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“Wait Will! Don’t drink the water!”

Riker stopped mid-sip and was about to swallow. Deanna had already drank two more cupfulls of water.

“What’s wrong with the water?”

Bev sighed and shook her head.

“This water stream is tainted. It’s got large amounts of Alkaline in it. Unfit for human consumption.”

Deanna was already a ball of nerves, this only hastened it. She cast a worried glance down at her stomach and stroked it with both hands. Will immediately spit out the water and wiped his mouth on his sleeve.

“Will it affect the baby?”

He grabbed for Troi’s hand and squeezed it, trying to keep her calm. Bev gave Deanna’s forearm a light squeeze.

“I don’t know. Will help me out here and pull back the blanket just enough so that I can get an amniotic fluid sample. The barriers and maternal antibodies should filter the toxins out, but I’ll need a sample to make sure it’s clear.”

Deanna steeled herself against her husband as she felt the sting of the hypospray. It wasn’t long before Bev had enough of the fluid she needed to scan with her tricorder. Will looked into his wife’s eyes and placed a kiss onto her bare stomach.

“I know that hurts sweetheart. Bev and I will get you out of here before the baby comes ok?”

Nodding she shivered as he put the covers over her.

“Will I’m cold.”

Riker immediately put more firewood onto the fire and went back to his wife and pulled the blanket around her more.

“There. I put more wood on the fire. Here’s another blanket. Is that better?”

Troi nodded and closed her eyes. Bev took a seat next to the fire and placed the glass tube on the end of her tricorder and started her scan. Will was nervous as he sat down next to her. He listened to the tricorder perform its scan. Swallowing once again, he watched Crusher take the glass tube from her tricorder.

“Baby’s in the clear Will. Not a trace of Alkaline in Deanna’s system. Interesting. Her maternal antibodies attacked the toxins in her body before it could reach the baby.”

He held his hand out for a brief moment to grab ahold of the glass tube from Bev. Holding it closer to the fire, he examined it.

“Clear means the fluid’s healthy right?”

Bev acknowledged his question in stride.

“Clear amniotic fluid means that it’s free of any toxins and that the mother isn’t suffering any disease. We need to start over and find some fresh water. Dehydration not only affects Deanna, but if she gets too dehydrated it may cause compression of the umbilical cord and the baby will be in serious trouble.”

Will creased his brow and then handed the glass tube back to Crusher.

“Maybe there’s some water in the other branch of caves to the left. But we both can’t go, someone has to stay with Deanna.”

Bev nodded her head and stayed seated by the fire.

“I’ll stay with her. Here, take a light with you, and your phaser.”

She watched as Will made his way back over to the bed and place a hand on Deanna’s forehead. She groaned a little and moved her head from side to side.

“I’ll be back sweetheart. I’m going to find some fresh water for you and the baby. Rest. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Bev’s going to stay with ok?”

Riker waited until his wife’s breathing evened out before he stood from his kneeling position. Tucking the blanket further around Deanna he kissed her forehead and moved away. Making his way farther down the caves, he noticed that there were more stalagmite formations, which meant he was getting closer to a water supply.

Pulling out his tricorder, he scanned the first section. Finding nothing useful, he moved onto the next section. His tricorder began to beep at him incessantly suddenly.

“Bingo! Gotcha! I knew there had to be fresh water around here somewhere!”

Will couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear as he scooped up the precious life-saving water. It would help all four of them. He turned his head in the direction of Bev and his wife and yelled in that direction.

“Bev! I found water!”

He could only imagine the look on her face as he scooped the water into an empty canteen. Closing the cap on the top when it was filled, he quickly brought it back to Bev to for inspection.

“Fresh water, 20 meters from here. Double check. I want to make sure this isn’t a false-positive.”

His heart sank as he came back to a thrashing Deanna on the bed, and Bev trying to hold her in place. Dropping the canteen on the dirt floor, he went straight to Troi, but was at a loss as to what to do. He looked back at Crusher helplessly.

“What happened?”

Struggling to keep everything under control, Bev tried to explain the situation.

“I don’t know, the seizure came on quite suddenly. Hold her head down Will. Tilt it slightly so we can keep her airway open. Make sure she doesn’t swallow her tongue.”

The color completely drained from Riker’s face at Bev’s last sentence.

“Her tongue?”

Bev nodded and had to use her body weight to kept Deanna’s in place on the bed.

“Yes, but don’t stick your fingers in her mouth Will! You stick your fingers in there and you’ll have one finger less. Patients suffering gran-mals have been known to clench their teeth. Keep her head tilted. There we go.”

Riker’s heart sank even further.

“Can’t you give her a hypospray of Tricordrizine?”

The frown still plastered on Crusher’s face, she shook her head no.

“Limited supplies Will. I don’t have any Tricordrizine on me. Otherwise I would’ve given it to her immediately after the seizure started. We’ll have to wait it out. Though extremely dangerous.”

Will felt guilty leaving Deanna to go and find water.

“I should’ve stayed. If I had, none of this would’ve happened.”

Still using her weight to hold Deanna down, Bev locked eyes with Will.

“This isn’t your fault Will. Sometimes seizures can happen for no reason. This could just be a febrile seizure for all I know. But my tricorder can’t make heads or tails of it right now.”

Three minutes went by before everything quieted, and Deanna stopped thrashing. Riker had been holding his breath. Bev pulled herself up slightly and watched the readings on her tricorder.

“Ok, respiration levels going back to within normal levels. Pulse is becoming stronger. She’ll sleep for a while. When she wakes, she may be disoriented and not know where she is. Do your best to reassure her that everything will be ok and that we are doing the best we can alright?”

Will nodded his head in agreement.

“What’s that?”

Bev had taken a device Will had never seen her use
before out of her pocket.

“A kind of sound amplifier. It allows me to hear the sound of your heartbeat, breathing, you can even hear the baby’s heart and hear her moving.”

Will smiled and watched as she delicately placed the hand-held object up to Deanna’s baby belly and put her ear against it.

“Good placental blood-flow, and your daughter has one stubborn kick. She might be a good soccer player. Or she just might play Parises Squares when she’s older.”

The smile left Riker’s face in a flash.

“I don’t know if I’d want her to play Parises Squares. She could get to be as tall as me, or she could be somewhat tiny, like Deanna.”

It was hard to see her like this. He was used to seeing his wife so vibrant and full of life. This version of her actually scared him a little bit. She was this fragile being lying in a strange bed on an uninhabited storming planet.

“Would you like to have a listen Will?”

He grinned from ear to ear and nodded.

“Wow. I never thought there were so many sounds you could hear with just one little device. What’s that squishing sound right about here?”

Pointing to a spot just to the left of Deanna’s belly button, Bev smiled.

“That squishing sound, Will, is Kait’s heart.”

The smile didn’t leave Will’s face. He kept listening for a moment.

“It’s so fast. How fast is it again?”

Bev smiled at the man who was her superior officer and friend. She’d never seen him so happy, scared and nervous all at once.

“Her heartbeat is a steady 142. She’s healthy Will. I’ve seen babies fight for their lives before, but none as hard as your little girl Will. I’d say she’s more like you every day. Now I know I’ve said this before, but, if and when Deanna goes into labor, and if we’re still here on the planet, I don’t have enough medical supplies to adequately asses any emergency that could arise. If we run into trouble and I need to get the baby out in less than a minute, I’ll have to perform a C-section. I just don’t have the drugs needed for such a surgery.”

The smile had left from Will’s face once more.

“I hope it doesn’t come to that Bev. She deserves an easy delivery. But being here, anything can happen. I hope that we can get off this planet before that happens. But we are essentially cut-off from the Enterprise.”

To Be Continued…

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