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Astraeus Stories: Baby Makes Three

October 16, 2015

Here is a story that I wrote a couple months back as a continuation of the Astraeus stories. There will be more of this story line in my upcoming novella in November 2016.

Astraeus Stories:
Baby Makes Three

Katie sat on one of the examining tables in MedLabs as her step-mother, Dr. Ananda Rourke examined her. The last couple of days she’d been feeling faint, nauseous and sluggish. At this rate, her father would never approve for her to return to Earth.

“I’m just going to draw a little blood, Katie,” Ananda said as she bent over Katie’s arm with a small instrument. “It doesn’t even hurt these days with these new extractors.”

Katie smiled. She hated to tell Dr. Rourke that she did in fact fill the slightest pin-prick, but it was nothing more than a slight sting. Still, out of habit, Katie rubbed her arm at the point of incision.

“I should have the test results in a few hours, Katie. The scan didn’t detect any viruses or influenzas, but hopefully the blood test will give us something.”

“Thanks Doc,” Katie whispered. She’d gotten used to calling Ananda “Doc” as a playful nickname and Ananda didn’t seem to mind. Her father, Commander Rourke, did mind. He said it was disrespectful not to use Ananda’s full title when in public. Katie hated formalities. All those ‘yes sir, yes ma’am’ and ‘no sir, no ma’am’ when crew was around. Even Davies played the game. What was the big deal? Everyone knew Ananda and her father were married now and that Katie was their daughter. Just more of the same ole military protocols that she and her mother had shied away from and remained on Earth to avoid.

Katie left the MedLabs and wandered the marketplace in Blue Sector 5. If she had to be stuck on this hunk of metal in space, at least she would do some shopping. She went inside one of the Katharsian clothiers. She loved their elegant gowns made of the finest Mystasiam silk. The Mystasia were much like spiders from home except they were at least a hundred times larger, non-lethal and revered as sacred creatures in Katharsi. Their silk was harvested and spun into the lightest but strongest of threads. It was rumored that a garment made of Mystasiam silk could withstand several rounds of a laser blast before becoming damaged and a knife couldn’t even penetrate it.

“’Elo, Miss. Rourke,” one of the young Katharsi shopgirls said as Katie approached the counter.

“En me anol,” Katie replied, the polite greeting of one youth to another in Katharsi, which meant “welcome to my heartsong.” Katie loved learning the languages of the variety of aliens who lived and worked aboard her father’s Earth Force Station.

The young girl blushed. Katie could tell the girl wasn’t accustomed to Earthlings speaking her native tongue. Katie had always been good with languages, having learned all of the Earth languages before she was fifteen, and there was little else for her to do on the Station these days. It had been six months since the funeral of her friend Dalia and nearly five since her father’s wedding. If she hadn’t been learning languages, she would have gone stir-crazy by now.

“How may I service you today?” the young shopgirl asked in her slow, but thick Katharsian diction.

“Father is hosting a party for some Ambassadors in two months. I need a fitting for a gown made of Mystasiam silk.” It would take that long for a gown to be made as each was hand-weaved to fit each person like skin. The gowns of the shop were just for advertising.

“Oh yes, miss! Come, come to the scanner.”

Katie followed the girl to the back of the small shop. In a corner stood a large full-body scanner. The girl helped Katie inside and reminded her to keep her hands close to her sides. The scan took a full five minutes and by the time it was over, Katie was again feeling faint and nauseous. The shopgirl took her uni-card, scanned it for the appropriate monetary units to commission a gown and then informed her that the gown would be ready in 8 weeks.

By the time Katie left the shop, she had to hurry to her quarters. She hugged the toilet for a good couple of minutes. She had no idea why she was sick to her stomach. She’d had only fruit for breakfast and it didn’t normally make her sick. She laid down on her bed with a cold cloth pressed against her face and soon feel asleep.

Incoming call.

The intercom system startled Katie awake. How long had she been asleep? She glanced at her table clock. Four hours?

Incoming call.

The intercom was persistent. “Answer call,” Katie finally responded.

There was silence for a moment and then Ananda’s voice came over the line. “Katie, you’d better get back to MedLabs. Your results are in.”

“Is it serious, Doc?”

“Just come, Katie.” And the call ended.

Katie hurried to the lift and took it down to MedLabs. When the door opened, Ananda and her father were waiting on the other side. They both looked concerned.

“What is it?” Katie begged. The suspense was killing her.

“Come to my office,” Ananda said as she and Jeremy turned and went inside the main MedLab.

Katie followed her parents into the doctor’s office, a cold stoic room barely furnished. She sat down on one of the cushioned chairs on the opposite side of the doctor’s desk. Ananda sat behind her desk and Jeremy stood just beside his wife. They were both silent for a few moments until Katie couldn’t take it anymore.

“Out with it! Do I have some rare disease that is going to kill me?”

“It could,” Ananda began. “Katie, you are pregnant and the test reveals alien DNA.”

“What? But I haven’t had sex with any aliens!”

“Not even the Luestran Ambassador’s son?” Jeremy asked. “I’ve seen you with him many times.”

Katie couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Pregnant? “Daddy, I am telling you, Ivanican and I have not had sex!”

Ananda sighed heavily. “Katie, you must be honest with me here. Have you partaken in any meditative sessions with Ivanican?”

“Well, yes. He said it was how the Luestra connect with others’ souls. And well, we have been dating for nearly five months. I wanted to connect with him.”

“Oh dear, it is as I feared,” Ananda said as she stared up at Jeremy.

“What?” Katie asked impatiently.

Ananda opened her desk drawer and took out a slim manual. She opened it and handed it to Katie. “Do you see how the clasping of hands are in that picture, Katie?”

“Yes! That is what Invanican and I did.”

“That is how they transfer their DNA to another. It is how they impregnate other races to carry their offspring,” Jeremy said.

Katie was stunned. Her whole body went numb and the manual fell to the floor. She was pregnant with an alien’s baby! Oh god! Her commissioned gown would never fit her in two months. What a mess! And all because she wanted to connect with Ivanican’s delicate soul.

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