Glancing behind to check for intruders, she almost sighed when she observed that she was alone.
Starlight glinted on her red hair as she passed the solitary window that gave her a view of the nebula they were passing. She ignored the beauty of the moment; she had no interest in the nebula. Besides, she had something far more important to do.
What would she have tonight? Denurvian snaps? No, she wasn't in the mood for something salty. She wanted something sweet...
Lost in her own food obsession, she didn't realise someone was creeping up behind her until they tapped her on the shoulder.
Gasping loudly she swung around, dropping the plate she had just picked up. It landed with a loud bang that echoed throughout the room, and no doubt throughout the rest of the ship as well
The new arrival winced at the noise and looked down at the plate as it slowly stopped moving and the noise eventually vanished.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded.
"Not what you're doing, if this is anything to go by." He replied, indicating the metal plate. "You know it's really not fair taking more food for yourself. We have limited resources."
"I'm well aware of that fact. I am in charge of this vessel."
"And I'm well aware of that fact." He countered. "I am your second in command."
"I'm not likely to forget that either." She mumbled as she leant down to pick up the offending plate, reprimanding herself as she did so. The noise had probably woken half the ship, or at least everyone on this deck.
Standing again she suddenly found herself assaulted by a wave of dizziness. She almost managed to whisper his name before she collapsed.
Cursing loudly her second in command quickly activated his communicator.
"This is Commandant Hazon. Code blue in the kitchen. I repeat, there is a code blue in the kitchen."
Lowering himself down he checked her breathing. Good, she was still alive. He brushed the back of his hand along her bright red hair.
"You're going to be just fine Keeva."
"You're going to be a mother." Healer Zoran replied.
Sitting up she pushed away the medical probe that was hanging over her.
"How is that possible? I certainly haven't been intimate with anyone since we started our mission."
Hazon stood on the other side of the medbay, largely forgotten.
"Well if that's the case, I don't know either Cantin. Rest well knowing that I will find out eventually." The Healer answered.
"I know that Zoran," she replied, trying to calm herself. "it's just that I can't understand how I could be pregnant."
She looked over to Hazon who was studying her curiously. Shaking off the odd sensation his constant gaze gave her she continued talking to Zoran.
"Do you know who the father is?"
"Not yet. You know almost as well as I do how bad our medical facilities are. We should have the results by the end of the week."
Nodding thoughtfully Keeva slipped off the metal shelf - it wasn't comfortable enough to be considered a bed.
"I take it I'm not relieved of duty?"
"No, not yet. But don't push yourself. You know how exhausting pregnancy can be."
That was something of an understatement.
Keeva nodded then turned to her second. "Commandant, I want constant high level scans of the entire ship and for 5 parsecs around our position."
Staring outside the window in her quarters, Kathryn Janeway embraced the beauty of the view. Although she didn't appreciate being stuck 60 years away from home, she'd be lying if she didn't find being out among the stars a wondrous experience.
They were passing a nebula so Harry had been running continuos deep level scans to try and find a useful element. They'd had no luck yet, but the nebula was extraordinarily vast and it was taking some time to complete the scans.
Examining the nebula she watched as flashes of orange appeared briefly in it's normally blue appearance. Obviously some kind of chemical reaction was occurring to create those colour changes. Once Harry was finished with the main sensors she would have to..she halted that thought as her stomach rumbled.
Grimacing, she rose from her seat and headed toward the replicator. She'd always viewed eating as a chore - something she would have done without if she could have. She would much rather have been studying the scientific reasoning behind the nebula than eating a plateful of Neelix's meals.
So this evening she decided to compromise - she would eat, but she'd treat herself to something from the replicator. Maybe some pecan pie.
All right, so that wasn't exactly healthy dining.
"Computer, beef strogonoff."
The replicator hummed and the food appeared in a glow of twinkling lights.
Picking up the plate she idly played with the fork she'd been provided with as she stared out the window again. Sitting back in her chair, her stomach rumbled again as if to remind her of something.
Getting the biological hint she raised a forkful of her dinner to her lips.
"Chakotay to Janeway."
Placing the fork down again she answered the hail. "Go ahead."
"Can you report to the bridge Captain? We've got something here I think you'd like to see."
"On my way. Janeway out."
She stood up intending to put the plate of food back in the replicator, but she suddenly found herself unable to stand. Her vision turned blurry before she passed out.
Where was she? Chakotay tapped his fingers on the arm of his chair. He'd hailed her over five minutes ago and there was no sign of her.
"Computer, location of Captain Janeway."
"Captain Janeway is in her quarters."
Maybe she was getting changed. She had been off duty and had probably changed into her casual clothes. Of course, knowing Kathryn she was probably still in uniform.
"Chakotay to Janeway. Please respond."
Trying not to get worried her rose from his seat. "Tuvok, you have the bridge. Have a medteam meet me at the Captain's quarters."
"Captain? It's Chakotay. Can you hear me?"
Now he definitely was worried.
"Computer, emergency override on the Captain's door. Authorisation Chakotay alpha 574."
The doors slid open and he stepped inside. Her lights were off but he could see her still form lying on the ground.
Rushing over to her side he tapped his commbadge. "Chakotay to sickbay. Where the hell's that medteam?" Not waiting to hear the reply he leant down and checked her pulse. It throbbed strongly under his fingers. A great sense of relief passed through him and he removed his fingers from her neck. Something was wrong though. She wouldn't collapse for no reason. There was no sign of physical injury, and she appeared to be breathing healthily.
Her eyes fluttering under her lids were the only response.
"Can you wake her?" Chakotay asked softly, restraining himself from holding her hand. It would have been pointless for her anyway - she wouldn't be aware of his support. But maybe he was the one who needed the
support from her. A thousand questions were burning in his mind.
"Of course." Replied the Doctor. Picking up a hypospray from the medtray next to the biobed he used it on Kathryn's neck. A few moments after it hissed her eyes slowly opened.
The first thing she saw was Chakotay's face looking down at her. He had the oddest expression on his face. "Chakotay? What is it?"
Before he could answer the Doctor pushed him out of the way.
"I believe I can answer that for you. You're pregnant. Congratulations." His beaming smile soon turned to a frown as he observed her stunned reaction. "I take it you didn't plan for this?"
"No!" she barked. "I haven't even been...with anyone."
"Oh. Well I assumed that you and..." he didn't finish that sentence verbally, and instead indicated Chakotay. Kathryn and Chakotay glanced at each other nervously.
"No Doctor. Believe me, we haven't."
"Oh well...this is embarrassing." The Doctor admitted.
"So you don't know who the...father is?" she queried, studiously avoiding looking at Chakotay.
"I will in a moment. I'm just waiting for the results of the DNA scan." As if in response, the console at the end of the biobed beeped. Walking over to it, the Doctor brought up the results. "Hmmm."
"What does that mean?" Chakotay asked.
"Well...the foetus is definitely showing signs of human DNA....but it's also showing alien DNA. It matches no known DNA on record."
"What?!" Kathryn demanded.
"The human DNA is provided by you Captain, but it appears that the father of this child is an alien. One the Federation has never encountered before."
Cantin Keeva stood watch over her crew from the Command Centre. Occasionally she would stand behind one oft hem, giving the impression that she was closely studying what they were doing. Mistakes would not be tolerated. She knew she intimidated them, but that was the idea. For most of her crew this was their first assignment with her. Only a few onboard, such as Zoran, and sometimes Hazon, knew what she was really like. In normal circumstances she would have been interested in seeing how well they were performing, but this shift she had other things on her mind. Walking slowly around the Command Centre as if she were inspecting everything and everyone with great detail, she made sure to keep her emotional mask in place as she let her thoughts wander.
How was it possible that she was pregnant? As she explained to Zoran, she had definitely not been with anyone since their mission started, and even sometime before that. Perhaps some outside influence was at work here. Or perhaps someone had...done something to her while she slept. Perhaps one of her crew had drugged her while she slept and then...no. None of her crew would do that, she was sure of it. Even so, the very idea of someone violating her was horrifying and she had to concentrate hard to not visibly shiver in front of her crew. None of them knew about her pregnancy, of course. They (or rather she and Zaron) had decided to keep the information hidden for now. It could lead to their advantage, and she also didn't want anyone to think that she could be unable to command.
The females of her species went through agonising pain when they carried their babies. For that reason only a few were selected for that 'honour' and they were treated like the goddesses they were. Everyone in their race adored them - that they had the willpower to endure the experience to allow their species to survive. Keeva herself had been trained to lead. She had never expected to have children and neither did she want them. However, if she indeed was pregnant, she knew she could not terminate the life inside her. It would violate their traditions, and go against every thing her race believed in. Fortunately she had felt no pain yet, but perhaps as the baby continued to grow...
Her thoughts were interrupted as Commandant Hazon entered the Command Centre. His eyes instantly looked for her, his concern apparent. No doubt he was worried that she was going to be pushing herself too hard again. There was no need for him to worry. Yes, she knew she often worked too long with too few breaks, but she wasn't going to do anything to endanger the baby.
"Cantin, it is the end of your shift. I am here to free you from your duty."
"I acknowledge your request and agree to it." She replied. They both knew it was a tradition more than anything else. No Hasonian was ever truly free from duty.
Kathryn ached to get up and do something useful. Since the Doctor had discovered that the father was completely alien, she'd wanted to go out there and search for answers herself. Instead she was stuck in sickbay, staring up at the metal ceiling. The Doctor's reasoning for keeping her here was sound she supposed. As the foetus was made up of human and completely alien DNA they had no way of knowing what affect the alien DNA could have on her body. She would have to agree, but it was just so frustrating laying there doing nothing.
The other reason she was annoyed was that lying there gave her an opportunity to think over her current state. She would rather avoid thinking about it, but it seemed events were conspiring against her.
She knew that some day she'd like to have a child, but not yet. And certainly not when she didn't even know how she was pregnant and who the father was!
Sighing again she moved around restlessly on biobed as she looked over at the Doctor who was running what seemed like endless scans on her. He was frowning heavily. "What is it?"
Broken from his concentration the Doctor glanced up, a finger still resting on his chin from when he had been perusing the latest data. "Oh just some interesting readings I'm getting Captain."
That sounded intriguing. Maybe she could convince him to let her investigate it with him. Quickly slipping off the bed she walked over to him. "Let me see."
He looked at her disapprovingly. "Captain, you should be resting."
"I feel fine." His pursed lips told her he wasn't buying it. "Honestly."
Clearly he knew by now when he was fighting a losing battle. Pointing to the diagrams on the console he began talking.
This time as she lay on the biobed her thoughts didn't wander - she knew exactly what to think about, and she also knew that she had to study the implications.
What would it mean if she decided to keep the baby? How badly would it affect her? Would the crew be able to handle the situation?
She instantly knew the answer to her last question - of course they would. It had taken them a while to pull together, but they were definitely the finest crew she had ever worked with.
No, the person she was most concerned about was Chakotay. She had no doubt that he would do a superb job of commanding Voyager for a prolonged time should she become incapacitated. What she was concerned about was how he would respond on a personal level.
She wasn't ignorant - she knew how much he cared for her. How much he...loved...her. And in another time or place she could well have responded in kind.
The problem was that he had always been overly-protective of her, even more so since the depth of his feelings for her grew.
It was going to play havoc with his emotions.
What was she saying? That she had to choose between her child and Chakotay? Unless it became life-threatening she knew who would win that particular contest. There was absolutely no way she could kill the life growing inside her as long as it wasn't a serious threat to her or the ship.
So what did that imply? That she'd choose the life of her child over Chakotay's? Goosebumps formed over her body at the very idea.
Or so she thought.
The ends of her fingers started tingling as if she had pins and needles. Annoyed at the sensation she moved them reflexively. The feeling increased.
Slightly concerned now she called out for the doctor, his words of warning earlier flooding back to her.
"The pain may just appear or it may build up. There's no way to tell at this point."
She had a feeling it was the latter.
The Doctor entered the room from his office.
"I think it's starting." she replied in answer to his unasked question.
Understanding immediately he moved over to the console at the end of the bed to examine her bioreadings.
The holographic and electronic systems that gave him form worked in perfect symbiosis. Efficient, thorough, to achieve their goal - to treat their patient. But more importantly, to do no harm.
While looking over her bioreadings he requested that Commander Chakotay come to sickbay alone.
It had reached her elbows now. The sensation seemed to cover more ground by the second. It was not yet painful but it was definitely umcomfortable.
"Doctor, I think it's getting worse." she told him as she sat up on the biobed.
Picking up his tricorder he activated it and held it over her.
"The rate at which it is progressing is amazing. It's already spread through 15% of your body."
Janeway didn't think it was particularly amazing. She was about to tell him that the sensation had continued up to her shoulders when a stunning hot pain passed through both arms.
Screaming in agony she collapsed back onto the biobed.
The Doctor ran to the bed, trying to calm her, trying to get her to stop screaming.
"Captain! Please keep still. I need to inject you with a hypospray."
But she was beyond hearing him. All she could do was feel. Her arms flailed as she desperately tried to do anything to just stop the pain.
Chakotay entered sickbay at that point. Horrified by the sight that greeted him he ran over to join the doctor.
"Doctor! What the hell is going on?" He had to raise his voice to be heard over her agonised screaming. He had to do something to comfort her.
"Commander! Please hold her down."
Not wanting to but having no other choice he held her arms and pushed her down onto the bed, all the while babbling to her.
"Kathryn, you're going to be just fine the doctor has something that will help please just stop moving so we can help you, please just.." the litany continued as the Doctor finally injected the hypospray and the screaming finally stopped.
e-mail // voyager fic