By Carol Sandford


Chapter 26



"She's made her decision, Beverly."

"I forbid it. She's not stable enough to make a decision like that."

"She seemed very final on the subject to me."

"Jean-Luc, she could lose her baby!"

"Is that correct, Professor Jagla? Is Deanna or her unborn baby at risk?"

Picard didn't like the hesitation that followed. "She...they shouldn't be. The procedure is harmless. However, there is always a slight risk with any surgery, no matter how trivial. We all know that."

"That's not a good enough answer, professor. I need more reassurances than that."

"We can't give you one, which is why I refuse to carry it out. Jean-Luc. This is Deanna Troi we are talking about. Our friend. Will Riker's wife, for heavens sake! What on Earth do you think he'll say when he finds out?"

"Maybe he'll be okay with everything. He may even encourage the tests."

"I wouldn't count on it! Christ, professor, the man doesn't even know he's going to be a father! Do you want to be the one to tell that he may lose his son before he's even been born, in a test that may not even work?! That's just not fair to him, or to Deanna, no matter what she says. This isn't just her decision."

Professor Jagla swung open the office door and said as he gestured for both Beverly and Captain Picard to proceed him., "Let's ask her, shall we?"

Deanna sat with her hands clasped upon the edge of her bed, her feet hanging over its edge unable to reach the floor. She looked small and fragile, but both Beverly and the captain knew that she was anything but.

But even so, the voice that answered their unasked question still sounded pathetically small. "I don't want my husband to know. I want to do this by myself. It's my body, my baby. It's my choice."

Beverly moved closer to her friend and reached for her hands, unlinking them as she held them within her own. Quietly she asked, tears forming in her eyes at the predicament they were now all in. "Will would not let you do this, would he, Deanna, if he knew?"

Deanna had the grace to look sheepish as she answered. "No, I don't think he would. But it wouldn't be because he doesn't want to help the Lanaarians. He would only protest against any harm coming to me or our son. That is the only reason why he would protest, Beverly."

"Nothing is certain, Deanna, and that is why I don't want this to happen."

"What would you have to do to remove the sample?" She asked with reluctance.

Beverly sighed, somehow knowing that the delicate question was coming. But she was saved by Jagla's intervention. "You don't need to know that, my dear. Let's just say that we would put you into a light sleep so that you don't move unintentionally. You have my word that no harm will come to you, or your son. I would not even consider it, if I thought otherwise."

For many long moments there was a silence between the threesome until eventually, Deanna asked her captain. "Where is Will now, captain?"

"He is down on the planet overseeing the crews that have been sent down." Picard was reluctant to reveal the whereabouts of Deanna's husband knowing that it would be the catalyst to her decision, a decision that he silently disagreed with. The baby had been made by them both and he felt that they both should be there together when her decision was made, either way. He had no doubt that Will would want to help the Lanaarians, but not at the expense of his own wife or his son lives.

She slid to her feet around and lay back in her own bed, her decision clearly made. "Then I want it done now, before he returns. Right or wrongly, I've made my decision. All I ask is that Will never knows unless...unless, of course...something goes wrong."

Knowing that there was no dissuading her now that she had made her mind up, Beverly picked up the hypo to send her friend off into a dreamless sleep. As she did so she whispered. "You have my word, Deanna, that you and your son's life will be our first priority. I'm too eager to have a cuddle with your little one to do anything to harm him or you. We'll see you in a bit, okay?"

Warily, Deanna nodded. Within seconds of the hypo touching her neck, she was fast asleep.

  Book index   Previous chapter   Next chapter