Overwhelming relief that John was safe became panic as a dull pain sliced into her. Instinctively Helena knew what was happening. There had been an awareness that something was wrong earlier, as Balor had confronted her in Medical, and now the nagging ache that she'd been ignoring since she'd arrived in Main Mission grew and changed into something more. Another sharp pain took her breath away almost doubling her over. Victor turned toward her, mistaking her gasp for one of concern.
"Hey...it's over..." he said, patting her arm and offering her a reassuring smile which she managed to acknowledge, whilst all the time knowing that she must get away! She needed to get back to her quarters, she needed to be alone and yet her mind was in turmoil! How could she leave before he returned?
She'd rushed from the evacuated Medical Centre and arrived in Main Mission just in time to witness John magnified on the main screen, fighting with Balor, goading him and trying to lead him to the airlock.
She had been stunned, and turning to the watching Alphans, demanded to know what the hell he was doing!
How could he possibly overpower Balor on his own?
Without taking her eyes from the screen she listened as they described the crazy scheme devised to trap Balor and eject him out into space. The plan seemed ridiculous and far too dangerous. It had little chance of success and she was furious with John, and with the others, for letting him do it. Furious, but also understanding and oh so scared, as she realised the full consequence of the danger he was facing.
She watched with everyone else as he moved around the deserted base with Balor close behind. She should have expected as much! She'd known, because he'd told her, that as Commander, he held himself personally responsible for this new threat to Alpha and she wasn't surprised to find that he was taking on the threat of Balor alone. She knew John would do anything to save the base and that knowledge terrified her. She fought to hold onto her composure and not allow her personal feelings for Alpha's Commander to show, as blow after blow rained down on Koenig and the whole of Alpha held its breath.
Balor had held them all captive since they had unknowingly released the evil alien from his asteroid prison, days earlier. Seemingly 'dead' he revived and in the following days Alpha paid a high price for offering refuge to the stranger. He brought with him fear and death and also an ability to regenerate. His immortality seemed insurmountable.
The atmosphere in Main Mission changed from despair to jubilation as, after sending Koenig flying through the air in rage, the alien finally backed himself into the disguised airlock. In that same instant, Alan shouted and Paul slammed his hand down to activate the switch and open the airlock. Balor was sucked out into space and the threat was over. Relief spread through the base as they waited for the commander to return to Main Mission.
Helena felt the first pain at exactly the same moment that the airlock snapped shut. Closing her eyes to keep control and bracing herself against one of the workstations she couldn't help the gasp that escaped her lips. Vaguely aware of Victor at her side, her head was pounding with emotions. She knew she didn't have much time before someone realized something was wrong.
Victor noticed her sudden pallor. He reached out to offer his support and noticed how badly she was shaking. Aware of the growing bond between Helena and John, he assumed her reaction was due to the ordeal that she'd just witnessed. He made some comment about John being 'tough as old boots' in an attempt to cheer her up and she managed a faint smile. A call came in on her commlock from Mathias and, telling Victor and Paul that she couldn't stay until John got back, she gave rapid orders to her second as she left Main Mission. She had intended to head to Medical but as another pain hit her she knew she desperately needed some privacy, so she turned toward the living area of the base, succumbing to an instinctive need to be alone.
As she entered her quarters and the doors slid closed behind her, she dropped her commlock and sank to the floor finally able to let go and release the misery that had been threatening to overwhelm her for the last hour. Misery that expanded as each new spasm hit, like waves in the ocean, rolling over her and tossing her around in a sea of pain. Nausea made her head spin and she crawled across the room to her small bathroom to find some water. Then she became aware of the blood, bright red and soaking through the beige blandness of her uniform trousers.
A stark visual indication of her loss!
Strangely she was able to look down on herself.
Watch as she curled herself up into a protective ball.
Watch as she rocked in a haze of pain and grief, there on the cold floor.
Watch what was happening and yet remain detached from the situation.
She was CMO and she knew she should call Bob. But what would she say...how could she explain what was happening?
As pain engulfed her and a soothing blackness drew her towards it...shards of memories that had been edging her consciousness since her return from Retha, began to meld together...forming distinct images...flickering flames cast undulating shadows on the cave wall and she knew where she was...
The cave was dark. The fire glowed brightly and created pockets of moving shadow as its light played and danced on the walls.
Smoke from the fire made the air thick and pungent.
Dark formless shapes shuffled around in the shadows. Soft grunts and occasional yelps could be heard.
She knew the moment he returned. She had been waiting for him.
His scent tantalised her...the baking heat of the day captured in his crusted sweat.
She felt her body respond to the smell of him...the ripeness of her arousal calling out to him.
She wanted him...
Then...a distraction... A strange female...
He turned away from her toward the interloper...confusion...then snarling aggression followed by yelps of fear.
He took the strange female as his prize!
He was the leader...she was his...but now a threat...primeval jealousy tore through her...he cannot have her...
She went wild...enraged by the strange female's presence... he lashed out protecting his prize...she backed away...watching him broodingly...he was the leader...he was hers...
He threw his prize towards the back of the cave...into the shadows...then he turned back towards her...his mate...she was howling with anger and wounded pride.
He approached her warily as she cowered in the corner cautiously extending his large hand towards her. She felt the lash from his eyes as he signalled his dominance and she backed away, whimpering in deference. He moved closer. When she made no effort to resist he snatched at her hair...pulling on it hard to drag her closer to him.
Their eyes locked...deepest green and sparkling blue...and there was recognition.
He forced her to stand before him in submission, holding her in place by her hair. He was a fine animal...tall and strong. He lowered his mouth and bit into the fleshy part of her breast. She danced in pain...spitting and snarling...but her jerky movements and squeals only served to enhance his arousal.
His prize was forgotten...
With a twist of her hair he pushed her roughly to the ground. She fell before him...pain from the pull of her hair making her yelp. She dared to look up at him as he stood over her...he was magnificent...the planes of his lean body gleaming in the firelight...his engorged shaft jutting out proudly...waiting impatiently for release...she remembered what it did to her...she craved what it did to her!
With a jerk of his powerful wrist he spun her around by her hair moving her into position...bending her before him and pawing at her covering.
She waited before him on all fours...her rear exposed for his use...She could smell the muskiness of her arousal...could feel the slickness between her thighs as she anticipated his entry. Her hands rested on the cold rock floor...her knees cushioned on a deep bed of fur. She was panting with need. She could feel the eager kiss of this shaft as it twitched against her...seeking entry.
She held her breath with anticipation...
He thrust into her hard...she cried out as he filled her...it was always the same...he was huge and his power scared her...but as he began to move within her, she calmed...soft mewing sounds escaped her lips...her panic gave way to pleasure as he used her body to ease his instinctive need.
He rode her hard...shards of rock cut into the palms of her hands as she rocked with him...she could taste blood as she bit into her lips.
She bucked beneath him...fighting his domination whilst at the same time pushing herself hard against him... willing him to continue. She was his mate!
The harsh slap of their bodies intensified. Her cries echoed off the cave walls as his tempo increased...his grunts of pleasure making something deep inside her begin to quiver...
He clutched at her hair again...yanking her head back. Pain jarred through her body and she let out a snarl of anger...but as she arched back towards him, the forced movement allowed him deeper entry, increasing her pleasure and making her gasp loudly. Her breasts thrust out before her...bouncing with a rhythm that matched his movements. He held her firmly in place one hand tangled in her hair the other branding a searing heat of possession on her hip, as he pounded towards his climax.
Her cries became harsh and gasping and a familiar sensation built inside her...growing and exploding as his final thrusts shot his white hot seed deep within her...making her cry out with wild abandon.
He quietened...released her hair and gripped her hips tightly...holding her still...his shaft quivering as it lay buried deep within her heat. She collapsed forward exhausted...her body ached from the way he had used her...but she was his possession...she waited...her breathe slowing...he held her there before him for a while longer and then pulled out of her and pushed her aside.
She had done her job!
She was his mate...she was his woman.
He was her man...
Their encounter with the planet Retha had started well. All indications were that it could sustain human life, that there seemed to be a plentiful supply of all essential core elements. The command team had been filled with optimism and a landing party was sent to investigate. Then things had started to go wrong. Contact with the group was lost and their Eagle returned empty...empty except for the body of an unknown 'cave man' on board. Very strange! A major search operation was launched. Time was of the essence. They would only be in range of the planet for about a week and Alphans were missing!
The Commander sent Eagles One and Two down to the planet. He led the search team, taking a security detail and a medical unit led by Helena along for good measure. Alan, responsible for an ariel reconnaissance of the planet took Sandra along to help with the search.
The time on the planet was chaos! When they'd gotten back from Retha, days later, the rescue mission had been successful but it had been a very close thing.
Somehow most of the Alphans who'd been on the surface of Retha had been transported back in time forty thousand years by a sort of misted time warp. Victor had managed to work out what had happened because the autopsy results had shown that the dead 'cave man' was actually one of the original landing party.
Helena had no clue what had happened to her. She'd managed a few hurried words with John once they were back aboard the eagle but he only offered reassurance, not explanation. Alpha was moving away and they didn't have a second to waste. He wanted no-one to discuss things until they'd each written up their reports, so orders were to get reports done and then they would de-brief together.
Once safely back on Alpha after an absence of five days, everyone who'd been down to the planet had been checked out thoroughly, herself included. She and Bob had been worried about any effect that the mist might have had on the Alphans. But nothing showed up in any tests, everyone seemed fine. Infected cuts and some irritating insect bites were the only things that needed treatment. Those members of the landing party that had been caught up in the mist had no real idea of what they'd been through.
When she'd got back to Alpha she'd realised that she was a mess. The cloying smell of smoke and sweat clung to her hair and uniform and dirt had left smudges on her face. She'd been a bit embarrassed that John had hugged her...held her close to him when she smelt so bad but she'd shrugged that worry away. They must all be in the same state, so what the heck!
Showering the residue of smoke and sweat and other indefinable yet pungent aromas from her body after her medical exam, she'd found crusted blood marked areas where superficial scratches had cut into her skin. Her knees and the palms of her hands were particularly tender and bruises left dark smudges on her body.
Her head was filled with images...tiny fragments of memory that teased around the edge of her mind.
Smoke and fur pelts...fear and lust.
Chanting and ritual...jealousy and fury!
Splinters of a whole memory that refused to come together.
Vague and elusive, the more she tried to capture the fragments the more they shattered away leaving her frustrated and unsure. She self diagnosed a case of 'overactive imagination', wrote out her report and filed it along with all the others onto Computer.
Two days later Sandra's report came as a one hell of a shock!
She'd been unaffected by the strange cloud and was the only one who had any real memories of her time on the planet. She'd been embarrassed about some of the things that had taken place, uncertain how much she should disclose and had come to ask Helena's advice, seeing as Alpha's CMO had held a leading role in what had happened.
Her report included vivid detail of cave people, primeval rituals and the most instinctive of human behaviour. It read like some far-fetched story but as Helena read through the details, fragments of awareness began to meld together and she knew, even without the memory that it had actually happened.
The medicine woman
...a prisoner...and a threat
'Sandra...you're saying that the commander and I...that we...had sex...openly...in full view of everyone and then...' she was shaking her head in disbelief...'that I tried to kill you? You're sure it was us...me...John Koenig...you?' The question hung in the air between them.
Sandra's brown eyes were troubled. 'Dr Russell...I would not have come to you with this if it was not true.' Sandra's words were gentle but firm. 'The mist did not affect me...I remember it all clearly.' For the first time Sandra saw Helena's composure slip.
She felt sorry for the CMO. She knew that her report contained details...intimate details about things that had taken place on Retha. Things that would be discussed in the official de-brief and, seeing the doctor's reaction, she knew she'd made the right decision in coming to her before submitting the report. It seemed that Helena along with all of the other Alphans who had got caught in the mist, still had little or no recollection of their time as 'cave people' and she could tell that Helena was shocked by what she'd found out.
Sandra knew that her report would contribute to a base wide communication, which was bound to be read with interest, and even if her clear account of the time on the planet was dumbed down, it would still give the gossip mongers on Alpha weeks of entertainment. There was already a lot of speculation about the Commander and Dr Russell and what had happened down on Retha was bound to add fuel to the fire!
Reading Sandra's words made Helena feel totally exposed. She tried to remain composed but intercepting a gentle, comforting smile from Sandra she knew her emotions were plain to see.
Her behaviour on Retha was a surprise. Not so much on an emotional level because she knew how strong her feelings for Alpha's Commander were, but on the physical level...that was a surprise.
Despite becoming close over the last few months their physical relationship hadn't progressed further than a few kisses. Ok...some pretty fabulous, hot, crazy sort of kisses...kisses that had left them both on the edge...on the edge of a precipice, teetering on the brink of a step that would change things forever. But they hadn't actually gotten to the stage where they were ready to take 'that final step'! There was always a good reason to hold back. How could they be concerned with their own personal feelings when there was always so much to do...when so many lives depended on their decisions?
Helena had spent many a long night trying to work out why they'd refrained from love making. It wasn't that she didn't want to...her body craved his touch and she longed to throw caution to the wind and give in to her needs. It wasn't that he didn't want to either, the hardness of his body and the silent need smouldering in his eyes gave the game away. She could sense the tight control it took for him to draw away and end an evening with just a kiss.
And yet still they found justification in holding back.
Guilt and fear were major factors, she was sure.
Plain and simple guilt that amongst all the loss and heartache felt by each and every Alphan since breakaway, it seemed wrong to be so happy...so much in love with someone. Guilt that they'd had found each other, and the fear that they could get in way too deep! Could they make it work...a relationship with such a close personal and professional dimension? What would happen if it didn't work out? What would life be like when there was nowhere to run and hide? They both took their responsibilities too seriously to jeopardise the welfare of Alpha for their own personal feelings and yet it seemed that, caught up in the mist on Retha, catapulted back to a time of base instincts, their counterparts on the planet had felt no reason to hold back.
After Sandra had left for her duty shift, Helena sat for awhile lost in thought. Knowing that they'd had sex and yet having no recollection of the experience was frustrating. She found herself chasing the fragments of memory...but it was like trying to catch smoke...the harder she tried to remember the more elusive the memories became. Realising that she was doing very little work she tried to concentrate on the medical reports on her desk but her mind started conjuring up pictures of her and John...not on Retha, but here on Alpha...images that she normally only allowed herself to see late at night when she lay alone wishing he were beside her.
Sipping at her coffee and trying to shake the idea of a gorgeous, naked John Koenig from her mind her commlock buzzed and the object of her thoughts came striding into her office, albeit fully clothed and looking very pensive.
Helena wasn't surprised when John appeared. She'd been wondering how long it would take him to find her after he'd read Sandra's report and also how he was going to react to its content. Here they were worrying about keeping their relationship to themselves, unsure of the viability of a personal and professional mix and their more primitive selves had stripped away all the superficiality and allowed their fundamental needs free rein.
Now he was here she found she was quite nervous...
'Sandra's report, you've read it!' It was a statement not a question. His eyes were clouded and Helena couldn't judge his mood. He seemed angry...annoyed! He was both.
Having no clear recollection himself of what had taken place when they disappeared into the mist, reading Sandra's report had thrown him completely. He'd never imagined himself as a Neanderthal type of guy and yet it would seem that under the influence of the mist he had played that role to perfection. None of them could be held responsible for their actions on Retha but that didn't make it any easier to accept. He'd apparently...well he'd...
...HELL...he needed to see Helena...talk to her...before he worked out what to do next.
Her eyes were wary when he walked into her office. She was upset...probably mad at him?
'Yes John...I've read it. I guess she was worried about my reaction...'
'And ?' He paced her office. 'God Helena...I was a bastard! How could I...' he fought to find the words. 'How could I have...?'
'Made love with me...'
He turned impatiently towards her, his anger obvious. 'It wasn't making love Helena...' his words were harsh. 'I took you...violently...if you read between the lines of Sandra's report...took you like an animal...hurt you...I acted like some...'
'John, that's crazy!' Helena moved towards him stopping just short of him. 'If we're honest with each other, you, NO... WE...WE were only doing what we've both wanted to do for awhile now.'
He turned away from her, moving to gaze out of a viewport. She could sense his tension, the anger he was directing at himself for his loss of control. For the violent act he felt he'd subjected her to. But that was just it! The way she saw it, it wasn't just his loss of control...she was as much to blame for the things that had taken place on Retha as he was. From what Sandra had said the medicine woman was no shrinking violet! She had regarded the Tribe leader as her man and she'd had no compunction in attacking a threat to her position, namely Sandra!
'John...I've been thinking about this since I read Sandra's report. Down there on that planet...'she struggled to put her thoughts into words...'down there a different part of us took over. A part not controlled by logic...a part controlled purely by basic primitive human instinct.'
She moved toward him again standing close, wanting him to hold her but sensing that he wasn't ready yet. 'I guess it picked up on our feeling.' She hesitated before she continued, unsure of whether she should continue.
'None of that justifies...'
She cut him off! 'Yes it does John...It wasn't us...not as we are today! It wasn't us but it was our emotions. Down there on Retha we weren't able to hold back! Down there it was lust John...plain and simple lust!' The mist had transported them back to a time where instinct ruled and neither one of them had been capable of denying their true feelings in that situation. 'Strip away all the other stuff and that's what we're left with.' She hesitated giving him time to process what she was saying. Knowing that now was the time for honesty.
Laying her hand on his arm she continued.
'Irecognisethat feeling John. It's in me all of the time. Lust, need, desire...whatever word you want to use...it's inside me,' her voice dropped to a whisper, emotion making her throat scratchy, 'and I only wish I could remember what it felt like to be that intimate with you, to have sex with you.'
He pulled her into his arms as her words sank in, holding her tight. 'I'm sorry...'
'Shhh...I'm sorry too. If we'd worked this out before, instead of torturing ourselves for the last few weeks...maybe it would have been different. Maybe we wouldn't have put on such a...' she hesitated trying to find the right words, '...such a public performance!'
Their eyes met and she felt his smile and catching her breath she continued. 'But it wouldn't have stopped me being jealous and that's what nearly killed you down there on the planet...you and Sandra! If anyone's responsible for what happened down there... it's me! It was my jealousy...my vengefulness that was the catalyst!'
She pulled out of his arms and moved to gaze out at the stars. 'The woman I am today wouldn't attack or kill any threat for your attention but she feels the same emotion...and deep inside me I understand how it could happen. I understand the pain...' Her voice trailed off as she struggled with the words to explain her feelings to this man who had come to mean so much to her.
'When you came back to us...to me after Zenno... after Vana...'
John moved towards her resting his hands on her shoulders. He could feel her tension. 'Helena I...'
She cut him off. 'Remember Zenno, John?' Her voice was choked with emotion. 'I was so jealous of Vana! I still am, even now!'
Catching her breathe she continued. 'I hated that while I was here struggling to keep you alive, terrified of losing you, you were with her! I hated that she knew a part of you that I didn't... I hated that I didn't get a chance to fight for you...to make you choose me...not her...I hate that I feel so jealous of someone I never got to meet...someone who may only have existed in your sub-conscious...how could I fight that!'
Unshed tears made her throat ache yet still she forced herself to go on.
'I hate that loving you makes me so exposed! ' Her words died away and the room was quiet.
Knowing that they needed to get this worked through he moved toward her.
It had gone from being his fault to being hers, when in reality neither was really to blame for what had happened.
As he'd recovered after his ordeal on Zenno he's sensed a difference in her but he'd skirted around it, not really understanding himself whether it had actually happened and not appreciating how Helena was feeling. It amazed him that she could feel so threatened, but then he remembered back to their encounter with the Kaldorians when he had been beside himself with jealousy after Zantor had seemed overly interested in Helena, been ready to rip him apart when she'd been placed in stasis and nearly died, and it all made sense.
Pulling her into his arms and gently kissing the top of her head he explained this to her. That they couldn't go back and change things...but they could move forward. Start over. Stop fighting the attraction they both felt, accept the depth of their feelings for each other and use it to give them the strength to work at their future and the future of Alpha.
If John's commlock hadn't gone off, summoning him back to Main Mission, Helena wasn't sure whether they wouldn't have done something totally irresponsible and completely unprofessional right there in her office...but as they were literally 'saved by the bell', he left her with a deep kiss, assuring her that the command conference would be ok and promising to pick up where he left off...later...
And it had been worth waiting for! Later, lying naked together in the dim starlight, bodies close, legs entwined, Helena smiled to herself. Yes...it had definitely been worth the wait.
There had been no awkwardness between them, just pure passion and a lot of very pleasurable activity. Like a maestro playing his favourite instrument John had used his hands on her body to drive her crazy with desire and she had followed his lead, wanting to give him as much pleasure as he was giving her. His lips traced hot trails of pure bliss across her closed eyelids, her lips and throat...dipping lower to taste the beauty of her firm breasts and tease her taut nipples, making her gasp with desire before seeking out the throbbing heat that was crying out for his touch...
He was rock hard and oh so hot and needed desperately to lose himself deep inside her. Her hands were everywhere, raking through his hair, kneading the taut muscles of his shoulders, cupping his balls, stroking his throbbing shaft! She rose above him, a silhouette of silver starlight. The wet heat from between her legs lathering his thighs as she made herself comfortable and then surprising him, she bent forward and took him into her mouth and he thought he would die with the intensity of the moment.
Lips, tongues, hands, fingers, strokes, kisses! The music continued until they could stand no more and then, finally reaching a crescendo, they melded together in perfect harmony.
Listening to his steady breathing as she lay close to him in the darkness, Helena couldn't quite believe how wonderful it had been. She hadn't been close to anyone in such an intimate way since she'd lost Lee and to feel so comfortable with John in so short a space of time, startled her. Maybe because they'd waited...not rushed into the sexual side of their relationship, maybe because they respected each other so much...well...maybe that was why she felt so at ease with what had just happened.
Watching him sleep she remembered how well he'd handled the de-brief session earlier in the day. She guessed most of those present in Johns office already had an idea that something was going on between their Commander and CMO so when the details of Sandra's report were discussed it didn't seem to come as much of a surprise and John hadn't been at all embarrassed. Victor had caught her eye and smiled his support and she was surprised that Alan had refrained from making any lewd comment. She couldn't help wondering if John had spoken with him privately and warned him that, on this occasion, his normal aussie banter would not be appreciated. Whatever...it hadn't been the ordeal she'd been expecting. She'd managed to remain composed with just a tiny tremor in her voice as she gave her medical report and as she caught eyes with John across the table, she relaxed.
Coming a week after their return from the planet, the final Retha Report had left out nothing essential, because John believed in keeping things as truthful as possible, but it had been just a little vague. Of course people could and would 'read between the lines' but it hadn't been as explicit as it could have been.
The Moon moved away from Retha and life on Alpha got back to normal.
Despite the change in their relationship neither wanted it to become common knowledge around the base, so they continued to be discreet but that didn't stop the rumours...
Are they together...I'm sure they are...what do you think? Well, reading between the lines I think they are, it's so obvious...Did you see the way she looked at him when they met on the travel tube this morning...I'm sure their fingers touched as she handed him the reports...he was down in Medical AGAIN yesterday...they were eating together in the cafeteria and they weren't really concentrating on the food if you know what I mean...my friend was given a stint of duty in Main Mission and said that she enters his office without request, apparently she has special privilege...it's set up on the comm. channel...she just walks in...seriously? Yup, seriously... and this morning she was in there for a long time...what'd you think they were doing? I heard that he was seen leaving her quarters early the other morning...
...they went on and on...
A week ago she'd started throwing up.
John had left her bed early, going back to his quarters while most of Alpha was still asleep, to shower and get ready for work. They weren't trying to keep their relationship a secret by sneaking between each other's quarters but neither did they want to flaunt it openly about the base. Paul knew where to find John in an emergency and through Computer, Kano was well aware of his commander and CMO's whereabouts, but those closest to John and Helena were also most loyal to them and refrained from adding to any of the mounting speculation.
He'd brushed a gentle kiss across her forehead as he left and she'd dozed back off to sleep making the most of the hour she had before she needed to get up. When she did wake she was barely able to make it to the bathroom before she started retching and once there, she spent the next ten minutes feeling so ill that she didn't dare leave the tiny room. Showered and dressed in her uniform she was about to pick up her commlock and head toward Medical when the need to throw-up drove her back to the toilet again. By the time she'd freshened up again and got to her office her head was a mass of confusion.
Alpha's entire Life Support System was closely monitored and viruses and bugs were normally eradicated in the artificially created environment that kept them all healthy and functioning in deep space. Throughout the morning she began to run a series of system checks but nothing showed up out of the ordinary and as the day passed and she felt fine, her worry subsided.
Two days later she knew something was wrong...really wrong. Each morning she'd woken feeling nauseous and yesterday the feeling had persisted well into the day. When, just the smell of her morning coffee drove her to the bathroom for yet another bout of sickness, she knew she needed to confront what she'd been avoiding!
Running her own set of blood work was not the easiest thing to do but she'd managed it and when the results confirmed her suspicions she was stunned. She ran the same tests a second time willing there to have been some mistake, but there was no doubt about it. She was pregnant!
It was impossible and yet it was true. Her implant was still working, the test results showed the required levels of contraceptive in her bloodstream but they also showed vastly elevated hCG hormone levels too. She'd never seen anything like it. The test results contradicted each other but there was no doubt to their conclusion. Even if her doctor's logic could not accept the results, her woman's intuition knew that there was no mistake!
They'd made love for the first time about five weeks ago. She began doing rapid mental calculations...something was wrong...it didn't add up...literally! From the test results she was roughly six weeks pregnant...how could that be? She gasped out loud...
Seven weeks...seven weeks ago they'd encountered Retha! They'd been down on the planet surface 3 days...away from Alpha for roughly a week. Then it had been several days until she and John had made love for the first time...cross referencing her results with her calculations, double checking only confirmed what she'd suspected. She'd conceived the baby on Retha!
Feeling sick with anxiety she cradled her head in her hands, her mind flooding with so many possibilities...how could it have happened. The implants used on Alpha were almost 100% foolproof! She'd started using her implant when she got back to Alpha after they'd encountered the Black Sun. Having the possibility of losing John so dramatically demonstrated to her and realising how deep her feelings for him were she'd decided that she needed to cover every base. She told herself she wasn't being presumptuous...just cautious.
This just couldn't be happening to her!
John had evoked a strict no-pregnancy directive, not long after breakaway. It made complete sense. They didn't have adequate Life Support to allow for any sort of population growth in the immediate future. Survival on the moonbase sometimes hung by a thread, and they couldn't afford to stretch their fragile systems to a point where they ceased to meet the demands placed upon them. Not everyone was happy about it...she knew. There were those who felt, even in his role as commander, that he had no right to dictate to them on such a personal topic. But it was for everyone's benefit and the majority of Alphans appreciated the necessity, even if they didn't like the reality.
And it turned out to be her, the CMO and the Commander's lover, who ended up breaking the rule. What the hell was she going to do? How could it have happened? Pushing her hair away from her face with an agitated movement she tried to hold onto her flailing emotions.
How did she feel?
Did she feel different? Well, she was throwing up and seemed to have a distinct aversion to coffee...of course she felt different! His child was growing inside her...
What was she going to tell John? Would she tell John? Did he need to know?
She obviously couldn't have the baby...Baby!
Of course she couldn't have the baby...a baby...here on Alpha...even if she wanted to...and she didn't...did she?
No...of course she didn't...she'd never been in the least maternal...her career had always been too important to her...well maybe if things had turned out differently with Lee...maybe one day she would have wanted his child...but...but this was different...this was John's baby...
...thoughts exploded into her head, one after another...screaming for attention!
She couldn't be pregnant...it was impossible...and yet...she was!
Should she tell Bob? Maybe he would re-run the tests and they would give a different result...for God's sake Helena...you're CMO...you're perfectly capable of running routine blood tests...stop kidding yourself...the result was positive...but how?
You know how!
Ok, not how...but HOW?
Her implant was clearly working so...that meant...that...what Helena?
What did it mean?
It must mean that somehow down on the planet things weren't the same as on Alpha...somehow it had affected her! The mist! Could it have been the mist? Could it be responsible?
How could she tell John?
What would he say?
Well...you know what he's going to say...he can't let personal issues come before the good of Alpha...this was just exactly why she'd been worried about falling in love with him!
Complications...no clear line between private and personal lives...what did she expect him to do?
Make an exception for her?
Stop everyone else from having babies but allow her pregnancy to continue because it was his child...that would really piss people off!
He couldn't do that...once he knew...he would have to order a termination...order the pregnancy destroyed...that was the only course of action he could condone!
What should she do next? The question seared across her mind...what should she do next?
Taking some deep breathes to calm herself she knew what she was going to do...nothing!
She needed time to let things sink in. She needed a day...maybe two to adjust to the situation and then she would deal with the matter.
The Loss – Part 1