whole background universe of this story, including the Taelons and
Kimera belongs to Roddenberry-Kirschner, and Tribune, among others. All
characters that appear belong to me.
Just another one of those stray fics that tend to show up and bother me
until I write them. Fortunately, this one didn't cause me too much
This is set several centuries (how
long, I wasn't told) after "Shari's Letter". Having little experience
with family law and related matters, I've probably made unforgivable
alterations to whatever procedures there might be.
To fly, alone
"Welcome back to the world," the voice said from above and to the
side of me. I'd been blinking my eyes for the last few minutes, trying
to escape the reality of finding myself in a hospital. A hospital, of
course, is a somewhat unpleasant place for anyone to wake up in, but
more so for any of my family. I turned my head, feeling sluggish as I
attempted to manipulate myself to look at the speaker. "We've just
noted your attending physician that you woke up. Would you like some
I nodded. The owner of the voice, a young man probably not a huge
amount over a decade older than me, reached for a pitcher and a glass.
Pouring the water, he handed it to me, and watched me as I drank,
making no comment other than to remind me to not gulp it. "Doc-tor
Riley?" I managed to gasp out, naming our family's physician, who was
one of the few people that knew about our family's true ancestry.
The young man, the nurse, shook his head. "Actually, Dr. Ri'alit's been
treating you. He'll be the one stopping by. I understand that you have
a few other visitors as well. You're going to be one busy girl for a
The name of my attending doctor sounded Kimera to me, which was not
good. Not good at all. If this was, indeed, a Kimera, then the family
secret was out, and all of my visitors were bad news. It also meant
that my family was long-gone.
"How long have I been out?" I asked. "Last I remember, that guy was
coming towards me...."
"Three days," the young man promptly responded.
Then my family would be gone, no doubt leaving me, and only me, a clue
to where they went.
"I'll get Dr. Ri'alit now."
He left me alone. Unfortunately, now wasn't a good time to try escaping
from here, for the Kimera physician was sure to note it as suspicious,
and I wouldn't have much of a headstart if security went after me. I
had to choose the most inconspicuous time possible, find my best route
out of there, and find the people my family left the clue with.
But all I could do at that moment was lie helplessly on the hospital
bed while some being with a Kimera-sounding name came to visit me. I
needed food, I needed energy. Nothing could have gotten me out of that
bed at that moment, not even the imminent arrival of Kimera authorities.
At some point in eternity, my doctor came in, confirming my worst
fears. He was a typical Kimera, a vaguely humanoid shape of
green-colored energy. The longer name possibly meant that he, like
myself, was a variety of hybrid, not a pure Kimera. "Hello," he said
effortlessly in common. "I am Doctor Ri'alit, your attending physician.
I would like to know who you truly are."
I looked at him, confused. "Who I am?"
The physician raised a hand, palm out to me. "Please. Your parents have
done you a great disservice. I only wish to help you in your health and
I folded my arms against my chest, deliberately hiding my hands. It was
slightly rude by Kimera standards, but I was betting that the doctor
was too well brought up to force me into a sharing. He made a motion
equivalent to a sigh, and withdrew his hand. "Very well," he said
finally, accepting the temporary defeat and scanning my readings from
the monitor nearby. "You seem to have avoided any lasting injuries from
your accident, and are healing within normal parameters. I would advise
you to rest more until you are at full strength again."
"And then what happens to me?" I demanded.
"I understand a social worker will inform you of that. I believe she
will be coming since she knows you are awake and there is some urgency
of the matter. My hope is that you find happiness in what was taken
away from you."
With that, the doctor left. I didn't blame him; I bet he wasn't used to
running across people like me on a regular basis. Of course, thanks to
regular Kimera stubbornness, he wasn't quite able to comprehend that
someone might not be as enthralled at being Kimera as he was. I
probably discombobulated him a bit. Of course, that probably meant he'd
be bringing in somebody who could help me 'adjust' to the culture I'd
Slumping back in my bed, I prayed for the strength to leave before the
Kimera took total possession of me. To them, breeding outside the
Kimera was a big no-no, and it was a sure way to ensure that one would
lose custody of one's children. The Kimera were big on Law but
relatively liberal, except for a couple of sore spots. And right now,
to the Kimera, my parents were criminals and I was the victim of their
But to us, we hadn't committed a crime.
* * *
I was relieved to find that my social worker was human. She smiled at
me, a smile that was probably meant to be reassuring but came off as
nervous. I'm sure it was because of the unusual situation I was in. My
parents were gone, not that it mattered. She was just a way for the
Kimera to go through planetary legal procedures and still get me 'home'.
"Hello, Angharad," she said, sitting down in a chair by my bedside. The
nurses had recently cleared away my lunch. "Or do you prefer another
"Angharad's fine, thanks," I told her. All of my friends called me
"Ang", "Hair", or "Harry", depending on what mood they were in.
"Okay, Angharad," she said, making a note down on a pad, before
reaching out a hand. I was relieved to find it without red marks on the
palm, marking her as a human and not a human-Kimera hybrid. Of course,
as of late I've not had the red marks, so you can't tell everything.
Cautiously, I shook her hand. "I'm Mary McAlee, and I work for Child
Protective Services. I'm sure you're wondering why I'm here, and not
"Does this mean you bring bad news?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
She gave me a weak smile. "I wish there was a better way to break this
to you... but, there isn't. Your grandparents, parents, and brother
have disappeared. Since you are a minor child, we were called in to
help. Basically, what we've done, is give temporary custody over to a
set of foster parents until your real ones can be located. Because of
your ancestry, the Kimera embassy has been kind enough to locate you a
pair of Kimera who have agreed to take responsibility for you."
"Oh," I replied. I didn't want to give her or anybody else any
indication that being placed into the custody of any Kimera wasn't a
desirable event for me, in the fear that the Kimera might take
precautions to make sure that I didn't get away.
To be honest, I should add here that the Kimera are not really bad
sorts, and definitely better than the Taelons, in whose space humans
live. It's just that with the necessity of rebuilding their species,
they've had to put in effect certain laws that my family just doesn't
agree with. If I allow myself to fall into Kimera jurisdiction, it's
bye-bye choice for me, and I'd rather die than be forced into mating a
Problem is, the Kimera won't understand that. They won't understand my
ever-great-grandmother's desire to give her descendants the gift of
living among humanity. No, we're way too precious for that.
Mary raised an eyebrow but said nothing, so I felt compelled to
continue. "Sorry, I just feel like everything's so *unreal* right now."
She took my hand. "I understand. And don't be afraid. We are here to
help you as much as we can. I'll be checking up on you periodically
just to see if you're okay."
I think I managed a smile. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. If you're ready, I can give the go-ahead for your
foster parents to meet you," she said. "You can say no, of course, but
I thought you might want to meet the people taking care of you."
Having some insight into Kimera psychology, I knew that my foster
'parents' would only get the more anxious the more I refused them, and
the less to make them suspicious, the better. I planned to be out of
here before I had to go home with them. "Sure. I'd like to meet them."
She smiled again, and patted my hand. "I'll send them right in. They're
rather impatient to meet you."
"Um, okay," I replied, as she got up.
Before leaving, she gave me a small card. "This is how to reach me, in
case of emergencies. But don't worry. I'm sure you and they will get
along just fine."
I'm sure I was still nodding when my two new 'parents' came in. Gah,
how annoying can you get? I suppose they wanted to make me feel warm
and welcomed, but there's no way that a pair of Kimera could do that.
"Look," I said, before they could start, "I want to make things clear
at the start. I won't pretend I'm happy to see you. I'm not Kimera, I'm
*human*, and I resent getting my life meddled with because I have
Kimera ancestors. I don't even have a full memory of how to speak
Kimera, for goodness' sake!"
The two of them looked at each other. "I'm sorry if I've offended you,"
I continued, aware that I had perhaps hindered my own plan. "But I know
very well that you're not my temporary foster parents, you're my
permanent ones, and even if the authorities find my parents it's not
like they'll get custody back again. I don't want foster parents, I
want my real ones. But if I'm stuck with you in the meantime, I'll make
"Actually," one of the Kimera replied in common, in a voice that
sounded feminine to me, "You are only partially correct. We have only
agreed to take on your care while you are here and for the period of
time needed to make arrangements for permanent fostering."
Uh-oh. That meant likely that I'd be sent off-planet, either to reside
in Kimera space or on a Kimera ship like the homeship my ancestor had
been born and grown up on. There was no way that I could get back to my
family if the Kimera succeeded in convincing CPS that my custody should
be transferred to them.
"Let's... start at the beginning," the other said. I bet he was the
male of the couple, and that these two were mated. "I am Ne'aliat, this
More hybrids, then, despite their appearance. I was betting that the
female had some sort of human ancestry by her name, making her slightly
more related than the male. "I'm Angharad," I replied.
"We are pleased to meet you, Angharad," Kar'eto replied. "We are the
ones that will be responsible for your care while your parents are
missing, and possibly a little after."
"Do you have kids yet?" I asked.
"Two," Ne'aliat replied. "Both are grown, and we are between children.
We were chosen because we have parenting experience, and both of us
have human ancestry."
Both of them had human ancestors? Somebody had brains to choose these
two; even I felt a little at home knowing that they were kin. But I
wasn't going to show that outwardly. "Oh," I said.
"We realize that this is an uneasy and unhappy experience for you,
given your background," Ne'aliat told me. "And that you no doubt feel
like being uncooperative. But we would hope that you would give us a
chance despite your background."
"I can't promise anything," I said, honestly. Like I was going to be
around long enough to worry about the Kimera trying to correct my
"We know," Kar'eto replied. "It only remains our hope."
* * *
Food had come, and I was gradually getting stronger. Strong enough, I
hoped, that I could leave in the night. Just like my original hybrid
ancestor had taught his daughter how to do all sorts of interesting and
wonderful things, so had my family brushed up on those things we might
need if trapped in a situation like this.
Around midnight, I felt strong enough to leave, trusting nobody would
check in my room anytime soon. Checking my clothes, I found my pants
and shoes were the only things to survive the trip. That was okay; I'd
need scrubs anyway. I removed a pair of nail scissors I had pocketed
away during a nurse's trip and used it to cut my databand. A few
sneakings around later, some talent applied, and I was out of the
hospital and heading towards a favorite hiding place I'd chosen long
Checking to see if everything was secure, I went to sleep.
* * *
"Harry?" a voice asked quietly as someone's shoe nudged me. I don't
come out of sleep very well, but somehow I managed not to kick the
owner of the foot.
"Yeah, it's me. Hi, Jezzy."
I'd known Jeremy since we both started school, and he knew all my
spots, so I wasn't surprised to see him there, nor was I surprised when
he sat himself down on the floor next to me. "You know a lot of people
are looking for you?"
"Well," I drawled, "It could be because I didn't bother to go through
all the procedures in checking myself out. How're things?"
He blinked. "Well, between your folks going missing and you going
missing, we've had a lot of excitement around here."
"Well, *they* know, so I can't exactly stick around, and neither could
"Yeah," he said, tracing an arc in the ground with his foot. "I'm
sorry. I tried to get them to get you to Dr. Riley, but they didn't
listen to me."
I sat up. "Aw, I know you did your best," I told him soothingly. "Look,
can you do a really big favor for me?"
He didn't even hesitate. "Sure. It's not like I don't owe you a couple,
"My family would have left a disk with somebody, either the neighbors
or someone else they could have handed it to. Since it seems I can't go
around in public, I need you to find it. It's got where they've gone
and the location of some travelling funds in it, and I need it before I
"Got it," Jezzy replied. "Don't go anywhere."
"I'll try not to," I replied.
* * *
It seemed like hours passed, although Jezzy told me that it was less
than two before he found the disc. "Told everybody I misplaced a school
report, and really did so, just for realism. I don't think anybody
realized it had anything to do with you."
"Thanks, Jezzy," I replied, holding the disc in my hands.
"Thought you might appreciate this too," he said, holding his disc
I blushed. "Double thanks for that." Slitting the data disc into the
reader, I quickly memorized the account and location information and
deleted both the disc and any possible records on the machine. "Sorry I
can't tell you where I'm going."
"That's okay," he said, though his eyes spoke otherwise, and for a
moment, I felt sad. "Promise me one thing, though?"
"I know it sounds hokey... but when it's safer, and we're adults, come
and find me sometime."
"I'll do my best."
"You better go now," he said, "Before they find you."
Leaving him behind, I did. I had a long ways to go to find my family.
But at least I knew one thing.
I was free.
Earth: Final Conflict fics