Late Summer, Lab Control, Liberty Hospital, Alchibah
(From The Logs of Mariana Stuart)
I startled as the figure came in the door but smiled inside. “Why Histy, what can we do for you?”
He seemed quite shy for a change, “Well, this is a bit delicate.”
“Histy, delicate I ain’t. Look who I am married to but, discrete I am. It’s called Doctor-Patient Privilege, so spill whatever is bothering you.”
He hesitated for a moment, “Well as you know, Natasi is very pregnant and is not shy about telling everyone that you have fixed it so she will be able to live to see her Son.”
“Well, Her bragging about it I had not heard about. But, that’s not the problem, is it?”
“No,” He shrugged, “it’s not. I’m probably the father, Mariana, but I’m a little bit old for all of this. Still, I do like her a great deal and if I am the father, I want to do the right thing by her.”
I just stared for a moment, Old Fashioned Honor like that was hard to find; and damned harder to keep! “Histy, roll up whichever sleeve you wish and let me get one small blood sample. Then go to Hanna’s for Lunch, by the time you get back I can tell you for sure.”
“But, can you be positive?”
“Histy, I have her blood on file and I have amniotic fluid on file. Give me a sample and come back in two hours and I will tell you true.”
He just rolled up his left sleeve.
Two Hours Later
“Come on in Histy and sit down.”
He grinned, “I think I can take it standing!”
I suddenly rapped out my best Command Voice, “Sit Down, we have more than one thing to discuss!” I saw him find a chair rapidly. “Thank You Andy for those lesson’s.”
“It’s fairly simple Brice, Hello Daddy.
“You are in better shape than I expected, my compliments to your previous Doctors. The only thing I see here is a slight predilection towards several things that end with ‘-itis’ like most Human beings.
“I don’t see that as being a problem for at least 20 to 25 E-Years and nothing more than some out-patient pills and such. Long before you need anti-agathics and besides, Sally Kellerman should be up to speed even if I don’t make it back and Dr. Josh Wood from the Dancer is terrific.
“Your son, on the other hand, is going to have some serious problems that can not be fixed in the womb. The birth is going to have to take place here!
“That being said it’s nothing that we can not fix but, the treatment has to start as fast as he is born. I figure that we can have him normal in around two days. Also, should Natasi decide at some future time to have a second child, all of this will not be necessary.”
Histy looked at me and replied, “You mentioned not coming back, as our leading Research Biologist have you considered not going?”
“Not for a Second. My Husband and more importantly My Shooter, is going because of a promise he made to a man he has never seen and nothing on this planet can stop him.
“My Shooter is not going without his Spotter and I really am a better Spotter than I am a Doc.”
(From Historian’s personal remembrances.)
Historian and Natasi had just finished a wonderful dinner at Hanna’s First Inn and were strolling out back by the bluff overlooking the river. It was a pleasant evening with both moons glowing in a cloudless sky filled with twinkling stars. They sat down on one of the benches thoughtfully provided by the management specifically for romantic tête-à-têtes.
“So, Dr. Stuart tells me that your pregnancy is, er, coming along just fine.”
“Da,” Natasi said, smiling to herself, “Just a few more months now and I be a mommy.”
“Er, yes, and, um, I’ll be . . . a daddy.”
Natasi didn’t say anything and the silence hung in the darkness.
Historian squirmed a bit and then said, “So, I think it would be good if the child had . . . That is, we seem to get along well together and . . . “
“Vhat’s on you mind, Histy?”
“Well, I just thought that, um, maybe we could make ourselves, um, a family. Sort of ‘tie the knot’ so to speak.”
Natasi broke out in laughter so loud that a couple on another bench some distance away turned to stare at them.
She said, “Histy, old man, is dis some sort of proposal?”
Historian was thankful for the darkness as he was blushing furiously. He stumbled out, “Well, I was thinking it might be nice to get married.”
Still chuckling, she said, “Ah, Histy, Histy, Histy. You is too gallant. Thank you but no thanks. I is a free spirit, a spacer now. I no vant to settle down on ground here baking cookies and changing das dirty diapers. Colony needs babies so I have one but I already arrange with dat nice couple, da Rosenthals to adopt the kid baby. Dey have dat big farm out beyond Les’s place and she too old to bear a baby.”
“Oh,” Historian said and after a pause, “well, I guess that’s alright, then.”
Natasi took Historian’s hand in hers and leaning over, kissed him on the cheek. She said, “You a sweet man, Histy guy.”
Historian breathed out a sigh. It might have been a sigh of relief!