Disclaimer: Tribune and Roddenberry-Kirschner (among others) own the setup and several of the characters in this fic. Others, such as Ra'das and Sa'ana, belong to me.

Author's note: I like 'what-if' stories, which is why I wrote this one. This is in a universe alternate to the one we see in E:FC, and occurs approximately prior and during the events of first season.

Fixing One's Mistakes
by Estirose
copyright 1999


*In Space*

The ships hovered silently out of the detection range of the planet's sensory systems. Inside, thousands of beings waited for their leaders to make the call and to open contact with the most intelligent species on the planet below.

Finished with his duties for the moment, Ha'gel gazed at the planet from a viewscreen. The particular ship he was on was hiding behind the moon of the planet, so the image he was watching had been recorded by another ship a while previous. He turned slightly as he sensed another joining him in the room. "Ra'das," he acknowledged.

"Ha'gel," the other returned. "Has the decision gone down?"

"No," Ha'gel answered. "The children are much excited, even though they're too young to breed. I have been much pressured to keep up with the decision."

"You will no doubt be requested to breed this time around," Ra'das returned. "You have stayed on board the last few planets."

"I am not much of a breeder, my friend," Ha'gel told Ra'das. "My last child turned out well, but I generate more satisfaction staying here with the children instead of going onto a planet and producing children."

Ha'gel waited for Ra'das to comment. He knew his choice made him rather eccentric, to the point where his own parents had worried about him and his decision to stay aboard ship instead of being sent back to Kime. But there was nothing medically wrong with him. It was just a part of his personality, this desiring to experience the universe through the hybrids his shipmates produced.

"You may not have much of a choice," Ra'das said gently. "With both the Taelons and the Jaridians expanding rapidly, we have no choice but to split up our forces. Every one of us needs to breed now."

Ha'gel looked at the planet again. "If I must," he said reluctantly, "I will do what is required of me."

* * *

The Arrival

*The following days and weeks*

"Again, that was the message the ships have been broadcasting every half hour. At this moment, Washington has no comment, although a presidential announcement is due at 4 o'clock this afternoon..."

William Boone turned off the news broadcast. The newly-made police captain had struggled through a long day at work, and he wasn't really in the mood to deal with repetitious recaps and speculations about their visitors. Kate was out of town again, representing Doors International at yet another trade conference. Sometimes he envied Katie. At least *she* got out of town on a regular basis.

It looked like another long day tomorrow. The spaceships were bringing out the nuts, and he had to handle them and the tabloid reporters on top of the string of homicides that he was under pressure to solve. Tomorrow he should go out and spar or something, just to let go of the tension.

* * *

Jonathan Doors waited solemnly amidst a crowd of government officials, press, and other manufacturers as the shuttle arrived at a private, agreed-upon location. Inside the strange, alien shuttle were the beings that had announced their presence. He had noted with amusement that the President and Vice President were under heavy guard, presumably worried about their visitors' benigness.

Spotting Bill Gates and Steve Jobs talking together, he wondered again what kind of trade these alien beings would be looking for. He sincerely doubted what they wanted was electronics. It was more likely that they wanted cheap Earth stuff to sell as intergalactic kitsch. He wondered what kind of intergalactic junk they'd be wanting to sell humankind.

A port opened, and five beings emerged. As the media representatives chattered and the band started playing, Doors observed them. Humanoid, the beings seemed to be no more than human-shaped green energy forms. The lead one walked forward and greeted the president.

* * *

Julianne Belman shook her head as her Kimeran counterpart, Sa'ana, spoke to the Kimera in the room. Shimmering, the Kimera in the room lost its human appearance. This was the third person the Kimera had tested their traditional mating methods on, and so far, all three attempts had come out failures. The men had all come out healthy, despite being put into an alien cocoon, but the women... all three of them had been lucky not to die.

Sa'ana turned towards her. "All a failure," he said, sounding mournful. "Yours seems to be one of the few species that cannot mate with us in the traditional way."

"We'll find a way," Julianne said, as she tried to comfort the Kimera. The Kimera had answered all of her questions openly, explaining every process he could in an attempt to make sure the human test subjects would not suffer.

"I was hoping that we were compatible," Sa'ana continued, oblivious. "That there would be children by now. We can only hope that there is some method out there that will permit us to mate."

Patting his 'shoulder', Julianne went to check up on the young woman in the latest test. She was actually glad to be out of Sa'ana's presence for a little bit. She liked the Kimera physician, found him easy to work with, but he seemed to assume that she'd be mating, not just working with him.

* * *

*Two and a half years after the Kimera arrival*

"*Somebody's* funding these nutcases, Bob, and I want to know who," Will Boone told his friend and subordinate. "That's the third building to go up in one year."

Bob nodded. "We're working on it. Thank goodness it's very hard to kill the Kimera. We've just been lucky that no human patients or personnel have been injured. Bet the Kimera are finding places hard to rent right now."

"That's what I've heard," Boone said cautiously.

"Weren't you and Katie due at that clinic?" Bob asked.

"We were supposed to go two days ago, but apparently the Kimera we're scheduled with got delayed in Belfast."

"Lucky you," Bob noted.

"Yeah. Katie's really excited about the whole thing. I just want to know if the kids are all they want."

"That's what they say," Bob said, smiling. "All they want is a couple of kids and a chance to save us from their mistakes."

* * *

"I am Ha'gel," the Kimera said, almost shyly. Kate smiled at the Kimera, while Will studied him. He'd met one or two in the course of his duties, and this had to be the most awkward-acting Kimera he had ever met. "I am here to answer any questions you have before we join. I presume some of your preliminary questions have been answered?"

"Hello, Ha'gel," Kate said warmly. "Yes, they have, thanks."

"Ha'gel, may I ask a personal question?" Will asked, wondering if he was going to break any taboos. The Kimera were very open about themselves, but he couldn't help but wonder.

"Go ahead. This is the time to make you more comfortable, so I will answer any questions you may ask."

"Good. Is this your first time with humans? You seem rather nervous."

Ha'gel made a graceful gesture. "This is not my first time, no. You are the second of two joinings I will make here. I have just left Belfast after monitoring the condition of another human, who will be birthing her child in about two more of your months. It is just that... how best to explain this... I am considered a little strange by my species standards that I prefer to stay on ship instead of breeding with other species. Therefore, I have not very much experience with this. If I had not been overdue to join, I would not be here."

"Your people said something about a mistake?" Will asked. "That's why you're breeding kids with us."

"Indeed," Ha'gel said, his voice pained, "In attempting to save a species, we accidentally broke it into two species. Those two species are now involved in a war with each other. We discovered that the two sides will not touch any species that the Kimera have been mating with, so we resolved to save as many species as we could by rendering them useless to the two sides. Your planet and species were next on the list for the half called the Taelons, which is why we came. We are working on half a dozen other planets with the same goal."

"So, how many kids are we going to have?" Kate asked.

"Most likely? One. We don't ask more than that from our joining partners. What extra children come from the joinings we will take with us. It is the only thing we have asked of humankind."

* * *

"Mother, there's been another bombing," the young woman - child - said. "Another clinic."

Julianne Belman turned and looked at her daughter, Grace. Grace was barely a year old now and showed no signs of being interested in medicine, despite having Julianne and Sa'ana as parents. Instead, she was turning her love of books into a degree, attending a nearby university to get her degree in English. From there, Julianne knew, Grace would be heading straight to library school.

Hard to believe that her daughter was mature. Grace resembled what Julianne had seen of Sa'ana's host, a bookstore owner, more than she did Julianne. Sa'ana, seeing their daughter's ambitions, had found a drug to prevent any mating-related difficulties while Grace was at school. Without that drug, Sa'ana had explained, Grace would have suffered a possibly dangerous chemical imbalance caused by her system overbuilding for childbirth. Grace, like most Kimera hybrids, was still Kimera enough to require children early on in maturity.

"I know, dear," Julianne said patiently. "I was told."

They were contemplating putting more security measures into the clinics. As one of the senior human administrators, she got to hear all about it. She tried not to snap at Grace, who, for all her apparent maturity was still lacking in some areas.

"Mom, I'm going to go to a support rally at the clinic downtown," her daughter cheerily informed her. "It's before Joyce gets in Thursday afternoon. Do you mind?"

Julianne sighed. "Grace, I think you're old enough to take responsibility for your actions."

"Okay, Mom," Grace replied, before going off to her room.

* * *

Two months later, Siobhan Beckett was screaming in pain despite Ha'gel's best efforts to dampen it down for her. The human doctor was urging her to push as he watched anxiously on. Eventually, the baby came into the world, screaming his lungs out. Turning to Ha'gel, the woman smiled. "Liam."

Leaving the exhausted but happy mother in the room with her soon-maturing child, Ha'gel spotted Ra'das in the area near the maternity ward. "Ra'das," he greeted his friend.

"Ha'gel. How goes it?" Ra'das asked.

"The first of my two children was born today," Ha'gel said, feeling suddenly exhausted as if he'd been the one in labor. "His mother named him Liam John Beckett. The next one is due in a month, in the United States. I don't regret either of them... but still, I will be happy to be home. You?"

"My first child is now a year and a half old. Her name is Ashley Anne Schultz, and her mother is a medical practitioner. My second is an EMT, another medical practitioner, who delivered her children here a few days ago. I am here to take the second one to the homeship as soon as she reaches physical maturity."

Ha'gel gestured his congratulations. "This mission is turning out well."

"Yes. We will be able to leave on schedule... if they permit us. Surely you have noticed that they seem reluctant to... let us go. So many of them want us to stay here, or at least allow them to go with us."

"I had not noticed," Ha'gel answered. "Truly, I have been more occupied with my childrens' development."

"For someone who does not care much for his own children, you are certainly preoccupied with them," Ra'das teased.

"When I'm asked to do something, I do it well, my friend. Both of my children are in fine health and I will do everything I can to make sure it remains that way. I leave them with fine parents, so I'm not worried about when it's time to go."

Ra'das indicated his bemusement. "I know. That's the way you always have been."

* * *

The departure

*About a year later*

The doorbell rang as the reporter reported on the trial of Jonathan Doors. Will was halfway up when his son raced past. "I've got it, Dad!" he exclaimed. Will smiled and sat down as he heard Adam open the door.

"May I... come in?" a soft voice asked.

Will got up as Adam answered, "Sure!"

As Will came near the door, he caught a brief glimpse of Ha'gel ordering his bodyguards to stay outside. "Ha'gel," he greeted.

"Will Boone," the Kimera greeted back.

"Father!" Adam said, joining them.

"Did I just hear right?" Kate said, coming in from tending to her orchids. "Ha'gel! Good to see you again."

The Kimera greeted her. "It's good to see you, one last time."

"Everything's going according to plan?" Will asked.

The Kimera made a noise much like a sigh. "Yes, which I'm most grateful for. We've done what we've come to do, and now i's time to leave."

"I'm sure people are disappointed that you're not staying," Kate said.

Ha'gel motioned gracefully. "Staying was never the plan. To do what we needed to save you from our mistakes was all we wanted. Humankind will eventually discover space travel. When you do, perhaps we will meet again."

"Perhaps," Will said. Adam was sitting, fascinated.

"I know you will be good parents," Ha'gel said, moving a little awkwardly. "I must go, before my bodyguards get anxious. We are congregating as we speak... but I had to touch my children one last time."

Gliding towards Adam, the two briefly touched palms. "Goodbye, father," Adam said.

"Good bye, Adam. Thank you both."

With that, he left.

* * *

Grace eagerly gazed at the sky, oblivious to her mother and half-sister. Somewhere, her father and the other Kimera were departing, going on to save yet another species from the Taelons.

"Grace?" her mother nudged her arm. "It's cold."

"I know," she said, irritated at the obvious statement. "I just wanted to look. They're gone now."

* * *


*A little later, beyond our solar system*

A distinctly different ship hid behind a planet as the small fleet of Kimera went by. Inside, a set of beings with a form similar to the Kimera watched and waited.

"Our mission is a failure before it has begun," one said mournfully. "We cannot contact the humans now that the Kimera have told them of us."

"Is there not some way we can approach them? They are the best chance we have," another replied.

"If my understanding of some of the humans' broadcasts are correct," a third reported, "the humans are most distressed at the departure of the Kimera. We could use this to our advantage, stressing that we will not leave. The humans might listen to us then...."

"What of the hybrids?" the first asked.

"We will find a way to deal with that difficulty. We must."

The beings continued to debate.