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“Lieutenant Commander Icheb, report to Sickbay immediately.”

Icheb looked up from his post at the Tesseract’s science station and fought an involuntary wave of anxiety.  Doctor Bashir’s tone had been just urgent enough to worry him – especially since he knew Maren had left to see him thirty minutes prior. He glanced over at Captain Oyugo, who had swiveled in the center chair upon hearing the shipwide summons.  Her black eyes met his, all kindness and concern. 

“Go,” she ordered, with a small nod.  “You’re dismissed.”

He walked as quickly as he could to the turbolift.  “Deck Nine,” he said, feeling queasy. Maren had been ill overnight, but it hadn’t seemed serious. When she had told him this morning that she was going to visit Doctor Bashir, he had assumed the doctor would simply give her an anti-nausea injection and remind her to avoid Claire Keller’s food.  He had not expected to be summoned via shipwide comm.

The .67 seconds it took the sickbay doors to open made him want to pry them aside himself. When they had parted enough for him to edge through, he did.

“Over here,” said Bashir, catching his attention as he entered the room.  He looked over and saw Maren lying on a biobed, while Bashir stood next to her, examining the displays. 

To his surprise, both were smiling.

“What’s going on?” he asked, cautiously moving toward them.

Maren and the doctor exchanged another smile; then she turned to him and grinned.  “It worked,” she said, sounding awed.  “The treatments worked.”  The import of the statement hit him before she even said the words – “I’m pregnant.”

Icheb looked from Maren to the doctor, eyes wide.  “Are you certain?”  He rushed forward to see for himself.  Maren gently took his hand as he examined the displays.

Sure enough, there was life growing inside her – not a parasite, as he had naively thought all those years ago when he had accidentally discovered B’Elanna’s pregnancy, but a child – their child.

“Is it healthy?” he asked anxiously.  “Is she healthy?” he added, glancing at Maren. 

It shouldn’t have been possible.  As if interspecies reproduction wasn’t complicated enough, his Borg past and tainted DNA meant the odds of them ever having children of their own were effectively nonexistent.  But their desire for a baby was so strong that Icheb had developed a genetic therapy to try and force his body to produce what it could not – and to ensure that any results would be compatible with Maren’s DNA.  By his calculations, if the treatment worked at all, it would take at least 60 days of injections to begin working.  His first had been only 17 days ago.

Doctor Bashir gave him a warm smile.  “Maren is just fine,” he said.  “I’ve prescribed injections to take care of the morning sickness.  As for the child, as far as I can tell, in about seven and a half months, you’ll be the proud parents of a very healthy baby girl.”



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