Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after. – Dr. Robert Anthony
Mira was sitting in her office, shuffling through Alcoholics Anonymous information. All the pamphlets and articles and intructionals made a huge pile of information across the Centauri woman’s desk. Not to mention, the Medical Journal articles on the subject and everything even vaguely related to it turned this pile into a veritable mountain.
Maybe an obsession can only be cured by total immersion, she had decided earlier. In the research lab, Morgan’s medication was brewing. It made the MedLab smell vaguely burnt.
Mira had a nice little opera playing in the office. A human opera by someone named Gilbert Ansullivan. Odd name, but absolutely delightful music. It had been recommended to her by the music store clerk. Mira hummed along to the nurse’s explaination of her mistake.
“….I apprenticed him to a pirate.”
Katia was working on preparing the Phoenix for her fist mission after the refit, but had something weighing on her mind. She had been back for several days and already found herself missing Dunstan terribly, but knew that their lives took them in separate directions for now. Actually, that was what the whole problem was. Even with their joint promise to not allow their relationship to dissolve, she worried about the future. What if she was never able to give birth to the child they both had seen in their future? She sighed and then just decided to go talk to the person who may be able to help her. Katia stood up and moved quickly to the lift. Upon entering the turbolift, the engineer gave it a destination, “MedLab.”
Katia exited the lift and turned to face the door to Medlab. She was suddenly unsure if this was what she wanted to do, but wanted to get some sort of positive answers. She entered MedLab and stood just inside the door, looking terribly out of place. Glancing around, the engineer heard music drifting out of the office and into the MedLab proper. Mira’s voice came with it, singing along. Katia blinked, but slowly drifted toward the music and the singer.
Katia stopped in the doorway and just watched the Doctor, bemused.
“A pirate, a pirate, she apprenticed him to a pirate,” Mira sang loudly. She looked up, feeling eyes watching her. The doctor blushed but still smiled widely. “Katia! You are back!”
Katia nodded briefly and moved into the room slightly. “Yes, I arrived back yesterday.”
“How wonderful! Hasn’t the ship cleaned up prettily?” Mira waved to a chair. “Sit sit.”
“It has… it truly has. I am anxious to take her out and see what she can do.” Katia smiled a bit with self-deprecation.
Mira simply chuckled. “But of course! I’m already thinking up excuses to play with all my new toys.” She winked at the engineer. “But, you have not come to see me for a social visit, have you?”
“Not really, no.” Katia grinned a bit. “But, we can discuss inconsequential things if you would like…so I can avoid the topic of my visit.”
Mira laughed. “Certainly! I was thinking that we need to have a party to celebrate our new ship. Nothing so decadent as the last one, but some good food, some good music, a little dancing. What do you think?” In the back of Mira’s mind she was already planning the party, sans alcohol. Best not tempt the beast with the meat too soon.
Katia winced, her mind drifting back to the last party and the confrontation that had ensue as a result. “That would be… interesting indeed, I am sure.”
Mira’s grin turned a little lascivious. “Maybe even a few of the new Ranger trainees. There are a few Centauri in this batch, you know.” The doctor practically licked her lips.
Katia couldn’t help but laugh. “Well, I hope you find one that… suits you.”
Mira grinned and winked. Then, she looked a little mournful. “Though, I’m not sure I’d be able to lure any over here… with the new mission so close at hand, we would not be able to have any alcohol. Lest we all start out with bad tempers and worse heads.”
With her laughter turning harder, Katia still managed to say, “Uhm, yes, heaven forbid that would happen.”
Mira shook her head, regretfully. “Ah well, so much for my life. How was your vacation?”
Katia sobered immediately. “It was… enlightening.”
Mira quirked an eyebrow at both Katia’s reaction to the innocent question and her choice of words. “You make that sound like a bad thing.”
Katia glanced down, her mind drifting toward her daughters. “We all have to deal with tragedy in our lives.”
Mira remembered her own family’s recent past. “Yes, tragedy is the spice of life, otherwise we would all drown in sugar.”
Katia blinked and glanced up at Mira. “I had never exactly thought about it in those terms, Doctor.”
Mira smiled. “It is a common Centauri saying. We all love a good tragedy, you know.” She shrugged.
“And a little melodrama thrown in for good measure?”
The doctor chuckled. “Melodrama is good for the soul. Keeps from taking ourselves too seriously.”
Shaking her head, Katia smiled at that. “I think I need to hang around you more often.”
Mira waited for Katia to get around to the reason she had come. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I ought to have taken more than the required Psychology courses. She said out loud, “You are always welcome wherever I am, you know.” Mira said earnestly. “I like people. I like the people on this ship, especially. And I honestly can say, I missed you while you were gone.” Mira nodded to herself. “And Morgan as well, though, don’t tell her that…she’ll see it as an excuse to beat me more often on the practice mats.”
“Thank you, Doctor. I need some positive reinforcement right now.” Katia smiled then quickly sighed, realizing she needed to get to the point of her visit. “Okay, you are probably quite tired of me hedging the topic of my visit by now….” Mira just smiled encouragingly. “Do you remember back to my initial physical when I came on board thePhoenix?”
“Of course, we discovered what the Psi Corps had done to you. Made you infertile to be specific.” Mira pulled Katia’s file up on her computer and displayed the results of those tests. “You have Chronic Ovarian Failure.”
Katia sighed. “Yes. That was it. Those shots they gave me for so many years… explaining it away as treatment for complications of Kira’s birth.”
“Mmm… I still haven’t managed to figure out how they did it. And, of course, there is nothing in the literature about it.”
“What would you say if I had a strong feeling that I was supposed to have another child… that I may want another child? Despite what the test results say?”
Mira blinked. “Well.” She paused, then she shrugged. “I have occasionally found the interesting tidbit dealing with treatments for naturally occurring ovarian failure in women of unusual youth.”
Katia bit at her lower lip. “Do you think it is possible to reverse what the Corps did to me?”
Mira was looking at Katia a bit oddly. I didn’t know she had clairvoyant tendencies. “It might be,” the doctor said after a moment’s thought. “It might take years. It might be that the first thing we try works. It might never happen.”
“That is what I am afraid of. That it may take years… or never happen. But, I have to try. Do you think you can help me?”
Mira nodded. “I am here to help, Katia.” The doctor smiled at the other woman. “We will start off with a very thorough gynecological exam and more blood tests than you can imagine.” She was already typing her plans into the Chief Engineer’s file. “When would you like to begin?”
Katia winced. “As soon as possible. And, I am willing to do whatever it takes to fight this.”
(c) 1999 Tamara Friese and Mona Hinds. All rights reserved.