This Thanksgiving story is adapted from chapter 59 of The Four Faces Of Rath. It is teen rated and includes all of our main Roswell characters from the show. Originally part of the Altered Time series, the story takes place on Antar after the special unit guys back on Earth went after even people who had had the most minor contact with Max, Michael, or Isabel. Jim Valenti was the hardest one to get to leave, but finally left with no choice, flee he did. Once on Antar, he took to the planet as though it were his, exploring the Nan-Torel, a dangerous Antarian forest avoided by the locals, and occasionally hunting in it. I think you'll enjoy this short story of the group's attempt to bring Thanksgiving to Antar. Oh! One other little thing! If you never read the Altered Time series, Jim married Kathleen Topolsky on Antar. How that happened is too long to tell here. Amy is there, too. She married Varec, Antar's most eminent young scientist.
Author: Island Breeze
Rating: TEEN or YTEEN, about like the show
Pairings: M/L, M/M, A/I, ALL
Roswell is the creation of Melinda Metz, who wrote the books, and Jason Katims, who brought us the TV series. They are responsible for the show’s concept and characters and for any events that occurred during the TV series that might be mentioned here. For better or worse, any other elements in this story, including storyline and additional characters that were not in the show, are my own vision and creation.
This story should be enjoyed by Dreamers, Candy Lovers, and Stargazers alike.
Jim tossed the two big birds down on the porch at Kathleen’s feet, and Kathleen stared at the odd-looking, round, feathered creatures with long, split tails.
“Jim... WHAT are those?”
“No, uh-uh, no!” Kathleen shook her head emphatically. “Max said there are no turkeys on Antar. Besides, those don’t look like turkeys. I know turkeys when I see them, and that’s… not them! Those aren’t anything I’ve ever seen before, Jim.”
“Well, I guess they’re Antarian turkeys, Kath. I mean, alien turkeys would look different, wouldn’t they?”
Kathleen hesitated, as she gazed at the huge birds. They were roughly the size of turkeys… maybe a little bigger. And they were fat and had turkey-like feathers. But the tail was about four feet long and split into two halves. And the head was odd-looking. It sort of looked like a turkey’s head… except for the color… and the fire-red eyes.
“If there were such a thing as an Antarian turkey, I guess this might be what one would look like,” Kathleen conceded.
“Well, there you go, Kath! We can invite the gang over for Thanksgiving dinner!”
“Are these edible, Jim?”
Jim shrugged. “We’ll find out.”
Kathleen’s eyebrows went up a couple of inches. “Maybe you’d better let Varec test one of them first, Jim. You wouldn’t want to poison all our guests.”
“Well, there won’t be that many guests, Kath. Max and Liz, Michael and Maria, and a few of the others are going off on a trip to some other dimension in the morning… to save their alternate selves or something. So they won't be able to come.”
“Well… you don’t want to poison ME, do you,” Kathleen said emphatically.
Jim smiled. “Actually, Hon, Varec’s assistant already checked them out for me. They’re edible… and nutritious, she says.”
“Okay,” Kathleen said hesitantly, “but how do they taste?”
Jim shrugged. “There’s got to be SOME mystery in life, Kath. Call the others - whoever’s still left in this dimension - Tell them we’re having Thanksgiving dinner here at the ranch. The entrée is… uh… Antarian… Nan-Torel split-tail turkey.”
Kathleen shook her head and picked one of the birds up by the feet. “I don’t want to guess who’s going to pluck these.”
“I’ll give you a hand."
With a sigh of surrender, Kathleen shook her head again but chuckled in spite of herself. “Mighty gallant of you! You know, eating a lot of turkey always put me to sleep. It’s that enzyme… tryptophan. I hope these birds don’t have that." She looked at the birds again and groaned, " And I hope they’ll fit in my oven!”
It was early the next morning - Thanksgiving Day - at the Valenti ranch, and Jim finished setting the last plate on the table then walked to the door to answer a knock.
“Michael! Maria! I thought you guys said you were leaving for Dimension Why this morning.”
“Dimension Y,” Michael corrected. “Yeah, we were, but the guys over at the lab needed a few more hours to get the ship ready, and we heard you were cooking.”
“Yep! You heard right. Come on in. Are Max and Liz comin’, too?”
“They may be. Max was still hanging around the hangar watching them prep the ship, but I’ve got a feeling they’ll be here.”
“Kind of a last meal before the road, huh?”
Michael nodded. “Yeah, the last meal for awhile among friends anyway. Little 'R2-D2' cooks up some pretty good meals on the ship, but he’s poor company.”
Kathleen, who was walking into the room at that moment with a crock pot full of something that looked like mashed potatoes, looked at Michael quizzically. “R2-D2? Is that what you've named the little service droid on the mother ship now?”
Maria laughed. “No, that’s just what Michael calls him.”
As they were speaking, Kyle and Jeliya walked in. Kyle grinned at Michael and Maria knowingly. “Hey, guys! Late getting away for your trip?”
Michael acknowledged the question nonchalantly. “The space guys over at the lab needed a few more hours to finish stocking the ship and calculating the dimensional theory to get us where we’re going in the other dimension.”
“Well, I’m glad you could both join us,” Kyle said, patting Michael on the back. “Alex and Isabel are out back with Mareeya and Ceelya grooming the yoriths. I think Danyy’s with them. Tess and Rayylar were around here somewhere with Jiba and Drel. They may have gone for a walk or they may be out back with Alex and Iz and their kids. And Taz is playing hide and seek with a few of the other children. Where’s Kryys… and Jayyd… and Zorel?”
Maria laughed. “They saw Taz and the others and headed off to play with them till dinner’s ready.”
“Well, Danyy will keep them occupied,” Kyle said. “His pawgor friend, Jung-Jo, is out there somewhere with his mate and their three babies. Only they’re not babies anymore.”
Michael nodded. “I know… I saw them a few days ago. They’re half grown already.”
Kathleen returned to the dining room at that moment and placed a very large platter on the table, with Jim’s help… “Well, guys, dinner’s ready. Get everyone inside and have the kids wash their hands so we can start.”
“I’ll round 'em up,” Jim said, stepping out the door onto the porch… “ANYONE NOT IN THE HOUSE IN TWO MINUTES GOES HUNGRY!”
Within seconds, the children came running… along with a number of parents.
“Have a seat at the table everyone," Jim said, adding in the direction of the kids, "After you’ve washed your face and hands.” Several children ran off toward the bathrooms. Soon, everyone was seated around the table, but before they could begin, there was another knock on the door. Jim went to answer it.
“Max! Liz! Gee, I’m sorry, guys… We finished everything off already. I wish you could have been here. It was delicious!”
“Oh, that’s okay,” Liz said politely, shaking her head. “We just came over to join in the celebrating before we go… while they’re finishing up with the ship.”
Looking a little disappointed, Max smiled agreeably. Jim led them into the dining room and grinned.
“Get in here. We’re just getting started. I was pullin’ your leg. We’ve got a couple of chairs already pulled up to the table for you.”
He seated Max and Liz then took his own seat at the head of the table.
“Would you cut the turkey for us, Jim,” Kathleen asked, holding out the knife.
Jim smiled and took the carving knife then began to slice off different portions for each person according to his or her request.
“Smells good,” Tess said. “I can’t wait to see how it tastes.” She picked her fork up and started to take a bite but then noticed that Jim seemed to be watching her.
“Oh… I’m sorry. Was I supposed to wait… or something?”
“No, no!” Kathleen replied reassuringly. “Jim was just wondering how you would like it.”
“Oh.” Tess nodded and put the fork into her mouth. Then she closed her eyes.
“Mmmm!” She took another bite. “I think this is the best turkey I’ve ever had, Kathleen! Where did you find these on Antar? Or did you bring them from Earth, Jim, like last year… with the sphere?”
Jim shook his head. “Nope! Got ‘em right here on Antar.”
“I didn’t know there were turkeys on Antar.”
“Well, maybe not… unless you’re at least three miles inside the Nan-Torel,” Jim replied with a grin. “These are Antarian Nan-Torel split-tail turkeys.”
“I never heard of them,” Tess said, taking another bite. “But they’re the best thing I think I’ve ever tasted on Antar!” She wiped her mouth and smiled. “And Antarian food is generally pretty good.”
With that high praise, everyone began to eat, and soon the table was buzzing with agreement regarding the culinary value of Jim’s “turkeys.”
Max dabbed a handkerchief at the corner of his mouth and nodded. “I’ve got to hand it to you, Jim. I think I could give you a wish list and send you into the Nan-Torel, and you would find everything on the list.”
There was some laughter and a lot of nodding heads.
“Well, here’s to Jim… and to Jim’s turkeys,” Dan Klein said, raising a glass of jubish.
“Yeah! Hear! Hear!” several others echoed, as everyone else raised their glasses in agreement.
Everyone enjoyed the abundant dishes of badas, grelliats, guma, and all the split-tail turkey they could eat, washing everything down with jubish, Cherry Coke, or Snapple laced with Tabasco sauce, according to preference. Seated at another table, the children seemed to be enjoying the food as much as their parents, especially the amazing Nan-Torel split-tail turkey. Clearly, this dinner was going to go down as a major success, and no one could have been more pleased about it than Jim. After dinner, Kathleen served the traditional Antarian flaming flan, japo-mevanish, with Jaht-roo cookies; and those who wanted, had an after dinner cup of real Earth coffee that Jim had stashed away from his last trip to Earth.
“Kathleen, you are the greatest! You can cook for me anytime,” Alex said, finishing up his plate. “That was delicious.”
“Why, thank you, Alex! You’re very kind.”
“Yes, he is,” Isabel said, looking up toward the ceiling.
Michael looked up at the ceiling curiously. “Iz, what in the world are you looking for?”
Isabel smiled, seemingly unoffended by the apparent bluntness of Michael’s question.
“Stars,” she replied simply, with a giddy smile.
“Well, shouldn’t you be outside then?”
Isabel shook her head. “Nope.” She looked at Alex then reached up and appeared to take something from the air and place it into Alex’s hand. Alex opened his hand and looked.
“It’s beautiful, Iz!”
“What?” Michael said. “I don’t see anything.”
“The star,” Isabel said. “I reached up and got a star and gave it to Alex.” She kissed Alex lightly on the lips.
At the children’s table, Zorel looked at Kryys, and his eyes widened. Kryys smiled back and looked amused. Mareeya, Ceelya, and the other children all grinned.
Then Max began to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Michael asked. “No one told a joke.”
Max shook his head then broke out laughing again as he looked at Liz.
“I was thinking how beautiful you are, Liz.”
Liz smiled and leaned over to give Max a kiss.
“And that’s funny?” Michael asked with a puzzled expression.
“Yeah,” Diane Klein replied for Max. “I understand Max.” She leaned over and kissed Dan, who kissed her back rather passionately.
“Okay, that’s enough for me,” Zorel said. “I’m out of here. I'm going to play with Danyy. This is getting to be too weird! A guy could die from all this sweetness!” He looked at the other children, but most of them just giggled as they watched Dan kiss Diane.
“Do you see the stars?” Isabel asked, pointing toward the ceiling. “They’re everywhere! They’re so beautiful! I can reach out and touch them.”
“They’re all for you,” Alex said. Isabel smiled and kissed Alex again.
“I see them, too,” Tess whispered.
“I don’t see anything,” her husband, Rayylar, said with a puzzled look. “I don’t either,” Kyle’s wife, Jeliya, said, searching in the air for something that she felt must be there in spite of her inability to see it.
“Reach up and you’ll touch them,” Tess said.
“Well, I didn’t see them before,” Jim said, “but now I do. Whoa! They’d make great target practice!”
Kathleen giggled then began to laugh.
“I didn’t think that was funny at all,” Michael said. “I don’t even see any stars. Stars! Stars! Where are you? Come out so I can see you!”
Kathleen grabbed Jim and pushed him down into his chair then sat on his lap. “The only target practice you’re getting, Jimbo, is with me.” She smiled and planted a big kiss on his lips, as Max began to laugh again.
“WHAT?” Michael asked.
“I have x-ray vision!” Max said. “I can see through Liz’s clothes! I can see through everyone’s clothes.”
Michael looked at Max, at first with a look of disbelief, then amusement.
“Well, why didn’t you say so?”
“Do you have x-ray vision, too, Michael?”
Michael shook his head then dissolved into laughter. “No. I just think it’s so funny that you do, Max. That’s a riot!”
Maria pulled at Michael’s arm. “Let’s dance, cosmic lover! Jim, sing for everyone.” She pulled Michael out into the middle of the floor, and they began to dance. Michael smiled and buried the side of his face in Maria’s hair, giving himself up to the moment with Maria.
Kathleen sat watching Jim sing, with a look of immense approval on her face.
“Do you like Jim’s music,” she asked Diane, sitting beside her. Diane nodded.
“It’s all colors,” Kathleen said. “The notes are different colors when they come out of his mouth. Some of them are blue… some of them are red… and some of them are pure golden. If I catch them, I can rearrange them and make a new song.”
Diane nodded. “They’re beautiful, Kath! I really love Jim’s singing! Don’t you, Dan?”
Dan nodded. “I wish I could sing in colors.”
Diane kissed Dan again. “There are plenty of things I love about you, Dan Klein! You don’t need to sing, too.”
Rayylar seemed to be the only one who noticed that someone was knocking on the door. He opened it and found Varec standing there.
“Rayylar, Can I come in? I need to tell Zan something before he… before they… Oh, oh…”
“What’s going on, Varec?” Rayylar asked.
Varec breathed a deep sigh, as he looked around the room. Max and Liz were wrapped in each other’s arms on the sofa, Kyle seemed to have similar ideas with Jeliya nearby, Michael and Maria were lost in their dance, Kathleen sat enraptured as Jim sang love songs, Dan and Diane seemed to have found a corner to cuddle in, Alex and Isabel were catching stars for each other… between kisses... and Tess was attached to Rayylar’s arm like a tattoo.
“Well, maybe it’s not as bad as I thought,” Varec said. “My assistant made a slight mistake. She told Jim that his ‘turkey’ was safe to eat. It is safe, of course, if one is Antarian. But she didn't take into consideration the differences in their alien physiology.”
“In other words,” Rayylar said, “I’m the only one here who’s normal right now? Me and Jeliya? I thought it was some kind of odd Earth celebration ritual. I was afraid to say anything.”
“Well…” Varec looked at the amused children. “The children should be okay. You two should be okay, too. The children were all born here, so they shouldn’t suffer any unusual effects from eating the birds Jim caught. But Earth physiology is… a bit different. I’m afraid anyone who was born there would experience some rather unusual symptoms from these birds.”
Rayylar motioned around the room. “Like these symptoms?”
“Maybe,” Varec said. “Euphoria, giddiness, intoxication, possible hallucinations…”
“Will they be okay?”
Varec nodded. “It’ll wear off by the end of the day… or I could give them the antidote shots I brought with me.” He looked around the room again and smiled slightly…
“Why don’t we just let it wear off naturally, huh, Rayylar?”
Rayylar looked at Tess, wrapped around his arm like a tourniquet, and sighed, then he nodded. “Yeah, I guess you and I can watch the children for a few hours, Varec.”
Two hours later, the room was basically quiet. The children had been sent back out to play. Max was asleep on the sofa with Liz lying on top of him. Her head rested on Max’s chest. She, too, was asleep, smiling. Michael and Maria had slowly collapsed onto the floor, bringing their dance to an end. Both were asleep on the floor. Michael’s arms were still around Maria, and both appeared to be in some very pleasant place judging from the smiles on their faces. Elsewhere around the room, the scene was repeated, with each couple seeming to be blissfully off in some land of happy dreams together. Though unaffected herself, Jeliya lay on a sofa with Kyle’s arms wrapped around her, having decided to just go with it. Rayylar looked at Varec and shook his head.
“Who knew. Crazy alien physiology. I wonder how long they’ll sleep.”
Liz smiled and hugged Kathleen then gave Jim a kiss on the cheek, as they accompanied Max and Liz to the door.
“That was… amazing,” Liz said, her face turning a little red. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a dinner quite like it, Kath. It was very, very… uh, tasty.” She hesitated then added, “Enjoy those leftovers, Jim. Looks like you’re going to be eating Nan-Torel turkey sandwiches for the next week at least.”
Jim’s eyes opened wide, then he half smiled as he looked around the room quickly… “Uh, Rayylar! Come here, buddy! You liked the turkey, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, it was delicious!”
“Well, look, why don’t you and Tess take the rest of it home and have it for leftovers.”
“Are you sure?”
Kathleen nodded. “We’re sure, Rayylar. If we ever eat split-tail turkey again, Jim will have to arrest us.”
“I thought you enjoyed it,” Rayylar said.
Kathleen turned slightly red but smiled. “I did… we did! Maybe a bit too much. You take it, Rayylar."
Rayylar looked at Tess for a moment then looked back at Kathleen and grinned. “Well, okay… but maybe Jeliya and Kyle would like to take some of it home, too…”
Jeliya looked at Kyle and broke into a grin. Rayylar nodded. “I thought so.”
Rayylar and Jeliya took the rest of the cut up turkey, thanked Jim and Kathleen, and left for their own respective homes. After everyone had gone, Jim sat down in his chair and leaned back with a sigh.
“That was fun, Kath. Want to do it again next year?”
Kathleen groaned and shook her head.
“But everyone had a great time today, Kath. They seemed to enjoy themselves.”
“Yeah,” Kathleen agreed. “They did enjoy themselves. No doubt about that.”
“And they loved the food, too,” Jim said. “Everyone said that the turkey tasted great.”
Kathleen nodded. “It was good.”
Jim picked up his copy of the Antar News and flipped the Video screen on.
“We’ve got a lot to be thankful for, Kath… you know? Good friends, health, a place where we can live and not be constantly harassed by neurotic, paranoid alien hunters. Odd, isn’t it? Here we are actually on an alien planet… and we’re free, our kids are free, we’re all happy, everyone’s our friend… while on our own planet we were hunted down and almost killed by our own species. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?”
Kathleen nodded. “Yeah, I’ve thought about it a lot. I was one of those paranoid, neurotic alien hunters.”
Jim smiled. “But you got your alien, Kath.”
“Yeah, I guess I did,” Kathleen agreed, sitting down on Jim’s lap and giving him a kiss. “I hope this is not too much torture for you.”
Jim grinned. “I think I can bear it. By the way, Kath, what’s for supper tonight?”
Kathleen smiled. “Turkey soup.”