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Part of USS Mercy: Mission 3 – “Lost in Space”

One on the Way

Ready Room
10.13.2400 @ 1100
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Aimee stepped onto the bridge and glanced around.  Seeing the captain was not present she crossed the bridge to the ready room.  Pressing the chime she waited nervously. 

Halsey was reading through the latest reports, and it was looking better than expected.  Search and rescue were well underway.  The door chime rang, and he glanced up, “Come on in.” 

Entering at Halsey’s invitation, she smiled as she approached him, “Captain.”

A smile crossed his lips, “Doctor MacDonald.”  He stood and gestured to the chair in front of his desk, “What can I do for you?”

“Hello, sir,” She said.  “As your Chief Medical officer, I think I should inform you that I am pregnant.”

He blinked twice.  He gestured again to the chair, “Well, that’s worthy of a seat, Lieutenant.”

Aimee took the offered seat and tried to relax.  This couldn’t be the news a captain would be hoping to hear. Folding her hands into her lap, she smiled nervously, “Thank you, sir.”

Leopold returned to his seat, “Congratulations.”

“Uh… thank you.  It wasn’t part of the plan, you know.”

He asked the question needed asking, “How far along are you?”

“Twelve weeks, sir,” she replied.  “I haven’t told anyone yet.  You are the first. I suspected about six weeks ago, but… Well, I wanted to live in denial a bit longer. But after missing for a third month… well, I couldn’t keep pretending and gave myself a self-scan.  And before you say anything: I know, I know it’s not ethical to treat myself. I will have Dr. Harrison oversee my care.”

Halsey chuckled, “We doctors are very good at planning treatment plans. You said this wasn’t part of the plan.”  He leaned forward, “What are you thinking once your child is born?  You’ll have my support either way, to be clear.”

“Sir, I think that’s up to you,” Aimee said.  “I know having children on board is less than ideal, but at least we aren’t a front-line vessel.”

Leopold smiled wryly, “Sometimes I forget I am the ship’s captain.”  He leaned back in his chair, contemplating the scenario, “We aren’t a front-line starship; that’s true.”  He reasoned, “If we were a Sovereign-class or something big and dangerous…I’d say you’d need to find a ship better suited to hosting a baby onboard.”  He grinned, “Thankfully, we’re not.  Your assistant chief, Roger, has a five-year-old daughter…Minnie, I think her name is.”  He thought for a moment, “We’ll probably need to setup some kind of…daycare or even school option for the crew.”  He turned the question back to her, “I’m amenable to it, Doctor.  You’ve got some time to make the decision – I’d prefer to keep you with us.”

“I would prefer to remain here as well,” Aimee said.  “It’s not often couples get to serve on the same ship. I would hate to ruin a good thing.”

He shifted in his seat, “What do you think your husband will say?”

“That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it?  You’re a man what do you think?  How should I approach it?  We talked about kids. He wanted as many as possible.  I agreed to two… eventually.”

Halsey chuckled, “I’m a man without children, so I’ve never had that conversation.”  He turned serious as he thought the question over.  “I would be honest – it’s a surprise all around.  Given that he wants kids…that works in your favor.  My desire to keep you aboard may also help swing him.”  He shrugged, “Children are miracles…even in this day and age they hold great power over us before they even make an appearance.  That warmth of that power is one of the strongest things in the universe.  It should be shared and celebrated, Lieu…Amy.”  He gave her a quiet nod, “As a man, I would be filled with such joy to be able to share that experience with someone.”

“That’s a bit of a relief.  We haven’t been married too long.  Wanting kids in theory and wanting them in practice are two entirely different things though.”

Leopold nodded thoughtfully, “I have a brother – he got married young and went to work.  Seven years into their marriage they had 3 kids under six years old.  They managed… but you’re right.  Theory and practice are two very different things.”  He leaned on his desk, “This command crew hasn’t been together very long, Amy…but I know every one of them would be willing to give of their time to help you work out the ‘in practice’ piece of it.  My wife would probably be first in line.”  He gestured to her, “Does that help?”

She nodded, “I’m… We’re not big on asking for help, but I appreciate it, sir, and to be honest, we may have to avail ourselves of that service. One thing is for certain: it’s coming, like it or not.  There’s no pause button.”

Halsey nodded in agreement, “Far as we’ve come in science, that button remains out of the process.”  He made a note in his PADD, “I won’t share it with the rest of the command team, but at some point…you’re going to start to show.  I’d tell you and Dougal to prepare for the eventuality.  Oh, and you should be aware that the custom of baby showers is still celebrated in these modern days.  Once it’s known, I doubt you’ll have any control over how big or how much it becomes.” 

Aimee laughed,  “It’s pregnancy, not leprosy! I’m not ashamed.”

He smiled in response, “Oh, you’ll be loved and loved on – that’s more what I’m warning you to expect.  People love babies in all forms – in and out of the womb.”  He tapped at his PADD once more, “For now, we’ll hold it close.”  He turned to another topic, “How’s your assistant chief working out?”

“Very well.  He’s quiet and keeps to himself but is competent and patients like him.”

Leopold didn’t raise his eyebrows.  It wasn’t a stinging endorsement, and he had to remember that the Chief wasn’t someone to over-compliment or praise beyond the measure they deserved.  He interrupted her statement to mean he was doing just fine.  “I’ll take competent and likable any day.”  He checked his chrono, “My wife is due in here for lunch.”  He stood, “Thanks for taking the time to share with me, Aimee.  Keep me updated.”

“Of course sir,” she replied and stood snapping to attention.”Thank you for your time.”

“You’re welcome – that door is rarely locked.”

She simply nodded and walked out of the ready room. She headed for the turbolift.  She was about to head to her office but changed her mind. “Computer location of Lieutenant Dougal MacDonald.”

“Dougal MacDonald is on deck 4, crew quarters.”

“Deck four,” Aimee ordered the lift and it whirred to life.