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How to Hatch an Egg

Posted on Sat Dec 28th, 2019 @ 4:23am by Lieutenant Mar Megara MD & Lieutenant Commander Shadi Zatra

Mission: S0:1: What Is Past, Is Prologue
Location: Sick Bay

The best part of being a doctor was the live births, including all the pre-natal appointments. First, there was the imaging of the unborn child so the mother could see. Next came hearing the heartbeat- which Meg felt was just as beautiful as the mothers did. And finally the birth itself. Nothing could be better. Meg seriously hoped that watching an egg hatch would be as exciting.

So far, nobody really knew what to look for in the unhatched child. It was the first of its kind so the team of Doctors had compiled as much information as they had on both species and asked the computer to work out what was a decent health range for the egg and its occupant. None of it had made a lick of sense, though, so they ended up just throwing it all out and winging it.

It seemed to be working all right thus far.

Making a few last notes on the PADD where all the egg data was stored, Meg turned back to the monitors and made a tiny adjustment to the readout before replacing the PADD in its slot and trying to decide what to do next.

Shadi came and went through Sickbay several times a day. Her natural regeneration often precluded the need for medical treatment. As such, her regular egg visitations amounted to more Sickbay time than her ever before. It felt unnatural, yet the hybrid status of her egg meant nothing could be left to chance. To say her maternal instincts were active would be like nailing jello to the wall. Whatever Shadi was feeling consisted of words outside her vocabulary.

What with the incubator, there wasn't much for her to do. Enemies were nowhere to be found, not since the Reka attack and the month spent in Canopus Station's drydock. Even so, Shadi wished there was some villain she could kill in honor of her spawn.

"Oh my egg," Shadi said, "I wonder whossse likeness you'll favor.. "

Meg turned at the sound of the voice and smiled vaguely at the reptilian. "DNA scans suggest the child will be an almost perfectly even mix of the two," she replied. "Although, that is genetically. The way those genes manifest is anyone's guess. For instance, genetically, I am 78% Bajoran. And look at me," she added with another grin, gesturing to her forehead.

"Ummm..." Shadi looked confused. "But you're a Klingon..." She looked back to her egg, then gasped at a harsh, fearful thought. "You don't think my egg will be a Klingon too?!"

"Oh, goodness no!" replied Meg with a grin. "That would be quite impossible. No, I only meant to illustrate how uncertain genetics are. Though your child is genetically almost exactly 50% of each you and the father, it may appear more one than the other."

That presented a different conundrum for Shadi. "But I don't know anything about Mazarian'sss people. How would I know if my spawn looks more like him or me?"

"Well, you just look at it at try to find resemblences," Meg told her. "Compare noses and eyes and things."

Shadi gasped again and set her fingers over her nostril slits. "You think my spawn will have a nose?!"

"Well, you certainly do," Meg pointed out. "Just because it is flat against your face does not mean you do not have one."

"I do not!" Shadi exclaimed. "Maybe Lykasti and M'Tezir spawns have prosthetic noses, but Ragolar spawns surely don't! Our nostrils don't require them. I don't know if you're qualified to watch my egg! Where's Dr. Chet? Or, pangs, I'll take the Trill, whatever her name was..." She made an indignant snort. "Saurians with noses. Psssh!"

Meg suppressed a grin by pretending to purse her lips. "I apologize," she said, quickly realizing that the technical explanation of a nose was not going to mollify Shadi. "Poor translation. Snout perhaps? Will that do?"

"Snout?! Do I look like a milk-drinking mammal to you? I'm moving my egg immediately." She tapped her combadge. "Shadi to Cap--"

"Then tell me what word you use for your mouth and nostrils," Meg interrupted. "Perhaps I simply do not know the correct term. I mean no offense," she added.

Shadi's big eyes narrowed in suspicion. "'Mouth' and 'nostrils'," she repeated. "They aren't connected and my face doesn't stick out like yoursss. Are you really a doctor?"

"Yes," replied Meg with another grin. "But it appears my training has neglected to mention how to avoid offending certain species. I will remember that there is no collective term in the furture. And, you have my sincerest apologies," she added.

"If you offended me, you'd be needing a doctor yourself," Shadi said. "No harm, no dishonor. Just..." She looked back to her egg. "Do you have spawn, Doctor? How do we know if we'll be a good mother?"

"I have no spawn of my own," confessed Meg. "Although, I did help to raise my brother and sister since I was ten years old. It is not quite the same, I am sure, but at least I have a running start on motherhood. Still, if you know what is acceptable for a member of your species, all you have to do is to teach them how to become that and you will succeed."

Shadi sighed at the advice. "In the old days, we taught our spawn to eat the spawn of rival clans. We can't do that anymore, so... it's been difficult to know who we are. What good is living by the Warrior Code of the Blood Goddess when everything's changed?" The rhetorical question sucked her wind away. "Goddess forgive me! I will let the blood of my next enemy in penance." She looked directly at Meg. "You don't happen to have any Reka hidden away anywhere do you? That would be very convenient at thisss moment."

"Fresh out," Meg replied. "It is just as well. I am not certain the captain would be happy with us tearing Reka into pieces."

"Famish me," Shadi groaned, eyes closed and shoulders slumped. After a few stabilizing hisses, she said, "What do you have hidden away?"

"Just chocolate, I am afraid," replied Meg. "And real coffee."

"And both already dead, no doubt." Shadi kicked against the deck. "Maybe I can kill something on the holodeck later. Do you think the Blood Goddess would accept it if I turn the sssafeties off?" She gave a hiss of dismay. "How can I raise my spawn in the glorious admonition of the Warrior Code of Ragolar if I can't follow it myssself?"

"I am afraid I do not have those answers," replied Meg. "But you will find a way. After all, Klingons are warriors and many have found a way to be warriors even while serving in Starfleet."

Shadi shrugged. "I guesssss." She stared at her egg, perhaps feeling a bit better. "When do you think it will hatch?"

“That is hard to say,” replied Meg. “I attempted to work it out mathematically and it worked out to 87 weeks, which cannot be right at all. If his growth rate is any indication, my best guess is between four to six weeks more. Perhaps eight.”

"Oh, it's just as I thought," Shadi lamented. "You don't know anything. I guess only the Goddess knows."

Meg modded sagely. “We are essentially dealing with a new species,” Meg explained. “If I had easy access to Starfleet Medical, I could perhaps get a specialist to come take a look, but as it stands...” she trailed off with a shrug.

"Maybe Mazarian's people will have a better idea," Shadi suggested. "Will you try to talk to their doctors, Doctor? Sssay you will!"

“Of course,” replied Meg. “I had intended to anyway. I know so little about them and if I am going to be in charge of the medical care of one of them- even if it is only half- I need to know as much as I can find out.”

The Saurian pressed her lipless mouth together as if she were thinking deeply. "Though you are likely feeble in battle due to the ectopic fat in your musclesss and the savory marrow in your brittle bones, I honor your discipline all the sssame." Making a bow of respect, Shadi added, "I blessss you with the blessing of gluttony of the Blood Goddess."

Though Meg didn't know a lot about Shadi's culture, she knew enough to realize that she had just been given the highest blessing possible. "Thank you," she said solemnly. "May the prophets guide you to health and prosperity," she returned. "That is an equivalent blessing to Bajorans. I am not certain about Klingons. Something about Kahless no doubt."

"Kahless can eat my entire ass," Shadi said with absolutely no cue as to how she meant the expression. As she turned to leave, she paused. "Thank you for watching over my egg, Doctor. Pleassse inform me if it hatches early..."

“I already have the alerts set to warn both of us if there is any movement,” Meg replied, trying not to laugh at the ass comment. “You will know at the same time I do.”

Shadi bowed. "Yesss, good thinking. I will be back when I can." Without nothing else, she made a bipedal slither toward the exit.

Meg couldn't help but grin. She liked Shadi. "Your mother is a bit mad," she told the egg. "But that is the way we love her. You have chosen well. Now just get hatched and be healthy. We will do the rest." And with that, she left the egg to its incubation.

 

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