This is a longer chapter. Warning this is not Liz friendly - I don't make her into a horrible person but I needed to make her so that Max wouldn't be in to her as I obviously have other plans for him. Thanks to Kirsty for the review - it made me do my happy dance! Would love more reviews!

Disclaimer - I own nothing - just lots of loans!

Best laid schemes of mice, men and aliens.

"The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry and leave us nothing but grief and pain for promised joy." Robert Burns

Crash down and die.

Michael entered the Crash down dragging a reluctant Max behind him. Michael had rudely disturbed Max from his first successful connection with Her and Max wasn't sure he could ever forgive him. Max never came into the Crash down – he hated it! In fact, his plan for as long as he could remember was to go nowhere unless absolutely necessary. To keep his head down, keep a low profile until he had a scheme, to find Her and to finally go home.

"So, tell me - why am I here again?" asked Max grumpily. "I told you" explained Michael, "I need to ask Liz Parker for tuition in science." "Right I see" replied Max in a sardonic tone that indicated that he didn't see at all …. "so ... why am I here again? I hate this place it's so insulting to u…, I mean, to … aliens." Michael raised his eyebrow at Max's near slip. Of all of them Max was probably the one who identified most with being an alien. Michael had surmised long ago that it gave Max something positive to focus on to raise him above the daily misery that was life with his abusive step - father Hank. "I'll just ask Liz about tutoring and then we can get out of here" soothed Michael I need you here as incentive for Liz". As Max raised an ebony brow at him Michael reluctantly expanded his explanation – he knew Max wouldn't like it. "Liz has a crush on you, you just have to stand there and look all brooding and handsome and she'll agree to anything just to get to be close to you!" "Michael" Max's tone was disapproving but Michael cut across him giving him his most imploring look. "Please, just this once, I'm flunking science, my dad will kill me." Max relented and let Michael pull him towards the counter, he knew the pressure Michael's dad put on him and his sister Isabel to be the 'perfect kids' although he would swap his situation with theirs in a second for the sake of a little pressure. Michael smirked at Max as he led him to the counter. At times Michael couldn't believe how oblivious Max was of all the girls who were regularly lusting after him. Max had that bad boy vibe working for him, dark good looks, hazel / brown eyes and a hard, muscled body that he generally clothed in denim and leather. Any other friend of any other guy would have teased Max about his lack of interest in girls, but Michael knew the truth. Max was simply waiting for 'Her'. Max was convinced that there had been a fourth alien and that he was destined to be with Her. He described a deep ache, a void in his body and soul, that could only be filled by 'Her'. And so, all the bright young girls of Roswell were disappointed – but that didn't stop them trying.

Max was about to ask which girl was Liz when it became obvious as they approached a small brunette waitress who was staring at him with hungry puppy dog eyes as if the crowd of customers in the Crash down was the only thing stopping her from devouring him on the spot. It made Max feel uncomfortable to see such intensity towards him from someone whose name he hadn't even been aware of a moment before. Just as they were getting close enough to Liz to talk, Max heard a shot ring out through the restaurant. Liz's eyes still held his as they widened in shock and pain and she slid to the floor. Without thinking Max threw himself to the floor beside Liz and started to heal her. Seeing the pain in her eyes he couldn't do otherwise. How many times had he felt similar pain when Hank had beaten and kicked him, and he hadn't been able to heal himself in case Hank noticed? Well he hadn't been able to act then, but he could now. Liz continued to stare adoringly at him as he concentrated on healing her. Flashes came from Liz in quick succession … Liz on her first day at school, Liz in a dress she clearly didn't like, Liz on her birthday, Liz on the swings in the playground… Max was frankly astonished at the flashes, he'd had them before when he'd inadvertently connected with someone. Usually the flashes were of critical events in a person's life and of people who were important to them, but with Liz all the flashes were of herself. Could she really be that self – centred? More importantly had he just exposed himself to someone who would, most likely put themselves first in every situation? So much for his master plan of keeping a low profile! Finishing the healing and squirting a bottle of ketchup over the blood, Max looked pleadingly at Liz. "You panicked and fell and broke the ketchup, ok? Please don't tell! I'll explain later!" At that Max turned and ran out of the Crash down dragging a shocked Michael behind him. As he left the Crash down Max felt a strange pull, compelling him to stay, to stay with Liz. But his panic overrode the pull and he and Michael ran.

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up." Dean Karnazes

Eoywn sighed softly as she and Larek stood on the hill overlooking the narrow desert road checking for signs of pursuit. Larex turned to regard her. "Melancholy, My Queen?" he asked curious, Eowyn never complained especially since she had regained her memories two years ago. Eowyn turned and smiled reassuringly at her protector. "Not really," she answered, "I'm just looking forward to reaching a town so I can sleep on a bed again and have a shower, I definitely need a shower!". Larex smiled and returned to his contemplation of the landscape. He often worried that this lifestyle could have a detrimental effect on his Queen. It was a tough, unrelenting life, always on the road and on the move, but their hand had been forced. The original plan had been to closet the King and Queen and their companions in safe houses across America staffed by human allies and friends. But the crash had changed all that …

Flash back of the crash

Larex was the first to awaken from hyper sleep. The rest of the crew continued to slumber in their pods. He went first to the pods of the King and Queen, They and their companions had grown during the flight and had now developed into the equivalent of six-year olds. Larek felt a huge pressure of responsibility as he gazed at the serene face of his 6-year-old Queen lying in her pod. He remembered the words of her father, King Tilian to himself and the other protector Jadar and the crew just before they left. "You take the hope of our worlds with you and hold that hope in your hands. Keep them safe, keep them protected and return with them so that they might avenge themselves and regain their rightful place". Larek was interrupted in his musing by the stirring of the rest of the crew as they too awakened from hyper sleep and started about the business of preparing the ship to enter earth's orbit. Earth had been chosen because it was about as far away from civilisation as they could reach, the inhabitants were undeveloped but not overly savage and most importantly… it was reached through a black hole, thus bending time itself. Although the King and Queen and their two companions would take another twelve years to develop and grow on Earth, their people would only have to wait two years for their return.

The entry into Earth's atmosphere went smoothly, until that is one of the cabin crew reported sighting Earth fighter planes on their bow, a moment later they were being fired upon! In the confusion that followed the crew realised that their shields, which should have made them undetectable by the humans had all failed! Larex and his counterpart Jadar executed emergency procedures immediately. Lifting their precious charges out of their pods. The Captain transported the two protectors and their four charges to a spot ten miles away from the ship.

As soon as the Royals were safely away the captain engaged the shields' auto repair and the ship made its getaway. The crew would go to their rendezvous, hide the ship and return to hyper sleep so that they would not age in the twelve years that it took their monarchs to mature. It had been agreed that only Jadar and Larex would stay with the four and age. It was a sacrifice that they were both willing, no honoured to make.

Turning to survey the surrounding landscape, Jadar and Larek exchanged worried glances, their charges were starting to wake up and they needed to get them out of here immediately. They had no doubt as to the reception they would get from the humans. They needed to get to the safe house. But they could each only carry one at a time, and if they ran with two, they would have to leave two behind on their own to fend for themselves until they could return. They decided instead that one of them would go with one of their charges and return with help to collect the others. Larek decided to take The Queen Eowyn first, her father's hopeful words and sad eyes still fresh in his memory.

Once he had the Queen secure in the safe house Larek returned to the site where he had left Jadar with King Zan and the others, but as he approached the site, he saw instead a group of human soldiers, they were standing in a circle with Jadar in their midst, his hands raised above his head. Their charges were nowhere to be seen! Jadar must have transported them so they had to be somewhere within a ten - mile radius. As he watched Jadar, trying to plan how he could save him, he heard Jadar's communicator go off, probably the crew calling to say they were safe. At the noise several of the soldiers jumped and opened fire on Jadar in panic. As he lay mortally wounded, Larek could swear Jadar was looking in his eyes, even though he couldn't possibly see Larek at that distance in the dark. "Save them" he mouthed before self-destructing, taking most of the soldiers with him in the explosion. Larek watched with mingled horror and pride ... at least the humans would find no evidence of their mission, would not be able to experiment on Jadar. All had been obliterated in the explosion. Not even he noticed that, seconds before he died, Jadar had used his powers to bury the communicator in the ground where he stood.

Larek frantically searched the surrounding area for the rest of his charges, but could find no sign of them, what he did find were fresh human car tracks and Skin soldiers, everywhere searching as he did, it was only a matter of time before they found him or his tracks. He was forced to leave before he led them to the Queen…

End flashback

…. now with the certainty that their enemies were on earth with them they had to keep running for fear that they would be hunted down and found. They had short respites in safe houses but it was never safe to stay for long so they kept driving, running, moving walking … they would crawl if they must, but they would never give up …. Too many lives depended on them evading the skins, surviving and returning Antar, to free their people from the same tyrant that hunted them.

"Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth" Matthew 6:3

Nicholas approached the blonde beauty nervously. He hated her, and yet he, a general had to defer to her. She was his only link to his Lord Kivar, and, she was his Lord's sister. "What news General?" she asked without even turning to look at him. Nicholas gritted his teeth. "Nothing Lady Tessa" he admitted reluctantly.

Tess sighed and turned to give him her full attention. "Nothing!" she questioned with a raised eyebrow. "Tell me General, how long is it now that we have been trying to find the Queen Eowyn?" The bitch thought Nicholas, she knew the answer as well as he. "twelve years, my Lady" he admitted. And how long have we been searching for the King Zan" she asked "twelve years, my Lady" he grated.

"General you are aware are you not, that Lord Kivar, my brother greatly desires the Queen." Of course, he was, thought Nicholas It was he who had listened to Kivar rave about Eowyn's beauty and how much he desired her both before and after her marriage to Zan. It was he who had planned with Kivar how to capture the Queen Eowyn from Antar, killing her husband and claiming her as Kivar's own. And it was he who witnessed Kivar's wrath when he discovered that Eowyn was not where she was supposed to be and so, although she had avoided the soldiers sent to abduct her, had been killed by the assassin sent to murder her husband. He who watched as Kivar executed every last one of the hundred soldiers who had been sent to abduct Eowyn for their failure. And ultimately it was him who his Lord had blamed and when they had learned of the resurrection of the King and Queen, had been sent to this hell hole of a planet as punishment and for a chance of redemption to recover the Queen and kill the King once again. And Kivar's sister, Tess had been sent to monitor him.

But the last twelve years had proven fruitless. Although they had managed to disarm the Royal's ship's shields and caused it to make an emergency landing, forcing the two protectors to flee with the King and Queen and their companions, they had been unable to find their trail. They knew that the Protectors had separated; one fleeing with the Queen and one remaining with the King and the others. They had also witnessed the humans killing one of the protectors, but they had found no trace of the Royals or the other protector, it was if they had vanished into thin air. Nicholas, with the approval of Tess chose to track the Queen first. Over the years they had followed leads, some false and some tantalisingly real almost catching their prey before they had disappeared again. It was frustrating to say the least. Tess dismissed Nicholas with a wave of her hand. He was so gullible she thought to herself. They would find the Queen for her brother, but only when she decided that the time was right for them to do so. She had known coming to earth that this mission would take years to complete – that was the plan – the real plan – the plan that only she and Kivar were aware of.