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The storm outside was still raging, even three days after Kait’s birth. She was getting fussy and they were running out of food. Deanna looked tearfully up from her baby in her arms that she was desperately trying to nurse.

“Bev, she won’t eat.”

Bev took out her tricorder and began scanning both Deanna and Kait.

“Try to guide her toward you one more time.”

Nodding, Deanna did as Bev had instructed her. Bev watched as Kait latched onto her mother and began to suckle. A few seconds later, she let out a hungry and angry cry. She furrowed her eyebrows and looked from her tricorder to Deanna again.

“She’s not acting lethargic. Her cry is good, her reflexes are strong. But your milk supply is getting low.”

Will put a hand on his wife’s shoulder and gave her a small smile.

“Hey, I promised I’d get the two of you out of here, all of us. I’m going to do everything in my power to do just that.”

The angry baby in wait in Deanna’s arms grew angrier as the seconds passed by. Deanna looked back up to Bev with a helpless expression on her face. Taking the baby from Deanna’s arms, Bev tried rocking her. Kait was grabbing at the fabric of her uniform. Sighing, she did her best to distract Kait from getting to something she desperately wanted.

“Sorry kiddo, no can do. These haven’t had sustenance in them for 18 years. No food here.”

Kait grew angrier still. There had to be something they could do. Will was the first to speak up to break the silence.

“Maybe I can find some wild game.”

Kait continued to whine as Bev held her. Sighing once again, she handed her over to Deanna, who did her best to quiet her daughter’s angry cries. She began to rock her, unknowingly and softly shushing her as she did so.

“Hey baby girl, daddy will be back with some food. Hopefully he’ll find enough food so that mommy can feed you. Just go to sleep now.”

Troi sent soothing thoughts to her little girl, and soon she was fast asleep. Bev ran a finger over Kait’s tiny featured face. So much like both her parents. The two friends whispered as Deanna shifted Kait.

“I didn’t know Betazoid children could already hear their parent’s thoughts…”

Deanna smiled and traced Kait’s tiny nose with her index finger.

“They usually don’t. In the first few weeks after their birth, a Betazoid mother and child share a kind of ‘emotional blanket’ relationship. I sent her kind of a mental picture, but as an emotion of her still being inside my womb, where she felt safe and warm. I mean after all, out here it’s cold and dark, and probably doesn’t smell very good to her.”

Bev nodded and looked around the dark, and dank drippy cave. She hoped that Will found something edible soon, she was beginning to feel nauseous.

“What is it?”

Riker shook his head as he turned the creature over on the stick he’d stuck through it.

“I’m not sure, but you yourself Bev said it was edible. Maybe it will taste something like chicken.”

Taking a chance, Will took the first bite from what looked like the tail of the creature.

“Mmm, not bad, but it needs a little something. Like salt. Some spices to make it have a little kick to it. It is protein after all. Here Imzadi, try some.”

Deanna wasn’t sure of its nutritional value, but food was food, and she had to eat. For her baby’s sake. Troi placed her daughter into the makeshift crib Beverly and Will had put together out of wood and placed a few blankets into it for comfort.

Making faces at the meat, she reluctantly ate the rest of what her husband gave her. Will looked her in the eye, she didn’t look well. He swore he heard a slight rattling sound coming forth from his wife’s lungs. Bev was the first to pick up on it.

“Deanna, you are looking unusually pale. How are you feeling?”

Troi shook her head and finished off her piece of meat.

“Honestly? I’ve got chills, sometimes it’s hard to breathe, and I’ve been coughing a lot.”

Bev’s lips went into a thin grim line as she scanned Deanna with her tricorder. Shaking her head, she shut her tricorder and placed it back into what was left of her med-kit.

“You’ve got the beginning stages of Pneumonia. But what also compounds it, you’ve also got an infection inside your uterus. The only way I can treat that is with antibiotics, but not until we regain contact with Enterprise. If I knew those berries farther in the cave were edible, I’d give them to you. What you need is plenty of rest, more fluids and food.”

Deanna nodded and leaned back against the flat pillow on the bed. Could this situation get any worse?

To Be Continued…

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