBI.
I'm investigating your claim of a UFO sighting.
"Agent Lewis," Sodan said with an outstretched hand, "come in. I will be glad to
answer your questions."
Sodan glanced out the door as he moved aside to allow Lewis to enter. Lewis had
arrogantly come to interview him alone and Sodan smiled with satisfaction as he
closed the door behind the human. Sodan didn't waste time bantering with the
human but subdued him easily and morphed into the form he had used during his
capture. "We have met before, but perhaps you would remember me better with this
Sodan was gratified by the look of genuine surprise on Lewis' face before he
slowly ended the agent's life.
(October 27th, 1962)
(Copper Summit, AZ)
Sodan watched with amused satisfaction as Nicholas ranted. He had led Nicholas
to suspect the two skin soldiers and several others, were actively conspiring
against Khivar. The amusing part was that Sodan had accused them of plotting to
murder him, or more precisely plotting to murder the skin Lieutenant he was
impersonating. The satisfying part was that he had exposed William, the leader
of the resistance against Khivar on Earth.
Tomorrow Nicholas would execute the traitors as examples but by then Sodan would
be long gone. When it was discovered he was missing it would be assumed that
more traitors had killed him. Sodan smiled. He had successfully started a war
within Khivar's troops and with any luck they would destroy themselves.
(February 25th, 1967)
(Union City, Tennessee)
Over the next five years, Sodan repeated the same scenario several times at
different locations around the country. He would report a sighting and then wait
for the skins to come to him. He succeeded in killing at least a dozen skins and
tricked Nicholas into killing at least ten more.
The special unit had continued to investigate the sightings but they had grown
more cautious. The new head, agent del Bianco, made sure all agents worked in
pairs and reported to headquarters often. Sodan had a particular hate for the
special unit and took great pleasure in killing the agents whenever he got the
opportunity, and that morning he was presented with an opportunity he could not
Agent del Bianco came alone to the house where Sodan was staying to investigate
the latest counterfeit sighting. Agent del Bianco told Sodan his partner was
running late and would meet them in twenty minutes. Sodan could not believe his
luck and wasted no time subduing and killing the human.
He left the body on the front porch of the house to ensure that the other agent
would not miss it when he arrived. Then he changed his face, placed his
belongings in the newly colored black car and headed out of town.
(May 15, 1970)
(near the pod chamber)
Kaldar had watched the two human women for the last few minutes as they had been
taking photographs in the area near the pod chamber. At first he had been
concerned that they might pose a threat to the pods but relaxed when he realized
they were simply enjoying the outdoors.
Kaldar didn't see many people, especially females. Over the years when he went
into town, he would borrow the faces and attire of drifters who were often seen
in the area, in order to draw as little attention to himself as possible. Few
people acknowledged or talked to him and none of them who did were female.
Curious, he moved closer to the women's truck where he could easily hear their
"Joyce I think we've gotten some great pictures today. I’m sure the gallery will
buy some of these shots."
"I think you’re right Shelia," Joyce agreed. "The desert provides a perfect
backdrop for the rock formations and the scrub brush. It looks so desolate and
that is what people want these days, but you're the aspiring artist, I just tote
your camera equipment."
Shelia didn't answer her friend right away, her attention focused on the rock
formation where the pod chamber was hidden. "You know it's the strangest thing.
I wanted to come to this place because I had seen photographs that had been
taken here back in the thirties," she motioned to the rocks that held her
attention, "but I don't remember this formation being this big. And that unique
shape, almost like it’s pointing up into the sky, surely I would have remembered
"That's ridiculous," Joyce laughed. "Rocks don’t change that fast."
Sheila shook her head. "I'm positive it wasn't like that," she said heading for
the truck. "I have the photos. We can compare."
Joyce glanced at the huge rock formation with disbelief. Of course it hadn’t
changed. The thing must weigh tons.
Shelia trotted up to her with the photos and they quickly flipped though the
stack, looking for shots with the correct angle. Finally they found a photo that
covered the area where the rocks stood but just as she had said, the formation
was smaller and a different shape in the photo.
"This is impossible," Joyce said, shaking her head. "It must be a different
"No," Shelia said. "Look," she held up the photo and pointed out the landmarks
she had recognized. "There are those two rocks, and that other large rock
formation is there."
Joyce shook her head. "You're right but it can't be."
"Well," Shelia joked, "supposedly this is the area where the UFO crashed in 1947
maybe the aliens formed the rock for some reason, like the ones at Stonehenge or
"Yeah that must be it," Joyce laughed. "I wonder what really did happen. Some
kind of geologic phenomena."
"Yeah,” Shelia agreed, “maybe somebody from the university geology department
can explain it."
"I’ll contact someone there tomorrow," Joyce said as she turned and headed back
to the truck. "But it's getting late and I'm sure that husband of yours has big
plans for tonight, since it's your first anniversary."
Kaldar lurched toward the truck, a feeling of dread overcoming him. The
previously harmless women suddenly posed a threat to his charges. If they
alerted others, there was a possibility the pod chamber would be discovered and
he couldn't let that happen. In the past he simply would have killed both women
where they stood but his powers were not always reliable and he couldn't risk
letting them get away. He rushed forward as they closed the trucks’ doors and
slipped under a tarp in the bed of the truck. He would wait until he had a
The truck traveled for almost half an hour before stopping again. Kaldar peered
out through a slit he had made in the canvas covering him. It was obviously the
home of the woman called Shelia. She exited the truck with her damning photos
and went into the house.
Kaldar waited until the truck drove to the end of the street to make his move.
He used his powers to stall the engine, hopped out of the truck and reached
through the driver's side window quickly ending Joyce's life. He shoved her body
down onto the floor as he changed the color of the truck and the number on the
plates. Then he climbed behind the wheel just as a car came around the corner
He turned the truck and drove back the way he had just come, watching in
frustration as the other car pulled into the driveway of the house where he had
been headed. Kaldar drove the truck past his intended destination and parked
down the road. He would wait until dark to enter the house and finish his task.
He reached for the Tic Tac brand mints that he always kept in his pocket. He had
seen the mints for the first time on a visit to town a month ago and had
discovered they offered greater relief from the headaches than anything he had
previously tried. He shook the plastic container, causing the familiar rattle,
and popped a few of the small mints in his mouth to quell the growing pain in
his head from the use of his powers.
After just a few moments, Shelia and the man who had been driving the car,
exited the house and climbed into the car. Kaldar followed them discreetly in
the truck, waiting patiently for an opportunity. As they drove, he considered
the situation carefully, quickly coming to a decision. The woman Shelia was his
only target. Even if she had told the man what she had discovered in the desert,
it was unlikely he would know the location of the pod chamber. Kaldar would kill
the woman, return to her house and destroy the only evidence; the photos, and
then the man would pose no threat.
They had only been driving for ten minutes when the car pulled off the road,
stopping at a small cafe. Kaldar stopped his vehicle just down the road and when
the man walked alone toward the store, Kaldar rushed toward the woman in the
car. Like all Antarians, he was capable of shorts bursts of extraordinary speed
and he was next to the car in seconds.
She was just getting out of the car as he reached her. Kaldar pushed her back
against the seat and placed his hand on her chest, using his powers to kill her
quickly. He dragged her behind the car and allowed her limp body to fall onto
the ground. He stood and glanced back toward the cafe just as the man emerged
from the building, and their eyes met briefly. Kaldar turned and walked quickly
across the parking lot and down the road toward the stolen truck.
Hubble exited the cafe and glanced at the drifter who was headed toward the road
but drifters were common in the area and the man did not hold his attention. He
continued to his car, opened the door and climbed inside, only noticing then
that Shelia was not in the car.
He sat for a moment thinking. His eyes flicked to the cafe. Perhaps she was in
the restroom, he thought, but he had not seen her enter the cafe. He got out of
the car and looked around the dark parking lot seeing no one. Even the drifter
had disappeared. Then he started around the back of the car but stopped almost
Shelia was lying on the ground and Hubble rushed to her side. He reached for her
but the glowing handprint on her chest stopped him momentarily, the unreality of
the situation making his mind swim in confusion. Without touching her, he knew
she was dead. As he gently gathered her in his arms, his tears started to fall.
His beautiful wife had been taken from him.
Kaldar's head was pounding painfully from the use of his powers and he dumped a
generous amount of Tic Tacs into his mouth. After a short drive, he pulled onto
the driveway of Shelia’s house and entered under the cover of darkness, easily
finding the photos he was searching for. He paused to look around at the other
photos that littered the tables and shelves. Many showed the man and woman
together, smiling or laughing and he had just destroyed their happiness. A wave
of regret passed over him but he pushed it away. He had done what he had to do
to keep the Royal Four safe.
He glanced at the photos he was holding. They were simple photos of rocks and
sand. They seemed so innocent, so innocuous but they heralded death; either the
deaths of the Royal Four and the hopes of millions on Antar, or the deaths of
two human women. Kaldar had not hesitated in his decision and he would do the
same thing again. With a wave of his hand, he turned the photos to a fine dust
that filtered through his fingers and down onto the formerly pristine carpet.
(November 3rd, 1972)
(Roswell Sheriff’s Station)
Jim Valenti Sr. looked up from the paperwork he was doing." I'm Sheriff Valenti,"
he said, rising with an extended hand. "What can I do for you?"
"Everett Hubble," the man responded, taking the proffered hand, "and I'm hoping
you can help me. I heard you were the man to see."
"See about what?"
"My wife was killed and I'm hoping you can help me track the killer."
"But why come to me?” asked the Sheriff.
"Because my wife was killed by an alien."
Jim sat back in his chair. "Very funny. Who put you up to it?"
"I assure you Sheriff it isn't a joke. My wife, Shelia was killed two years
ago." He motioned to his chest, "She had a glowing handprint just here." His
eyes lost their focus as he remembered. "The thing must have been trying to
steal my car and maybe Shelia tried to stop it, but it killed her without a
"I'm sorry," Valenti said, "but not many people believe, and I take a lot of
"I know what you mean," Hubble said with a nod. "I thought all of the stories
about aliens were just that, stories, until I got firsthand knowledge. And for
the last two years I have been investigating, trying to find out all I can while
I look for the one that killed my wife." He paused. "I heard you were a crazy
old man who believed in aliens but when I found out you were at the crash in
'47, I knew you weren't crazy."
"What have you been able to find out?"
"Well there aren't many people who are willing to talk. But I have heard rumors
about shape shifters that can take on the face of any human. The one that killed
my Shelia looked human. He wears the face of a drifter." Hubble looked at the
Sheriff, knowing he was winning him over. "Will you help me Sheriff? We have to
find it so it can't do the same thing to anyone else."
(The Valenti House)
Jimmy Valenti watched as his father approached the house with a man he had never
seen. He stood back as they came in, hoping the new man was not another UFO
chaser. Over the years his father had been involved with one lunatic after
another, always searching for proof of aliens. Jimmy had eagerly listened to his
father's tales when he was younger but as he matured, the teasing he received
from the other children made him resent his father's obsession.
His father made the introductions. "Jimmy this is Mr. Hubble."
Hubble held out his hand, "Nice to meet you son, but everybody calls me Hub. Are
you an alien hunter, like your dad?"
Jimmy shook his head sadly. It was just as he feared, another alien nut. He
quickly made his excuses, mumbling something about a date and left. He didn't
want to be around as his father dug himself deeper into the hole of science
"Sorry about Jimmy," said the Sheriff, "he doesn't believe."
"Jim, I wish every day that I didn't believe," Hubble said. "Because the truth
is, if there were no aliens my wife would still be alive and my daughter would
be almost two years old."
(December 6th, 1972)
Sheriff Valenti glanced at the man riding in the car with him. They had been
tracking the drifter Hubble thought was responsible for his wife's death for
more than a month but this time they had a solid lead. A man who fit the
description had chased another drifter out of his home at the old silo.
They would reach the silo in just a few minutes, but the Sheriff was wary of
Hubble's reaction to the man and sought to reassure himself. "Now when we find
this man, if he's the right one, we're just going to talk to him, right?"
Valenti waited for an answer but Hubble stayed silent. He looked toward Hubble
but the other man’s expression gave away none of his feelings. "Hub?” Valenti
said. “Hubble!" he repeated louder and gained the other man's attention. "We're
just going to talk to him."
"Yeah Jim. Don't worry," Hubble reassured him with a smile, as he fingered the
gun in his pocket. "We'll just talk."
Valenti stopped the car near the silo and the two of them went inside. The
Sheriff entered the dark silo first but Hubble saw the drifter first and
recognized the man immediately. He pushed past the Sheriff and grabbed the
drifter by the collar, lifting him off his feet. "Why did you kill her?" he
"Kill who?" the drifter said groggily. "I don't know what you're talking about."
Hubble threw the man against the wall, "I know you're lying. I was there. I saw
you. It was two and a half years ago. May 15th, 1970. Pepper's Cafe."
"I have never heard of that place and I've never killed anyone," the drifter
Hubble turned to Jim, "He's lying."
"Okay," Valenti agreed. "Let's just take him in and we can get everything
straightened out to everybody's satisfaction."
"I can get my satisfaction right here," Hubble said. Before Jim could stop him,
he quickly drew his gun and fired twice into the drifter's chest. He wasn't sure
what he expected but the man's body simply dropped to the ground, a bloom of
crimson quickly covering his chest.
Sheriff Valenti rushed forward and felt for a pulse. "He's dead."
"That alien deserved to die for what he did to Shelia," roared Hubble.
The Sheriff looked closely at the dead man on the ground. "Hubble, I don't think
he is an alien. He looks human."
"Of course he looks human. He can change his shape," Hubble said.
"But shouldn't he change back now that he's dead?" Valenti pointed out. "Or have
green blood or, I don't know, something. Something not human?"
"He can't be a man," Hubble said, as a kernel of doubt started to grow within
him. "He left the glowing hand print."
The Sheriff sat back on his heals, realization dawning as the seemingly
inconsistent pieces suddenly fit into place. "The alien left the hand print. The
alien killed your wife. The alien changed his appearance to look like this man,
but this isn't the alien. This is a human and the alien took his face." Valenti
turned toward Hubble, "Hub, we killed a man. We hunted down and murdered a
(April 17th, 1989)
(The Pod Chamber)
Kaldar glanced at the sun overhead. It was only April but already the heat was
pounding down like it was July. There had been little rain that year and there
was almost no foliage to provide him with cover. Fortunately his kind was
capable of adapting to almost any atmospheric condition and the heat was merely
He had needed to go into town to replenish his supplies for the last week but he
had been overwhelmed by the impression that it was of the utmost importance for
him to stay near the pod chamber. He was an empath and even though his ability
was only considered to be moderately powerful, he always followed the
impressions he received. He did not always know what they meant but they were
almost never wrong. So as his few remaining supplies dwindled, he stayed alert,
carefully scanning the horizon for any signs of danger.
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 with wide eyes. And he sat
dumbfounded as his young master emerged from the dark chamber.
(August 15th, 1990)
Sodan noted the growth of the town as he drove through it for the first time in
thirty years. It amused him that the entire area seemed to have its economy
based on aliens. Alien themed businesses lined the main street; restaurants,
souvenir shops and even a museum. But he was not there for the tourist
attractions and quickly passed through the town toward his destination.
He drove for several more miles before pulling onto a familiar dirt road that
continued into the desert. 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.