In the evening’s haze amid
A fragrant drifting
Floods emerge in scores abundant
To set aside the
Through the night the dwelling
Curse’s fingers fall in
Shadows fade and colors swell
As you appear and
A distant chorus enveloped in a
Brings a voice of solitude
Up to be
A rolling wind with eyes of beauty
And in the final fleeting moments
Hope has drawn
Distant voices rang through the dead of the night causing Justin to pick up his
pace. It didn’t help any that Kathryn felt like a lead weight in his arms. But he had to put
that aside because he wouldn’t die from carrying her, but he would die if their Cardassian
pursuers got their hands on them. And that wasn’t something he had any intention of
allowing to happen.
Kathryn found herself slipping in and out of consciousness as Justin weaved
between trees. She struggled to stay awake by making pointless small talk, but doing so
was a struggle in itself.
“Did you ever break a bone, Lieutenant?” she muttered, half-asleep.
“You can call me Justin. This isn’t exactly a time when regulations have to be
followed,” he said between huffs, his chest heaving with every labored breath. “And yes, I
have broken a bone. Two, in fact. When I was seven, I went to my tree house when my
parents told me not to because they had to leave for a meeting. I was somewhat of a rebel
when I was little-”
“You?” she cut in, “Perfectionist Lieutenant Justin Tighe, a rebel?”
“Hard to believe isn’t it?” he replied, attempting a laugh, “Anyway, when I was at
the tree house, I saw a praying mantis on a branch. I reached out as far as I could to grab
it, but I lost my footing and fell. I tried staying up right while I was falling so that I’d land
on my feet, but it didn’t cushion the blow. My right ankle snapped on impact, and I
toppled over and broke a finger. Of course, being only seven, I had no choice but to cry
and wait for someone to find me. I couldn’t walk home, obviously, and I hadn’t brought
my communicator with me. I waited four hours before a hiker who happened to be
passing by on a foot path heard me and brought me home. But believe it or not, that
wasn’t one of the worst days of my childhood. Another time at school, I-”
He cut his sentence short and stopped walking. He looked off to his right, into the
darkness, listening intently.
“What is it?” Kathryn whispered.
“I heard something. Close by,” he said cautiously, matching her decibel level.
His eyes scanned their surroundings, and he spotted a small, flashing red light on
the ground, piercing the blackness. It was admitting a subtle whirring noise.
“Look. Over there,” he murmured and turned his torso slightly, unable to point.
Kathryn squinted to see what he was looking at. Apparently, he had better vision
than she did because she didn’t see anything, so she just took his word for it.
“What do you think it is?”
“I don’t know...”
Justin walked tentatively towards the device, partially covered by rotting leaves.
Suddenly, the whirring became a louder beeping, and realization hit.
“Oh shit! We’ve tripped a motion sensor!” he said, trying not to raise his voice.
He instantly broke into a cold sweat, and shot off in the direction of the transporter
coordinates. His pace was slower than he wished it would be, but it would have to do.
He trotted off, and while making sure his grip on Kathryn was sufficient, his toe smashed
into something on the forest floor, and he went crashing down. He had inadvertently
thrown Kathryn as he fell, and she collided with the ground a few feet in front of him.
Justin lifted his face from the mud, wiped it off, and looked in the direction where he
thought Janeway would be. She wasn’t there. His eyes frantically searched the area, but
she was gone. He managed to prop himself up on his elbows, but he couldn’t raise himself
any further than that. And apparently, it didn’t help his view. He couldn’t see much
through the looming darkness. Then suddenly, everything around him became a
shimmering blue haze.
Justin rematerialized on a biobed. He quickly tried to sit up, not yet registering
where he was, but his attempt was stopped by a hand of the chief medical officer, Dr.
Amy Booker, pushing down forcefully on his shoulder. With her other hand, she sedated
Hours later, he awoke, but his eyes wouldn’t open. He could hear incoherent
murmurs around him, but he couldn’t make out who or where they were coming from.
Finally, he forced his eyelids apart, and made out the outline of a face hovering over him.
Startled, he involuntarily tried to get up.
“Not so fast, Lieutenant,” the doctor’s soft voice warned him. “You’re still
hypothermic and you’re foot has to heal completely. I need to treat you first.”
Justin nodded weakly and laid back down. He was silent for a while as the doctor
passed her scanner over him again. After she snapped the tricorder shut, he asked quietly,
“Ensign Janeway...is she alright?”
Amy shot a wary glance at Kathryn on another biobed, then at the Dr. Nyaara, the
Bajoran chief medical assistant.
“She’s unconscious,” she replied simply.
“But she’s okay?” he demanded, feeling oddly overprotective of the ensign.
“I think she’ll be fine.”
“You think? What’s that supposed to mean?” he challenged, rising to meet her eye
level, not caring whether he was ill or not.
Dr. Booker sighed and said, “There was interference when we tried to transport
both of you up. We could do it only one at a time. She came first, and she slipped into a
coma just moments after the transport because she suffered a severe concussion. Nurse
Nyaara is regenerating her broken bones right now, but there’s nothing we can do to get
her out of her coma. And...there’s something else.” She paused, as to prepare him for the
shock. “Kathryn’s pregnant.”
“She’s...pregnant?! Was she raped?”
”We don’t believe so. There aren’t the ordinary signs of rape.”
“You mean, there isn’t any sperm? No signs of struggle? Nothing under her
Slightly caught off guard by his extreme interest -and knowledge- in the subject,
she merely said, “That’s right.”
“So...how far along is she?”
“Well, the fetus is growing much more rapidly than an ordinary human fetus
would, and the only species we know that does that are the Cardassians, which makes
sense because of her recent predicament. Anyhow, their offspring take only seven weeks
to develop enough to be born. And scans show that she’s about one week into her
pregnancy. Fortunately, we believe that her child will appear to be completely human, but
its genes have been laced with specific Cardassian DNA synthetically created to speed up
“So what if she’s still in a coma when the baby’s due?”
Amy shot a glance towards Nyaara, apparently sharing in some secret they had no
intention of sharing.
“I’m not sure yet how I’d proceed. The baby will most likely be delivered, but if
problems arise, then that may not be a possibility. And it would probably injure Kathryn if
she delivered because she is in no condition to do so. In most situations like this, I could
surgically remove the child and care for it in an artificial environment similar to that in a
uterus, but that will not work in this case.”
“Well, for one, Cardassian fetuses need the entire seven weeks to grow, and
attempts have been made in the past to get a premature Cardassian infant to survive
outside the uterus, but those attempts have been unsuccessful. There is a certain chemical,
lenserinium pentoxide, within a Cardassian’s womb that cannot be synthasized, and it is
necessary for the infant to fully mature. And what’s worse, we don’t know how it’s even
possible for this child to be growing inside a human who lacks that chemical. Those
Cardassian genes that have been laced in, no matter how few there are, need the same
chemical to assist in the development of the fetus. Apparently, whomever did this to her
developed some sort of genetic engineering for this that is far more advanced than
anything I’ve ever seen.”
Lieutenant Tighe started blankly at the doctor, absorbing the speech she had just
given. After a few moments, he spoke.
“Okay, let me get this straight. You’ve never seen anything like this before, and
you have no idea what to do. And your only options are to wait out the coma or abort the
kid, right?” Justin demanded, alarm tingeing his voice.
“If it’s necessary.”
“That’s absurd!” he blurted, forgetting the pain, and jumped down from the bed.
For some reason, he felt like he was responsible for protecting her...especially when she
was as vulnerable as she was now. “You should be able to save the child!”
“Lieutenant, please calm down!”
“You don’t out rank me! I’ll calm down if I choose to or not!”
“I’m your doctor, and you’re not well. I can tell you what to do if it’s for your
own well-being. That’s part of my job.”
“So if killing a child is for its own good, is that just ‘part of your job’, too,
“The outcomes vary with the circumstances, Justin. You know that. We’ll see if
the baby has a chance, and if it does, we’ll deliver it. But if not, there’s nothing else we
can do. I’m sorry.”
“What about that oath you took? Does the promise ‘do no harm’ not apply here?
Do you just decide what situation you want to use it in, and for the rest just say ‘What the
hell? No one will ever find out’? What kind of physician are you anyway?”
“Justin, let me remind you that I never said I was certain it wouldn’t survive
through her coma. There’s still a good chance the baby will live. Now please, calm down,
or I’ll be forced to sedate you.”
Justin growled in disapproval but obeyed. He hopped back up on the biobed,
keeping a distrustful eye on the doctor.
“Nyaara, I need 20 milligrams of cordlazine! Now!” Amy barked as the synaptic
monitor on Janeway’s temples flashed with distress. “She’s going into synaptic shock!”
The nurse snapped the proper tube into the hypospray. She quickly handed it to
Dr. Booker who in turn put it to Kathryn’s neck. After a brief tense moment, she
stabilized, and Amy let out a sigh of relief.
“Where’s an EMH when you need one?” she muttered to herself, passing the
tricorder over the ensign for the fifth time in the last minute.
“Emergency Medical Hologram. Starfleet’s new toy. It’s an experimental project
Dr. Zimmerman is running at the Jupiter Holoprograming Station. He’s hoping that they
will someday replace us flesh-and-blood physicians,” she replied, laughing at the thought.
Nyaara shrugged, and said, “Medical technology is advancing faster now than any
other time in the history of Earth, or for that matter, for the entire history of all the planets
in the Federation combined. Why are you so skeptical?”
“Because of her,” she said, making a vague gesture at Kathryn. “She’s due in a
day or two, and I’m...I’m absolutely clueless on how to proceed. She could come out of
that coma in an hour or in a month, but the baby isn’t so inclined to have such a loose
agenda.” She let out an exasperated moan. “They never taught us how to handle
something like this at the academy.”
Nyaara shrugged. “Improvise. You’ve gotten this far. You’ve kept her and the
baby alive, and I’m sure that you’ll find a way to get them both through this.”
“Doctors aren’t supposed to improvise! They’re supposed to have the know-how
on these things...not make something up along the way and pray that it works. I’m
worried that if I come up with some spontaneous solution, then their deaths will be just as
spontaneous. What’s worse, I’ve been trying to solve this damn puzzle for five weeks
now, and I still can’t figure anything out.”
“Sometimes even doctors have limits, Amy. You may just have to accept what
fate throws at you, even if it seems impossible.”
“No. I can’t,” she whispered, leaning against a console and cradling her head in
her hand. “Maybe Justin’s right. What kind of physician am I when I become a hypocrite
to my oath?”
She glanced at Kathryn’s stiff form next to her and sighed. She stayed hunched
over the console for a while until retreating to her office to test out new possible solutions
to a seemingly hopeless dilemma.
Justin cradled his head in his hands while slowly swaying back and forth, trying to
allay his reoccurring pain. His quarters lacked the usual familiarity and comfort they had
harbored in the past...before the pain came and drilled itself permanently into his mind. He
had been sitting there ever since he got off his duty shift over seven hours ago. While
working, he was fine. His job kept his racing mind off from the events that had passed not
too long ago. Now, he couldn’t help but reflect back on the rescue mission.
Justin yanked his tricorder from his belt and scanned the surrounding environment
prudently. It didn’t indicate that anyone was around, but he knew the Cardassians’ fetish
for dampening fields would be the cause for the sudden disappearance of several life signs.
He put the scanner back in its holster and pulled off the phaser rifle that was over his
shoulder. Trying to keep it level with hands shaking from nervousness, he made a few
vigilant steps forward. His keen eyes searched the horizon for any indication of the
backup group that was scheduled to rendezvous with them soon, and with his peripheral
vision, he kept a look out for anyone who might decide to try and sneak up on him or one
of his crewmates. Fortunately, the Cardassians weren’t as foolhardy as they were rumored
as being, because none of them dared to launch an attack on a group of Starfleet officers
trained specifically for combat situations.
A lieutenant, Martin Cammet, pointed west and showed Justin the readings on his
tricorder. Cammet had been able to modify it to penetrate the dampening field, and for
this, Justin was thankful he had an engineer on a team of security personnel. The readings
indicated that there were 16 Cardassians surrounding them and that they were heavily
armed. Justin cursed under his breath from frustration but knew he had to carry out his
mission no matter what problems the circumstances presented.
Luckily, they had a little state-of-the-art trick up their sleeves as well. Tighe made
eye contact with Cammet, pointed to a new addition to his wrist beacon, and pressed a
button. Cammet followed his example, and they simultaneously became invisible, as did
all the officers. Justin was able to keep track of his team by the adjustments made to the
tricorders that detected their specific bio-signatures. This allowed them to continue their
assignment with the protection of individual cloaking fields resistant to any known
Cardassian scanning technology.
The problem, however, was that the Cardassians were just as prepared and evasive
as they were. And what was worse was that they were fighting on someone else’s land.
His team didn’t have the advantage, which made everything below par. Somehow, by
getting past all the booby traps and Cardassians bearing their teeth, they had to find
Admiral Paris and Ensign Janeway, and get them out alive.
Justin let out a sigh of relief (although quietly as to not let the others see a sign of
weakness) when the backup team transported nearby. Now was the time to take action.
Photon grenades were hurled towards the dampening fields with a grenade
launcher. The explosions were so loud that they threatened to deafen them, but they
worked just as planned. The Cardassians were retreating, but not surrendering. As they
ran, they flung bombs and shot at the crew, who were barely able to evade the ammunition
flying at them from all angles. A few of Justin’s team crashed to the ground, injured from
the blasts, but they were left behind for the transporters to beam out. They could not
afford to waste time by going back to retrieve the wounded.
The 30-odd Starfleet officers who were left stormed the nearby woods. They
spread out in groups in different directions to search for their captured crewmates. Tighe,
Cammet, and three other officers headed north until an air-raid forced them into hiding
and wait it out. Explosions surrounded them closely enough that it seemed as if they were
being targeted specifically. Luckily, the ship passed by quickly after the shower of phaser
fire. It must have been a warning.
Warning or not, Justin still intended on pursuing the mission to its end. Although
skepticism rang in his head, he stammered forward through the forest.
It took over two hours of vigorous searching, but finally they found the Admiral.
Unfortunately, there was a hole blasted through his chest from some sort of projectile
weapon, and one of his legs was severed and hung from a tree branch near by. Justin
never wanted to admit it, but he was close to tears when he saw the body, all dirty and
bloody. The leg made him even angrier, and he screamed out a curse at the Cardassians.
He went and carefully untied the wire that held the severed limb and placed it carefully by
Paris’s other leg, where it was meant to be. No one bothered to comment on Justin’s
unusual behavior because they felt the same...guilt? Horror? Whatever it was, it radiated
like a plague around the entire area.
“We have to find Janeway before those bastards do anything to her. If they did,
I’ll kill ‘em all!” he growled, and motioned with his arm to move on.
“Doctor! She’s awake!” Nyaara called from a biobed.
Amy quickly rushed over to her side and scanned Janeway, who squinted in the
“How do you feel, Kathryn?”
She moaned, but responded, “I have a hell of a headache.”
“Well, you’ll be feeling that for a while. You synaptic responses are still
fluctuating, and we can’t clear them up right away. I’ll give you something for the pain,
but it won’t take it all away.”
“That’s fine...as long as it doesn’t feel like my brain is going to explode out of my
Nyaara smiled. *Atleast she still has her sense of humor.* She pressed the
hypospray to Kathryn’s neck, and she visibly relaxed.
“Now, I have something for you,” Amy said in a sing-song voice. She went out of
Janeway’s view for a few moments and came back with a bundle in her arms.
“Congratulations, Kathryn. It’s a beautiful baby boy.”
She sat alone at her desk in her quarters as tears streamed down her face. She
angrily wiped them away and looked sadly at her reflection on the computer monitor. She
looked so weak...so beaten; not only by the coma, but by the situation. To try to get her
mind off her pain, Kathryn began reading the doctor’s report on her child for the seventh
“Male. Birth defects: Negative. Brain wave patterns: Normal. Growth rate:
Normal. Born at 0716 hours. 3.5 kilograms. 47.1 centimeters long. Mother’s time in
labor: Undisclosed. Method of birth: Cesarean section. Delivery Complications:
Classified for security clearance levels six and under.”
After entering her code and looking over the delivery complications, she concluded
that her baby was born perfectly healthy, despite the difficulties. Thankfully, the doctor
had found out a way to deliver her baby in time.
But there was one part of the medical file that disturbed her the most. That was
the part that she read over and over again, not wanting to believe it was real.
“Species: 4/5 Human, 1/5 Cardassian. Mother: Kathryn Janeway. Father:
She sighed heavily and cradled her head in her arms on the desktop. Her lips
moved in silent damnation of the father of her child, the man who put so many people
through so much suffering, including herself. She vowed that she would find him, make
him pay for everything...especially for killing Owen Paris.
Kathryn laid like that for hours, thinking of the events that occurred while she was
still conscious, before the pregnancy. Those were things that she held equivalent to what
hell must feel like: the pain from the brutal interrogation; her throat feeling like it had
been ripped out from screaming in agony; the burns still throbbing on her temples where
torture devices were slapped on; the chipped and worn fingernails from clawing at her
restraints; the scars and bruises left on her skin from being clawed...
Eventually, she fell asleep listening to the sound of her teardrops landed softly on
END OF PART II
To be continued...