Trapped in the Past: Area 51–Chapter 8: Confusion and Temporal Distortions

“How did they get ahold of my medical tricorder…?”

I furrowed my eyebrows and looked at Beverly in confusion.

“A temporal distortion in this room? Maybe?”

Her eyes locked onto the tricorder on the table top. I saw her reach out for it and open it up.

“Heh, it still works! Laura seems to be doing well. Lungs and heart sound good. Good reflexes. Auditory functions intact. Laura is healthy. On to the other four. Hmm… Just as I thought, Jessica does have Ryerson Syndrome, but instead of being diagnosed with it at 2 years and 3 weeks, she is diagnosed with it at 4 weeks old. Megan’s got a heart valve problem. Not showing any signs of Congestive Heart Failure… Yet. They’ve got her on oxygen and a heart monitor, but there isn’t much to do right now. Hope is the one whom is worse off than Megan or Jessica. They’ve got her on presser’s. All these machines are keeping her alive. The tiny tubing running from her nose to that machine in the corner over there is keeping her lungs functioning. She’s going to have a scar in her arm from the needle that’s giving her Saline.”

Beverly shut the tricorder and placed it back onto the table. Her right hand grazed the top of Hope’s tiny head. With the left on Megan’s. Shaking her head, she sighed.

“Only two healthy babies out of five. They should all be healthy.”

Hope began to cry in the basinet on the far right. I’d never heard her cry before. Her tiny bottom lip was trembling. Beverly quickly scooped her up and sat down on a stool next to the plastic basinet.

“Will, she’s cold, can you hand me that blanket over there?”

I nodded my head and quickly got the blanket for Beverly. She carefully draped it over her shoulder and Hope.

“What are you doing?”

A smile spread across her face.

“I’m using my body heat and the blanket to warm her up.”

I nodded my head and looked at Jessica who was staring up and smiling at me. She knew who I was. It was hard to believe that she was actually here. Turning my attention towards Deanna, I saw Laura begin to cry. She clucked her tongue against her teeth at Laura and carefully placed her into my arms.

“It’s alright sweetheart, here, go with daddy. Hold her head up. There you go. It seems she wanted to be held by daddy. She’s going to be a daddy’s girl.”

Smiling down at Laura, I watched her open and close her mouth in a large ‘O’ like yawn. She was cooing as I held her.

“That’s my girl. Look at that tiny nose, I can’t tell if it’s your nose or mine…”

I basked in the moment and saw that Laura’s left arm had snaked its way out of her blanket and her tiny hand wrapped around my index finger. She had a good strong grip already. My smile stayed on my face as I looked to Beverly. She was doing her best to get Hope off to sleep.

“Shh, it’s alright Hope. Just go to sleep now. I’ve got you.”

She kept crying. I’d never heard a baby give a strange cry like that before. A concerned look on my face, I took a step closer to Beverly.

“Why is she crying like that?”

Beverly took the blanket that was draped over her and placed it onto the counter next to her. Shaking her head, she wrapped Hope up in a blanket that was just her size.

“She sounds like she’s going through some sort of withdrawal from something…”

Furrowing my eyebrows, I became more confused.

“Drugs? But her mother was clean. She would never have subjected herself or her children to such barbarity. Could it be something else that’s bothering her?”

She shook her head once more, and tried rocking her to sleep.

“Could be something that they are giving her. She’s in a lot of pain. I don’t know what I can do for her.”

Hope suddenly stopped crying. Beverly checked her femoral pulse.

“She’s asleep. It’s so disheartening to hear a newborn cry like that. Drug dependence in mothers is a rarity in the 24th century, but in this time frame, there are many. I just don’t understand why a woman would want to expose her child to something so harmful. What’s worse is, no amount of soothing, diaper changes or feedings will abate that cry. If we were back home, I could slowly get whatever it was out of her system, problem is, in our time she was never alive to begin with. There isn’t anything we can do for her.”

Sighing once again, I looked down at Laura, who was also fast asleep.

“Like you said Beverly, we cannot interfere with the course their lives are taking. Temporal Prime Directive. No matter how much it pains me that two of my children that have been gone for a little more than a year are right in front of me. Let’s get out of here. The doctors will be back any minute…”

Beverly had placed Hope back into the plastic basinet. I gave Jessica and Erica kisses on their foreheads.

“Daddy loves both of you.”

Turning on my heel, I noticed Deanna holding onto the metal table next to her while the other held her thinning stomach.

“Deanna look at me, what’s wrong?”

Her face was pale, and sweat was starting to pour down her face. She was having trouble standing now. Beverly quickly grabbed for her tricorder on the same table. Opening it, she scanned her. Worry began to settle in and a pit was forming in my stomach. Closing the tricorder she put it back on the table.

“She needs to be in surgery now! She’s bleeding internally. If you want more children, we’ll have to act fast.”

It dawned on me what was happening.

“Delayed onset of uterine hemorrhaging. God, why didn’t I see the signs? How many blood transfusions do you think she will need?”

There was a stretcher nearby and Beverly helped Deanna lie down on it.

“Will, you have to pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You are the Architect remember? I’m the doctor here…”

I was frustrated, but I nodded my head. The two doctors entered the room just then, and soldiers piled into the room, their guns drawn on us. I only held Laura closer, trying to protect her from these arrogant, paranoid soldiers. The soldier with the jet black hair and the steely gray eyes glared me down.

“Set the child down Mr. Riker. Doctor Stevens and Doctor Carnonson are taking very good care of her. We also know that Laura isn’t your first.”

I kept Laura close and did my best to keep her in my arms. But Doctor Carnonson all but ripped her from my arms. My futile attempts at protecting her had failed. The soldier continued.

“…We took blood samples from Jessica and Erica. It seems they are also yours. What happened to their mother?”

I had to keep playing this role down, even though my patience was paper thin, like rice paper now. I had to make something up.

“Their mother died in a car accident. Look we’re wasting time, Doctor Howard says my wife needs surgery. She’s bleeding internally.”

The arrogant soldier in front of me gave me a smug smile.

“So you say that Jessica and Erica’s mother died in a car accident. Did she give birth before or after the accident?”

I let out a humorless laugh. Who did this man think he was anyways?

“The paramedics managed to get her out, and she went into labor as they got her out of the car. Jessica and Erica came just after an hour of labor, and she died of internal bleeding and other injuries.”

The soldier seemed to buy my story, but he seemed eager to rip into me.

“Alright, and your wife will get the best care possible.”

I didn’t see any more after that, because I felt a piercing red hot feeling in the back of my neck.

To Be Continued…


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