Day 184 Liberty Hospital, Alchibah
I never heard Linda come into the Lab till she spoke, “I thought you would be getting some sleep?”
“What,” I laughed, “and miss the grand procession of getting Emily and the Twins down here. Forget you, JJ, Hanna and Jules; did you happen to notice who just happened to be around?”
Linda was a little slow in replying as if she were reliving it in her mind; “That was a whole lot of Black and Silver wasn’t it?”
“Linda that was all of Strike Force, sure everyone of them will have a perfectly valid excuse. Some wanted to see the twins, one was bringing me breakfast; others will say they were coming to check on Jai, it’s all bullshit.
“You know everybody in our crowd worries about one more UNWG sleeper like Van Vogt. What do you think it would do to morale if the first two children born on Alchibah died of mysterious causes?
“The Tame Wolves found a way to be around those kids. The same as the crowd is in the process of moving you and JJ up to the Stuart Compound for a few days. Even Hanna agrees that it will be the safest place for a few days. Of course for public consumption, it is cause your two Doc’s live there.
“Meanwhile, on the Theory that I hate surprises almost as much as I hate to lose; I have been checking all of the pregnancy files and I have one that scares me. Oh and you are worried about your Grandkids, if you were a UNWG plant; whose kids would you try to get to?”
Linda thought for a moment, “Who’s going to deliver first, you or JoAnn?”
“Does it matter, do you want to be the dumb ass to try for Andy or Ash’s kids?”
I watched her shudder as I keyed my wristcomp.
“Mayflower, Capt. Travis; Dr. Mariana Stuart on Snaketrap Please.”
After a little longer pause than before the new Security protocols, the urbane tones of Glen Travis replied. “Ah, Dr. Stuart. By the honorific I can presume that this is something Medically related?”
“That you may Glen, although it’s more a personnel problem. I have a Spacer who will not sit still long enough for the proper treatment.”
“Who,” Travis asked, “and what severity are we talking about?”
I took a deep breath first, “It’s Natasi, Glen, and if we don’t get her down here for at least five straight days of treatment with her ass in the hospital and not the Bar; well the pregnancy is going to kill her.
“It has to do with the shit the Russians did to her Bloodline in their damn Heavy world modifications. I have no idea who the Father is and have not asked but he is a normal gravity genotype.
“There is nothing here that Kurt and I cannot fix but if we don’t; it’s going to kill her! I have three choices. One, someone up there talks some sense into her head. Two, I hit her over the head with a 2 x 4 and tie her down right in Hanna’s place or Three, I have Andy and Gabe come up there and clap her in iron’s.
“Glen,” Mariana continued, “they love her as much as I do and they will do it but she will never forgive us. A little help, please!”
“She’s out with the mad doctors at the moment,” Travis said, “but I’ll have her planetside tomorrow morning for you.”
Travis (later that day)
“Natasi,” Travis said, “may I have a word with you?”
“Sure, Boss Guy,” Natasi replied, removing her flight suit and stowing it in her locker.
“I know you don’t like doctors and such,” he said.
“Da. As a kid, all dey do is prod and poke me and stick me with needles on the Space Station,” she griped.
“I know, but every possible child is precious to the colony. You need to see Dr. Mariana Stuart.”
With a look of exasperation, Natasi said, “Ah, maybe in few months when baby come.”
“Well, no, you need prenatal care now. I want you to see her tomorrow.”
“I busy dis days. Physics guys got lots to do,” she said.
Glen pursed his lips in thought and then said, “Sorry, Natasi, but that’s an order. You must report to Liberty Hospital tomorrow. You’re five months pregnant. It’s time.”
She growled, slammed the locker door shut, and stormed off.
Natasi (the next day, at Liberty Hospital)
“Okay, Doctor Lady, vhat you vant with me?”
“What I want is to see a friend of mine lying in a bed at Hanna’s with her child in her arms.
“Natasi, if you don’t let Kurt and I fix what those damn Russian quacks did to you, you will not live to be there and saving your child will be touch and go.”
That got Natasi’s attention, “Zey did zat much to me? Doctor Lady tell me true, can you really fix dis?”
Mariana stared her square in the eyes, “My friend you have one thing to learn, Kurt and I don’t lose.
“Give me five days and we will be toasting your Grandkids. This crap doesn’t happen on My Watch!”
Natasi replied, “OK, do vhat you have to do!”
Later That Night Kurt Kellerman
“Good Lord Mariana, that is the most screwed up DNA scan I have ever seen!”
“No shit,” she replied. “You want to jump in here?”
“Hell No,” I laughed. “There is a damn good reason I am the cutter and you are the gene splitter. What’s the problem here?”
“So many variables, those damn Ruski’s changed so much and I only get one shot. I asked Chris Petersen if he had any ideas; he just started cussing in some Nordic language and headed out to the range.”
Suddenly Mariana’s eyes seemed to glaze, “Variables, it’s like math.”
As I was walking out she was on the comm, “Ash get on your Lab repeater, I got a problem for you.”
Morning Six Day’s Later, Hanna’s Place
Hanna was her usual friendly self, “Your normal Natasi?”
“No, ze Blonde Doctor vould beat me in place! Meat und Eggs und Tea please. I go back to orbit today, ver I belong.”
Hanna had to laugh, “Mariana done made another convert, I can see. How goes the pregnancy?”
“Ze Doctor Lady says I get to hold my Son. Zat is good enough for me.”
Hanna moved down the counter to talk to Mariana, “Is she really OK?”
Mariana’s grin was a victory lap, “Yes she is, and I am tired of messing around. Hanna either you come down to treatment tomorrow morning with Linda or I am going to send Andy and Gabe to haul your butt down there. Look at Jules; you want to join him in seeing your Great Great Grandkids?”
“OK, Mariana; I will be there!”
About that time Ash wandered in, ”Natasi need a ride up? I am going up to talk to Hibbs, I got no problem sitting right seat on the way up.”