Trapped in the Past: Area 51–Chapter 12: Hidden Surprise

I groaned a little and woke to a buzzing sound by my left ear. Opening my eyes, I found the face of Nurse Ogawa. She smiled and went back to whatever she had aimed at my head.

“Good to see you awake Commander Riker. I think congratulations are in order, but I’ll let Doctor Crusher tell you. Doctor, Commander Riker is awake.”

I listened to the sound of Beverly’s light footfalls coming towards the bed. A smile was plastered on her face and she held a holographic image of a baby in her hands. The holographic image shuddered a little and then resumed its soft humming as the picture remained unchanged.

“I don’t understand doctor, why are you showing me a scan of Laura?”

My brows knit in confusion more as she shook her head.

“This isn’t Laura. This is Gracie. Her twin sister. Deanna decided to name her now rather than later. I don’t understand why our medical equipment didn’t register her.”

I stared at the holographic image.

“How did you know?”

Beverly closed the gap between us and whispered.

“After a medical team took you away, Deanna said she felt strange. I told her that it was just her body getting used to not having a baby inside her womb anymore. She just shook her head and said something didn’t feel right. I went to scan her, and my tricorder could find nothing unusual going on. So I had to go in. When I found a foot, I knew that something was going on. It was a few minutes before I could get my tricorder working again, and sure enough, that’s when I found Gracie. Deanna’s still not sure what to think of all this, but she’s taking everything in stride.”

I raised my eyebrow at Beverly.

“You mean to say that Gracie was hiding from your medical tricorder for the last 8 months? Look at that, she’s even covering her eyes with her tiny hands. So answer me this Beverly, why was Laura pushed out and not Gracie?”

Beverly shook her head and placed the holographic disc in my hands.

“To be honest Will we’re not entirely sure. Sometimes twins get cramped up in there. Usually when the first of multiples is born, the other’s follow. But in the case of Gracie, she didn’t. There have only been a dozen or so cases of this happening to women of all different species.”

I chuckled a little, though I don’t know what for.

“So you’re telling me that Gracie ‘pushed’ her sister out because she didn’t like having cramped quarters?”

Beverly laughed a little at my comment.

“Maybe, but I don’t think that would be possible. Laura was in her own amniotic sac. Sounds like Gracie already has your attitude Will. You might want to watch out.”

I smiled and shook my head, still entranced by the image in front of me. I could see all the wrinkles on Gracie’s little hands.

“Why were you hiding from mommy and daddy Gracie? You already are like daddy if you like surprises.”

Beverly came back into my direct line of vision with another piece of equipment and aimed it at my head.

“Hold still Will. I want to see if using this instrument will help your eyesight. You have a flesh-eating parasite in the part of your brain that controls your eyesight. This should kill it and restore your sight. Now hold still.”

I sat still and marveled at Gracie’s dark hair on her head. Even if it was just a holographic image of what was to come, it was strikingly accurate, down to the very last detail of fingernails. A smile spread across my face.

“I can’t tell whose hair she has, mine or Deanna’s.”

A small smiled adorned Beverly’s face.

“Now that I look at it, she has your hair Will. Laura already has Deanna’s hair. But I think they’ll both have your attitude. Your temper. There all finished. How do you feel?”

I held up a shaky hand and opened my mouth. I felt a little disoriented.

“I’m ok, just a little dizzy.”

Beverly nodded her head seriously at first.

“That’s just your brain trying to readjust from having a virus in it. How’s your eyesight?”

I looked to the side of me, to my left, and saw Beverly clearly for the first time in hours it seemed.

“I can see everything. I can actually see things in my peripheral vision. Things I wasn’t able to see out of the corner of my eye because of the parasite. I’ve been wanting to ask this since my eyes started going bad, how is Gracie? Is she doing ok?”

Beverly’s smile was wide now, and she turned her attention to the monitor she’d turned into a view screen.

“32 weeks and doing well. Heartbeat at 142, and good respiratory movements. I can’t stress this enough Will, Deanna needs to keep her Magnesium levels up. If there is any and I mean any kind of hip joint discomfort, bring her in. I correlated my findings of that with some physicians on Betazed, and they said that is a sign of premature labor.”

I swallowed but pulled down on my uniform shirt. My attention turned back to a whimpering Laura and the heated basinet. Her little bottom lip was trembling. I wanted to pick her up but I looked to Beverly for approval.

“So am I ok now? Clean bill of health and all? I want to hold Laura.”

Beverly smiled and scanned me one last time.

“Fit as a fiddle Will. I want to see Deanna back here in sickbay in a week. I’ll need to perform another prenatal exam. Who would’ve thought a big strong man like you would faint at something as natural as seeing the birth of his own child?”

My face turned a little red, but I quickly quelled it as I turned my attention back to Laura’s tiny form in the heated basinet. Picking her up and cradling her in the crook of my left arm, I smiled down at her.

“I don’t exactly know how to explain it Beverly, it’s different when they are a stranger’s child. But when it comes to your own children, sometimes even the slightest things that you could normally handle, you crumble like a cookie. In my case, that’s what happened. Are you sure it wasn’t the parasite in my head?”

Beverly looked down at Laura in my arms and shook her head no.

“That was only part of it. Don’t be embarrassed. She’s cold. I would put a blanket over your shoulder and cover Laura with it. The blanket mixed with your body heat should help her feel like she’s back inside the womb again.”

Alyssa got me a blanket and Beverly draped it over me. Laura’s tiny whimpers caught my attention as her little arms flailed. She was so tiny and red. Her fragile looking body was quivering.

“Can Laura hear me?”

Beverly nodded her head yes and pulled back the blanket and scanned her again.

“Yes, but to her it might sound garbled. I think she may be hungry Will. She’s trying to make a meal out of your uniform shirt.”

I momentarily turned red, and then looked around the room. Laura’s tiny mouth was desperately trying to grab at pieces of my uniform shirt.

“Do you think she’ll take a bottle?”

Beverly’s smile made me wary for a moment.

“She thinks that you are the bottle Will. You see, sometimes in extreme circumstances when women aren’t producing enough breast milk, the men can. Usually the husband.”

My face became beet red, taking a deep breath, I felt the heat from my face subside. Letting out somewhat of a nervous laugh, I decided to crack a joke.

“Well, Beverly, if you haven’t noticed I’m not exactly lactating at the moment.”

Shaking her head and laughing, she handed me an equally tiny bottle. She pulled back the blanket a little more and watched as I did my best to put the nipple of the bottle up to Laura’s mouth.

“Mind her head Will. Help guide her mouth to the bottle, that’s it. Watch for her little jaw to start moving, there we go. Huh, I wouldn’t have expected her to start suckling so early.”

Laura was hungry. It wasn’t long before she was whining from an upset stomach. Alyssa took the bottle from me and Beverly helped me put Laura up to my shoulder so that I could burp her.

“Pat her back slowly Will, and lightly. She’s almost half the size she’s supposed to be.”

I nodded my head slowly and lightly patted her back until I heard air escape. A smile spread across my face and Beverly took her from my arms, placing her back into the heated basinet.

“Beverly, she’s so tiny, when can Deanna and I take her home?”

Beverly shook her head no and gave half a smile.

“Not for a while Will. Remember, Laura was born at 31 weeks, she’ll be here for another three months before she is able to go home. She is strong and is already showing signs that she’s a lot farther along in her development than we thought. But just because she was able to suckle on the bottle once, doesn’t mean she’s ready to be breastfed yet.”

I nodded my head and placed my seemingly giant hand on top of Laura’s tiny head filled with dark hair. She was a fighter, and more like me every day.


To Be Continued…


[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.