posted on 5-Jan-2003 4:15:46 PM
“Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



The stories included in “Star Trails to Antar” are all G to PG rated, approximately in keeping with the TV show’s rating, and pairing of some main characters is similar: Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Alex/Isabel (Yes, Alex is back!). Kyle, Tess, and Amy, though, marry Antarians, and if you haven’t read my stories, you won’t even guess who Jim marries. ‘Nuff said! The creators and producers of Roswell, Melinda Metz and Jason Katims deserve the credit for the Roswell concept and pre-existing characters and any mention of events that occurred during the TV series, “Roswell,” which I do not own but merely lead down a path of imagination through the stars of a destiny that might have been intended for them but which they never had a chance to show us. Other characters not from the show are my own, including a host of children and Antarians, as well as alien adults and children from other planets. Though I am a Dreamer at heart, I am also very much a Candy person and an up-and-coming Stargazer, so different stories may lean toward the Candy or Stargazing side or another side, as well as the Dreamer side. The first story is a Michael POV as Michael tells us of his and Max’s adventures in the battle for Antar.






[ edited 2 time(s), last at 13-Jan-2003 10:02:36 AM ]
posted on 5-Jan-2003 4:17:09 PM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #1 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG



“Kivar, the Battle, and the Wondrous Jah-ee”
(A Michael POV)





Michael began slowly… almost shyly at first…

Max had been gone for over a week before we really began to fear that he was dead. Nobody wanted to say it; but we all knew that the Nan-torel was a place from which few returned… and nobody went in there willingly. It just abounds with danger everywhere, from the large tiger-like pawgors to the fierce, bat-like rob-jeta, to the poisonous plants… and things that hadn’t even been discovered… nobody wanted to go in there. Anyone who had been in the Nan-torel for 24 hours was automatically assumed to be dead. Still, everyone wanted to give Zan the benefit of a doubt! It was partly because they trusted and believed in him, but it was also because he was their last hope… their only hope, to finally escape from Kivar’s brutal treachery.

I guess you’ll want to know how this all started…

“Max and I, along with Kyle Valenti, had escaped from earth by the skin of our teeth as the earth was in the throes of destruction brought on by Kivar’s doomsday weapon, the excitron. Maria and Isabel had originally been with us, too, but… well, that’s a story for another day…

Anyway, it took us 36 days to return to Antar in the ship that we had taken from Kivar. When we arrived back on Antar, we found that everything was in chaos, not only on Antar but also on several neighboring planets in our system. Years before, Kathana had attacked Kivar, Kivar had attacked Sero, Sero had attacked Hanar and Zan… eventually, Kivar had gained the upper hand and taken over most of the four realms. That’s why Zan -That’s Max, for anyone who doesn’t know- along with Isabel, Tess, and I had been sent to earth in the first place. Kivar killed most of the leaders of the planets he took over. One of the leaders he killed was Zan; he also killed Zan’s second in command -that’s me- and some other members of our families.

Zan had been a very popular leader on Antar… everyone on Antar loved him, and Antar had prospered and benefited from many years of peace and happiness under him. One of our crowning achievements was our system of linked science laboratories. The scientists in our laboratories had succeeded in curing most diseases and giving Antarians a very enviable lifestyle. Eventually, our scientists had found a way to make us virtually immune to all disease; that’s why on earth, Max, Isabel, and I never had to go to a doctor and never got sick. Our scientists also gave us amazing advances in technology and helped to usher in “the Great Era of Prosperity and Peace” under Zan’s leadership.

Kivar, in particular, had long plotted to overthrow Antar, but he was afraid of taking on all the planets together. After Kathana attacked him, though, he became bold and just kept going…

After Zan and I were killed, our people were in dispair. Out of desperation, our scientists did something never before tried or achieved… they took DNA from the bodies of Zan -or Max- and from Vilandra -that’s Isabel- and from Tess and me, and they sent a ship to earth to combine our DNA with human DNA in order to make us into totally human-like clones that could live peacefully and secretly among humans but some day be brought back to Antar to revive the “Great Age of Prosperity and Peace.” They specially engineered our DNA to revive certain memories in us at specific times in our lives and to guide us in our destiny. It was the only thing they knew to do.

When Kivar learned what the scientists had done, he had all the linked science labs destroyed -razed to the ground. The men and women who had brought prosperity and freedom from disease to Antar and tried to bring it to all other planets… Kivar had these people locked up in prisons on his planet or turned into menial laborers there -picking up trash on the streets, cleaning toilets…

This is the situation that we found when Max and Kyle and I arrived back on Antar. The prosperity once enjoyed on our planet was gone, the people were in despair, and Kivar was in the royal residence. Fortunately, when we landed on Antar, one of the first people we saw was Garandev, who had been a loyal member of Zan’s staff, and he filled us in quickly on what had been happening.

We went into hiding to develop a plan. Garandev secretly brought in others who were loyal and brave enough to go up against Kivar… and many who weren’t brave but were desperate and had nothing left to lose. We laid out our plans over a period of two months, and finally, we felt that we were as ready as we were ever going to be.

Zan gave the word, and the Battle for Antar began.”

“The word traveled fast. From Hyrf, Kivar’s home planet, to Teroggel, Kathana’s home planet, to Deshrune, Sero’s home planet, and all across Antar, the word was out. It was time to rise up and throw out Kivar. People arrived… ex-soldiers, construction workers, boat captains, drivers, shebble herders, farmers… from all over Antar and from the other planets… from all walks of life they showed up, carrying sticks, metal rods, ancient guns, anything that they could still find since Kivar had had almost every conceivably useful weapon confiscated from the populace after he took power. But the people had one thing that they had not had in many years… they had hope… real hope!

Garandev, Max, and I had organized a special battalion of ex-space officers and crewmen to capture two of the spaceships at the space field so that we could face off Kivar's ships in space. This battalion was led by General Kobel.

In the royal residence, when Kivar received word of the uprising, he immediately acted to put it down, calling up his entire army, which -small though it was- had all the weapons and advantages that the people didn’t.

As the crowd supporting Zan, which may now have numbered over a million, poured down all the streets toward the royal residence, with Max and me leading, even women and many children came out of their houses to walk with us. Then Kivar struck.

He attacked with laser blasts fired from three subspace atmospheric ram-propulsion slipstream ships, similar to fighter jets. This dispersed the crowd, and many were killed or injured. But the crowd regrouped and kept coming. A shebble herder using an ancient slingshot device made of two small cords, a piece of dried shebble hide, and a rock, managed to damage one ship’s right aileron, crippling its ability to maneuver. It was perhaps fortunate for the people that Kivar had so neglected all scientific and technological things since destroying the science labs and incarcerating the scientists that he had only three functioning slipstream ships left… and now only two.

Garandev, Kyle, and I made our way, without being seen, to the royal residence and entered through the back. Once inside, we made our way to the royal quarters and other parts of the residence where Kivar might have been hiding, but we were unable to find him. We were, however, able to find and capture one of his top sergeants. We quickly learned that Kivar had left the palace and sought safety in a small fortress-style residence he had had constructed in the countryside. Kyle and I returned with that information to Max while Garandev stayed to secure the palace.

With this information, Max led his people into the countryside toward the fortress of Kivar. Again, they were attacked by slipstream ships firing lasers. Again, many were killed or injured. And again, the crowd kept on going. They were within sight of Kivar’s fortress when the worst that could happen did…

Kivar and his soldiers in the fortress fired on us -on the people- with a small, modified type of excitron device that they had prepared. It seemed that the entire field exploded. Bodies were lying everywhere… people were running for the safety of any cover they could find.

Max found himself cut off from the rest of us -from his people- by Kivar’s army, which now felt that the odds were again on its side and had come out to fight. As the crowd dispersed into the trees and back in the direction of the town, Max, cut off, was forced to escape in the opposite direction… toward the dense forest known as the Nan-torel. Some of Kivar’s elite soldiers followed him to the forest and then disappeared after him into its mysterious depths.

Did I mention that the Nan-torel is a place from which few return? Nobody -and I mean nobody- goes in there willingly. It just abounds with danger everywhere. Anyone who has been in the Nan-torel for 24 hours is automatically assumed to be dead.

Max was almost to the river. If he could make it there, he might be safe. The dense, deep forest of Nan-torel on Antar was not a friendly or pleasant place to be in the hottest part of the Antarian summer. In fact, it would have been downright dangerous even without Kivar and a few dozen of his mercenary soldiers close behind bent on putting an early end to Max's short life. He had been on the run for five days, hiding wherever he could in the deep forest, always staying one step ahead… just one step ahead. His body was covered with welts from encounters with the ever-present poison Guma plants that abounded in the Nan-torel. On three occasions, Max had had to fight off wild pawgors, a large, cat-like predator that hunted in the deep forest. At night, Max slept covered under deep piles of Ama leaves from the Ama trees. Not that he was worried about Kivar's mercenaries finding him at night, but this was the only means of protection from the bat-like rob-jeta that descend on any living thing in the night like flying piranhas. The rob-jeta can devour a shebble down to the bones in under three minutes, attacking the shebble as it sleeps. Fortunately for shebbles, they -like most people- do not normally venture into the deep Nan-torel at night.

It was day now. And it was hot. If Max could get to the river, he might escape downstream before Kivar's mercenaries found him. Max hurried through the trees, jumping over logs, leaping nimbly over obstructions, occasionally looking back to see if he was still alone. That's when it happened. As he jumped over a large log, it rose off the ground several inches, enough to catch Max's foot. "Cripes!" thought Max as he sprawled forward and headed toward the ground. He had tripped over an inoffensive Wiffer, a large turtle-like animal that had decided to move just as he leapt over it.

It might have been a bruising fall, but Max never hit the ground. Somewhere in mid-fall, he felt something tighten around his body like a vise, and he saw the ground start going down… No, he was going up! There was no denying now that the vise-like object gripping his body was a talon, a bird's claw… one large enough to go all the way around Max's body. But no bird on Antar was so large! The only bird near this size was the jah-ee, also known as the lightning hawk, the last-sight vulture, or a dozen other names in various Antarian mythologies. But that's just what the jah-ee was: A myth!

Max looked up. It was a huge bird, black for the most part, with a head like an eagle's. All the mythologies said that the jah-ee was black… but Max noticed that the feathers underneath the huge wings were a rainbow of colors, as beautiful as any parrot's plumage. Of course, this would not be common knowledge, as anyone who had ever seen the underside of a jah-ee's wings had likely just seen their last sight ever. Max remembered another fact about the jah-ee that most mythologies shared: it's talons were hollow, and deadly poisonous… One scratch was fatal… always! No medicine, no herb, no cure known existed that could change that.

As the jah-ee rose upward for the sky, Max reached up with his hand toward the treetops, and a large branch fell toward the bird, striking it on the left wing. The bird plummeted, with Max still firmly gripped in its right talon. As they hit the ground, the jah-ee lost its grip. Max got up to run, but he couldn't.

Pain… in my wing. "My wing? I'm losing it!" Max thought. "The poison from the talons has affected my mind." Max put his hand over one of the scratches made by the massive poison talon. A greenish light glowed briefly at the sight of the scratch. The scratch was still there.

Pain! Sadness! Liz!

Liz? Liz had flashed in his mind. What was that all about?

She's sitting at home with the children. She'll be devastated when I don't return. Sadness! She'll die. She won't leave the nest to eat or drink until I return to guard our children. Can't now… Wing… Pain… Broken…

Max sat down on a nearby log and shook his head to clear it of the poison's effects. He tried again to use his healing powers to heal his poisoned wounds, but it wasn't working. "I'm losing it! I'm really losing it," he thought out loud. Then Max slowly raised his head and reality began to dawn on him. He looked at the jah-ee. The jah-ee lay on its right side with its massive left wing outstretched. This one wing must have measured 30 feet in length, Max judged. And Max could see that either the tree branch or the fall had broken the wing near the middle.

Pain! Sadness!

"Yes, I understand now," said Max. These images and sensations in my mind… they're coming from you, aren't they? But how do I talk to you? Can you understand?"

The jah-ee did not respond in any way to Max's question.

"No. I guess you wouldn't understand my words, would you? You seem to communicate with images and emotions. Let me see…" Max closed his eyes and concentrated. He created a series of images and emotions in his mind: Liz… love… sadness… loss… danger… escape… enemies… friendship. That one was a little hard. How does one communicate the desire for friendship to a bird?

The jah-ee stood up on its feet and seemed to be searching Max's thoughts.

Help.

Max nodded. " Yes. I think so." He approached the massive wing at the point where it was broken and placed both of his hands on it. The broken area began to glow with a greenish aura. After a few moments, Max removed his hands. The jah-ee stretched its wing out to its full length, then its other wing, too, testing the breeze under them. The jah-ee then folded both wings back against its sides.

Gratitude. Joy. Happiness. Urgency.

Urgency? Max placed an emotional image in his mind: Confusion!

Talons. Death. Scratches. Max. Death.

"Me? You’re telling me that I'm going to die?”

Talons. Death. Scratches. Max. Death. Waterfall.

Max again responded with "Confusion."

Fly. River. Waterfall. Scratch. Urgency.

The poison was beginning to affect Max significantly now, and he was having trouble thinking, much less communicating. He tried to stand up but it was impossible. He could not move a single muscle. The world around him began to spin and then everything faded to black.

When Max awoke, he found himself again in the claw of the jah-ee, and the jah-ee was flying high above the golden sea… on its way to feed him to its babies he guessed. Oh well, nothing he could do about it now. Max was totally unable to move so much as a little finger. This poison was powerful. Two little scratches! That's all he had received from the jah-ee's talons. And he was totally paralyzed. Max relaxed his mind and determined that at least he would die without fear. He was unable to speak or move and could not form a coherent image in his brain. Max could only watch as they flew across the golden sea and later across an island… then another island… and two more. Finally, the jah-ee began to descend toward a far away island on the horizon. As they approached the shore, Max saw the beach, then trees, then a large plain. At the far end of the plain, the jah-ee alit upon the branch of a very large tree. And a very large tree it was, too! In fact, Max noticed that all around them there was a forest of these trees… massive trees that reached hundreds of feet into the sky above.

"I'm in the claw of a giant bird on the limb of a giant tree at least 300 feet above the ground… totally paralyzed and about to be eaten!" Max tried to laugh… but he couldn't even do that. His giddy mind saw humor in the ridiculous situation he was in. The jah-ee moved toward a large hole in the tree near the branch it had landed on. Then it went inside, carrying Max in its claw. Leaping into the tree, the jah-ee folded its wings and dived straight down. "Awwww-riiiight!" thought Max, giddily! "Roller coaster!" But it seemed like it took a bit long to drop to the bottom, even if they were 300 feet up. They continued to plummet for what must have been close to a whole minute. Suddenly, the inside of the tree shaft disappeared and the ground opened up below into a whole world… a giant cavern. As the jah-ee dropped into the cavern, it spread its wings out to their full majestic span and settled into a graceful glide above a small sea. Max could not see the ends of the cavern. There was a whole new world here… a whole different world. They were underneath the island of the jah-ee. As the jah-ee swooped gracefully across the underground sea and arrived at the far side, it flew toward a large cliff. On the edge, near the top of the cliff, was its nest. A nest as big as a house! And its mate was there with three baby jah-ees hungrily bobbing their heads up and down.

"Supper time, children! Come and get me!" Max tried to say, laughing giddily. But he could only think it. He couldn't even form a coherent picture in his head now. Strangely, the jah-ee did not stop at its nest. It flew right over it and on about another thousand yards to the edge of a high underground cataract. Perching deftly, as though it weighed no more than a feather, on a ledge of the cliff by the waterfall, the jah-ee released Max from its claw and nudged him toward the edge. Max felt the water splashing on his face. Soon, he felt it on the rest of his body, too. At first, this seemed insignificant, until he realized that moments before, he had been unable to feel anything. The water was counteracting the jah-ee's poison!

Max may have lain under the edge of the underground waterfall for two hours, or it could have been three. It was impossible for him to tell time here under the ground. He felt great well-being here! The water of the falls had been miraculous! Max felt like his old self again. There was no pain left, no stiffness, nothing. Even the welts that the poison Guma plants had made on his body had healed. The jah-ee stood nearby. His mate and babies were in the nest a thousand yards back. "Funny," thought Max. "I'm far underground in some kind of cavern, but there is light." He realized that the walls of the cave were giving off luminescence, providing a soft light throughout the cavern.

For the next 30 days, Max remained in the cavern with the jah-ee. He learned to communicate with it and with its mate quite effectively with mental images and emotions that often were clear enough to be considered almost as sentences. And the jah-ee shared with Max their knowledge and many secrets of this underground world never before seen by any Antarian.

Meanwhile, the battle for Antar raged on. With the modified excitron device at his disposal, Kivar seemed to enjoy an insurmountable advantage. He could literally kill an entire battlefield full of soldiers with just the touch of a button. The battle for Antar had been changed. A simple uprising, even by a million or more people, would not be enough to win.

Over the next few days, we tried several times to get to Kivar’s fortress without being seen or being blasted by the excitron, but it seemed hopeless; every time, we failed. Kivar had begun sending his soldiers to the homes of residents to arrest them. They would disappear in the night… no one knew who would be next or where they were taken. He would have them executed -men, women, and children- then broadcast the killings on television for everyone to see. It didn’t matter if they were involved in the uprising or not… Kivar didn’t care who was or was not! Most of the people were involved, in one form or another. The purpose of the executions was to demoralize us… to demoralize the people and make them beg to return to what had been. But the people had had enough of what had been under Kivar… returning was not an option that anyone was considering, no matter the costs. No one was going back.

Since this excitron, unlike the one that destroyed the earth, was small and shoulder-mounted, it could be recharged quickly and used several times without recharging. We were never sure if it was charged or not. But after observing the pattern, we concluded that the device needed recharging after every five firings.

During the night, I sent four teams into the woods to get into position to attack the fortress from different sides all at the same time on cue. We planned to get Kivar to fire the excitron five times… it would then take about an hour, we had learned, for him to recharge the device. When we attacked, Kivar had ‘skins’ posted on all sides of the fortress to pin the attackers down while he carried the excitron to each side and used it in small semi-blasts… enough to easily do the job while not depleting its energy. We discovered that one of the members of our inner circle was a spy and had warned Kivar of our plans beforehand.

After that, Kivar stepped up his campaign of intimidation, executing twice as many people each day. We knew that we had to do something and soon, so after making sure that there were no other spies in our inner circle, I devised a new strategy to get us into the fortress. It seemed primitive, but all we had to fight with were things that Kivar had not foreseen as even remotely being possible to use as weapons against him. He had confiscated everything that seemed like a possible weapon. I sent several key men to obtain three hundred large mirrors. We deployed them in the field near the woods during the night in a semicircle from one side of the fortress to the other. Then we covered them with covers and camouflaged them with sticks and branches.

When the mirrors were all in place, we waited until the afternoon of the next day, when the sun was at the proper angle, then removed the covers from all the mirrors at once. The soldiers in the fortress were totally blinded, unable to tell where we were or from which direction the attackers were coming until we were inside the fortress. We captured all of Kivar’s soldiers. We also captured the hated excitron. Everyone was celebrating; it seemed that we had finally and decisively won the Battle for Antar. I issued a demand to Kivar that he surrender immediately if he did not wish us to use his own excitron on the fortress… with him it. But we had not counted on the worst weapon of all being used against us… our own morality, our own conscience. We never thought that these things could be used against us… until we came up against a sick s.o.b. like Kivar!

Amidst all the noise of the celebration, we realized that someone was trying to get our attention… then others began to point and try to get the crowd’s attention, too. Finally, everyone was looking at the fortress. There stood Kivar, holding a five-year-old child, as one of his soldiers that we had not caught stood over the child with a laser machete blade, prepared to cut off the little boy’s head on Kivar’s command. Kivar just looked at us and smiled that evil grin that he had. He knew that it was a standoff. He could no longer win, but he would escape. His demand was we let him go and the child wouldn’t lose his head. Everyone was quiet. No one wanted the little boy to die… but everyone knew that if Kivar were allowed to escape, he would rearm himself, align himself with some new mercenary soldiers, and return to try to take back the throne. There would be more bloodshed… thousands would likely lose their lives. No one would ever really be free on Antar as long as Kivar lived and was free. The choice… the choice was one child or a whole planet.”

(Michael looked down at the table and wiped a tear from the corner of his eye; there wasn’t a dry eye in the room).

“In the end… in the end… we couldn’t… nobody could… let him kill that one little child. That was the worst weapon anyone has ever used on me in my life… my conscience!

I told Kivar to release the boy; we would let him go. He knew I was good for my word. And the people of Antar are the most scrupulously true-to-their-word of any people I have ever met. Kivar knew that they would not stop him once they had agreed to the demand.

No one did.

As Kivar and his five remaining soldiers walked away, they smiled; and Kivar made a shallow, sarcastic bow to the people. Everyone knew that he would be back… and there would be more bloodshed. Their struggle was not over.

Just then, there was a piercing scream, a scream that shook and chilled every single person there to the very core. It sounded like
“Jaaaaaaa-eeeeeeeeeee! Jaaaaaaaa-eeeeeeeeeeeee!

There was a great commotion; people began to run everywhere. Above us were five huge black birds with 60-foot wingspans and heads like an eagle’s. Two of Kivar’s five soldiers seemed to pass out or simply had heart attacks where they stood. Another fell to the ground and covered his head with his hands. The other two ran for their lives. Kivar stood frozen, seeming to be in the greatest fear he had known in his entire life and unable to even move. As the birds dropped nearer, we all saw something that no one could believe. Zan -Max- was riding the lead bird, sitting on its back holding tightly to the neck feathers. The birds circled around the field once; then the second bird swooped down and grabbed Kivar in its talons, sinking the tips of its talons into his body. The claws went all the way through, coming out the other side. Kivar opened his mouth as though he wanted to scream, but nothing came out. Two of the younger birds caught the two fleeing soldiers. All three birds continued to circle the field with their prey grasped firmly in their talons. Kyle, Garandev, and I stood where we were, and the first bird, with Max on its back, landed beside us. Then the second bird landed beside the first one.

Max slid off the back of the huge bird, as several hundred thousand eyes watched in abject terror from the woods. But they were in no danger. Max had made friends with the Jah-ee and its mate, and when their three babies were big enough to fly and catch prey, they brought him back; and thanks to Kivar, the babies got a little practice catching prey.

After that, Max -Zan, that is- was recoronated and given a huge parade and recoronation feast. Kyle and I were decorated and honored; and Max made me number one general of his armies. Garandev was made a general. Kyle became Chief of Staff, which was what he chose for himself… I helped the scientists rebuild the linked science laboratory system… The people of Antar have had five years of peace and prosperity -and happiness- with the return of their golden age…

And that is the story of the battle for Antar and the marvelous Jah-ee.


-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapters titled

--------------------------------------Chapter 3
"The Island of the Jah-ee”
--------------------------------------Chapter 23
"Michael’s Story – The Battle for Antar”


which are found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Altered Time – Destiny in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).







[ edited 6 time(s), last at 31-Jan-2003 3:58:03 AM ]
posted on 6-Jan-2003 2:05:18 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #2 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated G



“It’s A Wonder-filled Life”




It isn’t every day that a small town girl from Roswell, New Mexico, suddenly becomes the rightful young queen of a whole planet… a planet seven galaxies away from the one she grew up on! Even now, Liz was still sometimes not sure that she had totally come to grips with the fact that she had married Max, an alien, who was the king of his planet… But this day, like so many others, was now just another day in the life of one small town Roswell girl!

The children had long ago finished eating and were playing in the fountains. Liz called them all to the patio.

“Okay, children, it’s time to stop and get cleaned up. It’s dark outside now, and you’re all wet. Off to the showers, all of you!”

“Aw, let JoLeesa make us dry,” said Michael and Maria’s youngest child, 5-year-old Jayyd Alejandra. “A shower takes too long!”

“Yeah,” said a couple of the other children, “Let JoLeesa do it.”

“Well… I don’t know if JoLeesa wants to… you can’t always depend on each other to make things easier.”

“Why not?” asked Alyyx, Max and Liz’s youngest, who was six.

“Well, because… because it might be an imposition.”

“It’s okay, Mama, I like to do it,” said 8-year-old JoLeesa, who proceeded to wave her hand over each child, drying their clothes and hair immediately and removing the dirt and stains at the same time.

“There! Everyone’s all dry and clean now.”

“You missed a spot,” said 6-year-old Noel Trasves, Kyle and Jeliya’s youngest boy.

“Where, Taz?” asked JoLeesa.

Taz, who had been sitting down, grinned and stood up then leaned over, sticking his derriere high into the air indicating the seat of his pants, which was still wet. JoLeesa started to wave her hand over it, but 8-year-old Zorel Michael, Michael and Maria’s oldest boy, stopped her.

“Let me,” he said.

“You can’t make him dry,” said JoLeesa.

“Wanna bet?” Zorel replied with a grin. Zorel lifted the palm of his hand and flashed a small power bolt at Taz’ upturned derriere. Taz let out a yelp that probably was heard all the way to the Golden Sea then jumped around for a few moments, fanning his behind.

“Zorel!” Kyle admonished him. “I promised your Mom and Dad I would watch you guys tonight so you could come over here and play with the others. I wouldn't want to tell your Dad that you misbehaved… That wasn’t very nice!”

“But he’s dry now!” said Zorel.

Taz leaned over for Kyle to inspect. Indeed, the seat of his pants was quite dry… well, what was left of it was, anyway. The power bolt had left only a few shreds of cloth partially covering Taz’s butt. Fortunately, only his dignity and his pants had been injured.

“Zorel,” said Jeliya, Kyle’s pretty Antarian wife and Taz’s mom, “You might have hurt Taz doing that. That’s no way for a big boy to act. And Taz, you just stuck your butt up in the air to try to be funny. I’ll bet boys on Eluymer, where your Dad grew up, didn’t act like that.”

Liz choked slightly then snickered, “Don’t bet on it, Jeliya! …I think boys are boys wherever you go!”

Kyle smiled and retorted, “Yeah, well… girls, too.”

Liz and Jeliya took Taz to the playroom and found him another pair of pants that fit. Taz was still complaining that his butt burned, but Liz and Jeliya couldn’t see anything worse that slightly pink skin, so Liz had a member of the staff bring a small baggie of ice that Taz could hold against his butt and sent him back out to where the others were. She didn’t think Max’s services would be needed, and indeed, within minutes, Taz had stopped complaining.

Liz and Jeliya rejoined the group in the living room, where they had all gone to talk and say their goodbyes. About three minutes after they had gone to the living room, one of the staff came to Liz and whispered something to her.

After she left, Max looked at Liz with that questioning look.

“I’ll go check it out, Max,” Liz said. “You stay here.”

Liz walked out to the patio and met the lady from the staff, who pointed to the bushes in a far corner of the garden.

“It went into the bushes… right there.”

Liz walked back to the bush and looked behind it then carefully reached behind the bush with her hand. A few moments later, she pulled her hand back out. In her hand, she was holding, by the scruff of the neck, a very large rabbit… a rabbit easily more than double the size of a desert jackrabbit…

Liz didn’t have to ask…

“Andya! Out on the patio! Now!”

Eight-year-old AnDasniya came running. She saw her mother holding the rabbit.

“Oops…”

“Oops! Is that all you have to say, Andya?”

“I’m in trouble?” Andya looked at her mother with imploring eyes…

“Maybe. Why did you make the rabbit appear, Andya, and where did you get it?”

“I… I… I needed something…”

“What, Andya?”

“I needed something to eat my gojos for me…”

Liz just looked at Andya for a moment. She wanted to laugh, but she knew it was not the time. She had to be stern.

“Andya, you know that you must eat your vegetables if you want to grow up to be strong and healthy. The min-jaht-gojosh are full of vitamins and they are very good for you.”

“But they taste like little green caca, Mom!”

“Oh! They do not! They’re delicious! And where did you get the rabbit? We don’t have rabbits on Antar! And I’ve never seen one this big on Eluymer!”

“I didn’t know how big to make it, Mom. Daddy showed me a picture of one once, and I just remembered the picture. I thought it looked like about this size…”

Liz shook her head and grimaced, trying to keep from laughing hysterically and spoiling her lecture.

“Honey, the biggest jackrabbit I ever saw was less than half this size. This is like… like… Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit.”

“That’s what the picture was that Daddy showed me!”

“Alright, sweetie, make it go away.”

Andya walked over to the rabbit and ran her hand across its back. The rabbit slowly dissolved into nothing… well, almost nothing. In its place was a pile of min-jaht-gojosh.

“Oops.”

Liz sent Andya back into the house. Once Andya was inside and out of earshot, Liz collapsed on the edge of the fountain, put both hands over her face, and laughed hysterically.

“Who would have ever believed this is what my life was going to be like? I never would have believed it!” she said to herself looking at the sky and the stars above. Then she laughed until she couldn’t breathe.

“…Thank you, God!”



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapter titled, “Signs of Things to Come” (Chapter 6), which is found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Life in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).



[ edited 5 time(s), last at 13-Jan-2003 10:10:11 AM ]
posted on 12-Jan-2003 5:46:19 PM
Thanks Trude and Snowdove! Thanks for the star, too! You're the coolest! I really appreciate the feedback! Here are 4 more short stories.





[ edited 2 time(s), last at 13-Jan-2003 9:51:33 AM ]
posted on 12-Jan-2003 5:49:57 PM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #3 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated G



“The Storyteller” (a Stargazer episode)



On one hand, he was missing all the fingers beyond the knuckles, he walked bent over and limped, and his face was horribly scarred. The man may have been young or old; it was hard to tell. He looked frightfully out-of-place as he walked down the street of the Berjalya Division. The two little girls, seven and six years old, giggled and shouted taunts from their hiding place behind a tree.

“Hey! You sure are ugly!”

“Did the doctor know which end to spank when you were born?”

Suddenly, a couple of strong hands picked the two girls up by the collars from behind. They were doomed. Their father had caught them. He carried them into the house and set them both down on the sofa. Both girls were mortified… too embarrassed to make a peep… they sat silently as their father spoke.

“Let me tell you girls a little story,” said their father. “One time, a long time ago, there were two little girls like you. And one day when they were outside they saw a bent-over, scarred, frightful-looking man walking down the street, so they decided to taunt him… just like you girls were doing… only their Dad didn’t catch them.”

“Lucky them,” whispered the 6-year-old to her sister. Their father heard the comment but continued telling his story.

“After the girls had shouted all the taunts they could think of at the man and figured they had thoroughly humiliated him, they ran back home, thinking they were really very smart and sassy. But a little while later there was a knock on their door…”

(The girls’ eyes widened a bit.)

The mother of the little girls opened the door, and do you know who stood there?”

“No.”

“It was the man they had been taunting,” said their father. “When the girls saw who it was, they ran and hid in their bedroom. They were really mad. ‘That horrible old man came to our house to tell on us… Now we’re going to get into trouble and Mom probably won’t let us go outside for a week! He’s so mean! I knew he was mean… he’s ugly… and he limps and walks funny!’”

(The girls were listening intently, anxious to know what would happen to the girls in their father’s story.)

“Well, after the man came to the door, the girls’ mother went to the bedroom and got the girls and took them to the living room where the old man was sitting. That’s when the girls noticed that he wasn’t really old -he was actually pretty young- but he was scarred from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. The girls sat quietly and waited to see what punishment their mother was going to give them. But their mother said,

‘I want you girls to meet Veryd Jascek.

When you girls were babies, our house burned down. Your Dad was not home, and I couldn’t get to you girls. I tried so hard…’

Their mother began to cry as she told the girls the story.

‘Nobody else could find you,’ the mother said. ‘But then Veryd ran into the house. After a while, he came back out with both of you, one under each arm, wrapped in wet blankets. You didn’t have a scratch or a burn on you; we were so thankful. But Veryd… Veryd was very badly burned. He had had to run from room to room in the fire to find you… then through the fire again to get you back out. All his hair was gone, and his skin was peeling off. He spent almost a year in the hospital and in rehabilitation after that. Veryd almost died; he did that for you girls. Veryd came to see how you’re doing.’

…and you know what,” their father continued, “Veryd took both of the girls and kissed them; and he never even told their mother or father about the taunting.”

Their father stopped his story here. Both of his girls already had big tears rolling down their faces…

“Now you girls go to your room.”

Both girls ran off without a word.

Their mother had stopped her cooking and stood listening in the doorway of the kitchen, leaning against the doorframe. She shook her head.

“They should call you the Aesop of Antar. Your morals always seem to get to the girls in just the right place, Alex.”

Alex just smiled at Isabel. His little morality story had made him a bit misty-eyed, too. But he had a feeling the girls had learned a lesson.

Later, after supper that night, the girls climbed into Alex’s lap.

“Daddy, tell us one of your stories before we go to bed… please!”

“Mmmmm… I don’t know… What do you girls want to hear?”

“Tell us the one about the girl who killed you and then saved your life.”

“You mean, Tess?”

“Yeah, Daddy, tell us that one… please!”

“Alright…”

The girls jumped happily down on each side beside their father and cuddled up to him as he began to speak.

“Well, I don’t remember her killing me, really, because your Uncle Zan and Uncle Michael went back in a time machine –the new granolith- and made it never happen.”

“But how did she kill you before they went back and saved you, Daddy?”

“They told me she used a mind-warp on me. She kept me under the mind-warp so long that my body and mind couldn’t take it any longer, and I started to go crazy, and I died. Then she used a mind-warp on your Uncle Kyle to get him to help her get rid of my body without knowing it was me.”

“Wow! She was bad!”

“Yeah… I guess so. What she did was wrong! But I don’t remember it, because after your Uncle Zan and Uncle Michael went back in the time machine, it didn’t happen.”

“What happened to Tess, Daddy?”

“Well, right before our graduation from high school, Tess disappeared. There was a big explosion on the base, and everybody thought she got killed blowing the white room up. Nobody saw her again. Then when your Uncle Zan and Uncle Michael came back from Antar, right before the world was supposed to end…”

“Will you tell us that story, too, Daddy?”

“Not tonight.”

“Anyway, they came back right before the world was supposed to end to ask me if I would come with them to Antar; but then we saved the world after that…"

"You saved the world, Daddy? You saved Eluymer… the earth?"

"Well… not all by myself, of course, but yeah… you can say that your Daddy and his guitar helped save the whole world! (author’s note: Read “Alex and the Excitron” in “Altered Time – Destiny in the Stars”) Of course, nobody on earth could ever know about it… nobody but me and the others here… I couldn't exactly run around yelling that I had saved the world. They would have locked your Daddy up in a different kind of white room… one with padding on all the walls!"

Ceelya giggled.

"Aw, Daddy, you're my hero!" Mareeya said, kissing him on the cheek.

"Yeah, Daddy! You're my hero, too!" said Ceelya with a big smile.

Alex stopped and smiled then kissed both of the girls before continuing.

"Well… I almost came to Antar with your Uncle Zan and Michael then, but I didn’t want to leave my Mom and Dad and everybody I knew. So Max and Michael left and came without me. I thought the Alien Task Force guys on earth wouldn’t be interested in me, but six years after we saved the world, the Special Unit found out that I had been a real close friend of your Mama’s, and that's when they came and took me away. Max and everybody had told me what the Special Unit guys did to people, so I thought, 'Alex, you idiot, you blew it! You are sooooo dead!'”

“How did you escape, Daddy?”

“Well, right before they were gonna cut me all up…”

“Ew…!”

“Yeah! You know, that’s exactly how I felt, too! …So right before they did that, someone blew the place up again… kaboom! Then I hear someone yelling for me to come on… to run, so I just ran. I couldn’t see who it was or anything.

There were all these special agent guys standing around with guns, and they seemed to be looking at something, but I couldn’t see it, and they didn’t seem to be able to see me. The voice kept yelling at me to run, but it was like it was in my head. I just started running until I was far away from there.

After I was far away, I finally sat down under a tree to rest. That's when someone began to appear in front of me. It was Tess. She was the one who blew up the white room and got me out… and with her mind-warp power, she made the agents think I got burned up, so they didn’t come after me when we were running away. After Tess took the mind-warp off, I could see her.

She took me to the desert and showed me a spaceship that had belonged to some of Kivar’s people before your uncles and I saved the earth, and she asked me if I wanted to go to Antar.”

“What did you say, Daddy?”

“What do you think I said? I said ‘Let’s go! How soon can we leave? Gas this thing up!’

Mareeya and Ceelya giggled.

When I got on the ship, I learned that Tess had also rescued someone else who was going with us… the lady that Sheriff Valenti is married to now. She had disappeared over 7 years before that and had been locked up and tortured by the Task Force all that time. They wanted to know where the stones were that your Uncle Michael had… She never told them. I think she would have died if Tess hadn’t rescued her when she did.”

“That was ‘Leen’… Leen’…”

“Kathleen Topolsky. She was one of them -one of the bad guys- in the beginning. But she didn’t know what they were doing to people… she wouldn’t believe it. When she found out it was true, she tried to meet secretly with Michael and the others to give them the other stone that she had, but she got caught before they could meet. Then the bad guys said that she had died in a fire, but that wasn’t true. They really had her locked up. You can imagine how surprised she was to get rescued by Tess, an ‘alien.’ She wasn’t even sure that she really believed in aliens…”

“After Uncle Zan and Uncle Michael left and came back to Antar, Daddy, did you get to spend five months with your Mommy and Daddy? Mommy said that you and Tess and ‘Leen came to Antar five months after she and the others got here.”

“Well, now, you see, that’s the good thing… because you see… they had traveled back in time when they went to earth, so when they came back to Antar, they returned to the time they had left from, so it was only five months for them till I got there. But for me it was a lot longer. I didn’t leave until six years after they did. When Tess, Kathleen, and I came here, we didn’t time travel. Our spaceship only took 36 days to get here, but we didn’t leave until six years after they did. When we got here, it was only five months after they had got here because they time traveled.”

“Where was Tess when you thought she was dead?”

“She knew that the bad guys were looking for your Uncle Zan, your Uncle Michael, and your Mama… and especially for her. She wanted to make them stop looking, so she went to the base and blew up the white room then used a mind-warp to make all the agents think that they saw her in the fire. Then she just walked away and disappeared. She didn’t tell anyone where she was going, not even your Uncle Zan, so we all thought she was dead.”

“I’m glad she wasn’t, Daddy… She saved you! We wouldn’t want them to hurt you!”

Isabel smiled and hurried the girls off to bed. After the girls were gone, she sat down in Alex’s lap.

“Now I want my story, Dear! …privately!”

She put her arms around Alex’s neck and they kissed, then Alex picked her up and carried her to their room.

----------

The next day, the girls were playing outside when Mareeya, the 7-year-old, saw the scarred, deformed old man again and pointed him out to her sister Ceelya. The two girls ran back behind the tree.

At the side of the house, beyond the tree, they broke off a couple of roses from one of their mother’s prized rose bushes, and as the man passed their house, each girl offered the old man her gift. The old man accepted the roses and smiled at the two girls appreciatively. Mareeya and Ceelya were surprised. When he smiled, they thought that he actually seemed attractive… even handsome. Isabel also smiled… then pulled the curtains back together so the girls wouldn't see her watching from the window.



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapter titled, “The Storyteller” (Chapter 33), which is found in the novel-length fic, “Altered Time – Destiny in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).



[ edited 2 time(s), last at 13-Jan-2003 10:10:49 AM ]
posted on 12-Jan-2003 5:52:00 PM
"Star Trails to Antar"

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #4 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG


“An Over-the-Moon Proposal” (Pure Candy and Dreamin’ fun!)




Maria was the first to notice, “Liz, put your hand on my chest. Am I dead? I don’t think I’m breathing…”

“Max said that we wouldn’t need to breathe,” Liz reminded her. Of course, Maria knew this, but she was still a bit freaked out by it.

“Okay, Liz, this is just really, really weird! I mean… I know Max said that we wouldn’t need to breathe and all, but I thought that meant that if there wasn’t enough oxygen, it just wouldn’t matter. I didn’t know I would actually stop breathing, you know?”

“I think it’s got something to do with the body’s natural autonomic reflexes, Maria.”

“Say what?”

“Well, you know, breathing is an autonomic response; you don’t think about breathing, you just breathe automatically because your body senses the need for oxygen. If it doesn’t sense a need for oxygen, I guess, maybe we don’t breathe.”

“Ooo-kay… Great. Now that just freaks me out, you know!”

“Look, Maria, here comes Michael… and Max is with him.”

Michael and Max walked up to Maria and Liz. Michael took Maria’s hand and Max took Liz by the hand.

“Which way do you want to start?” Max asked Liz.

“I don’t know, Max. How about over there… that little hill and valley just on the horizon.”

In actual fact, the horizon was not very far away; the moon they were exploring had a total circumference of, probably, no more than two miles. Michael and Maria decided that they would go the other direction and the four of them could meet on the other side.

Suddenly, a shape passed over the top of them.

“What the…” exclaimed Michael.

It was Kyle, who seemed to be really enjoying himself since he discovered that he could make 30-foot high leaps that would carry him over a hundred feet.

“Oh my God, Max!” said Kyle, “Would I ever love to play a game of football up here! …or basketball! Can you imagine it! This is sooooo cool!”

“Okay,” said Maria, “There’s one little kid who’s having a lot of fun! And he didn’t want to come!”

“Neither did you,” Liz reminded her.

“Well, I’m not saying I’ve changed my mind yet, either, you know; but I’m getting sort of used to it… I guess it’s not so bad.”

Maria jumped upward and did a somersault in the air, landing lightly back on the ground on her feet…

“Okay, that was kind of cool.”

Liz jumped up and did a triple somersault, landing lightly back on her feet, too.

“Okay, now that’s just showing off!” said Maria, who then proceeded to jump as high as she could and did a total of twelve somersaults before falling back to the ground sitting down.

“Wow, Maria, I’m really impressed!” said Liz.

“And I’m really dizzy!” said Maria, “I only meant to do five flips, but I just kept on going! Whoa! Give me a moment…”

Max and Michael were laughing. They took Liz and Maria by the hand again, said ‘See you on the other side,’ and headed off in opposite directions. Meanwhile, Kyle was having fun making 70-foot-high leaps now back and forth over the top of the new granilith, putting his hands in front of himself like Superman as he passed over the observation dome and those watching from within it, who hadn’t wanted to leave the ship. For a while, Sheriff Valenti and Jeff Parker were amused watching Kyle, but then they decided to go off and do some exploring. They asked Kyle if he would like to come, and he agreed.

Max and Liz watched the new granilith disappear surprisingly quickly over the horizon as they walked away from it. Once over the horizon, Max couldn’t resist pulling Liz into his arms and giving her a passionate kiss. Liz reciprocated, kissing him as passionately as he was kissing her.

“Max, you could always make me feel like I was on top of the moon,” said Liz. “Now, I really am… and you’re with me!”

Max nodded. “I’ve always felt the same about you, Liz.”

“I know, Max. I remember the first time you let me touch you and see inside your thoughts so that I wouldn’t be afraid of you.”

“Yeah, I remember.”

“I saw what you felt -what you really felt- about me. I… I couldn’t believe that anyone actually felt that way about me… you thought I was beautiful… Me! Liz Parker! …small town girl from nowhere! Now look at me, I’m Mrs. Liz ‘alien’ Evans!” She laughed, then added “…and I couldn’t be happier!”

Max smiled. “Well, look at it this way, Liz, I had to come all the way across seven galaxies to find you. You were that rare and precious… And I would do it again in a heartbeat! In fact, I did!”

Liz looked at him and beamed; she kissed him again passionately, and he kissed her.

Michael and Maria had also lost sight of the new granilith over the horizon. They sat down on a large rock together to talk. Maria kissed Michael, and he kissed her. He had not yet gotten over losing Maria in the other timeline and the time he had spent missing her; he probably never would. He pulled her tighter against his body and felt her soft hair against his face, smelled her perfume, felt her lips pressed to his… and this time, it wasn’t a dream. It was real!

“Maria, hold out your hand,” said Michael. He got down on his knee in front of her, held her hand in his, and asked,

“Maria, will you marry me? Will you be my wife when we get to Antar?”

Maria gasped slightly then quickly said, “Yes! Yes! …I will, Michael! Of course, I'll marry you! You're the only one I ever wanted or ever will want to marry!”

Michael turned Maria’s hand over and placed something in it. She opened her hand to look. It was a rock… No, it was a large uncut diamond.

“Michael!” Maria gasped, “Where did you get this?”

“I spotted it among those outcrops back there and picked it up as we were walking here. I’ll always remember this little moon, Maria! It will always be where I found two of my greatest treasures… where you said that you would marry me and where I found this diamond that I give to you for your ring. I’ll have it set for you when we get to Antar!”

Maria wrapped her arms tightly around Michael and kissed him passionately. If it hadn’t been for the oxygen capsules that they had taken and the fact that he didn’t need to breathe, Michael might have been gasping for breath; but he didn’t need to breathe… and neither did Maria. And both of them took full advantage of this fact.

Liz and Max had sat down now, too. Liz laid her head on Max’s broad, strong arm and shoulder, and both of them gazed at the impressive vision of the planet Jupiter, which from where they sat, occupied the entire sky on this side of the moon. It was beautiful… and truly, truly rare. Max and Liz would remember this day forever.

Back on the ship, Max and Michael were absolutely besieged with requests to remain on the little moon, which everyone agreed would henceforth be called, “Michael’s Moon,” long enough for a second excursion. Even Phillip and Diane Evans, Amy DeLuca, and Liz’s Mom, Nancy, said that they would like to go out the next time. Of course, some of the changes of heart might have had a little to do with the “rock” Michael had found and which Maria had been showing to everyone as though it were already attached to her finger.

Maria was happier than anyone could ever remember seeing her. And everyone was congratulating Michael, who seemed pretty happy himself, even if he was a little embarrassed by all the attention he was getting.

Max agreed to remain another 24 hours so that they would have time to eat and get a “night’s sleep” before going out again. They could make another excursion right after breakfast in the “morning.”

Onboard the new granilith, days were measured in 24-hour periods, and waking and sleeping hours were regulated accordingly. In space, there is no day or night, and a Jovian “day” is considerably longer than an Earth day; a Jovian year lasts 11.86 earth years.

Dinner was a very animated occasion this evening, as each person related his or her adventures on the little moon and everyone looked at Maria’s diamond over and over. Kyle couldn’t get over how high he had been able to jump in the light gravity of the small moon.

“Kyle, we all had a marvelous time in here watching you fly,” laughed Amy DeLuca.

“Yeah,” said Maria, “This is the guy who was worried that he might float off into space; now he’s trying to jump off into space!”

After dinner, Jim Valenti, Jeff Parker, Kyle, and Michael went to the game room on level 3 by the living quarters, played some jaht-roo-Antar, and watched a couple of football games that Michael had had the scientists on Antar copy onto a disk that looked a lot like a DVD. Maria took a private walk with her Mom through the gardens on level 5, Max and Liz strolled through the arboretum on level 6, Isabel went to her room and curled up with a novel she was reading, and Phillip and Diane Evans joined the guys in the game room after briefly going back to their rooms to freshen up and change into something more relaxing.

By 11:30 PM, Roswell time, everyone had retired to his or her room for the night, and the new granilith finally sat silent beneath the stars on the surface of ‘Michael’s Moon.’


----------


The next morning, everyone was impatient to get out and explore the rest of the moon. After breakfast, Max met them in the galley dining room and escorted everyone to the cargo bay, where he again gave each person two oxygen capsules then sealed the bay from the rest of the ship, opened the bay doors, and activated the systems extending the ramp. One by one, the guests walked down the ramp. Due to the light gravity, some seemed to hop rather than walk, which everyone seemed to find amusing.

Jim Valenti, Jeff Parker, and Kyle wasted no time heading off in the direction of a cave they had found the day before. It was about a mile away, on the other side of the moon. Michael and Maria walked in the direction they had gone the day before; they wanted to relive that day one more time before they had to go. Max and Liz also walked to the place where they had been the day before so that they might again enjoy sitting together and just watching the planet Jupiter fill the sky in front of them. It was an awe-inspiring sight! Maria and Liz’s moms and Phillip and Diane Evans were walking around, staying within sight of the ship, just collecting unusual rock samples. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely, though no one found anything like Maria’s diamond, which Michael had found the day before.

On the other side of the moon, Jim Valenti, Jeff Parker, and Kyle had located the cave they had found the day before and had already gone into it. The mouth of the cave was accessible only from inside a small valley, and for this reason, it was not readily visible until one was very close to it. Surprisingly, though, the cave was fairly large inside, especially when one took into account the tiny size of the moon. The three intrepid space spelunkers turned on their lights and walked down a shaft that led into the moon’s interior at about a five-degree incline. When they had gone about half a mile into the moon, the shaft opened up suddenly into a large room. Sheriff Valenti, Jeff, and Kyle shined their lights around the interior of the room. They were astounded.

The cave room that the three had found might have measured seventy-five or a hundred feet by a hundred to a hundred fifty feet. The ceiling was at least twenty feet high. As they looked around, they realized something else. Someone else had been here before.

Next to the far wall, Kyle found something that appeared to be a bottle; it looked quite old, as though it had been there a very long time. Jeff found a small book, perhaps a diary; but it was so fragile and deteriorated that they dared not open it for fear that the pages would simply crumble into dust. It was Jim Valenti who made the biggest find of all. Around a small corner at the right hand side of the far wall, he found what might have been the remains of something like a backpack. In it, was a camera; and the camera, at least, appeared to be in fairly good condition.

Back on the new granolith, Jim Valenti, Jeff Parker, and Kyle had turned their artifacts over to Max to see if he could determine anything about them. Max and Michael agreed that the diary, or whatever it was, should not be opened until they arrived back on Antar and had the proper facilities available to them; it was simply too fragile. The bottle was clearly just that -a bottle- but a type that they were not familiar with. It was shaped like a small Coca Cola bottle but with a somewhat larger neck and opening. And it had writing on the side in an unknown script.

But it was the camera that Jim Valenti had found that was causing the most excitement and commotion among the companions. Max had determined that the camera was a digital-type. He and Michael had managed to open a small compartment on the bottom, and in it they found three small cylinders that couldn’t have been anything but batteries. Needless to say, they were no longer functional; but they appeared to be almost exactly the size of a triple A battery.

“Does anyone here have any batteries?” asked Max.

Amy DeLuca, as it turned out, had a new package of six AAA batteries in her purse. She didn’t remember what she had bought them for now. Max put them into the camera and they fit. He turned on the switch. The view screen came to life. Everybody crowded around to see if there would be anything still stored in the memory. Suddenly… there it was.

In the view screen were three girls. They couldn’t have been more than 14 to 16 years old. They were smiling broadly, leaning in close to each other to get into the picture. But it was what was behind them that caught Michael’s attention.

“I know that place,” said Michael. “That’s the Grand Canyon!”


----------


Now, the entire ship was abuzz with excitement and theories about how it was possible that something like this could be found on a small moon in orbit around Jupiter. Max and Michael went through all the photos stored in the camera’s memory. All the photos were of one or more of the three girls who were in the first picture, but they were taken at different locations. Photo number two showed only one of the girls. She was smiling and standing beside a large cactus in the desert. She was wearing a gold and silver bracelet with a symbol on it that resembled a large “S.” Because of this, Max suggested they call her ‘Sabrina.’ Photo number three showed all three girls standing by the cactus together. Photo number four was of the second girl; she appeared to be standing in a prairie, and in the background was a tremendous herd of buffalo that must have gone on for many, many miles. This girl, too, was smiling, as though she might be a tourist on vacation. She had very long hair, almost down to her knees, and around her neck was a choker with a triangle that somewhat resembled an “A.” They named her ‘Andrea.’ Photo number five was of the third girl. She was sitting on the bank of a river. On the other side of the river were several large black bears that appeared to be catching trout in the river. This girl had a necklace with a symbol that resembled a stylized “L,” so they called her “Lisa.”

All the animals, plants, and locations visible in the photographs were readily identifiable as earth species and sites. What was conspicuously missing in any of the pictures was any hint of a road, a building, crowds, or any sign whatsoever of civilization. It appeared that for now, at least, Sabrina, Andrea, and Lisa would remain a mystery. Max downloaded the photographs into the ship’s computers for safekeeping then carefully stored all of the items that had been found away where they could be retrieved and examined in detail by qualified scientists when they got back to Antar.

With everyone back onboard the ship and the cargo bay sealed, Max and Michael brought the new granilith back to life, lifted her off of Michael’s Moon, and took her back out into space. They had carefully recorded the location and orbit of Michael’s Moon so that Michael could keep a record of this place that would always be so special to him and to Maria… the place where he had proposed… the place where Maria had agreed to be his wife… and the place where he had found the fantastic diamond that would become Maria’s engagement ring. To everyone aboard, the memories made on Michael’s Moon would forever be special, but to Michael and Maria, they would be especially so.



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapters titled

--------------------------------------Chapter 21
“On Top Of The Moon”
--------------------------------------Chapter 22
“Mystery On Michael’s Moon”


which are found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Altered Time – Destiny in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).






[ edited 8 time(s), last at 31-Jan-2003 4:16:23 AM ]
posted on 13-Jan-2003 9:59:07 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #5 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG


“Danyy and the Pawgor”




Amy DeLuca said goodbye to Alex and Isabel’s little girls and kissed Isabel on the cheek.

“I’m gonna take a ride up to Jim and Kath’s place in the country. Did you hear about his new ‘pet’?”

“Uh, uh. What pet?” asked Isabel.

Jim went hunting in the Nan-Torel last week and came back with a half-grown pawgor. He’s got it in a pen outside… calls it his new ‘pet’… his little ‘puddy tat!’ He’s been telling everybody about it, so I thought I’d go over and take a look out of curiosity.”

Isabel laughed, “Well, leave it to Jim Valenti to try to tame a pawgor! I don’t think that’s ever been done before. I’ve never seen one, but I remember Max telling about having to fight them off two or three times while he was wandering in the Nan-Torel during the Battle for Antar! Even Kivar’s elite soldiers were afraid of them!”

Amy pressed the button on her remote ‘car’ key, and the top of her bright green Fan-Ji II Sports compact slid toward the back, taking the doors with it. Amy stepped into the driver’s side bucket seat and placed the small crystal that had been impregnated with her DNA code into a tiny recess in the console. Both engines purred to life, and the top closed back, along with the doors. Isabel waved goodbye, and Amy drove off toward Jim and Kathleen’s place in the country.

The Fan-Ji II, like most Antarian ‘cars,’ had wheels and could drive on them, but it normally used them only for parking and generally traveled as a hovercraft about eight inches off the ground. It also had a very nice feature that allowed the driver to punch in a code on the console that indicated his or her intended destination then just lie back and relax. The car would get there on its own by the shortest route. However, on this day, Amy chose to do the driving.

As Amy arrived at Jim and Kathleen’s ‘ranch’ estate, she saw Jim sitting outside on the front porch, wearing his trademark tight jeans, strumming on a guitar, and chewing a piece of straw. Amy parked her car and walked over to the porch. Jim had been preoccupied with what he was doing and hadn’t noticed Amy driving up, which is not too surprising, considering that both engines on the Fan-Ji II are as quite as a summer breeze. Kathleen had seen Amy coming from the window and walked out on the porch to greet her. Amy and Kathleen kissed each other on the cheek, and Jim put the guitar down and gave Amy a friendly hug.

“D’you come to see the fierce beast?” asked Jim.

Amy couldn’t resist, especially when someone -like Jim- left the door so wide open. “No… actually I came to see your pawgor, Jim.”

Kathleen snickered. Jim gave them both that sort of endearing, smiling look that he had that seemed to say, “okay, you got me this time, but don’t think you’re gonna make it a habit.”

“Come on, I’ll show it to ya.”

Jim led Amy, with Kathleen, to the back of the house and down to the edge of the woods. There, in a large pen was a half-grown pawgor. It was about the size of a full-grown Siberian tiger, and it had two huge front teeth, but no tiger stripes. Its hind legs were somewhat shorter than its front legs and noticeably muscular. One would think it would be supremely adapted to pouncing and leaping. Amy took one look at the pawgor and let out a small gasp.

“Jim, that’s a damn saber-tooth tiger!”

“Yeah! Cute, isn’t it? They say he’ll get twice this big.”

“My God, Jim, you’re going to keep a saber-tooth tiger for a pet?”

“Why not, Amy? He’s just a cute little kitty! Look at that face! Is that cute or what?”

“I’ll take the ‘what,’ said Amy.

Jim climbed up on the fence and leaned over into the pen, stroking the pawgor on the head. The pawgor seemed to respond to Jim’s touch. It’s eyes narrowed in that pleased, satisfied look that a cat gets when it enjoys being stroked. And it actually made a purring sound.

Amy shook her head, “okay, Jim, I can’t believe you’re doing this, but good luck! I’d hate to come back out here and find this… ‘pawgor!’ licking his chops and using your arm bone as a toothpick on those teeth of his!”

Jim smiled at Amy as though to say, “you don’t need to worry about me. I’ll be fine.”

Kathleen put her arm around Jim and smiled, too.

“How do you feel about this… ‘pet,’ Kath?” Amy asked.

Kathleen smiled and shrugged, “I’ve seen worse beasts.”

Amy knew what Kathleen meant and couldn’t help but grin, too. “Yeah, we have, I guess, haven’t we, Kath! The agents from the Special Unit! Okay, Kath, Jim… you’re right! I’d take the pawgor over those bastards any day. The pawgor’s more likely to have a soul.

Kathleen reached over the fence and stroked the pawgor on the head then looked back at Amy and nodded.

As Amy drove off, 7-year-old James Danyyeel Valenti watched from the window of the upstairs room where he had been playing. Danyy, as his friends called him, was a handsome young man with blond hair kind of like his Daddy’s and soulful eyes. Leaning on the windowsill, Danyy smiled, seeming lost in thought. The pawgor watched back from its pen. Jim walked into the room and Danyy turned to look at him.

"Daddy, why did you save the pawgor?"

"What do you mean, son?"

"Well, when you found the pawgor and it's dead mama trapped under that tree that had fallen on them… and you threw some ropes over some branches and pulled the tree off of them, why did you bring the pawgor home and feed it and make it well again? Why didn’t you shoot it?"

Jim looked at his son, "Who told you that, Danyy? I never told anyone that… not even your Mama."

Danyy just looked at the pawgor… "He wants to know."

Jim looked at his son then at the young pawgor lying on the cool grass in its pen at the edge of the woods looking up toward his son’s window, and a sudden realization came over him that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. His son had somehow learned this from the pawgor itself.

Jim sat down on a chair beside his son, “Danyy… can you talk to the pawgor?”

“Kind of…” Danyy answered. The pawgor wants to know why you didn’t kill him like anyone else would have done.”

Jim ran his hand through his hair and let out a deep breath of air.

“Well, son, the pawgor wasn’t my enemy… It was just, well… an injured… I don’t know, son! You don’t have to kill every animal just because it’s big or strong, only if you need to save your life or somebody else’s life or something. The pawgor… was injured. I felt sorry for him… and his mama was dead. So I brought him home to make him well.”

“But you go hunting, Daddy.”

“Yeah… well… son, sometimes I bring home something for the table, you know, but most of the reason I go hunting, just between me and you, is because I like to be out in the woods with the wild animals, just me and all the wild animals, you know. It’s like therapy for me. You wouldn’t understand.”

Danyy smiled, seeming to understand a lot more than his young years betrayed. He looked back at the pawgor, and the pawgor closed its eyes with that satisfied cat look and began purring. The pawgor understood; the pawgor was a hunter, too.


----------


Jim and Kathleen watched cautiously as 7-year-old Danyy approached the pawgor’s enclosure for the first time. Jim had recently extended the fencing to a height of twelve feet “just to be safe.” Danyy had frequently sat in his bedroom window and “talked” with the pawgor. Jim didn’t know if what his son did was actually talking telepathically, mind reading, or what; all he knew was that Danyy understood the pawgor, and the pawgor understood Danyy… totally.

Danyy smiled as he walked up to the enclosure and reached through the mesh to rub the top of the pawgor’s head and its back. The pawgor responded by purring and narrowing its eyes into that satisfied cat look.

“Okay,” Jim said to his son, “Since you think you can control him, I’ll knock the fence down and you can lead him to the HoverTraveler.”

“You don’t need to knock the fence down, Dad,” Danyy said. Danyy turned and looked at the pawgor, and the pawgor rose to its feet and leapt over the fence without straining a muscle. Jim’s mouth dropped open…

“That fence was 12 feet high! He didn’t even need a running start! Why didn’t he escape…?”

Danyy grinned, “…because he was my friend… and he wasn’t afraid. He likes you… and he likes Mommy… and me. He knew he could leave anytime he wanted to; he just didn’t want to yet.”

Jim turned suddenly pale, “The pawgor could have jumped up into your window without even exerting itself! My God, Danyy …if you hadn’t had your special gift!”

“Don’t worry, Dad. He’s our friend.” Danyy smiled and touched his father’s arm.

Jim was shakened. He wasn’t afraid for himself. There wasn’t much that scared Jim, and he had seen more than most people would see in ten lifetimes. But the idea of his son being hurt -perhaps even eaten- by a wild animal gave Jim a feeling that he was not accustomed to and disliked intensely. It was fear.

Jim shook his head to try to regain his composure, telling himself that since nothing bad had happened, he could chalk it up to a learning experience.

“Come on, Danyy, get in the HoverTraveler and tell kitty here to get in with us. Where’s your mother?”

They looked around. Kathleen was lying on the grass where she had fainted.

Jim ran to her side… “Kath, what happened?”

“Your pawgor just jumped your 12-foot fence, Jim!”

“Yeah,” Jim said, matter-of-factly. “He did.”

Kathleen punched Jim weakly on the arm.

“We could have all been ‘kitty food’ for a pawgor, Jim! Do you realize that?”

Jim helped Kathleen up. She looked at her son and smiled slightly, shaking her head incredulously as she watched Danyy running and playing catch the ball around the yard with the pawgor. Kathleen turned and kissed Jim on the cheek.

“What was that for, Kath?”

“For tonight, Jim! I’ve got a headache now, and that’s probably all you’re gonna get.”


----------


Danyy got into the front seat of the spacious HoverTraveler and called to the pawgor to come. The pawgor jumped onto the seat beside him. Though still only half-grown, the pawgor didn’t leave a lot of room for Danyy and his father in the front seat. Kathleen sat in the back.

After everyone was in the vehicle, Jim pulled the HoverTraveler out and drove down his drive toward the street… and toward the Nan-Torel.

As Jim headed through town, people turned to look and point, calling to their friends to come look quickly. It was probably a sight that no one on Antar would ever see again… it was certainly one they had never seen before! The pawgor had its head out the window, its short ears pushed back by the wind and its extra-long tongue hanging out the side of its mouth beside its two eighteen-inch-long tusk-like front teeth. The pawgor was seriously enjoying the wind blowing in its face as the HoverTraveler accelerated to cruising speed and left the town behind, headed out across the plains to the Nan-Torel.

Some Antarians merely shook their heads and commented about how odd the “aliens” were. But the truth is the Antarians never tired of talking about the earthlings or their adventures, and they were always delighted to hear any new bit of gossip or information. This would provide talk in the barbershops and salons for weeks!

The HoverTraveler pulled up at the edge of the Nan-Torel, and Jim got out and opened the door for the pawgor to get out. The pawgor hopped out with Danyy right behind it. Danyy hugged the cat around the neck, and the pawgor purred. Then Danyy let go, and the pawgor leapt into the Nan-Torel with a starting leap that carried it close to a hundred feet. It almost seemed to simply fly, its massive bulk moving so fluidly and effortlessly through the air. Once inside the forest, the pawgor turned momentarily and looked at Danyy, at Jim, at Kathleen… Then it turned forward again and sped off into the deep dark depths known as the Nan-Torel, the most dangerous place on Antar… ‘home’ to the pawgor.

Danyy looked at his father and smiled,

“The pawgor said, ‘Thanks,’ Dad.”

Jim nodded. He had understood that, too.


----------


The next day, Kathleen drove over to Michael and Maria’s house with Danyy to see if Maria would like to go shopping. Maria had already heard about the pawgor’s ride in the HoverTraveler.

Kathleen laughed, “Yeah, Jim and Danyy decided the pawgor would have to be released… it was well now anyway.”

Kathleen told Maria about the pawgor jumping over the fence and Danyy playing catch the ball with it around the yard. Maria’s eyes grew wide as she listened with one hand over her mouth, giggling in spite of herself. It was both awesome and funny at the same time, especially when Kath described how she had awakened lying on the grass with Jim asking her if she was okay.

“Kath, I think you guys are going to be known as the pawgor family for a very long time,” Maria laughed. “The pawgor in the hover vehicle is all the talk of CoruzAntar right now.”

Maria and Kathleen both laughed.

“I’m afraid so,” said Kathleen.

“Come on, Kath! I’ll get the kids; we can all go shopping for our trip before Michael gets back.”

Maria called Zorel, Kryys, and Jayyd, and the four of them, together with Kathleen and Danyy, piled into Jim’s HoverTraveler, which was a sort of wide, extra large, hovering SUV.

“You think there’ll be room for us all?” asked Maria.

“Honey,” said Kathleen, after seeing Jim get that pawgor in here with all of us yesterday, I think this thing can carry anything!”

Both of them laughed then Kathleen drove them to the shopping district to Kykk’s Department Store World to do some shopping.



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapters titled,


-------------------------Chapter 2
“The Pawgor”
-------------------------Chapter 3
“Child’s Play”
-------------------------Chapter 10
“Call of the Wild”


which are found in the novel-length Roswell fic “Life in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).






[ edited 3 time(s), last at 31-Jan-2003 4:30:28 AM ]
posted on 13-Jan-2003 10:01:05 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #6 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG



“The Mysterious Disappearance”



The passengers of the new granilith, Zan’s enormous mothership, were still a bit edgy, having just repelled a small band of hostile aliens known as “Ghors” that had boarded the new granilith intent on making slaves of its passengers as they returned to Antar from earth. A repugnant group of nine-foot high, semi-hairy, extremely smelly, lizard-like beings, the Ghors’ downfall had been at the hands of the very resourceful children on board the ship and Danyy’s pawgor, a sabertooth tiger-like beast that he communicated with, which fortunately had been along for the ride.

Kyle and Jeliya met Michael coming down the hall toward the galley. Jeliya smiled.

“Hi.”

Michael smiled back… “The Ghors didn’t get into that room did they?” Michael indicated a large storage room on the dining room level.

Kyle shook his head, “No, I don’t think so.”

“Good,” Michael said… “I checked the cargo bay where the vehicles are. They didn’t get in there either…”

Jeliya looked at Kyle. Kyle shrugged… “I don’t know… Michael’s strange like that sometimes.”

“You would think he had something to hide in there,” Jeliya suggested. “…something he was protecting.”

Kyle stopped suddenly and grinned.

“What is it?” Jeliya asked, noticing Kyle’s look of mischief.

“This could get me killed,” Kyle said with a huge grin, “but it’s worth it… if it’s what I’m thinking. Come on!” Kyle took Jeliya by the hand, and they checked the door to the storeroom Michael had indicated. It was locked, but that was not a very big deterrent to a resourceful person. Kyle had it opened in a few moments.

As the light came on, Kyle and Jeliya looked around…

“Whoa!” Kyle muttered… “Incredible!”

Jeliya stood with her mouth open.

From wall to wall and floor to ceiling, there were crates and crates of Tabasco sauce and Snapples, along with a few odd crates of other earth “delights” that Michael obviously had bought and squirreled away during their ‘vacation’ on earth.

Kyle laughed and rubbed his hands together… “Where can I put these…”

Later that day, Michael checked the storeroom when no one else was around to see. As the light came on, the sight that met his eyes was an empty storage room. In a panic, he ran down to the cargo bay and opened the back of the Snapples truck that they still carried in the new granilith. It was empty.

“How?” Michael yelled. “How did they do this?”

Michael ran toward the galley, passing Maria on the way.

“Maria! Did you see the Ghors go into the storeroom on the galley deck or into the cargo bay?”

Maria shook her head.

“Well nobody knew that I had…” Michael hesitated. He hadn’t told Maria about the stash yet either.

“What?” asked Maria.

“Nothing… but if you didn’t see the Ghors go in and Kyle didn’t…”

Michael’s eyes opened wide… “Kyle! I should have known!”

Michael rushed off. Maria followed but was left behind. Meeting Liz and Max along the way, she mentioned Michael’s strange reaction.

“What’s so strange?” Max asked laughing… “It’s Michael! I’m sure it’s nothing.”

The three of them walked in the direction Michael had gone. They found him in the dining room, his hands around Kyle’s neck. Kyle was laughing even as he gurgled and tried unsuccessfully to deny any knowledge of the disappearance.

Jeliya was pulling on Michael’s arms…

“Michael, don’t kill him! I love him!”

“Love grows fonder with absence, Jeliya,” Michael said. “You can still love him when he’s dead!”

Max walked over…

“Michael, what’s going on? Let him go.”

“Max, He hid all the Tabasco sauce and Snapples that we bought.”

Max paused momentarily.

“Well aren’t you going to help him?” Jeliya implored.

“I don’t think Michael needs any help,” Max said.

“She means Kyle, Max!” said Liz.

“Oh!”

“Well?” Liz asked.

“I’m thinking about it.”

Liz huffed.

“Well…” Max said, thinking, “…if Michael breaks anything, I can fix it.”

“Max!!!!!”

“Oh alright! Let him go, Michael.

Kyle was still laughing as Michael released his hold.

As Michael left the dining area, Jeliya kissed Kyle all over…

“How could Michael do that to you! You were his friend!”

Kyle laughed… “Michael’s still my friend. He had to do that. It's kinda like part of the game. His reaction is all proportional to how good he thinks I got him." Kyle rubbed his neck and croaked a little, "He figures I got him pretty good. Anyway, he wouldn’t have hurt me worse than what Max could fix… and it was worth it! That’s just how we show we care about each other.”

Kyle laughed again, choking slightly, as Jeliya kissed him on the cheeks and lips trying to make it better.

Liz shook her head.

Max grinned… “I think Michael and I can help you put everything back later when you feel like telling us where you hid it, Kyle.”

Kyle laughed some more… “I just wish I could have seen his face when the lights came on and that room was empty!”

“I imagine it looked pretty much like when he was choking you, Kyle,” said Max. As Max walked out of the room, he smiled and gave Kyle a thumbs up.

In the entertainment area, Michael was already telling Jim and Kathleen about Kyle’s little prank.

“I’m glad to see you’re taking it so calmly,” said Kathleen.

Michael smiled, “Hey, Kyle’s my friend! He got me this time! I’ll get him back some time… That’s the way it goes.”



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapter titled, “The Mysterious Disappearance” (Chapter 52), which can be found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Life in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)




[ edited 2 time(s), last at 13-Jan-2003 10:13:07 AM ]
posted on 14-Jan-2003 9:22:07 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #7 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG


“Don’t Eat the Grelliats”



After seven days in space, the crew and occupants of the new granilith had pretty much settled in and become accustomed to their new routines. Max and Michael, along with Liz, Maria, Alex, Isabel, and a number of other friends now living on Antar, had decided to take their young children to earth to show them where they grew up. They asked Varec, the chief Antarian scientist, who was also a close friend, to prep the new granilith, Max’s huge “mothership,” for the voyage, and the group departed for what was intended to be the “vacation of a lifetime.”

Today, like any other day, the children were occupying themselves playing in various parts of the ship, and the adults were occupied with various individual pursuits. Jim and Kyle Valenti were watching videotaped football games with Jeff Parker. Amy and Varec were enjoying a walk in the gardens. Max and Liz were together in the control room, and Michael and Maria… well, no one was sure where Michael and Maria had gone, but wherever it was, they had gone together and didn’t leave a “here’s-where-we-can-be-found note.”

The new granilith was truly a small city in space. It had 7 different levels. The bottom level, Level 1, was the cargo and storage bay level. This level was also where the off-ship vehicles were kept and where the “pod room” was located, a special, watertight room that housed a small submarine, which Michael had christened the “Maria Mia.” Level 2 was the galley and dining area. Level 3 was the living quarters. At the end of the corridor on level 3, there was a lounge with video games, a TV, and other types of entertainment. Level 4 was the control level, which housed the control room and bridge with the pilots’ consoles and seats and other critical flight control equipment and the engines. Level 5 was the gardens, where many of the vegetables eaten onboard were grown. Besides vegetables, the gardens sported beautiful flowers and walking paths, one of which led to a small waterfall and pond. Level 6 was the arboretum, a small arboreal park. The trees in the arboretum supplied all the oxygen needed for interplanetary travel.

The arboretum was a great place to take a walk. It had a long path through the trees with several interesting stops along the way. The path through the arboretum began and ended at the same place, so there was no need to turn around and return the way one had come. The path had been designed to meander back and forth through the trees, giving the stroller the maximum possible walking distance, about a mile and a half. At a point that lay in the actual center of the arboretum, there was a gazebo, with a porch-type swing; but further along on the trail, there was a small clearing where one could lie down by a clear little brook that provided water to the trees, have a picnic, or swing on a two-person swing suspended by vines from high up in one of the trees.

Level 7, the top level, was the observatory, a bubble-domed level with a 360-degree view of space. Among other things, the observatory boasted a couple of sofas for relaxing and watching the stars zip by and two special seats for remote viewing with RV goggles. Maria liked to escape to the observatory with Michael when no one else was there. It was her favorite place on the ship. She loved lying on the sofa with her head on Michael’s chest, listening to his heartbeat and watching the stars zip by in their celestial brilliance through the dome of the new granilith as it sped along on its journey through the cosmos.

This is where Michael and Maria were right now. Michael was lying on the oversized Antarian sofa along the back wall of the observatory, his arms around Maria, who was lying in front of him, her head against his bare chest. Michael loved the feel of Maria’s hair on his face and the smell of her skin against him. When he had been living on Antar, before he and Max had gone back in time to rescue Liz and Maria (and wound up rescuing everyone), these were the things Michael had dreamt of at night, the things that drove him wild with sadness over his loss of Maria. He would never take them for granted. Michael, more than anyone except Max, who shared his pain because of his own loss of Liz, knew the importance of the “little things.”

Michael breathed deep, inhaling Maria’s essence, the perfume of her existence… and he nestled his face against hers, letting her hair cover him, losing himself in her… in everything that was “Maria.”

Maria moved her hand slowly over Michael’s well-muscled arm, removing the rest of his shirt and pressing herself even closer against him as Michael slowly but deliberately reduced Maria to her natural state while they lay there watching the stars.

----------

At the end of the corridor leading from the ascension chamber to the domed observatory, the door opened again, and Amy and Varec stepped out. Eight-year-old Zorel met them as they stepped out of the chamber.

“I’m sorry, Aunt Amy, Uncle Varec… but no one can visit the observatory right now.”

“Why not, Zorel?”

“Dad said there was going to be a heat wave in the observatory for a while and no one could go in there. He paid me to stand guard here and let anybody know if they came up in the chamber.”

“Heat wave?” asked Amy. “Oh my! That sounds unpleasant! I guess we can go back to the gardens for awhile.” She looked at Varec. Varec nodded.

Varec looked at Zorel, sizing up the situation. Varec had helped build the new granilith. He knew better than anyone what was likely to be a problem and what was not on his ship… he knew…

“Okay Zorel. I suppose your Dad’s working on it right now, right?”

“Yeah.”

Varec smiled, “I know how hot it can get in there. You’re doing a great job, Zorel. Be sure you don’t let anyone get past here till your Dad says it’s okay! I’m sure he knows how to handle it. We’ll come back when it’s… fixed.”

“Thanks, Uncle Varec!”

----------


Kyle and Jeliya had gone to the arboretum for a walk. As they rounded a corner on the path, they heard a flutter of wings and looked up to see a creature fly over that looked like a bat… a large bat with fangs.

“Wha…!” Kyle exclaimed.

Just then they looked over to see a full-grown pawgor, an Antarian creature most like a sabertooth tiger, emerge from the trees.

“Okay, I know we didn’t ask for pawgors and rob-jettas on this voyage!” Kyle exclaimed. What’s going on here?”

The pawgor pounced… then disappeared in mid-air.

Kyle and Jeliya looked around to see eight-year-old Andya Evans on the path in front of them. Mareeya and Ceelya Whitman came running up to be with Andya.

“What’s going on here, Andya?” asked Kyle. “Does Max know that you’ve turned the arboretum into a dangerous jungle?”

“No, Uncle Kyle. We were just playing. We were pretending that Mareeya was Dad running from Kivar’s soldiers in the Nan-Torel, because she can get rid of the animals with her big wind. Ceelya can make small power bolts come out of her fingers, so she’s pretending to be one of Kivar’s soldiers shooting at Dad. And I’m just… making this into the Nan-Torel for our game.”

“Well just unmake it, Andya! Right now! What if someone walks in here and gets eaten?”

“Oh, everything gets undone when I make the animals disappear, Uncle Kyle… like the gojos came back when I made the rabbit disappear.”

“Well… I don’t think I want to come back as a pile of gojos, Andya. Make the pawgors and rob-jetta go away… and anything else you may have here.”

“Okay, Uncle Kyle.”

“Jeliya and I are going to continue our walk. Can we do that without getting eaten?”

“Oh, sure, Uncle Kyle!” There were only three pawgors and two rob-jettas. I already got rid of the rob-jettas and the pawgor that was here. The other two pawgors are over by the brook. We’ll go get them now!”

“You do that, Andya!” said Jeliya.

The girls ran off to find the other wild pawgors. They found them by the brook as expected. Andya waved her hand and one of the pawgors disappeared. She raised her hand to make the other one disappear, too, but the second pawgor leapt and disappeared into the trees before she could finish. The girls chased off after it. After an hour of looking, they still had not found the lost pawgor. They decided to go find Zorel and a couple of the other kids and enlist their help finding it, but as they were nearing the end of the path, they heard a scream. Racing to the door, they were just in time to see the pawgor leap into the glass elevator, called an ascension chamber, as Isabel ran out of it.

“Looking at Andya, Isabel asked, in a not-too-amused tone, “Just what was that?”

“Sorry, Aunt Isabel! We were playing King Zan in the Nan-Torel and we’re trying to get rid of this pawgor. It’s the last one.”

They turned and looked at the ascension chamber. It was gone. Someone had called it to another level.

Andya placed her hand on the sensor and waited with Mareeya and Ceelya for the ascension chamber to return to the arboretum. It returned quickly… and empty. Mareeya guessed that wherever the pawgor had gone, it had not gone far in such a short time, perhaps the next floor down. That would be the gardens.

The three girls quickly crowded into the chamber and rode down one floor to the gardens. The door opened. They saw nothing but decided that this was the most likely place to look, so they set out along the path looking for the errant pawgor. Ceelya was the first to spot it, sniffing the vegetables for something that might be edible to a pawgor. It stopped at the grelliats.

“Noooo!” yelled Mareeya, “Not the grelliats! I love grelliats! He’ll eat them all!”

The pawgor walked around the grelliats in a circle then lifted one rear leg.

Mayeeya gasped, Ceelya put both hands over her eyes, and Andya stood dumbstruck as the grelliats were bathed in an unexpected rain. Then Andya seemed to remember what she was there for and waved her hand. The pawgor disappeared.

Mareeya cried, “It had to be the grelliats… my favorite food! Now I’ll never be able to eat grelliats again!”

As the three girls wallowed in the misery of their situation, they realized that someone was coming. Quickly, they ran back to the path. It turned out that it wasn’t actually “someone.” It was the harvester droid, the little robot that supplied the vegetables to the diner droid, which prepared all the meals. The girls watched as the little droid floated through the rows of vegetables, collecting badas, gojos, harlats… and grelliats for the evening meal.


----------


Meals on the new granilith were always a festive occasion. One thing that had never been a problem for the ‘earthlings’ was getting used to the Antarian food. The Antarians were to the universe what the French are to earth… gourmet food preparers by reputation! The names of the foods sounded odd and sometimes perhaps daunting or unappealing, but the food… well, that took no time at all to get used to! And the little diner droid had become an instant hit with the earth guests from the moment of that first Antarian meal.

The little droid went around the table asking each guest, as it did at each meal, what he or she would have to eat. Then it rolled quietly back to the food preparation area.

Jeff Parker smiled and shook his head.

“I just keep seeing that little droid wearing Lizzie’s Crashdown uniform and those antennae,” he laughed. The others laughed, too. They remembered! On the trip to Antar, during one of the meals, the little droid had come out wearing Liz’s Crashdown uniform and antennae. Jeff had almost choked on his pashita bread when he spotted it. He had immediately given Liz and Maria that “look,” and the two of them had slouched down guiltily in their chairs, laughing hysterically. “Your Crashdown uniform Lizzie? Aw, geez,” was all he had been able to say. A day or two before that incident, Phil Evans had joked to the little droid that he, being a lawyer, could help the droid start a droids’ union. A couple of days later, the little droid unintentionally managed to get the biggest laugh of the evening when it rolled over to Phil wearing the Crashdown dress and asked him to explain about the union thing again.

But now the little droid was returning with the dinners. As he set each perfectly prepared meal in front of the guest who had ordered it, he said, “Enjoy your dinner, Sir,” or “Enjoy your dinner, Ma’am.”

After the droid had served everyone and gone, everyone began to eat. Shortly, Michael stabbed several of the grelliats with his fork and lifted them toward his mouth… As he opened his mouth, he noticed Andya, Mareeya, and Ceelya leaning forward in their chairs, their eyes larger than usual. Michael held his fork there for a moment, his mouth still open, then slowly lowered the fork back towards the table. The girls seemed to relax. Michael lifted his fork and opened his mouth again. Again he noticed that the girls’ eyes all became suspiciously large, as though they expected something to happen. Michael looked back and forth at the three girls… then, slowly, he put down his fork.

“I think I’ll pass on the grelliats today.”

Isabel looked at Mareeya’s plate…

“Mareeya! I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen you not ask for grelliats. Did you forget?”

“No, Mom.”

Isabel looked at Alex and shrugged, “I guess she’s finally getting tired of grelliats.”


----------


The next day, as the girls were walking together in the gardens, a strong arm came down on Andya’s shoulder from behind, startling her. She looked up…

“Dad! Wha… What are you doing here?”

“I thought I might find the answer to one of life’s great mysteries here.”

“Really? What mystery?”

“The mystery of what was wrong with your Uncle Michael’s grelliats last night and why you girls didn’t eat any grelliats yourselves.”

“Oh… you noticed?”

Max nodded.

“I don’t guess you would believe it if we told you that we just got tired of grelliats?”

Max shook his head.

The girls explained what had happened. Max listened calmly.

“I hope you’ve learned something from this,” Max said. “And I don’t just mean about the grelliats… Everybody here uses the arboretum and the gardens. Turning them into your own little “jungle” wasn’t being very thoughtful of everyone else who wanted to go there. And it could have been dangerous.”

“We’re sorry, Dad. We didn’t mean for it to get out of hand.”

“I know. I’m not mad at you. But I do have a little chore for the three of you.”

Andya, Mareeya, and Ceelya looked at Max inquiringly.


----------


After lunch, Zorel and Liz-Jolee followed Andya, Mareeya, and Ceelya into the back of the food preparation area and asked them if they wanted to go play.

“I can’t right now,” said Andya.

“Mareeya? Ceelya?”

“We can’t either.”

“Why not? Asked Zorel.

Andya pointed at three large tubs full of grelliats… and three large tubs full of water. We have to wash grelliats.



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapters titled, “Just Another Day on the New Granilith” (Chapter 13) and “Don’t Eat the Grelliats” (Chapter 14), which can be found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Life in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).





posted on 26-Jan-2003 2:45:17 AM
Thanks Snowdove and Asabetha! You're the greatest! Here's number 8. *happy*




posted on 26-Jan-2003 2:47:14 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #8 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated G


“The Amazing Planet of Frebel-Ish”




The universe can be fascinating… it can also be dangerous; but most of all, it can be unpredictable and devastatingly capricious. Max, Liz, Michael, Maria, and the others had learned this many times over since leaving Roswell (and before), but nothing could have prepared them for their children being kidnapped.

In the conference room of the palace on the allied planet, Xarius, Max, Michael, and friends planned and coordinated rescue missions, determined to get every single child back safely. Two of the tools at their disposal were a sphere that allowed them to see things in other places, the “Sphere of Visions,” and a sphere that allowed them to reappear in other places, the “Sphere of the Portal.”

They had just located one of Alex and Isabel’s girls, Mareeya Whitman, and had called on the Sphere of Visions to see if she was alright.

In the mist that gathered, they saw a young girl sitting on a rock by the sea. She was looking longingly at the sky. It appeared to be Mareeya …except for one detail. In the room, not a word was spoken… probably, because no one knew what to say. It was several minutes before Zorel Guerin broke the stunned silence…

“Chanad dro Agorna Sta!” Zorel exclaimed quietly, using an Antarian exclamation that has no equivalent in most other languages, but roughly means ‘Keep safe all the living auras’ or ‘Bless every living aura.’

“Oh, wow! …if that’s for real…”

Mareeya’s younger sister, Ceelya, sat with her mouth open and a look on her face that defied description as she stared at her older sister through the mist. Diane Casey reached her hand out toward the image, for a moment forgetting that it wasn’t really there. She couldn’t resist the urge to try to touch it to see if it was for real. Even Shag and Maya, the Zasharn and Zashayn of Xarius, were stunned. Despite all that they had experienced in 12,000 years of living, nothing had prepared them for this.

“Portal!” Shag said after a few more moments. “Take us to where Mareeya Whitman, daughter of Alex and Isabel, is right now…” Then he added, “But do not put us in the water.”

Shag stepped through the portal. Zorel quickly stepped through behind him, followed by Dan, Diane, Jim, Kathleen, and Ceelya. They found themselves on a beach beside the rocks. Due most likely to the roar of the surf, Mareeya did not hear them coming and had not yet seen them. Another wave broke over the rocks, spraying a mist of salty seawater over Mareeya and the newly arrived individuals fifteen or twenty feet behind her on the beach. Mareeya looked longingly up at the sky and smiled. Suddenly, a movement by Zorel caught her eye. In a flash, Mareeya was in the water. Within seconds, her head popped back to the surface a hundred yards away. She looked at the new arrivals momentarily… then dove under the water again.

“Great, now what do we do?” Jim started to say, but before he could finish, Mareeya suddenly popped back out of the water, sliding gently and gracefully onto the rocks she had been on before. She smiled at her younger sister, Ceelya, then at the others but said nothing.

“Mareeya?” Ceelya half asked and half stated with awe in her voice. Reaching out her own hand hesitantly, she touched Mareeya on the arm then ran her hand down Mareeya’s side past her waist and gently, hesitantly, over the tail.

“Oh, Mareeya!” Ceelya shook her head and gasped slightly… “It is real!”

Diane reached out and touched the tail gently, convincing herself that it was real, too.

Ceelya hugged Mareeya, and Mareeya smiled but said nothing.

“Do you know me,” Ceelya asked. Mareeya nodded.

“Do you remember Kathleen and Jim and… and Shag… and Zorel?”

Mareeya nodded and smiled at them.

“Can you talk?” Ceelya asked her sister.

Mareeya looked up at the sky momentarily then strained visibly, making an effort to remember how to speak. She opened her mouth and then, after a moment, seemed to find her voice…

“Yes,” she replied softly.

Ceelya almost fell into the water with delight. She had been so afraid that Mareeya could not speak at all. She stopped and looked at Shaqor as a thought occurred to her…

“How are we going to take her back? Maybe she can’t survive out of the water here. Can she be changed back?”

Without giving Shag a chance to answer any of her questions, she turned back to Mareeya…

“How did this happen, Mareeya?”

Mareeya strained then answered softly, “After Alyendis… I found myself back on Gadyslar. Hosk sold me to an old man who calls himself Frebel-Ish.”

“Like Frebel-Ish, the mythical storyteller,” Ceelya offered. Mareeya nodded.

“Frebel-Ish, or whoever he really is, brought us here… to this planet.”

“Us? You mean Taz? And Jiba and Drel, too?” Ceelya asked. Mareeya nodded again.

“After we got here, he brought me to this beach. Then he waved his hand over me and changed me into this. Then he just walked away.”

“Oh, Mareeya! What did you do?”

“I waited for a wave to carry me into the water and swam away from the beach. Then… I just did what seemed to come naturally.”

“Do you know what he did with Taz or Jiba and Drel?”

Mareeya shook her head sadly.

“What are we going to do, Shag?” Ceelya asked.

Probably for the first time in at least a thousand years, Shag didn’t have a ready answer.

“I… I don’t know, Ceelya. We can’t take her back like this… We need to find this ‘Frebel-Ish.’ He should be able to change her back. Will you be okay here, Mareeya?”

Mareeya smiled and nodded. “I’m fine. This is where I belong… for now…”

Then she added sadly, “But I look up at the sky and at the stars every day, and I wonder which one of them is Antar and if I will ever get to return home… I mean really home! I miss you all… and Mom and Dad… It’s been seven years…”

Mareeya’s eyes seemed to fill with tears as she spoke. “Find him if you can, Shaqor… please.”

Shag nodded and swallowed hard. “I will, Mareeya,” he promised. “I will.” Then he turned and called for the Sphere of Visions.

“Ask!” The voice said.

“Show us Taz Valenti, son of Kyle and Jeliya of Antar.”

A mist appeared on the beach, and in the mist they saw Taz. He appeared to be carrying a bucket of some kind filled with water down a hill. Shag turned to Mareeya again. “We’ll find them all, Mareeya… and Frebel-Ish, too! I swear it!”

Mareeya smiled. Ceelya thought the smile looked somehow different now. Before, it had been a sad smile. Now, there was the twinkle of real happiness in it.

“Portal!” Shag called. “Take us to Taz Valenti, son of Kyle and Jeliya of Antar.”

The portal appeared and Shag stepped through, followed by the others. They met Taz coming down the hill, carrying a bucket of water.

“Taz!” Jim said, stopping Taz where he was. “What in the World and Antar are you doing?”

“Can’t ye see he’s carrying a pail of water? That’s what he’s doing!” a voice said from behind the group. Jim spun around. A young girl was standing there.

“Don’t tell me…” Jim said. “You would be Jill, I suppose.”

“That’s right, and who would ye be?”

“I’m… nobody that matters to you. I suppose you think he’s Jack?” Jim said, pointing at Taz.

“My goodness, no! You are a most odd man! Jack fell down…”

“…and broke his crown,” Jim said. “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the story.”

“Then why did ye ask? I had to get him to take Jack’s place while Jack’s head is mending from the fall.”

Jim stood there for a few seconds. He wasn’t quite sure whether he should strangle the smart-alek little girl or have his head examined. He felt totally ridiculous even talking to her.

“Taz, come with us,” Jim said, turning to Taz and ignoring the girl.

“I can’t.”

“What do you mean, you can’t? Just put the bucket down…”

“Tis a pail,” the girl corrected sassily. Jim ignored the comment.

“Come with us, Taz. We’re going home… to Antar.”

“I have to carry this water down the hill,” Taz said.

“And then what?” Jim asked.

“I go back up and do it again.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s what I do,” Taz answered simply.

Jim didn’t have much patience for this. He grabbed Taz under his arm, set the bucket on the ground, and told Shag to call the portal.

“We can’t take him back like this,” Shag said. Whatever this Frebel-Ish did to him, he needs to undo it.”

“Then let’s find this Frebel-Ish,” Jim said.

“Let’s find Jiba and Drel first,” Shag said.

Jim knew he was right. Wherever Jiba and Drel were, Frebel-Ish had probably done something to them, too. The reasonable thing to do would be to find them first then find this Frebel-Ish and make him change them all back as they belonged at once. If Frebel-Ish knew they were onto him, he might make himself harder to find or disappear completely.

“Okay,” Jim agreed, “But I’m taking Taz with me.”

Shag looked at Taz and nodded, then he called the portal.

“Take us to Jiba, daughter of Tess and Rayylar of Antar.”

The portal appeared, and Shag stepped through. Jim followed him with Taz in tow. The others followed behind them.

Stepping out of the portal, they found themselves inside a large, dark cave.

“What the!” Dan Klein exclaimed. Everyone looked around. At the back of the cave there was something… it was difficult to see what in the dark. Dan lit the cave with a lighter he carried. Though he never smoked, he always carried the lighter, which was a memento from one of his special ops missions. After the mission had concluded successfully, everyone had been given one, engraved with their names and the code name of the mission. Dan held the small flame up to see what was in the large coffin-like box at the back of the cave. It appeared to be made of glass. As he raised the light over the lid, Kathleen gasped. Then the others looked and gasped, too. The glass coffin contained a body… it was Jiba’s.

Kathleen, Jim, Dan, Diane, Shag, Ceelya, Zorel, and Taz all gazed at the figure in the glass coffin. Jiba was only fifteen. Lying there in the glass coffin, she appeared perfect, beautiful, flawless in every way… in every exquisite detail.

“Is she… you know…” Zorel tried to ask.

Shag lifted the glass lid and placed the palm of his hand near her nose for several moments then removed his hand slowly and nodded.

“Yes, Zorel.”

Kathleen took Jim’s hand and held it.

“You’re sure, Shag?” Diane asked.

Shag nodded.

“Yes, she’s alive.”

Everyone relaxed. Jim let his breath out. He had been holding it but hadn’t realized it.

“She appears to be in some kind of deep sleep,” Shag said. “I don’t know what’s wrong with her. If I had to guess, of course, I’d say that Frebel-Ish had something to do with it.”

“I’d say that Frebel-Ish had everything to do with it,” Jim interjected.

Shag nodded. “You’re probably right, Jim.”

“What do we do now,” Ceelya asked. Can we take her back like this?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Shag said. “But I also don’t know how we can take her with us to find Frebel-Ish. We’ll have to leave her here till we find that troll and bring him back here to wake her up.”

Diane nodded somberly. Kathleen agreed. Finally, the others reluctantly added their agreement.

“Is this what Jiba is ‘supposed’ to do, Taz,” Jim asked, somewhat more gruffly than he intended to.

“Yes,” Taz said… “I think so…”

Taz winced slightly and seemed uncomfortable with his answer, but the answer remained in his mind all the same, probably due to the ‘changes’ brought about by Frebel-Ish.

“Why is Jiba supposed to sleep? Why are you supposed to carry water down the hill all day long day after day?”

Taz couldn’t answer. He shook his head. “I… I don’t know… we just are. It is what we were made for.”

Jim didn’t know how to answer that. He shook his head. “No, Taz, it’s not. You are Antarian. You were made to be free.”

“I am Jack… and she is YarilyaXan,” Taz replied.

Shag turned slightly pale. The others looked at him questioningly.

“YarilyaXan,” Shag said, is a very important children’s storybook character on Xarius. YarilyaXan is a young girl who is very beautiful. But the vain wife of the king gives a large treasure to a wicked old woman who lives in a cave to kill YarilyaXan, because YarilyaXan is more beautiful and more popular in the village than she is. The wicked old crone uses her powers to put a spell on YarilyaXan and make YarilyaXan sleep forever. No one but the old crone can take the curse off, but she dies and never does, and the beautiful young girl lies sleeping hidden away deep inside the old crone’s cave. Eventually, a young hero comes along and finds a way to save her. He turns out to be the king’s son. The vain queen turns out to be an impostor who had paid the old woman years before to use the same spell on the real queen and change her to look like the real queen so that she could take her place. The hero finds this out and proves it. Then he finds his real mother, the real queen, wakes her, and marries YarilyaXan, who eventually becomes the new queen, one whom everyone loves.”

“Okay…” Dan said. Both he and Diane were somewhere between being seriously amused and starting to get seriously concerned.

“YarilyaXan sounds an awful lot like ‘Sleeping Beauty’ …kind of,” Diane said. “There must be some universal themes anywhere you go! What is this planet? Land of the fairy tale characters?”

As they spoke, in the flicker of the light, Jim caught a glimpse of another presence in the cave with them… The others saw it, too.

Jim spun around quickly to face the newcomer. It turned out to be a very old and very small man. He looked a lot like a troll… or perhaps one of the seven dwarfs.

“Great!” Jim exclaimed. “Now Rumpelstiltskin’s here!”

The little man burst out laughing. “Rumpelstiltskin? I’m not Rumpelstiltskin! I’m Frebel-Ish!”

Shag put both his hands in front of himself with the palms out in a gesture fully intended to indicate threat to the little man. The little man laughed.

“You can put your hands down. I am not going to hurt you.”

“Like you didn’t hurt her?” Jim asked, indicating Jiba.

“Her?” She’s not hurt.”

“You placed her in a deep sleep for… who knows how long,” Jim said. “That’s ‘hurt!’”

Frebel-Ish seemed perplexed then laughed again. He walked across the floor eyeing the group in the cave. “What do you care about her?”

“She’s Antarian," Jim said… "She’s one of ours. And even if she weren’t…”

“AN-Tarian! What’s this AN-Tarian again?” Frebel-Ish asked seeming to lose his patience.

“It’s what we are,” Zorel said… and what she is.” He indicated Jiba.

The little man seemed confused. “You are biomass replications… all of you? Did Hosk release you on your own with no owner? …No! No! I don’t believe it! Biomass replications do not respond the way you do. They… they are compliant! They are happy and satisfied in my world.”

“Biomass… what?” Jim said, looking at Shag.

Shag thought for a moment… “Frebel-Ish… or whatever your real name is… I am guessing that Hosk sold you these children and told you that they were biomass replications.”

“They are biomass replications,” the little man said. I saw them created. He made them at my request, and I watched as they were made.”

“Hosk must have run them back through his machine,” Kathleen said.

Jim nodded.

“That would make sense for a lot of reasons,” Shag agreed. “Hosk would want them to not have memories of their past, and this… whatever Mr. Frebel-Ish is, wanted something newly-created from scratch with no past…”

“Biomass replications,” the little man repeated. “Very compliant, very happy to conform.”

“Conform to what?” Dan asked. “What is this crazy world?”

The little man laughed again. “Not crazy! Happy! This is MY world! You see this planet? It doesn’t exist.”

“He’s certifiable!” Jim whispered to Kathleen.

“I have good ears, too,” the little man said. “Go ahead! Try to find this world when you are not here! You will not!”

“We did,” Dan said smiling.

“Mmm… yes…” the little man’s smile disappeared. “How did you find this planet? It lies outside the plane of reality. A space ship would fly right through it but would never see it. It reflects no light in the real universe…”

“And yet we did find it,” Shag said.

The little man seemed agitated. He did not enjoy riddles that he did not initiate or to which he did not know the answers.

“This planet is the planet of the Hjity.”

“What are the Hjity?” Kathleen asked.

“Not are… is!” Frebel-Ish said. I am the Hjity!”

“You? Zorel questioned. “You can’t be a whole race all by yourself.”

“Oh, but I am!” said the little man. I am the Hjity. This is my planet. Just me. I travel throughout the universe cataloguing stories… what you call fairytales,” he said to Jim… “and you call Scostya-Voya,” he said to Shaqor… “and you call Djictyyae Frebel-Ish… Tales of Frebel-Ish,” he said to Zorel… “Yes, I know what you call them! I can pull them out of your minds! Then I obtain biomass replications and change them into the characters from your stories. I live among them. I enjoy their antics… their beauty… Everywhere I go my world is… what you would call a fairytale. I created it to be so!”

“Amazing,” Jim said, beginning to feel somewhat impressed in spite of himself.

“Why is your planet called ‘Merschenskazky if you are Hjity,” Jim asked.

The little man began to laugh. “Oh… oh… ho… ho… ho… ho…” He shook his head. “That is the name I gave Hosk. My planet is whatever I call it! But you should recognize that name! It's from your home planet,” he said looking Jim directly in the eyes.

“I’m afraid I don’t,” Jim said.

“Wait a minute,” Diane said… “Marchen… that’s German for fairytales. And Skazky is Russian for fairytales.”

“Yes! Yes!” The little man laughed. Sometimes I call my planet ‘Scostyadjictyyae’ or ‘Mothergooseskazky’ or some other such nonsense. It doesn’t matter. My planet will be here whatever I choose to call it. And I can call myself Frebel-Ish if I wish to, because he is the teller of all fairytales.”

“Well, there is one little problem,” Ceelya said, stepping forward to face the little man. The little man became silent. He was unaccustomed to anyone stepping forward into his space so boldly.

“What would that be?”

“You bought Antarians from Hosk… slaves! Not biomass replications!”

The little man shook his head. “No! No! That is impossible! I saw them created!”

“No,” Shag said, stepping forward, too. “You saw a trick. Hosk used the machine to steal the memories of these young people and sell them to you as replications.”

Frebel-Ish shook his head, but more slowly this time. He was beginning to understand what had happened.

"Can you prove that they are AN-Tarian, Xarian? If you can…"

Shag nodded. "Wake her up."

The little man gazed at Jiba lying in her glass coffin… "I enjoy watching YarilyaXan as she sleeps. She is so beautiful. I can look at her beautiful face… I can touch her…"

"Don't," Jim said threateningly as the little troll began to reach a hand into the glass box. The little man stopped for a moment, then, with a sigh, removed his hand. He waved his hand over the coffin, and Jiba began to stir. She yawned, then her eyes fluttered momentarily and opened. She looked around then sat up…

“Where am I?”

“You are in your cave, my dear YarilyaXan,” the little man said. “You are waiting for the prince to come and discover the secret to awaken you.”

Kathleen stepped forward and took Jiba’s hand in hers… “Jiba, do you remember me? Do you remember Ceelya or Zorel?”

Jiba seemed confused. She put her face into her hands momentarily. Then she lifted her head… “Aunt Kathleen? Jim? Ceelya?” She looked at each of them then smiled. “What am I doing here… dressed in this long gown?”

“It’s a long story,” Jim said with a chuckle. “We’ll help you remember, though.” He turned to the man calling himself Frebel-Ish… “Satisfied?”

The little man looked crestfallen.

Jim pulled Taz to him. “You need to undo whatever you did to this one, too.”

The little troll looked at Taz… “My replacement Jack! …Ohhhh… Alright…” He waved a hand, and Taz felt his head clear.

“Do you know who you are now,” Jim asked him.

Taz nodded.

“Who are you?”

“Taz Valenti.”

“What are your parents’ names?”

“Kyle… and Jeliya. I have a brother, Rayyn.”

“Okay,” Jim said, letting him go. “I was getting tired of holding onto you to keep you from going back and climbing up that hill for another pail of water.”

Kathleen snickered.

“What?” Jim questioned.

“You’ve been insisting on calling it a bucket. But you just said ‘pail’ like Jill.”

Jim reddened slightly… “Fairytales are never gonna be the same again,” he said.

“There are two more,” Shag said to Frebel-Ish.

“Which ones?”

“A young mermaid girl…”

“Ohhhh… Not my little mermaid!”

“…and a boy, Drel, who is with Doctor Aybolit.”

The little man nodded.

“Portal!” Shag called. “Take us to Mareeya Whitman, daughter of Alex and Isabel of Antar.”

They stepped through the portal… and, one by one, fell directly into the sea. Shag was the first to pop back up. Mareeya was sitting on her rock and laughing with her hand over her mouth. She reached her hand out to try to help them onto the rock with her.

“Shornyatscha sphere!” Shag exclaimed.

“What’s that, Shag?” Jim asked, pushing his wet hair back and climbing onto the rocks. Jim turned and helped Kathleen and the others onto the rock with him.

Shag shook his head… “The sphere of the portal… sometimes you have to be very specific with it. It has a sort of twisted sense of humor. Somewhere in there, it’s laughing at us swimming out here.”

“Would it hurt us, Shag?” Dan asked.

“Naw… it would never do anything that would hurt me. Its favorite joke is to dunk me in the water. I can practically hear it chuckling to itself.”

“It likes you, Shag! Twelve thousand years of service! I guess it feels comfortable with that little joke. Ceelya can dry us all off… if she will.” Ceelya nodded and smiled.

Jim pulled the little man out of the water.

“Well, here she is,” Jim said. “Turn her back.”

The little man hesitated. “I want to hear her sing one more time,” he said… “She’s the best singer of all the mermaids I’ve ever had.”

Jim was about to insist, but the sound of a hauntingly beautiful melody stopped him. Mareeya was singing. It did not sound like a human voice at all. It was lovely, beautiful, almost angelic. The air all around them seemed to suddenly ring with the sound; and everything, even the surf, seemed to become quiet and listen.

When she was finished, Ceelya hugged her sister…

“That was so beautiful,” she said over and over and over again.

“Yes, it was,” Zorel said with genuine awe and absolute honesty in his voice. “Could you put that on a music ring?”

Kathleen hugged Mareeya. “Mareeya, if I had a voice like that…”

Mareeya smiled widely… “I’ll remember it… but I just want to go home… as me.”

Kathleen nodded. Jim motioned to the little man. He waved a hand, and Mareeya’s legs returned. The little man apparently had the forethought to give her clothing, but it was a simple dress, too short, and tattered. Somehow, it seemed appropriate for a former mermaid.

Mareeya ran onto the beach, jumped up and down, wriggled her toes in the warm sand, and spun around and around, looking like a pixie as she spun in her tattered little dress. The others watched for a few minutes, as Mareeya celebrated the return of her legs and feet with a ballet in the sand. Then Shag called the portal.

“Take us to Drel, son of Tess and Rayylar of Antar… And sphere… Don’t put us out in the water if he’s anywhere near water!”

Jim and Dan both chuckled… then everyone stepped through the portal.


----------


“Well, at least it’s dry land,” Shag said, as he stepped through the portal.

He may have spoken somewhat hastily; no sooner had they stepped out of the portal than a misty spray blew over the group.

“Are there geysers around here?” Jim asked.

Shag looked around. They appeared to be on a very small island in the middle of the sea. There was water all around them.

“I think this island’s sprung a leak,” Diane said, as another spray of water shot up into the air.

Shag pursed his lips tightly realizing the reality of their situation.

“Sphere! I don’t call this ‘dry land!’” he exclaimed, addressing his comment to nowhere in particular. Indeed, the group found itself on the back of a large whale that lay sunning on the surface of the sea. It only took a few moments for the others to realize this fact as well.

Diane sat down. “Oh…! My…! God! What do we do if he decides to dive?”

Mareeya smiled and patted the behemoth on the head. “I don’t think she’s going to do that. This old girl’s a friend of mine.”

“Oh, yeah…” Kathleen said. “You were a mermaid! I guess you would know her.”

“Well, I think it’s pretty cool,” Zorel exclaimed looking around him… “as long as she stays on the surface.”

“So where is Drel… and where is Doktor Ayboleet?” Jim asked.

-Jim had asked the million-dollar questions-

Shag nodded. “Yes, I would like to know that, too, SPHERE,” he said, emphasizing that last word. At that moment, the whale opened its mouth, which was gigantic. As they watched, a white-haired, elderly gentleman carrying an umbrella climbed out of the whale’s mouth and onto its back. He reached back and helped a much younger individual to climb up, too. The second individual appeared to be no more than ten to twelve years old.

“Drel! Are you alright?” Kathleen exclaimed at the sight of the boy.

Drel looked at Kathleen and smiled. “I’m fine. Who are you?”

“Da! That would be the question I would ask, too,” said the older man… “Kto vi… fcye?”

“What the blazes were you doing in a whale’s mouth,” Jim asked.

“Zoobnaya bol,” said Doktor Ayboleet. My assistant and I were taking care of our patient.”

“What? Soup bowl? What did he say?”

“I think he’s saying the whale had a toothache, Jim,” Diane said. "Zoob is Russian for tooth."

Jim bristled. “You’ve got to be kidding! What kind of crazy world…”

He was interrupted by the little man who called himself Frebel-Ish…

“My world!” The little man said with a very big smile.

“Yes, of course… I forgot! …Your world,” Jim said nodding.

Shag and Kathleen both laughed. Then Dan and the others began to laugh, too.

“My life is never going to be the same!” Jim exclaimed. Then, unable to help himself, he began to laugh, too.

With both himself and the boy safely on top of the whale’s back, Doktor Ayboleet turned his attention to the newcomers…

“Privyet! Ca’dyela?”

“Private cadillac…? huh?” Jim scratched his head.

Diane snickered. "No, Jim. He said, ‘Hello, How’s it going?’”

Jim winced. “Oh! Cadillac’s… uh, just fine… I guess…”

“What am I saying; I’m losing my freakin’ mind!”

Diane laughed. “You’ll get used to it, Jim!”

"Losing my mind?"

"No… Russian! And this fairytale planet that Mister Frebel-Ish has created. Doktor Ayboleet is from a Russian fairytale, Jim. Doktor Ayboleet is like our Doctor Doolittle. He talks to all the animals and heals all their ails. ‘Ay, Boleet’ means, ‘Ow, It hurts.’ ”

"I don't know, Diane! I'm sort of a reality based guy."

"Oh yeah! The guy who drives around with a pawgor hanging out the window of his car?"

Jim looked at Diane and started to smile again in spite of himself. "Okay, okay… so I've got my little eccentricities, too."

Jim turned to Drel… “Drel, do you remember who you are?”

“I’m Doktor Ayboleet’s assistant,” Drel answered. “We travel around making all the animals well…”

“But do you remember… No, I guess you don’t,” Jim said. “Frebel!”

The little man waved his hand over Drel, and Drel looked around him at his surroundings and at those present.

“Oh, wow!”

He smiled at his sister, Jiba, then looked at Zorel…

“Zorel! You’re here, too? Cool! You won’t believe what I’ve got to tell you about all the things we’ve done!”

“Yeah! Pretty cool!” Zorel agreed. “I want to hear all about it!”

“Did you guys come to take me home?”

Kathleen smiled and nodded. “That we did, Drel!

Drel grinned.

“Well, now I shall need a new assistant,” Doktor Ayboleet said to Frebel-Ish.

The little man nodded. “I will have to find someone new to provide biomass replications. And as for Hosk…” The little man didn’t finish this sentence.

“Can we send you somewhere through the portal?” Shag asked the little man.

Frebel-Ish sat down and put his arms around his knees.

“No, thank you. I will enjoy sitting here and thinking while Missy takes me home.” He rubbed his hand gently over the whale’s back and smiled.

Shag nodded. “Well, it has been… interesting! Thank you for your cooperation and… for showing us some of your wonderful and fantastic planet.”

Frebel-Ish smiled very broadly. The compliment seemed to strike a chord in him that he was unaccustomed to feeling, living alone as he did with only his biomass replications.

“Come back and visit! You must come back! You have not seen even the smallest part of what I have created here! I guarantee that you will enjoy it!”

“I have no doubt of that at all,” Shag said smiling.

Diane, Kathleen, and all the others nodded in agreement. Zorel was particularly enthusiastic.

Jim turned to Doktor Ayboleet… “How are you getting back? Do you intend to ride this whale, too?”

“Oh, no! I am traveling by air, as usual,” Doktor Ayboleet said.

Just then, a very large eagle flew over. Doktor Ayboleet called to it, and it settled on the back of the whale. Doktor Ayboleet climbed on…

“Da Svidanya, amigos!”

Jim grinned. “Amigos, now, is it?”

“I’m off to the Caribbean,” Doktor Ayboleet said. Someone has a problem with ze cucarachas in hees beard.”

Dan shook his head… “Don’t ask. I'm not.”



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapters titled, “Wha” (Chapter 31), “Merschenskazky” (Chapter 32), “YarilyaXan and Frebel-Ish” (Chapter 33), and “Doktor Ayboleet” (Chapter 34), which can be found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Children of the Universe” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).







[ edited 1 time(s), last at 26-Jan-2003 3:18:34 AM ]
posted on 26-Jan-2003 4:07:47 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #9 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG-13


“A Time for Dreamin', Candy, and Stargazing”




When traveling on the new granilith, Max’s immense mother ship, everyone had a job to do, but life was not all work. Those onboard found time now and then for… shall we say… other diversions. This was one of those days…

It was déjà vu, but this was one déjà vu Max hoped he would be lucky enough to have to deal with for many, many years to come. Liz put her arms seductively around Max’s neck as the two of them reached the little clearing beside the brook in the arboretum. The two-person swing suspended from high up in the trees swung above them as Liz pulled Max down to the ground with her and pressed her lips to his passionately, at the same time unbuttoning his shirt and belt. It was pleasant here, with just the sounds of the brook and the rustle of the trees’ leaves. They would not be interrupted today. The children were all in Kathleen’s class for the next hour, and all of the adults were involved in other activities… Max had checked.

Max returned Liz’s kiss with every bit of the passion she had put into hers… and added a bit for interest… his own interest, as he ran his strong hands gently over her body, somehow -seemingly effortlessly- removing some piece of clothing with each sensual pass. He kissed her lips then her neck, slowly working his way down her body as though he were a sculptor crafting a masterpiece… and his kisses were the chisel. He looked into Liz’s eyes, his eyes conveying the immense love that he felt for her… and the great fortune that he had always felt he had been granted when he had found her.

Liz smiled and looked into Max’s eyes. She was beautiful. She found Max irresistible, handsome beyond what seemed right for any one man… and something more, she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She was sometimes tempted to think that such perfect love must be a mind warp… or that maybe Max had had Madame Viviane slip her a love potion back on earth… but she knew that wasn’t it. She knew! What it really was… was love!

The sounds of the cool, clear water running through the little brook beside them were pleasant… the abundance of oxygen from the trees filled them with energy… and their love filled them with joy.


----------


In the gardens, one floor down, another couple had the same idea, with the kids and everyone else occupied for at least the next two hours. Did I say two hours? Well… it was supposed to be one hour, but Michael had cut a little deal with Kathleen… keep the kids in class for an extra hour today and he and Maria would return the favor for her and Jim sometime.

Had one walked by the pond and waterfall in the gardens at this moment, one would have seen clothes strewn on the rocks… a shirt, a blouse, a skirt, pants, shoes… yep! It was all there! And in the pond one might have found a female and male of a new species, “Cosmovoyagius sirena.” Michael and Maria, swimming along the sandy bottom together, fifteen feet below, rose to the surface locked in a passionate kiss and embrace.

Maria giggled and looked into Michael’s eyes. Michael smiled, overwhelmed by his feelings for Maria, the love of his life whom he had once thought lost forever… the love he would never, ever take for granted again. Michael released Maria and dived under the water, pushing her toward the waterfall.

“Wha…! Michael!” Maria giggled again, as the water of the falls poured down over her head, then his. Michael locked his lips to hers and pulled her soft skin against his, and Maria wrapped her arms around Michael’s neck with one hand on the back of his head, pulling herself closer still to Michael, feeling the warmth of his body against hers.

“You wouldn’t let me drown under here, would you?” Maria giggled.

Michael grinned, “Uh, uh… I know how to give mouth to mouth resuscitation.”

“Oh, I’ll vouch for that!” Maria said, giggling as though she had had a few drinks.

But it wasn’t drink that made Maria giddy around Michael, especially when he was all wet and in his natural glory! It was love… and wild animal passion.

As Michael pulled Maria further and further under the falls, he discovered something that no one had ever told him about. Behind the falls, there was a shallow “lagoon” and a small beach… a small, rather dark and private beach! Just the kind of place Michael might have dreamt about for a time like… right now.

Maria tossed herself down on the beach behind the falls and pulled Michael down on top of her.

“Maybe they’ll never find us here,” said Maria.

Michael’s eyes gleamed. He rather liked that thought.

Yes! At the moment, he was very much liking that thought!


----------


Alex and Isabel had always enjoyed watching the stars together, so it was no surprise that, like Michael and Maria, Alex and Isabel enjoyed spending time together in the observatory. It was an amazing experience in the observatory, lying there on the oversized Antarian sofa, watching the stars zip by in their celestial splendor, with a 360-degree view of nothing but space around you. It gave Isabel the feeling of being as one with Alex, hurtling through space. It was as though only the two of them existed and they needed nothing more than each other’s love to survive… to thrive on.

Alex kissed Isabel passionately under the stars… their stars! Whenever they were together, every star was theirs and theirs alone! The stars smiled on their kisses. The stars witnessed their love… their passion. The stars! Yes, the stars belonged to Alex and Isabel… especially today… especially now!

Alex pulled Isabel down onto the sofa with him, never once breaking the contact that he had with her lips. He pulled her close. What happened then was witnessed only by the stars, and the stars have yet to tell the secret.



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapter titled, “A Time for Dreamin’, Candy, and Stargazing” (Chapter 15), which can be found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Life in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).






posted on 28-Jan-2003 6:36:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Trude! Yeah, I agree, it should have been a bit longer. Maybe when I get a chance, I'll expand this last one a little bit! *happy*
Here's number 10. Enjoy!




posted on 28-Jan-2003 6:37:51 PM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #10 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG


“The Child Army Of Huji Bwi”



As I’ve said before, the universe can be fascinating… it can also be dangerous; but most of all, it can be unpredictable and devastatingly capricious. Max, Liz, Michael, Maria, and the others had learned this lesson many times over since leaving Roswell. Quite frankly, they hadn’t even had to leave Roswell to learn it. The Special Unit had seen to that! For Max and the others, life had always been a challenge. Now, several years later, living on Antar and with children of their own, they were encountering new challenges. One of these involved a most interesting alien by the name of Huji Bwi. Huji Bwi bought 400 Antarian children from a slave trader named Hosk, who had kidnapped them (Read “Children of the Universe”), erased their memories of who they were or where they had come from, and sold them throughout the universe. Max, Michael, and the others were devastated, but eventually they learned what happened to their children, and there was Hell to pay! This story begins as they locate 400 of the missing Antarian children, the ones purchased by Huji Bwi.

Stepping onto the planet Qravitor in sector H19 of the known universe, Max, Michael, Liz, Maria, Shag, Jim, and Kyle stared in momentary disbelief.

“Well,” Michael said after a few moments, “Let’s get ‘em!”

That seemed simplistic given the difficulties they appeared to face; but then again, one has to start somewhere. Everyone fell in behind Michael. No one knew what his plan was, but they knew that no one had a better one… no one else had any plan at all.

From the top of the small hill they were on, the group could see a small army in the meadow below. Michael knew, he wasn’t really sure how, that this was the 400 missing children from Antar. The others knew it, too.

The army of Antarian children -mostly teens- stood its ground and watched, as Max, Michael, and the others made their way down the hill, which took about ten minutes. Finally, Michael stood face to face with one teen who placed himself in front of the others. For a moment, they stared at each other. The teen looked confused…

“You’re not from here… from Qravitor.”

Michael shook his head. “No. We’re from Antar.”

For a moment, a light seemed to flicker in the teen’s eyes, as though he remembered something. Then it disappeared.

“Who are you?” the teen asked Michael, while holding some kind of weapon in front of himself. Michael wasn’t sure what the weapon was.

“I am Michael… General of the Armies of Antar.”

The teen winced as though he had suffered a sudden pang in his temples.

“Michael? General Michael… and… Zan…”

“Yes!” Michael said. “You remember Zan?”

“I… I think so… I… Antar?” The teen seemed to suffer another pang then collapsed forward. Michael caught him before he could hit the ground and laid him gently down on the ground. A couple of other teens ran forward to check on their “leader.”

“What did you do to him?” asked a girl who could not have been more than fourteen.

Several others approached with the same question obviously on their minds.

“I didn’t do anything to him,” Michael said. “He just collapsed. Zan!”

Max was already at his side and checking the boy out. He placed his hands over the boy’s temples, and a greenish light glowed for a few moments.

The boy opened his eyes and looked at the two newcomers and their companions…

“I know you! I saw you on the VideoView!”

Max wasn’t sure whether the youth was referring to him or to Michael. The boy pointed at Jim. “You’re one of the Eluymerians who lives on Antar. You’re a friend of King Zan.”

Suddenly, everything that Michael had told him seemed to register. The boy sat up quickly. “You’re King Zan! And you’re General Michael Guerin!”

“I think he’s got his memory back,” Michael said smiling. Max nodded.

The boy turned and looked at his ragtag army of Antarian children.

“Soldiers, we have new leaders! General Guerin and King Zan of Antar!”

The children looked around. Though obviously confused, they did not question their appointed leader’s authority regarding the sudden switch. The boy turned back to Michael…

“What would you like us to do?”

“Well,” Michael grinned… “We’re going to march back to Antar.”

The boy looked confused again.

Michael smiled. “What is your name?”

“I am Sarnys of the Aluzian region.”

“Ah! Where Aluzian golden eggs come from!”

The boy smiled. “The golden eggs are our specialty. No one else knows how they’re produced.”

“Yes, I know,” Michael said. “And they’re quite good, too! Well, Sarnys, what I want to know is, why are you and these other… young Antarians… out here in this meadow outfitted as a ragtag army?”

“Yes! That’s what I’m waiting to hear, too” Liz interjected.

The boy, who appeared to be perhaps seventeen, looked around for a moment.

“We… We belong to Huji Bwi.”

Now it was Michael’s turn to look confused.

“Who is Huji Bwi?”

Sarnys looked around again, as though he expected an unwelcome visitor at any moment.

“Huji Bwi is… well, more of a what than a who.”

Michael looked all the more confused.

“Huji Bwi is… I guess you could say, a tyrant… a wannabe usurper. He wants to rule all of Qravitor. He already rules the western quadrant.”

“I take it not everyone on Qravitor would welcome his rule,” Michael said.

“No one welcomes his rule,” Sarnys replied. “He’s a tyrant… a lot like Kivar was on our planet before you defeated him. He turned us into his army. We’re supposed to march on the northern quadrant tomorrow and capture it for him.”

“You?” Michael asked, incredulous. “A ragtag army of 400 youths? Some of these kids I see are barely ten!”

“You haven’t seen the Qravitorians,” Sarnys said plainly.

“What do you mean?”

“They are… well, small.”

“How small,” Max asked.

Sarnys used his thumb and first finger to indicate something about one inch in size. Michael and Max both gasped.

“How… How did this Huji Bwi buy slaves?” Michael asked. “If he’s that little how could he even carry the money?”

“He’s very rich,” Sarnys quickly assured them. He doesn’t carry money, He pays with universal credits, and he has lots of them.”

“Oh, he has his own platinum card,” Kyle interjected drolly.

Sarnys looked confused.

“Never mind him,” Michael said, turning Sarnys back toward him again. “I take it that these Qravitorians that you were supposed to defeat are the same size as this Huji Bwi then?”

“Yeah.”

“Isn’t that sort of unsporting,” Max asked. “I mean… It would be like stepping on bugs.”

Sarnys shook his head. “No. Huji Bwi expects many of us to die in this attack.”

Michael and Max were stunned; Liz and Maria gasped.

“Die? What do you mean, ‘die?’ How?”

Sarnys turned suddenly pale. “I… I think you’re about to find out. Protect yourselves!”

Everyone ducked instinctively and spun around, looking for the danger. They saw nothing. Suddenly Jim yelled and collapsed onto the ground. Max ran to his side.

“What happened,” Michael asked, his voice showing some emotion.

Max shook his head. “I don’t know. His neck is swelling. I think it’s cutting off his breathing!”

Max placed his hands over Jim’s neck. For several moments, a greenish glow appeared. Soon Jim began to stir; then he groaned…

“Ooooh… That hurts! What the Hell happened!”

“I don’t know,” Max said.

Sarnys pointed to Jim’s shirt. There was something on it that looked like a big bee.

Suddenly, a loud voice boomed in everyone’s head, as though someone had turned on a loudspeaker. The message wasn’t coming through their ears; it was being delivered directly to the brain…

“I am Huji Bwi.”

Max looked closely at the bee-like creature. “Some kind of hornet. Must be extremely venomous.”

“All Qravitorians are,” said Sarnys. “That is why Huji Bwi expected a lot of casualties among our group, but he expected that we would win in the end.”

“And you will!” The voice boomed in their heads again. “Any creature that tries to stop my army will be dealt with like this one.”

Huji Bwi plunged his stinger again into Jim’s neck, and again, Jim lapsed almost immediately into unconsciousness, unable to breathe. Max ran to help Jim before it was too late, but Huji Bwi flew at Max. Max raised his hand. He didn’t have time to get off a power blast, but he was able to deflect Huji Bwi and swat him several feet away. When Huji Bwi regained control, he flew straight at Michael. Michael “swatted” him away, too. Next he flew at Liz, but at the last moment, as Liz raised her hand to swat him, he turned and landed on Maria’s neck. Maria gasped. She didn’t have time to prepare for an unexpected attack on her.

As Huji Bwi’s stinger arched over to plunge into Maria’s neck, a large hand smacked down on top of him. It was Kyle’s hand. Kyle removed his hand slowly, and everyone looked at Maria. She was okay. Max ran to Jim and placed his hands on Jim’s neck again. For a few moments, it glowed green. Jim gasped and coughed then opened his eyes.

“This is getting to be a habit, Jim,” Max said. “I’m afraid your neck’s going to be silver for awhile.” Jim just groaned. Kyle turned his hand over and looked at it then scrunched up his nose in a gesture of disgust.

“Guys, I really need something to wipe this mess off with.”

Liz began to laugh. She covered her mouth and tried not to, but she just couldn’t help it. Perhaps it was the relief.

Max and Michael laughed, too.

“I guess that’s the end of Huji Bee,” Michael said, making a pun on Huji Bwi’s name.

“You mean Huji Was, Maria said. Everyone laughed, even Kyle, for a moment. Then he turned more serious…

“Guys! Guys! Common!” Kyle said, “I don’t think we should be laughing… I mean… I just killed a sentient being or something…”

“Yeah, one that tried to kill us,” Max reminded him.

“And one that intended to sacrifice 400 Antarian children for his own vain glory and tyranny,” Michael added. “I wouldn’t forget that. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have a little trouble feeling sorry for Huji Bwi… or Bee… or Was… or whatever…”

The others all nodded. Michael was right. Whatever else Huji Bwi might have been, he was a cruel, despotic tyrant, every bit as murderous as Kivar ever was despite his small size. It seemed unlikely that any sleep would be lost this night over his demise.

“What do we do now,” Sarnys asked Michael.

Michael looked around for Liz.

“Liz, would you call the portal, please?”

“With pleasure!”

“Soldiers!” Michael harfed authoritatively… “Fall in line! Abooout face! March! Hup… Two… Three… Move it out!”

Michael smiled for the next ten minutes, as he watched 400 Antarian children march single-file to their freedom through the portal created by the sphere belonging to his Xarian friend, King Shaqor (“Shag”) and Shaqor’s wife, MayaSabriena (and passed on to their descendant, Liz, in “Life in the Stars”).



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapter titled, “The Army Of Huji Bwi” (Chapter 41), which can be found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Children of the Universe” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).





posted on 29-Jan-2003 12:04:14 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #11 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated G


“The Golden Sea”



It was the morning of their third day on Antar. Phillip and Diane Evans had gone for a walk in a nearby park and were enjoying the Antarian nature trails. Jeff Parker had been invited by Varec to go with him and look at several places that might serve as a new site for the Crashdown Café. Max and Liz were in the palace living room when Michael and Maria walked in.

“Michael… Maria! Just the two people I was thinking of!” said Max. “Liz and I were thinking of going diving today. Why don’t you two come with us?”

“I never went diving before,” said Maria. “I don’t know if I would know how.”

“Well, it’s not so hard,” said Max. “Just stay with me and Liz. She’s never dived before either, but you’re both good swimmers, so you shouldn’t have any trouble learning to dive! We use rebreathers… they never run out of air, and they don’t make bubbles.”

“Well…”

“Come on, Maria! It’ll be a lot of fun!” said Michael. “Let’s go with them!”

“Well… okay.”

“Get your bikinis on,” said Max “-not you, Michael!”

“Aw, shucks, Maxwell! You’re no fun at all!” said Michael, joking.

“Ew!” exclaimed Maria, giving Michael a playful slap on the arm. “I’d rather you didn’t wear anything.”

Liz turned and looked at her, smiled, and raised her eyebrows. Maria’s face reddened slightly.

“I… I mean… Well, you know what I mean!”

Liz snickered and the guys both smiled a knowing smile,

“Yeah, we know, Maria!”

“Oooh… you two!”

“I’ll get a car to take us down to the j’koozzeen,” said Max.

Now Maria looked at Liz quizzically.

“Uh, Liz… is this like Texas or something where you fall in a swimming pool and people yell, ‘Don’t anyone flush?’ ‘Cause if these guys are expecting me to go scuba diving in a Jacuzzi…”

Everyone was laughing.

“No, no!” said Michael. “J’koozzeen means beach or shore, you know, in Antarian.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, well, I kind of wondered about that myself,” said Liz. “I didn’t want to ask!”

“I told Kyle to take the day off, so he and Sheriff Valenti went down to the j’koozzeen a little earlier,” Max said. “They wanted to get a sailboat and go sailing on the Golden Sea. Liz and Maria’s Moms went with them to see if they could get a suntan on the beach. Mom and Dad went to the park over by the west end to walk on the nature trails. I think Isabel went to the j’koozzeen with the others. That leaves the four of us… so… let’s go diving!”

“Let’s go!” seconded Michael.

“Well, alright!” Maria agreed. Liz smiled and nodded.


----------


At the shore of the Golden Sea, the palace staff car let the four companions out, and they walked down to a little shop on the beach that rented dive equipment. Max rented a wrap-around mask, a pair of fins, a rebreather, a buoyancy control vest, a weight belt, and a depth guage for each one. Liz also rented a small underwater image device, like a camera, to capture some memories of her adventure. An assistant from the shop carried the equipment into the water for the four divers and handed it to them as they sat on the edge of a submerged platform in chest-deep water. The platform was there for the benefit of divers. Max and Michael showed Liz and Maria how to put on the rebreathers and other equipment and how to use it then rolled off the platform into the water. Liz and Maria put their mouthpieces into their mouths and followed the guys in.

As they turned over and leveled out into a swimming position beneath the water, the girls noticed that the Golden Sea was quite clear beneath the surface, not very different than the clearest waters back on Earth. The visibility was fantastic, though. They could easily see for two hundred feet or more all around them.

Max and Michael were waiting for them and motioned for them to come. Both Max and Michael had waterproof watches with built-in compasses and directional transponders. The transponders free the divers from having to pull a buoy and flag behind them as they dive. All motorized boats and most sailboats on Antar are equipped with a device that picks up dive transponder signals and notifies the boaters to watch out for surfacing divers or avoid the immediate area because divers may be present.

Max and Michael looked at their compasses and watched the direction of the sand ripples on the bottom, which told them that they were headed away from the shore. Liz and Maria were right beside them. The water, which had been ten feet deep at the end of the submerged platform, was now just over twenty feet deep and getting deeper as they swam further away from the shore.

After about ten minutes, they arrived at a reef in 65 feet of water. They found that the reef rose 30 feet off the bottom, to a depth of 35 feet on the top; but on the outside edge, the side farthest from shore, there was a drop-off that went down to 150 feet. The reef was about 300 feet across the top; its length was unknown to the four and went on for probably several miles parallel to the coast.

Liz spotted a cute lobster-like crustacean sitting below a coral outcrop. It had unusually long antennae and a pink, ringed body with a series of long, forward pointing spines in a single ridge along the center of its back. It was larger than a shrimp but smaller than a grown lobster. She took a picture of it. Maria gave her an “OK” sign; she had seen it, too.

The four companions swam over the top of the reef, following the valleys and peaks, checking out everything they saw. They heard Max making a noise to get their attention. Looking up, Liz and Maria found themselves face to face with a couple of playful bottlenose dolphins. Both Liz and Maria were surprised to see anything so much like an earth species on Antar; in fact, it seemed highly doubtful that anyone just looking at them could tell them from earth dolphins.

The dolphins came right up to the girls and put their noses playfully against them, prodding them to play. Maria ran her hand over one of the dolphins, caressing it on the head and back. Liz took a picture. Then Maria held onto its dorsal fin and the dolphin gave her a ride around the top of the reef. Liz held onto the other dolphin and followed, trying to get a picture of Maria and Maria’s new friend as she held onto hers at the same time. Max and Michael were swimming furiously trying unsuccessfully to keep up. Fortunately, the dolphins simply circled around and brought Liz and Maria back together with Max and Michael.

Max ran his hand over the head of Liz’s newfound friend and smiled. Michael held onto the other side of Maria’s dolphin, and he and Maria got a ride around the reef top together. Liz was wondering how many pictures she could get on this camera without reloading or downloading or whatever one had to do with it when it was full, because she was taking pictures of Michael and Maria, of Max, of the dolphins… She hoped it would not run out! There were so many memories to record.

After a while, the dolphins nudged the girls as if to say, “goodbye, we’ve had fun!” Maria removed her mouthpiece from her mouth and kissed her new friend on the nose. Liz took a picture, then handed the camera to Maria and kissed her newfound friend on the nose, too. Maria snapped the picture for Liz. Then the dolphins turned and sped toward the surface, leaping out of the water and doing several somersaults each before falling back into the water nose first and speeding off in the direction from which they had first appeared, leaving the girls -and the guys- in awe.

After the dolphins, everyone felt that everything else would be rather anticlimactic; but in fact, they had many other enjoyable experiences while on the reef.

Michael wanted to go over the far side of the reef to the bottom, which was 150 feet deep. The others followed. They didn’t go all the way to the bottom. At a depth of 110 feet, they found a large cave opening and swam into it. It angled upward and got narrower, eventually coming out on the other side of the reef, the side nearest to the shore, in 50 feet of water.

Max looked at his watch and decided that they had been down long enough. He motioned for the others to follow and headed back toward the shore, using his compass to get a bearing then watching the direction that the ripples in the sand took and swimming perpendicular to them. About half way back to the shore, in 25 feet of water, the group was engulfed by a large school of small, shiny, silvery fish and a few larger fish that the girls did not recognize. Michael reached out with his hand and made a swishing motion through the dense school of little fish all around them; the school parted as the fish swam around his hand and continued on their endless journey. All too soon, it seemed, they were at the shore again, climbing back onto the platform from which they had departed, removing their gear and handing it back to the helpful attendant, who had waded out to help them in. He also took Liz’s camera and opened it then gave her a disc, which he removed from a slot in the bottom.

Liz and Maria walked up the beach with Max and Michael by the hand, picking up seashells along the way. They found Isabel with Nancy Parker and Amy DeLuca sunning themselves on the beach. Liz and Maria sat down beside them, pulling Max and Michael down with them.

“We have just had the most amazing… awesome… incredible… unbelievable dive!” Liz said to her mother and the others.

“You wouldn’t believe it!” seconded Maria. “It was the coolest, most amazing thing that ever happened to me! …well, almost…” She looked at Michael and smiled. Michael smiled back.

“Have you ‘girls’ had fun up here on the beach?” Liz asked.

Their Moms and Isabel all indicated that it had been very relaxing and enjoyable. Isabel pointed toward the water… A sailboat was cruising along the coast about a mile out.

“Jim and Kyle seem to be having a pretty good time, too!” said Isabel. “I think I’d like to go sailing, too, next time we come. Looks like they’re having a lot of fun out there!”

Liz and Maria told the girls they would see them back at the palace, and they asked Max and Michael to take them to the café across from the j’koozzeen for a drink. The guys agreed; everyone was thirsty after the dive. It seems that the Golden Sea was as salty as the seas back on Earth.

The little shop across the street had drinks that tasted a little like root beer… and a place to sit. The four sat at a table and downed a couple of drinks apiece. Unfortunately, this shop didn’t sell snacks or food and only had the one root beer-like beverage to drink. It mainly sold beachwear, towels, and souvenirs. Max suggested that they go to a restaurant together on the other side of town. Liz and Maria agreed. They all went back to the palace, bathed and changed. Max left instructions with his staff to feed anyone who returned who hadn’t eaten, but he expected that most of the guests would be gone for the rest of the day. No one had seemed ready to return too soon.

Max and Liz enjoyed a nice candlelight dinner with Michael and Maria at one of Antar’s premier restaurants on the west side of town. It was almost impossible to believe that just a few hours earlier, they had been swimming 60 feet down underneath the Golden Sea… and riding and playing with dolphins! Liz couldn’t wait to see the pictures she had taken… indeed, it had been a wonderful and most amazing day!



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapter titled, “The Golden Sea” (Chapter 27), which can be found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Altered Time – Destiny in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).





posted on 31-Jan-2003 3:44:40 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #12 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG


“Slaves and Pets”



They were still five days from Antar, and most of those onboard the Antarian mothership, the “new granolith,” were going about everyday routines… well, as much as anything could be an “everyday routine” in space. Max, Michael, and Varec were in the control room watching the stars zip by, as the ship cruised smoothly through space. Then, inexplicably, the ship began to slow. Without warning, a larger ship dropped down in front of the new granolith. Opening two huge doors at the rear, the larger ship tractored the Antarian ship inside with a magnetic beam before anyone had time to react.

Max and Michael rushed to find out who or what was responsible. Their first thought was of the Xarian king, Shaqor-Niseel, but they both knew deep inside that it wasn't… “Shag” would have given them some kind of warning, they felt pretty sure. He was, after all, their friend.

Suddenly, four men with weapons appeared on the control deck with Max and Michael… though calling them "men" might be somewhat of a stretch. They stood nine feet tall and had bony ridges running down their backs. Their faces were long and reminded Michael of pictures he had seen of what a yeti or bigfoot was supposed to look like, except that these creatures weren't hairy. In fact, they were mostly hairless and sort of scaly. Their skin color -if indeed it was skin- was silvery-grayish and splotchy reddish. It reminded Max of a bloody cadaver more than anything. The creatures had long, pointed teeth that seemed to stick into their lower lips, and their upper lips were pulled back in a kind of permanent snarl. They spoke with a lisping sound, but apparently, they were able to make themselves understood in broken Antarian.

"You die," the first one said simply as he fired his weapon at Max. Max dived to one side. Rolling over quickly, he threw a power bolt of his own at the creature, and Michael blasted one of the others with a power bolt at the same time. Neither creature so much as twitched. They seemed impervious to these blasts. Max and Michael rushed the first creature, but a swing of the creature's massive hand sent them both sprawling.

At that moment, several other creatures appeared at the door of the control room, brandishing their weapons and taking more of the crew hostage. They had gone through the ship searching for everyone they could find.

One of the creatures shoved Tracie and April, two of the guests from earth who had been found to have Antarian DNA, into the room, placing his massive hands over their faces. Tracie bit him on the hand between the thumb and first finger, which seemed to evoke a response from the creatures greater than the power bolts Max and Michael had thrown at them, so April bit him on the other hand.

"You better go back to ship… to medroom,” cautioned one of the invaders to the one who had been bitten. “Have them look at that… Such creatures as these are sometimes venomous." The affected invader frowned with a sort of snarl. Tracie smiled. The bitten invader grimaced slightly and left reluctantly.

"Is your species venomous?" the first creature asked. Tracie and April just smiled.

"I have 22 five-year-old kindergarteners who think I am," said Nina.

The creature looked at Nina then said to the creature standing beside him, "Make note. This species is very prolific… and probably venomous."

In the classroom, Kathleen had seen one of the creatures walking through the halls and had closed the door quietly to avoid getting its attention. For a while, she and the children seemed to be safe, but then one of the creatures opened the door. Kathleen rushed the invader and yelled for the children to run. They did, though 8-year-old Zorel Guerin paused for a few moments to throw several power bolts. The power bolts didn't seem to affect the creature, and reluctantly, Zorel ran to get help. He found Jim Valenti in the reading room and told him what was happening. Jim rushed down to the classroom to rescue Kathleen; but seeing what he was up against, he wisely decided to find something to give him an advantage before just rushing in. He saw his advantage coming down the hall. It was Danyy, who had gone to get his pawgor and was rushing back with the pawgor beside him. The pawgor wasn't waiting for Danyy or Jim. It rushed into the room, and immediately a shrill scream was heard.

Jim and Danyy rushed in to find the invader hanging from the ceiling by some kind of suction pods on his fingertips and knees. The pawgor had ripped his clothes off and was taking swipes at his bare bottom. Eventually, the prey fell to the floor and the pawgor pounced on the invader, sinking its teeth into his grayish-reddish skin. Apparently, the creature's taste repelled the pawgor, which spit out the chunk it had bitten off. The invader had turned from grayish-reddish to almost white, all the color going out of his body, as the pawgor stood over him, threatening to take another bite. Jim and Kathleen left Danyy and the pawgor to watch this creature, which did not appear to be much of a threat any more, and ran to see if they could help elsewhere. They didn't make it very far. Three invaders caught them, and they were taken to the control room with the others.

Rushing into the control room to find out what was going on, Liz and Maria rushed straight into the arms of danger. Both turned to run. As one of the invaders stepped in front of them, Liz dropped to the ground and slid under its legs, at the same time yelling, "Portal." The portal opened, and Liz literally slid through it. The creature ran after her, but the portal closed back. (Author’s note: The “portal” is a function of a special sphere originally owned by King Shaqor of Xarius and passed on to Liz in “Life in the Stars”).

Except for their unfortunate companion in the classroom with the pawgor and the fact that the children mostly remained uncaught… and except for Liz, who had escaped through the portal, the invaders seemed to have complete control of the ship now.


----------


Several galaxies away, Liz stood in front of Shag and Maya describing the invaders…

“Yes,” Shag said, nodding, “I know of them. They’re from Ghorbidfael, a planet only about twelve galaxies from Antar. The inhabitants of their planet travel the galaxies finding and collecting victims to make slaves of, or in some cases, pets.

“Pets?” Liz asked surprised.

“Well,” Shag said, “There are all kinds of beings in the universe. Many are like us, but some are grotesque like the Ghors and some are small and cute…”

Liz stood with her mouth open.

“You mean a creature intelligent enough to build a space ship and travel through space might be turned into a… pet?”

“If it is small and cute… yes,” said Shag. “Or if it is merely smaller and cuter than the beings to which it is being sold. I dare say, there are those who would find you to be a delightful pet… but more often it is as slaves that they are sold.”

Liz was incredulous… “Pets?”

“Would slaves be better?” asked Shag.

“No… No, of course not,” Liz agreed. “But I’m not sure being kept as a ‘pet’ is much better… I mean… for an intelligent, civilized being.”

“I quite agree,” said Shag. “The Ghors don’t mess with Xarian ships. The only thing they understand is power… That’s why they live by it.”

Shag looked into the air in front of him and said, “Sphere of Searches.”

From somewhere, Liz could not be sure where, a voice replied, “Ask.”

“Where is my ship, the 'Xarius Voyager,' at this moment?”

“It is in the eighth galaxy,” said the voice.

“That’s not far from Antar,” said Shag. “Sphere of the Portal.”

“Ask,” another voice said.

“Take us to the control room of my ship.”

Shag took Liz by the hand, and the two of them and Maya stepped through the portal. They found themselves on the control deck of the “Xarius Voyager.” Shag spoke briefly with the Captain in charge, and the “Xarius Voyager” headed toward Antar.”

“Sphere of Searches,” Shag called again.

“Ask,” said the voice.

“Where is the new granolith of King Zan of Antar at this moment?”

“It is here,” said the voice, and in front of them appeared a map of the Antarian galaxy with a flashing red dot indicating the new granolith. Shag and his captain both looked at the map.

“Ten minutes,” said the captain. Shag nodded.

Ten minutes later, almost to the second, they spotted the Ghors' ship from the control room of the “Xarius Voyager.” Shag positioned his ship over the Ghors’ ship and opened the bottom bay doors. Then the “Xarius Voyager” settled over the top of the Ghors’ ship like a mother hen settling on top of her eggs, and the bay doors closed back.

On the Ghor ship, the crew was running about every which way, barking commands, yelling for information, generally lost in chaos. The crew of the Ghor ship tried to contact the invasion force onboard the Antarian ship but got no answer.

Onboard the new granolith, which was inside the bay of the Ghor ship, which in turn floated inside the mammoth bay of the "Xarius Voyager," the invaders were unable to answer the calls from their ship. They were all in Kathleen’s classroom being terrorized by Danyy’s pawgor. Most of them were missing a few pieces. A couple of them still clung to the ceiling with their suction pads, but most lay on the ground as the pawgor circled, every now and then taking another raking swipe at the already shredded rumps hanging from the ceiling or snarling at the white figures lying on the floor.

Shag and Liz stepped through the portal into the control room of the new granolith. Max, Michael, and Varec were there, and they were smiling.

“Want to tell us about it?” asked Liz.

Max grinned… Danyy and the other children brought the pawgor up here… You can imagine the rest.”

Shag laughed, “I knew that beast was special! But, of course, I know it’s because of its relationship with Danyy.”

“They’re all down in the classroom,” said Max.

Michael escorted them to the classroom. Outside the classroom, they found Jim, Kathleen and the children keeping watch, as the pawgor kept the Ghors in the room under control. Shag smiled broadly.

“Sphere of the Portal,” Shag called.

“Ask.”

“Take us to the control deck of the Ghors’ ship.”

Shag took Liz by the hand, and the two of them stepped through the portal and onto the bridge of the Ghors’ vessel.

“Shaqor-Niseel!” the surprised captain of the Ghor ship lisped. “You are with these creatures?”

“These ‘creatures,’ Hosk, are Antarians and Eluymerians. My wife is Antarian, and many of our descendants are Eluymerian or Antarian. I take it rather personally when you try to make slaves or pets out of my descendants.”

“Shaqor… Ni-Niseel… We have not forgotten the last time we crossed paths with you. You sent us to Galaxy 12H. It took us three years to get back.”

“And you will not forget this time, either,” said Shag… “Sphere of the Portal.”

“Ask.”

“I would like the Ghor ship and all the Ghors of this vessel that are on this ship or on the new granolith transported on the Ghors’ ship to Galaxy 41X.”

“But…” said the Ghor Captain, “It will take us twelve years to get back from that far away at our best speed.”

“Yes, that’s what I figure,” said Shag. “Our galaxies will be safe from your ‘enterprise’ for that long. The next time you cross paths with me or any of my descendants, I will send you to Galaxy 73Z.”

The Ghor Captain turned pale, then the Ghor ship and all the Ghors disappeared, as the portal enlarged and swallowed them and their ship up. Liz and Shag found themselves back on the "Xarius Voyager."

Shag smiled… then he and Maya, who had been waiting there for their return, both hugged Liz.

“Thank you… Thank you so very much!” Liz said.

“Not at all,” Shag replied. “If there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s cleaning up the universe of the Ghors and their sort. The pleasure was all mine, believe me!”

Liz kissed them both then said, “Sphere of the Portal.”

“Ask.”

“The control deck of the new granolith.”


----------


As the group enjoyed dinner the next day, they all talked about their experiences with the Ghors and the things they had learned. Liz told them about some beings buying smaller, cuter beings as pets. She still had not gotten over this.

"Well," said Max, "They can't have you… You're my pet."

Liz just scrunched up her nose then smiled at him.

"Can I have another glass of jubish?" Tracie asked. "I still haven't got the taste of Ghor sweat out of my mouth… My teeth feel scummy, and I've almost brushed all the enamel off already!"

April laughed and nodded vigorously… "I know! I'll have some more jubish, too! Hey, even the pawgor spit the Ghors out!"

Everybody laughed. They were becoming more than they had been. No longer did anyone there feel that he or she was merely an earthling… or even merely Antarian… They realized that they were now all seasoned residents of the universe.



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapters titled,

-------------------------Chapter 50
"The Invaders”
-------------------------Chapter 51
"Slaves and Pets”


which can be found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Life in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).





posted on 31-Jan-2003 5:56:22 AM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #13 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated G


“The Affair at the Valenti Ranch”



On their sixth day on Antar, the “Antarians Too,” a group of “earthlings” who had been found to have Antarian DNA left from their ancient past, had been invited to spend the day visiting with Jim and Kathleen at their ranch estate in the countryside. Everyone was enjoying the streams, the nearby river, the woods, and yorith riding in the Antarian open countryside near the ranch. Yoriths are horses for all intents and purposes, though they are not exactly like earth horses. Most noticeably, they have bright green eyes. Some are solid colored, others have faint zebra-like stripes. They are beautiful animals, but in basic appearance and behavior, they are essentially horses.

Danyy was playing with the pawgor. Jim, Kathleen, and Danyy had taken the pawgor back to the Nan-torel after the new granilith returned from earth, but every now and then the pawgor would pop up at the ranch and sit there waiting for Danyy to come out and play. It was almost full-grown now, but it was still young and still enjoyed playing. Danyy and the pawgor were running around the yard. The pawgor would pounce on Danyy, pinning him down with its huge paws. At first, this had made Kathleen very uneasy, but she had become used to it, and Danyy seemed to enjoy this unusual game of “tag” that they played. Danyy, in turn, would then chase the pawgor and pounce on it, rolling over with it in the grass. It seemed like the pawgor would surely crush Danyy or hurt him, but it never did. It always knew just how much Danyy could take, maybe because it was communicating with him.

Krys was talking with Tracie, April, Denise, Trude, and a couple of others in the front yard. Kathleen had served everyone drinks, and they were watching Danyy and the pawgor play when the pawgor suddenly decided to run straight through the middle of the group as Danny ran around them. Several drinks were dropped as everyone rushed to get out of the way. Krys did not see it coming in time. The next thing she knew, she and her drink were flying in the air then she was lying on the pawgor’s back with her hands around its neck. Danyy stopped the huge cat and apologized…

“Sorry… He thinks that was funny. He’s laughing.”

Krys moved her head to the side carefully and looked the pawgor in the face, all the time holding on with her arms around its neck to keep from falling off… It did almost appear to be grinning. She shook her head and laid it back down on the pawgor’s back momentarily. Then she slid off onto the ground.

“Next time he does that, I’m putting a saddle on him,” she said to Danyy grinning!”

“I’m sorry,” Danyy repeated… “He says he won’t do it again.”

Krys ran her hand over Danyy’s head… “Oh, that’s alright, Danyy… What was I thinking trying to block a pawgor!” She smiled and winked at him then took another drink from Kathleen, who also apologized…

“Welcome to our crazy world!” Kathleen said. Jim was standing in the shade on the porch, leaning against a pillar, with a big smile on his face.

Kyle and Jeliya were out at the side preparing the barbecue grill. Jim joined them, and pretty soon, the air was filled with the smell of steaks, burgers and hotdogs on the grill, as well as a variety of Antarian vegetables… well, at least, it looked kind of like steaks, hamburgers, and hotdogs… The steaks were Yegg steaks. The “hamburger” was actually the inside meaty part of grelliats, which are a vegetable. Kyle liked them for that reason. Jim called them veggie-burgers, but they tasted like real meat. The hotdogs were something Kathleen and Jeliya had invented together from a combination of grelliat cores, yegg meat, Antarian blue hen eggs, pashita bread pulp, and detoxified guma fungi with just a touch of Tabasco, all blended into a purée and stuffed back into the green grelliat shells then roasted. The surprising thing is, they actually tasted like premium hotdogs… if you could get past their green color.

"Come and get it!" Jim called as he and Kyle and Jeliya began to place platters of food onto a long picnic table. Everyone sat down and Jim passed the food around. Nina and Lisa watched as Jeliya made herself a “grelliat hotdog” and soaked it with lots of Tabasco sauce…

"Must be an Antarian thing!" Lisa said to Nina… I thought it was only Michael and Max!"

Nina shrugged. “That’s gonna be one HOT hotdog. That’s all I can say,” she replied with a grin.

Jeliya took a bite and smiled, noticing she was being watched. “Mmmm! This is good! Can I pass anyone the Tabasco?”

Lisa and Nina shook their heads. Jeliya looked around. The others shook their heads, too. Jeliya shrugged. “You guys don’t know what you’re missing,” she said, smiling.

“How about ketchup or mustard?” asked Lisa.

Kathleen passed a couple of bowls over to Lisa. One had a yellowish purée in it, the other a purplish purée… “We’re working on it,” Jim said with a wide grin. “We’ll get the color right eventually. Tastes pretty good, though!”

“Too mild,” Jeliya commented. “I’ll stick with the Tabasco. Tabasco’s great!” She proceeded to take something that looked like an ear of corn and pour Tabasco sauce all over it.

“Okay,” Denise whispered to Lisa, “Now I know what happened to their taste buds!” Both of them smiled. “I just hope she doesn’t put it on ice cream.”

“Believe it or not…” said Kathleen, “I’ve seen Michael do that! He mixes it in Cherry Coke, too.”

This was a little more than anyone wanted to know. Lisa and Nina both involuntarily said, “Ewwww” at the same time. Jeliya smiled.

“You don’t do that, do you, Jeliya?” asked Roselle.

“Do what?”

“…put Tabasco sauce in Cherry Coke.”

Jeliya shook her head.

“That’s good to know,” said Roselle.

“I never had Cherry Coke before,” said Jeliya, as she poured some Tabasco sauce into an empty glass and took a drink.

Jim had not forgotten the pawgor. He had taken several yegg steaks and part of a yegg carcass that he had picked up from a rancher and placed them in the back yard for the pawgor out of sight of the guests. Yegg was a favorite of the pawgor, though the pawgor was not a very finicky eater. Jim had never seen it turn its nose up at anything except Ghor meat.

As the night arrived, Jim and Kyle built a bonfire, and everyone sat around the fire and talked about their adventures, sang songs, and enjoyed some jubish, iced tea, and Snapples along with Antarian cookies and an Antarian dessert called japo-mevanish, which is a sort of flaming flan. Krys and Tracie were using the pawgor as a backrest to lean against, as the pawgor lay stretched out enjoying the warmth of the fire and the companionship of its unusual friends.

“Krys is going to teach me how to ride a pawgor,” April laughed.

“What I want her to teach me is that cool mount she did,” Denise snickered.

Jim started laughing. “I’ve been riding horses for a long time, and that was the first time I ever saw that mount! I must say, it’s pretty spectacular!”

“Yeah, well, you guys laugh if you want,” said Krys. “You’re just jealous ‘cause he let me ride him, and we’re pals now.” She patted her grinning “pillow” and laid her head back against its side again.

After the fire was out, the guests all retired to the guest house Jim had built. It wasn’t the palace, but it was cozy. They were able to leave the windows open for the pleasant cool air that was coming in. The bedrooms were all upstairs on the second floor, and there was a wonderful view of Antar’s moons, which were all full this night, as well as of the nearby river and the Antarian countryside.

The next day, Kathleen took everyone shopping at Antar’s largest and oldest department store, Kyyk’s. They took Jayyd along to do color alterations, which absolutely delighted Jayyd, who loved nothing more than using her power and being praised for it. She also usually picked up some spare spending change from other customers who would ask her to change the color of a blouse or some pants or a hat for them and would offer her some change for her help…

Tracie noticed the signs on all the walls.

“What does that sign say, Kathleen? I’ve seen the same sign several times.”

Kathleen laughed. “Yeah, they pointed that out to us the last time I was here and they saw Jayyd change the color of something. It says,

“Molecular alterations and color changing of clothes not allowed unless the items are returned to exactly as they were before. Remember that your abilities and ours may not be the same and we may not be able to undo what you have done satisfactorily. So if you change it and don’t change it back, you buy it. We hope this will not inconvenience you too much. Thank you for shopping at Kyyk’s.”

Tracie laughed.

“At least they’re polite about it,” Nina said, laughing, too. Lisa and April nodded.

Everyone was enjoying the time spent on Antar so much that they hardly realized that it would soon be time to go back to earth. But they would all be going back with lots of new clothes and souvenirs, and the memories made during this trip would last forever. Unfortunately, there were probably few people they would ever be able to share them with… at least, who would actually believe them!



-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from the chapter titled

--------------------------------Chapter 54
"The Affair at the Valenti Ranch”


which can be found in the novel-length Roswell fic, “Life in the Stars” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).





posted on 12-Feb-2003 10:03:58 PM
"Star Trails to Antar”

A collection of short stories
about our favorite Roswell aliens & their friends
by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes)



>((((º>.·´¯'·.Story #14 ·.¸.· >((((*>¸.·´'·. ·.¸.· Rated PG-13


“The Great Cable Heist”




Special Agent Dumas Zwolinski, of the FBI’s highly secret “Alien Task Force Special Unit 1,” had been a thorn in Max and Michael’s lives almost since the day Agent Pierce had “disappeared.” Unfortunately, Zwolinski, who had replaced Pierce, was Agent Pierce times ten, mostly because Zwolinski was unbalanced as well as highly single-minded.

Agent Zwolinski could have retired already… with full pay… a fact that he once told Max pointedly, as he planned to take him apart piece by piece in the white room, something he had already done to Liz (See “The White Room… Again” in “Altered Time – Destiny in the Stars”). Zwolinski was obsessed. He would never retire until he had rid the world of the alien “plague.” Max, who was strapped down with his hands covered in asbestos wrappings, escaped that fate due to Michael’s last minute help. A powerful blast of power from Michael’s hand reduced Zwolinski to a pile of ashes on the floor. He and Max then escaped to Antar but returned a few years later to change a past (the deaths of Liz and others) that just couldn’t be allowed to stand. Unfortunately, changing the past also meant that…

Zwolinski never died.

In Roswell, Zwolinski paced a frustrated circle around the floor then returned and pounded his fist down on the counter again.

“Somebody here has to know how to do something!”

Zwolinski had grown redder and redder until the veins in his neck stood out, and now one could actually see the veins throbbing as he screamed. The female clerk behind the counter seemed indifferent to it all. Zwolinski looked as though he might have a stroke.

“Sir, there is nothing I can do. My computer says that is what you owe for your service. You will just have to talk to a supervisor.”

“Then get me a supervisor!”

“I’m sorry, sir, there are no supervisors here right now.”

Zwolinski’s nostrils flared like those of an angry bull that has just been stuck by the picador in a bullfight.

“Get me a supervisor now or I will have you shut down! I mean right now,” Zwolinski threatened… but it was to no avail. The clerk acted as though all the advantage here was hers and any threats were irrelevant. She didn’t even bat an eye. The rampaging agent at her counter became ever more agitated, but the indifferent clerk replied as though she had lived this scene a thousand times before…

“Fill out a complaint form and send it to the address on the back.”

“Complaint form!”

“There…” said the clerk, looking up from the daily newspaper horoscope on her desk just long enough to point to a table in the corner.

Zwolinski grabbed the telephone off the counter and held the receiver up in front of him.

“You will get off your lazy ass now and call a supervisor. I want someone here in front of me in five minutes or there will be Hell to pay!”

The clerk continued to read her horoscope. Apparently, it said nothing about being violently murdered today, so she was completely unmoved by Zwolinski’s threats.

“Are you people out of your freaking minds! $14,283,569.98 for a month’s cable service! We don’t use cable service in the FBI! We have… we have other means!”

“Sir, my computer says that you are the person it is to be billed to… you personally… and the company that you head. That is all I know. You can call billing and talk to them on Monday if you would like.”

“Good Lord, woman! For that kind of money, you could be providing cable to another planet!”

“Sir, just fill out the form…”

“And send it in…” Zwolinski finished the sentence with her.

“I can’t believe they let you people do business!” Zwolinski ranted. “You’re the most incompetent… Oh, forget it!”

Zwolinski exited the cable service building, slamming the door behind him, then jumped into the car with his waiting companion and sped off, leaving deep ruts with his tires in the gravel parking lot. Back at the Special Unit’s headquarters, Zwolinski was greeted with more woes. The lights -in fact, all the electricity- had been cut off.

“What the Hell’s going on here?” yelled Zwolinski.

“Sir,” said one of his agents, a newer individual, who was obviously intimidated by Zwolinski, “We have been served with some kind of legal notice that we are being sued for illegally tapping cable services. They put a lien on our building and garnisheed our bank accounts.”

Zwolinski stared at the agent as though he had just said something sublimely ridiculous.

“We can do that, Agent Smith! That is our prerogative! We are the FBI! …but we didn’t. For God’s sake, get it fixed now! I’ve never dealt with such incompetence before! Dumas Zwolinski exited his office and drove to a nearby bar to calm his nerves.


------------


In the upscale Berjalya division of Antar’s capitol city, CoruzAntar, Amy DeLuca was knocking on the door of Alex and Isabel’s house. Mareeya, Alex and Isabel’s 7-year-old daughter, came to the door.

“Mom! It’s Aunt Amy!”

“Well, tell her to come in!”

“You can come in, Aunt Amy.”

“Thank you, Mareeya! Hi Isabel! I see you’re watching your Buffy tapes again! How many times have you watched them now?” Amy laughed. She knew that she had watched them just as many times herself.

“Oh, no, Amy! These aren’t tapes,” said Isabel. “This is today’s episode.”

Amy was silent for a moment. “Today’s episode? You don’t really mean… ‘today’s episode… like today… right now? How…?”

“Alex got Michael to ask his friends at the lab to find a way to get it for me here on Antar. Didn’t Varec tell you?”

A light of sudden understanding came on in Amy’s eyes. “So that’s what he was talking about! Varec said that he was working on a project on the side to help Michael get a ‘buffing.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about!”

“Amy, that husband of yours is a doll! Look at this! Over four hundred channels! I can watch Buffy, Angel, Farscape, earth news from all these different cities… It’s great! When you see Varec, give him a big kiss from us!”

Amy smiled, “Well… I guess I will! …After he hooks it up for me, too! How did they do this?”

“I don’t know, exactly. They called it a ‘virtual link’ or something like that. As best I could understand, it involves a microns-thin, invisible light source being aimed at earth and feeding the transmissions directly through it from a cable source there.”

“You think they know someone is getting it?”

“I hope so! Michael said that he had Varec send a computer message to the cable company through the same light source to give them Agent Dumas Zwolinski’s name as the subscriber.”

Amy gasped… then laughed. “That’s the guy Michael vaporized in the previous timeline, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, the one that cut Liz up in the old timeline!”

“So… won’t the cable company just cut off the service?”

Isabel shook her head. “They can’t. They would never find how it is being linked. And Zwolinski can’t cancel it either! I hope the Alien Task Force’s ‘Special Unit’ will have some concerns other than finding innocent people to dissect for awhile!”

Mareeya and her younger sister, Ceelya, came back into the den.

“Mom, when you finish watching Buffy, can we watch more cartoons from Eluymer?”

“Sure you can, Mareeya! Both of you can!”

Isabel and Amy both smiled and giggled like two schoolgirls as they watched the rest of the latest episode of Buffy together.


----------


Two days later, in Roswell, New Mexico, Agent Smith strolled down the walk by the exhibits at the local zoo, stopping at a bench across from the monkeys' cage.

“Sir,” he said to the individual seated on the bench. “Two more of our agents have resigned."

Agent Dumas Zwolinski looked up from the bench and grimaced, the veins in his neck standing out more than usual.

“Smith, we’ve got to make sure this Unit doesn’t fold. Whatever it takes, you and I have to hold this Unit together… for the sake of the country.”

“Yes, sir!”

“They can take our offices from us… they can take all our money…”

“Uh, sir…”

“What, Smith?”

“That brings up a little matter of… my paycheck…”

“You weren’t listening, Smith! We’re doing this for the good of the country! My God, Smith, look at me! They took my offices… all because of this stupid cable thing! I’m keeping office at the zoo… across from some damn monkeys. And you’re worried about a paycheck?”

“Sorry, sir.”

“Yeah, well, you should be… At least there’s nothing else that could go wrong!”

Just then a pigeon sitting on the tree limb above Zwolinski relieved itself. The whitish gob smacked down on Zwolinski’s forehead, right between the eyes, and ran down the bridge of his nose. Zwolinski sat totally still, but the veins in his neck were pulsing and his face was reddening.

“Smith.”

“Sir.”

“Have all these birds killed.”

“Uh, I’m sorry, sir, but Roswell is a bird sanctuary. I don’t think I can…”

“Of course it’s a sanctuary! What else could ruin my day!”

At that moment, a well-dressed man with a briefcase walked up.

“Are you Dumas Zwolinski?”

“Who wants to know?”

“I’m Agent Bernstein with the IRS. Is there some place we can talk?"

"Yeah, right here!"

"Alright. There’s a little matter we need to discuss about some unpaid taxes.”

“What unpaid taxes?”

“Communications taxes... on $15 million of cable services. Plus interest and penalties…”

Zwolinski took out his pistol and looked at it then handed it to the IRS agent.

“Here… Just shoot me!”


-The End-




This story was adapted and revised from “Life in the Stars,” chapters

--------------------------------Chapter 1
"But It’s Buffy”
--------------------------------Chapter 3
“Child’s Play”

The further “adventures” of Agent Zwolinski, including his final revenge on the podsquad and their children, can be found in “Life in the Stars,” by Gerry Carr (Island Breezes).