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The storm outside was still raging and Riker knew he had to find more firewood. They would freeze if he didn’t find more soon. Bev shook her head as Will stoked the fire one last time. He saw her fix the blanket.

“The good news Will is that her blood pressure’s back to normal levels. Here’s the bad news: she’s dilated four centimeters. Now I’ve already given her something to reverse the process. But she needs to stay off her feet as much as possible now to prevent any recurrences.”

Will nodded his head and put a hand on Bev’s shoulder.

“Can I see her?”

Bev moved aside so that Will could get to his wife. Pulling the blanket aside, he knelt down next to her and kissed her forehead. A few tears streamed down her face.

“The baby’s ok Imzadi. She’s ok.”

He pulled her into a hug and rocked her a bit.

“We’re going to get out of here Imzadi. I promise you. We’ll get out of here and our baby will be born safely back on the Enterprise. She won’t be born in this place. I’ll keep trying to contact the ship. You rest awhile. Call me if you need anything. I can get you some more water if you’d like?”

A smile spread across Troi’s face.

“I’d like that Will, thank-you.”

He placed a soft kiss to his wife’s stomach and stopped momentarily when he felt a hand press up against his own. It was coming from inside her stomach. He held his tears back.

“I think that was Kait’s tiny hand Imzadi.”

Kissing her forehead one last time, he pulled the blanket back in place and sat down in front of the fire with Bev.

“You won’t believe what just happened to me. I just shared a moment with Kait. I had my hand on Deanna’s stomach, and she reached her tiny hand up and ‘touched’ mine through Deanna’s stomach.”

A slight smile spread across her face and she giggled a little.

“Sounds like Kait is a little impatient. A lot like someone I know. We’ve got enough water, for if and when we need it Will. I’m still counting on getting out of here before she goes into labor. But it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected. I found another tunnel that branches deeper into the caves. We should probably move in a little more, away from the mouth of the cave. The rain is starting to come inside now. We need to keep dry.”

Riker nodded his head and stood up.

“Ok, I can carry Deanna.”

Bev put a hand on his forearm.

“I wouldn’t suggest that Will. With a combined weight of her and the baby she weighs just over 80 kilos. You could severely injury your back. We’ll help her walk together.”

Nodding, he went the few steps it took to get to the blanket and pulled it back.

“Sorry to disturb your sleep sweetheart, but we’re going to have to move. The rain is coming inside the cave now and we need to stay dry. There’s better coverage from the rain about 20 meters ahead in another branch of the cave.”

Nodding, Deanna attempted to sit up. Will was there instantly propping her up at first upright and then he found Bev on the left helping her to her feet.

“We’re not going far Deanna, just a few meters ahead.”

They were almost to the other part of the cave when Deanna stopped for a moment and gasped in surprise.

“Oh!”

Bev and Will froze. His eyes widened and Bev looked very concerned.

“What is it?”

The color from Will’s face drained, and his blood became ice water. He propped his wife up as her knees began to buckle. Bev saw her take a sharp breath and let it out just as fast. Pain was etched across Deanna’s face.

“Kait feels like she’s between my knees!”

Bev was quick to jump into action. The pair holding Deanna up, scooped her up on each side and carried her the last few steps to what appeared to be a bed. Cautiously setting Deanna on it, Will cast a nervous glance around the cave.
“This looks to be someone’s bed. Someone might be living in this cave. Although all my tricorder readings show no humanoid life forms within 50 meters of here.”

But Bev wasn’t worried about who else could be in the cave with them. She was more worried about the impending birth of a child at the moment.

“No time to worry about that right now Will. Get a fire started and go back to the water spring over there and get some more water to boil.”

Will was about to get up when Deanna tugged on his hand.

“No don’t go Will. I need you here with me.”

Every fiber in his being told him not to leave his wife, but he had to get the water and get a fire started.

“I’ll be right back. I promise sweetheart. Don’t have this baby without me.”

Deanna mustered up half a smile at his remark.

“I’ll try not to.”

From the position he was crouching next to the water springs filling up the first canteen, his view was not somewhere he wanted to be. Grimacing, he turned his attention back to the canteen and filled it. Now on the fourth canteen, it was almost full. Taking it back over towards where Bev and Deanna were, he swallowed and set the canteens down. Taking a few steps forward, he put firewood into a pile and fired his phaser at it. A blazing fire began rumbling to life. Resuming his position next to his wife, he swallowed once again and looked to Bev.

“What are you doing?”

Bev continued looking up at the rock face ceiling as she worked.

“Trying to figure out how the baby is positioned.”

His mouth hung open for a second as he tried processing what she’d just said. Then he ventured into the unknown, with an embarrassed tone to his voice.

“I thought doctors didn’t do those kinds of exams anymore.”

For a brief moment, Bev locked eyes with Riker’s and raised her eyebrows.

“We do the exam when it’s absolutely necessary. If modern technology fails, then we resort to it. In our case, we don’t have enough medical supplies to perform scans. Damn. I don’t think this baby is going to wait.”

Will’s face turned a shade whiter than before.

“You mean Kait’s coming here? Now?”

Crusher was sure they had a little time before Kait made her entrance onto this planet.

“She’s only dilated three centimeters Will. Your daughter could be here in a few hours or a few days. By my calculations this may take days.”

Riker had a query on his lips, and it was ready to tumble out of his mouth.

“Three centimeters? I thought you said she was at four?”


Bev nodded and scanned something over her hands.

“What I gave her was only starting to work its way through her system. I admit, making her get up and walk wasn’t the wisest of choices. But it was either that, or get sick from getting wet from the rain coming in the entrance. Take your pick Will. By the way, this scanner gets rid of germs and cleans your hands. Sort of like having invisible soap and water without the sink.”

There were still more question’s on Will’s lips that Bev knew he wanted to express so she waited.

“Is the baby alright?”

Crusher nodded her head earnestly and covered Deanna with the sheet on the bed.

“She’s fine. Heartbeat’s a steady 142 and has very good respiratory movements. Her head is also facing the correct direction. But she’s being a little shy. We might be here for a few days Will. I want you to start boiling some of that water. We need it now.”

Will nodded his head and went to work boiling the water he’d just collected from the water spring a few steps away. A bolt of lightning flashed outside the cave.

“Lightning, just what we need.”

To Be Continued…


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