Ha'gel, Liam, and Siobhan belong to Tribune and Roddenberry-Kirschner.
Vikki technically belongs to them also, but her background and
personality are mine. Graeme, much to my annoyance, belongs to me.
PG-13 for some mild reproductive talk (nothing really explicit).
note: This fic came about because I wanted to finish up the
set of stories having to do with Ha'gel's family's initial flight, as
well as deal with an issue that many people have about the
glorification of events in "The Joining" in season 2. I didn't quite
make it, however, since there seems to be one more story lurking around
the corner. It was posted on PS fanfiction forum.
by Estirose (Angel Island)
It would have normally been a safe place, but Vikki wasn't quite sure.
The young woman was learning very rapidly that appearances were
deceiving, mostly thanks to her 'mate', Ha'gel, and the children,
Graeme and Liam. It also helped that the supposedly beneficent Taelons
were one of the big reasons that her family was on the run, two of
which had abandoned their normal lives for the sake of their children.
The fact that Siobhan had been edgy didn't help. The former Implant,
Ha'gel had told her one evening, had a slight precognitive gift, and
Liam had inherited that gift. So, Vikki was not inclined at all to view
the place as safe. Sure, they were renting a nice 'vacation home', a
nice, 'rustic' cabin in the woods by the lake, but it was hard to feel
safe. No matter how good Graeme was at helping with counterfeit IDs and
stolen money, their enemies knew that they were out there. Somewhere.
It was enough that Ha'gel had decided that they'd depart, as soon as
they were rested. Their initial flight hadn't given the family enough
time to rest and relax, and that's what the cabin had been for.
Vikki frowned. As much as she got along with Ha'gel, some things were
starting to bug her. While there was nothing like an air of superiority
or something like that which she could put her finger on, Ha'gel had
set himself up as the head of the family. It wasn't something cultural
as far as she knew; his people didn't believe in one sex over another,
but she got the impression there was some other traditional family
ranking system going on that she didn't quite understand.
Sighing, she stopped leaning on the porch railing and went inside.
Siobhan's edginess was no doubt making her tetchy. There was probably
nothing more involved than what happened when beings of two very
different cultures interacted as a family.
* * *
But nothing happened for the next few days, which made Vikki wonder if
she was just jumping at shadows. Maybe it was safe, and she was just
oversensitive to the safety of herself and her family. Maybe the walk
in the woods that Ha'gel had suggested would help; there was nothing
else to do, unless she wanted to listen to him babble to his two sons
in his native language about who-knew-what.
"Come on," Siobhan said, and she looked over to find the other carrying
a bag and what looked suspiciously like her beach towel. "Ha'gel is
talking to the boys about the birds and the bees."
"The birds and the bees?" Vikki echoed. "Aren't both of them a
"Nay, apparently not," Siobhan responded. "Graeme could be a father
anytime now if he wasn't careful, and Liam is getting just old enough
Vikki sighed. Why did he tell her this, and not me?
As if reading her mind, Siobhan said, "He didn't say anything ta me,
but I understand Kimera, thanks to the CVI. And I don't think this is a
comfortable subject for the any of them. That's why he wants us out of
"Like separating the boys and the girls out for sex ed," Vikki said,
almost to herself. "It's easier to not worry about the opposite sex
laughing at you."
"Aye," Siobhan responded. "So, I think we should get out of here, until
She flashed such a wicked little grin that Vikki felt sorry for Ha'gel.
Still, who else could do it? Ha'gel was the best candidate in matters
like this. She probably wouldn't have even known that Graeme was
fertile until it was too late.
Siobhan walked into the woods, leaving Vikki to catch up.
* * *
She knew, remotely, that they weren't too far from the semi-paved road
that let up to yet another cabin. Siobhan had brought what turned out
indeed to be her beach towel, and enough food for three. No doubt the
third portion would go to feed Falcon, Siobhan's skrill. Siobhan had
resisted Ha'gel's ideas to remove the symbiote, protesting to separate
it from her would mean certain death, and besides, his defensive
capabilities could come in handy, and far outweighed his
conspicuousness. Besides, Siobhan was good at covering her skrill up.
"I still can't believe that Graeme's almost sexually mature, or that
Liam's going to be. Graeme's two weeks old! Did Ha'gel say anything
else that you picked up?"
"Nay," Siobhan responded, after taking a bite from a sandwich and
chewing thoughtfully. "But I don't think it was as much a surprise to
the boys as something embarrassing. An' I don't think 'sexually mature'
is quite the right term - the boys have no interest in women, but if
they ended up in bed with someone of the female persuasion, nature
could very well take its course."
Vikki sighed. "It seems sometimes like Graeme was just born. I didn't
think I'd have to face being a grandmother quite so soon!"
"I think that the reason Ha'gel's having this 'talk' today is so that
you an' I don't have to," Siobhan responded.
"Good," Vikki said. "I don't think I could handle it right now."
"And how are ye handling it?" Siobhan asked, as gently as Vikki had
ever heard her. "Are ye happy?"
"I'm grateful to Ha'gel," Vikki responded. "He broke me out of my rut.
He showed me that there was somebody who could take care of me, and
that I didn't have to get my satisfaction in... other ways."
The other woman looked confused for a moment. "Oh, aye," she said.
"Well, ye dinna have to worry about sleeping with other men ever again."
"What do you mean?" Vikki asked, feeling as confused as Siobhan had
looked a moment ago.
"Ye dinnae plan on leaving Ha'gel, do ye?"
Vikki bit back the automatic response that she didn't plan to leave
Ha'gel. "I... really don't know. I don't feel like it's safe to make
plans right now. But it seems to me that I should do something with the
life that Ha'gel gave me."
"Aye, I understand," Siobhan responded. "But... ye realize that being
mated is the same as being married for him?"
"It is?" Vikki asked. "But then that would mean that he's a polygamist.
I think I love him... I mean, I do love him... but I don't know if I
want to be involved in this."
"What did you think 'twas?" the other woman asked, her voice getting
"To be truthful, I don't know. I never know, when it comes to Ha'gel."
She was wondering what more to say when a small boom came from
somewhere, and portions of bark and tree rained down on her from the
Siobhan was instantly on alert, Falcon uncovered and glowing angrily.
Male laughter could be heard from somewhere in the direction of the
road, and then a car drove off. "I think someone was just taking
potshots," Vikki told her companion. "I don't think they knew we were
"Aye," Siobhan responded, her eyes distant. "Still, we'd better go back
and tell Ha'gel."
"Um, okay," Vikki said. "Think the boys will survive?"
"Aye, I hate cancelling Ha'gel's little session with them, but 'tmight
turn out necessary," Siobhan replied. "Help me get the stuff together."
Vikki did so, ignoring the leaves and dirt that had become attached to
the towel. It was a little bit of a walk back to the cabin, and she
couldn't help fretting, though, about Siobhan's question. Would she
leave Ha'gel? Could she live with him being effectively married to two
women? It obviously didn't bother him. Would it bother him if she fell
in love with a human man? Could she fall in love with a human man,
Ha'gel loved her, no doubt about it. But she sometimes wondered if it
was true love, or just because she had given him the first chance to
let his species live on, with Graeme. Was it the love that someone gave
to a beloved pet, or did he feel like she was his equal? She knew more
about him than she knew about Graeme's human father, Randy, but it
didn't feel like she knew him that much, not in the important things.
And these were the important things that determined if one wanted to
spend one's life with one's chosen partner; not reassuring for a
Later. She could ask these things later, when they figured out if they
were safe. Until they were safe, nothing mattered. You couldn't explore
a relationship if you were dead.
* * *
Ha'gel was surprised, she could tell, when Siobhan strode in, with her
right behind. The two boys looked surprised as well. "Someone took a
potshot out in the woods. Had it been several feet lower, it would have
hit Vikki," Siobhan said, not bothering with pleasantries or niceties.
Graeme, looking horrified, got up and raced over to her, just like he'd
often done when he was physically growing up. Despite the possibly
desperate situation, she had to smile. "It's okay. I'm okay," she said,
holding her son tightly.
"Show me," Ha'gel instructed, and Siobhan walked over to him, placing
her hand on his. The two seemed to lose sight of the rest of the world
for a few moments. "Vikki?"
From experience, Vikki knew he wanted the scene from her memories as
well. Graeme detached himself from her, standing there as she took the
few steps towards Ha'gel. She met his palm with her own, willing him to
know what had happened, and trying to remember. Then Ha'gel's mind took
over, reviewing the events from her perspective. He paused for a second
during her discussion with Siobhan about leaving him, and he gave her a
something which clearly meant 'we will talk about this later at a more
Then her mind was replaying the bark falling upon her, and then, next
thing she knew, his hand had withdrawn, and he was speaking. "I think
that it would be overcautious to depart at the moment. We are not yet
rested, and evidence from both your views suggests that this was just a
random crime, not directed at us from either the Taelons or the
Liberation. Still, I think we should... keep the place tidy, just in
In other words, Vikki thought, We should have everything Together so
that we can get away... fast.
* * *
Ha'gel didn't seem inclined to continue his lesson, whatever it
detailed, after the interruption. Instead, the whole family went to
work 'tidying' the place so that everything could be packed and ready
to go in a hurry. Vikki had securely packed both her saucer from home
that Graeme had brought with him and the little pink saucer that was a
gift from Liam.
She found Graeme waiting for her, obviously wanting to be with her, as
she finished her own 'tidying'. She left the little that remained of
her stuff out and sat down on her bed, motioning for him to sit down.
"So, did you learn anything?"
"Yeah," Graeme replied, but didn't elaborate. Vikki smiled at his
"That's okay; Siobhan said you were talking about sex. I won't press."
Graeme shrugged. "Some of it was about sex. Most of it, though was
about how to be a proper mate and father, how not to neglect our mates
and kids, and so on. I think Dad's worried that he won't be around when
it comes time for me and Liam to start mating."
Vikki nodded at that. "I won't pretend it isn't impossible for that to
happen. We could lose your dad... but I doubt we will. He's too smart
"But still, it's something he wanted us to know. Especially when we're
mated adults and have all of our kids and mates to worry about."
Her smile faded as her son's statement brought on thoughts of Ha'gel's
polygamous state. "Kids and mates multiple?" she asked.
"Well, sure," he said, apparently mystified. "Dad says that once we're
safe from being destroyed by the Taelons and others, that we should go
out and mate with as many women as we could to pass our Kimera blood
on. When you came in, he was just telling us how to fix things so that
the women we sleep with can have relations with other guys afterwards,
so they're not tied like you and aunt Siobhan are. But, anyway, you'll
have a lot of grandkids, I'm sure of that, Mom. I know that Dad would
prefer that we wait for a few decades, but we don't have that kind of
time. He's hoping that things will happen so that we're fathers by the
time we're two."
"Oookay," Vikki responded, trying not to sigh again. She seemed to do
that a lot. In order to try to assure Graeme, and make sure he didn't
go into another tantrum about her mate status she added, "Sorry, I seem
to need to have a long talk with your father. He still has a lot to
explain to me about himself and his plans. I seem to be stumbling
around in the dark... and it's just making me lost."
"Dad didn't bother to explain things to you. Huh," Graeme said. She
could hear annoyance in his voice as he continued. "Tell him that you
can't be a proper mate if you have absolutely no idea what that means.
I thought for sure that he'd have told you by now. I mean, it's a great
honor." He got up. "Don't worry Mom, I'm not mad at you for not
understanding. You'll understand sooner or later and we can all be a
family the right way."
With that, he left her alone, no doubt to talk to Ha'gel about leaving
her in ignorance. Of course, she wouldn't mind getting a few
explanations out of Ha'gel. Currently he seemed to respect her and care
for her, but 'honored' felt like the 'honor' someone of a low class got
when the lord of the manor decided to pay attention to them. She
sincerely hoped that wasn't the case; if it was, then Ha'gel was using
her. It would be really typical of her life that the person who broke
her out of her life of being used only wanted to use her as a brood
mare. She knew now that she could just leave if she put her mind to it,
but at this point it wasn't really safe to leave. Besides, she would
hate to leave Graeme with Ha'gel if that was the case. It was obvious
that he was picking up some bad habits.
There was a cautious knock on the door. "Vikki?" Ha'gel asked, and
Vikki steeled herself for the conversation that would surely follow.
"Come in," she replied, and the door opened. Ha'gel stepped through,
closing it behind him.
"It seems like we have a miscommunication," Ha'gel said to her. "I just
encountered Graeme. He seemed outraged that you were ignorant as to
your role in the family."
"Or something like that," Vikki responded. "I have a lot of stuff to
ask you. And I mean ask... not share. The sharing part comes later,
after I have the questions out."
Ha'gel nodded. "Perhaps... you would like me to tell you a story
first?" he asked tentatively, as if he expected her to leap up and bite
"If it clears up my confusion," Vikki answered, "I don't see why not."
He sat apart from her, within arm's reach. "Once upon a time, a very
long time ago, the Kimera were a space-faring species, well-beloved by
most of the civilizations we came across. We were lovers of knowledge
with a special gift... a gift to breed with all the species we came
across. We came upon a species, we studied it for a while, we initiated
contact, and then we got to know them both personally and by breeding
with them. With the hybrids produced by our contacts, we were therefore
able to give them a part of ourselves and take a part of them with us,
in addition being able to share some of the richness of the other
species that we had joined with. We took the knowledge and about half
of the hybrids with us, storing all that we'd discovered about them in
"On rare occasions, we ran across a species that could benefit from
having a little bit of the wisdom from thousands of worlds, but were
too dangerous for us to contact in full. This was the case of the
ancestors of the Taelons, a matter-based species called the Ul'llitha,
a species of what could best be called energy vampires. Still, despite
their savageness, we could not bear to see them wiped out when we could
help. That was our mistake. Through our matings with them, they became
energy-based, like us, or at least some of them did. The ones that
became energy-based are known to you as the Taelons; the ones that
stayed in matter-based form are known today as the Jaridians. Both
species have lost the ability to drain energy that their ancestors had.
"The Taelons and the Jaridians soon hated each other, beginning a
lifelong conflict that continues on to this day. However, before their
wars started, the Taelons turned upon the beings responsible for what
they had become - us. As far as I know, they destroyed all of us,
except for maybe anyone like me who was lucky enough to be contained
within something that the Taelons couldn't detect. So goes the end of
the Kimera, and the reason for us to be together."
"You told me before that you were the last of your kind, as far as you
knew," Vikki responded. "But why is it an 'honor' for me that you chose
me as your mate?"
"Who told you that? Graeme?" Ha'gel asked. At her nod, he continued,
"When we were still numerous, word got out about us and many species
thought it an honor to be chosen by the Kimera to mate with. They
selected their best individuals. This does not apply here, despite
Graeme's notions. I am skulking around in a borrowed form, I didn't ask
permission from any of my hosts, and normally, we prefer to reveal
ourselves and give our prospective mates a chance to choose."
"But you didn't in my case," Vikki responded, trying to smother a
rolling boil of emotions that partly had to do with Ha'gel not asking
first , and partly with feeling sympathetic to his plight. Wouldn't she
be desperate to reproduce if she was the last of the human race?
"No, I was so desperate, after not being able to feel any of my
species, that I went for a healthy young woman who could bear the
stress of the rapid pregnancy forced upon her against her normal
biology. I needed someone who could bear up the stress of several
pregnancies in short sequence. I could help rebuild those things lost
during your pregnancy, but you had to be fit to take them in the first
"Wait a minute, several pregnancies? You were going to force me? What
was your plan anyway?" Vikki asked. "Don't tell me, you were going to
use me as a brood mare, and not let me say if I wanted to do it."
She couldn't strike him, not right that second. But she felt like she
wanted to do it, but the tone of his voice was a man - a being - of
great regrets. If he'd had an arrogant or superior attitude, she could
have slapped him and be done with it, but he sounded more remorseful
"I was... my only defense was, as your people say, my brain wasn't the
part of me doing the thinking. I was overwhelmed by the need to
survive. I believed that eventually I could make amends for taking the
choice away from you, beguiling you into having children multiple
times. I was hoping... that you'd get so used to it that you'd come to
see it as normal."
"I hope you've learned your lesson," Vikki said, and winced at the
trite phrase. Then what Graeme had said flashed before her, almost as
if she'd had Siobhan's CVI. "You planned to let Graeme and Liam finish
your work for you."
"Yes. That is exactly what my current plan involves. Graeme and Liam
can blend into human society, conceive children - many of them - in the
way that humans did it. And I have instructed them on how to not tie
their partners to them, allow themselves to be ripples in the water, be
seen only by the effects they have and not exposing themselves. It must
become usual for people to have Kimera ancestry."
"Well, I'm glad that Liam and Graeme are willing to spread their seed,"
Vikki replied roughly. "Because you screwed up big time, buster. I am
not your breeder! Just because I'm unfortunate enough to be in the
wrong place at the wrong time doesn't mean you can have me whenever you
"You do not have to worry there," Ha'gel responded. "I have learned my
lesson. I will not attempt to join with you unless you request it. That
is how things should be between mates, not the hiding that Liam and
Graeme will have to do. You can be assured that Graeme and Liam know
that their mates should be willing, knowing mates as well, at the very
least not joining with women who don't desire children."
Vikki shook her head, and what was left of Ha'gel's proud demeanour
drooped. "Come here," he said.
"Why?" she couldn't help but ask, and realized she wasn't quite
following his orders anymore.
"I am going to do the same thing I taught Liam and Graeme to do to
those they mate with. I am freeing you from me. You see, because of the
close connections when two people join with each other, sometimes the
member of the 'native' species is afterwards not able to find a close
connection with a partner of their own species, because they don't know
and can't trust the native partner fully. I knew during when I joined
with you that humans are susceptible to this. I do not blame you for
the lessening of trust between us, and think it is probably best that I
take care of this now."
Reluctantly, Vikki scooted up to him. He held his hand out in sharing
position and she slipped her hand up against his. She could feel a
slight tickling in her mind, as if someone was paging through the book
of her memories. After what seemed like several minutes of that, he
lowered his hand. "That all?"
"That is all," Ha'gel responded, sadly. "You can go now. Take Graeme;
it would benefit him to know his human side a little better, and I
would feel better if he was there to help keep you safe. He is as much
your son as mine, and in this way, at least he'll remember that."
With that, Ha'gel left silently. Vikki started packing her bags, but
sat down. Sure, she wasn't sure if she could forgive Ha'gel, but could
she leave him, Siobhan, and Liam? Graeme would surely resent it, and
she was willing to bet he would do nothing but urge her to go back to
his father. He would definitely not be cooperative to her, not until
she came back 'home'.
Maybe what I need is a breath of fresh air. It's almost evening; surely
I can stay one more night. Figure out if leaving is a good thing.
She left her bag as it was, and, avoiding her 'family', slipped into
the woods. Sitting there, she considered her options. Ha'gel seems
quite willing to let me have my say in this. On the other hand, I don't
know if what he's told me is the truth. He could just be humoring me.
But, heaven help me, I like Liam, and Siobhan, and even Ha'gel has his
moments. I need them around me. Maybe I could put up with Ha'gel for
Several boom sounds came from nearby, which she assumed were from the
same idiots that had shot at the trees earlier. She sighed in
annoyance. "Twits," she murmured, before something knocked her over and
she wasn't able to get up again.
* * *
Vikki was having the funniest dream. Her family was in the woods with
her, and then suddenly, the scene shifted to the cabin. Graeme was
arguing with his father again, something about "Iall'uja t'ani oloa
yeteu". She suddenly realized they were having an argument about her,
not that Graeme needed a reason to argue with his father sometimes.
She could barely see Siobhan kneeling, arm up, with Falcon glowing
angrily on the top of her arm. She was talking to Liam, but Vikki had
no sense of the words. She wondered what was going on as things started
shaking. It was a funny earthquake, she thought. Nothing was falling
off the shelves....
Eventually, some part of her recognized that the bumps and the rumbling
that was going on was due to a rough road. She wondered how she'd
gotten from the woods to the car, and why she seemed to be strapped
onto the seat in several places. No doubt someone would enlighten her
when she opened her eyes.
Figuring she'd been out of it long enough, she opened them. The
resulting rustle confirmed that she was lying on the back seat of the
minivan. Liam looked over the seat wide eyed for a moment, before
turning to his father, who was sitting beside him. That leaves Graeme
and Siobhan in the front. Wonder who's driving?
And tied down, since she hadn't gotten to undoing the buckles yet, she
couldn't tell. Especially since Ha'gel had chosen to turn around
himself and was now regarding her with an unreadable expression. He
reached out, leaning over until he could touch her on her left side.
The touch was brief and light, as if he dared not do more for fear of
Of course, that could have something to do with the fact that he had
hurt her. Oh, not physically, other than carrying and giving birth to
Graeme. And it was probably not intentional, what he'd done in other
times. She had the bad feeling that the whole problem could be chalked
up to ignorance of each others' customs, especially on Ha'gel's end.
Oh, and a lack of brains that had lead up to this whole thing.
"Liam," Ha'gel said simply, and Liam unbuckled his seatbelt and
disappeared out of her sight. Once Liam had gone, Ha'gel turned back to
her and spoke quietly. "We are heading in the direction of Ohio. I am
afraid our belongings were all placed in quite a jumble last night
after our rapid departure from the area."
"What happened?" she asked. "How did I get here?"
Ha'gel looked pained. "You were shot; Graeme, under my guidance, was
able to heal you. I would have healed you myself, but Graeme wanted to
do it, and I thought it best to let him do so."
Vikki wasn't certain whether he meant that Graeme was having one of his
fits, like he'd been having in her dream, or because Ha'gel was trying
his best to avoid getting into any more trouble with her. Probably
both. "I dreamt that Siobhan was aiming at something or someone with
"You did not dream," Ha'gel said solemnly. "Siobhan and Liam defended
the three of us until it was safe to move you. We departed rapidly,
stayed as low-profile as we could, and resumed our journeys in a
slightly different direction than we'd been previously taking."
"Who was it?" Vikki asked.
"We do not know. Siobhan was unable to discover that information. All
we know is that they were aiming at us. Siobhan thinks that they shot
you first because you were out in the open and easy to take care of. We
must hope that whoever it was, they lost our trail. This is why I am
hoping to put a great distance in today. I hope that you can tolerate
my presence until we can find a place where it is safe for the two of
you to leave."
"And what if we decide not to leave?" Vikki asked, wanting to cover all
the bases just in case somewhere along the way she did for some reason
want to stay.
It took a minute or so for Ha'gel to answer, as if he hadn't been
expecting the question. "Then... I would be overjoyed at your patience,
saddened at your sacrifice, and hopeful that you can forgive me for
what I did to you. I would not touch you unless it was life and death,
unless you give me permission, and if you would never want to join with
me, I would sorrow, but understand. I have severely botched things, and
I will never forget that."
Vikki had heard the same pitiful pleadings from her other one-night
stands, the ones who had just wanted her back in their beds, who cared
nothing for her and everything for the sex. Certainly Ha'gel's plea had
been more flowery, and it was entirely possible that he meant what he
said. But hadn't he admitted that he'd planned to use her himself, to
produce all the children - the sons - that he could?
She looked up at him and tried not to be swayed by his pitiful
expression, the sad look in his eyes, and the fact that no doubt
everybody in the car was following this conversation, including
whomever in the front was driving. Everybody was waiting to hear her
Should she give him a chance? Would she give him a chance? Was cultural
difference enough that paired with his life-and-death struggle would
make his actions understandable, forgiveable? That she could count on
him to be smart, or at least not lying? Could she take that chance?
Finally, the answer came out of her mouth. "I'll stay." She knew she
wasn't staying because she wanted to be him, or because he had rescued
her from her rut of a life.
It was because she didn't want to be wrong. Not with two groups after
her, two very powerful groups. She had stuck with Ha'gel before because
she thought he was right; now was the time to find out if he was wrong.
If Siobhan was right, if this was like a marriage, then it was for the
two of them to discover if they had anything in common at all. If,
despite the blunders and the ignorance, they could find a common ground
in which to be the partners they were supposed to be.
Time. That's all she was giving him, time. No more, no less.
She settled back against the seat cushion and hoped she'd made the
Earth: Final Conflict fics