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The Arrival

Authors: Kayleen
Categories: Tony/Maya
Characters: Maya, Tony Verdeschi
Show Year: Y2
Rating: PG-13
Date: 2000
Maya suddenly loses her ability to transform. Is it just a slump or a symptom of something more serious? Then, Tony and Bill are away on a flight when their eagle fails, leaving it dead in space. Can they make it back to Alpha when Maya needs Tony most?
Average Rating: 5.0/5 (based on 4 reviews)

Maya knew something had to be wrong when she couldn't transform. She hadn't changed into anything for quite some time, and she just wanted to stretch her metamorphing muscles. Tony was on his way back to their quarters and she planned to surprise him by changing into a kitten and jumping into his lap. But now, no matter how she tried, she couldn't do it. She mentally reviewed everything her father taught her about molecular transformation. She tried to remember everything she might have done differently at other times, but nothing worked. She had a feeling of indigestion, like she ate something that didn't agree with her, and she didn't sleep well that night, but otherwise she didn't feel much different than usual. She decided to dismiss it as a slump this time and forget about it, unless she had more problems with it later.

Tony walked in with two pitchers.

"Oh, not your beer again?" Maya said, jokingly.

"No, not my beer again." Tony mockingly replied. "Beet juice and corn syrup. I knew the kitchen would be cooking beets today, so I told them instead of pouring the juice down the drain, I'd make beet wine out of it. I just thought I'd give it a try." Beets were one of the rare items brought to Alpha's kitchen as fresh produce. When the moon broke from orbit, some were re-planted in hydroponics and brought to seed, so they would always have a supply. Tony removed the lid from the still warm beet juice. Just as the smell hit Maya's nostrils, her stomach turned somersaults. She pressed her hand over her mouth and made a mad dash for the bathroom.

Tony hoped Maya was kidding and she'd turn and come back as soon as her joke came across. He became concerned as soon as she made it all the way to the bathroom and he heard the sounds of her vomiting.

"Maya? Are you okay?" He went into the bathroom and saw her hunched over the toilet. He held her hair back away from her face as she threw up. When she felt it was over, she straightened up and rinsed her mouth out at the sink. "I'm sorry. I didn't know you were sick."

"I didn't know I was, either."

"What was that from? Just something you ate?"

"Must be. I feel strong enough. I'm fine, otherwise."

"Will you be up to go to the officers' meeting?"

"Sure. I'll be okay.

The officers' meeting was business as usual. However, Maya had never felt so tired by that time of day before. She had a headache like never before that built up until she thought her head would split. She tried to focus on the meeting, but her headache and fatigue made it hard to concentrate. She thought maybe it would pass and not be anything serious, but decided to be checked in Medical Center to be on the safe side.

Tony looked around, trying to find where a certain odor was coming from.

"Do you smell something?" He whispered to Maya.

"Like what?" She whispered back.

"Kind of like eucalyptus, but a little different. Did you spill something on you with that smell?"

"Not that I recall."

They directed their attention back to the meeting, but Maya noticed the scent once Tony mentioned it. She realized it was coming from her. When she looked down at her hands and forearms, she noticed her skin had discolored splotches.

"Helena?" Maya got the doctor's attention as she walked into Medical Center.

"It's close to when I should have my routine physical, isn't it?"

"It probably is. I can check your file. Is something wrong?" Helena asked.

"Well, I'm not really sure. It's probably nothing, but I haven't really been feeling like myself lately."

"What kind of symptoms have you had?"

"Nothing major. Except I haven't been able to do any transforming. That may just be a slump. I've been more tired than usual. By the time I go to bed, I have a headache, and I've been waking up feeling nauseated. My skin looks a little splotchy. It's a little embarressing, but I seem to smell kind of like eucalyptus. It's just been little things that may not even be worth noticing."

"Well, it certainly wouldn't hurt to do a complete physical if your due for one anyway. Is there a certain time you want to do it?"

"What ever is good for you."

"I've got plenty of time right now, if you do."

"Sure. It's just as well."

Maya went and changed into a medical gown while Helena pulled up her file.

Helena conducted Maya's physical in the usual manner. She noticed several differences from Maya's usual clinical readings. She especially noticed the difference in her breasts when she examined them. They were slightly swollen and Maya complained that they were sore. Her normally colorless nipples had reddened and their skin thickened.

By the time she did the first step of her pelvic examiniation, she knew exactly what was causing her symptoms. She finished the examination, but decided to wait for the lab results in case they gave her more information.

Maya returned to Medical Center several hours later after Helena gathered all the results.

"Have a seat." Helena said to Maya as she walked into Medical Center.

"So, did you find out anything from my physical?" Maya asked as they both sat down.

"I certainly did." Helena paused. The concern showed in her voice. "Maya, what can you tell me about Psychon reproduction?"

"Psychon repro...? Helena?!" Maya gasped. Her eyes widened and both her hands flew over her gaping mouth.

"Yes, Maya. You're pregnant."

"Oh my gosh! I can't believe it! Are you sure?" Maya's face became white. Fear squeaked in her voice.

"Without a doubt." Helena said firmly.

"We really tried to keep this from happening! We didn't use any protection when I thought the timing was safe, but I guess I should have known better."

"Well, no method is one hundred percent effective. Is there very much you can tell me about Psychon pregnancies?"

"Only the basics. By the time I was old enough to be concerned about it ever happening to me, there was no one left on Psychon to tell me about the details or what it would be like to experience it."

"Your symptoms were apparently morning sickness and other side effects from hormonal changes. I've never known a eucalyptus type odor to be a symptom, but that may be from the condition's effect on your metabolism. Do you have any idea when it was that you concieved?"

"Not really. It's highly unlikely, but Psychons have the ability to store dormant zygotes for a long time. It probably happened recently, but it could also have been a couple of years ago."

"By human standards, I'd say you're about three months along. Did you notice you had missed any periods?"

"No. Because it's not unusual for me to go that long without one anyway."

"Under normal circumstances, I'd say 'Congratulations. You're going to be parents.' But, as easy as it is to forget, you are a different species. You may have a perfect, healthy child." Helena had difficulty forcing out the next words. "But there's also a chance of serious defects. I also don't know what to expect as we follow your condition."

"I'm aware of what the consequences might be."

"The good news is, you've been able to carry it this far. The fact that you were able to concieve at all shows some genetic compatibility. Physically, you are more like us than you are different, so you're likely to go through the same experiences we do when it happens to us."

Maya held a blank stare, fighting back tears. She stood up and paced the floor. "How am I going to tell Tony? I don't know if he'll be happy about it, or if he'll be depressed or even angry. We didn't think it would ever happen, so we never talked about it."

"Do you want me to be there when you tell him?"

"No, he may want to hear about it in private. I might want to call you afterward, though. Will you be around?"

"I'll be right here if you need me." Helena stood up and put a comforting arm around her. "If it helps, I do have some idea of what you're going through. When Catie and little Victor were born and when Annette had Frances, we were very concerned that there would be defects from exposure to radiation and space elements. None of these children were planned, but we're very happy we have them." She gave Maya a quick hug. "I'll make sure we all take good care of you."

Tony sat quietly in their quarters, knitting himself a pair of socks with a yarn made of cellulose fibers from various plants grown on Alpha.

"Tony." Maya said as she walked in. "I need to tell you something." She spoke slowly and softly as she sat down on the sofa.

"What is it, Maya?" Tony asked as she stared at the floor with her arms folded on her knees. "Is it about your physical?" She didn't answer. He walked over and stood in front of her. "Maya, what's wrong?" Her face turned pale and she bit her lip. Her eyes moistened. "Maya?" She burst into tears as she stood up and fell into his arms. "Hey, take it easy." He whispered in her ear as she sobbed.

He held her for a moment. Then she managed to force out the words, "I'm pregnant."

"You're...?" He smiled and cupped her face in his hands, catching her tears with his thumbs. She nodded. "We're going to have a little one?" He flashed his widest grin. His eyes glistened as they pooled up. He shouted with delight, "I never thought I would hear those words!" and he picked her up and spun her around. "If it's a little boy, John can teach us kendo together! If it's a girl, I can teach her how to dance!"

"You're not upset?" Maya asked, gaining her composure.

"How can I be?"

"We never talked about having a child. We even tried to keep it from happening."

"But only for practical purposes. I know we never talked about it, but I still thought about it. Didn't you?"

"Well, yes. But I was always afraid of what problems we could run into. I didn't think we'd be genetically compatible, and I thought about the strain on the base's life support."

"Look. None of us are getting any younger. Everyone talks about waiting to have kids after we find a planet to colonize, but we have no idea when that could happen. By the time we find one, everyone's biological clocks might be through ticking and it'll be too late."

"But what about the chances of defects? Our DNA might be too different."

"I know that Medical Center analyzed your DNA when you first arrived. There are nearly as many similarities between you and us as there are between humans of different races. The difference in your genes could also cancel out weaker ones. You're the science officer. I shouldn't have to be the one to tell you this."

"I'm still afraid that so much could go wrong."

"That's a chance everyone on Alpha takes when they have children. We've all been exposed to space elements that we don't know anything about and God knows how much radiation. Everyone here faces the chance of having kids with birth defects. Not just us."

"You really think everything will be okay?"

"Anything can happen, but we can hope for the best. We have to be optimistic."

"Okay. After all, what else can we do?" A faint smile came to her face.

"This will be great!" Tony gushed. "Late night diaper changes and feedings! Baby barf on our uniforms!"

Maya laughed. "It only gets better, right." The two stood and held each other.

Maya was nervous and felt self-concious when she realized she could no longer hide her growing belly. She was very worried how everyone would react when they noticed her pregnancy. She always thought Jackie Crawford was a delightful child and she was very happy for the few other Alphans that had children. However, she was worried that others would resent her for adding a child to their population and putting a strain on their life support. She was to discover that nothing was further from the truth. The Alphans couldn't have been happier. They had faced so many hardships since leaving Earth that they certainly weren't going to be concerned over an infant diluting their life support. Life on the moonbase had also become mundane and the arrival of a new Alphan was the most exciting news they could hear. But mostly, a child was a sign of hope that their lives would carry on and that everything they had been through meant something.

First, Maya could no longer wear her uniform belt. Within days, she was stretching her uniform and straining its seams. Cynthia Crawford and Annette Fraser happily gave her the uniforms they had altered into maternity clothes when Cynthia carried Jackie and Annette carried her daughter Frances. Little by little, the Alphans brought the Verdeschis baby clothes, diapers, quilts, and toys made from worn out uniforms. Hand knitted and crocheted blankets and clothes were made from plant cellulose fiber yarns. Without even being asked, hydroponics and the kitchen began collecting a supply of aloe vera gel, olive oil, and corn starch for diapering purposes. Engineering made a cradle and a carriage from damaged and useless eagle parts.

After several months, Maya was looking forward to the day Helena would tell her that her pregnancy would soon be over. She and Tony were both getting anxious to hold a little Verdeschi in their arms. Maya laid on the exam table in Medical Center as Helena checked her.

"Let's see how close it is to the birth position." said Helena as she pressed in various places on Maya's exposed abdomen. "Its head should be about here."

"It's head is right here." pointed Maya. "Here's it's tush, there's it's feet, and here's a hand."

"You can tell? How?"

"I can feel how the fluid goes around it when it moves. Sometimes I can even feel it when it curls its toes. Right now, it's sucking its fingers."

"That's really amazing. I guess it shouldn't surprise me. As a Psychon, you would be in touch with each molecule of your body."

"I didn't even realize that was anything unusual."

"Koenig to Medical Center." John summoned on the screen.

Helena walked over and answered his page. "Yes, John. What is it?"

"Tony said Maya was in for her check up. Is she still there?"

"Yes, she is. Do you need to talk to her?"

"Not right now. But we can use her in Command Center as soon as she's ready. We're approaching a meteor cluster and I'd like to have her take a look at it and see if there's anything we need to do."

"Did you hear that, Maya?" Helena turned to her. "John wants you to go to Command Center."

Maya raised her hand with the "okay" signal.

Maya sat at her console in Command Center with Tony and John at each side. She studied the meteor cluster on the screen and the computer's information at her desk.

"We estimate about four days for it to reach us." John noted.

"There's appearently no serious danger, but we could get some considerable damage to the base as they bombard us." said Maya.

"Is there anything you think we should do about it?" Tony asked.

"We could just simply send out an eagle to leave a bomb in the center of it. An explosion could drive them far enough apart that they won't hit us. They would also be more fragmented, so they would cause less damage if they do." Maya answered.

"That should be easy to take care of. Fraser and I can run out there and do that." said Tony.

Tony and Bill Fraser launched and eagle and headed for the meteor cluster.

"Alpha to eagle three." John stood behind Maya as he summoned from Command Center.

"This is eagle three." Bill answered.

"How does everything look out there?" asked John.

"Looks great." Tony answered. "Just out for a little joyride. We should reach that cluster in no time."

"Just remember to dodge those meteors as you get closer. You'll have to do some fancy driving to avoid getting hit."

"Hey! Who do you think you're talking to?" Tony jokingly replied. "This'll be a walk in the park."

"When you reach the cluster, just try to get the bomb near the center." said Maya. "You won't need to worry about precision."

"Sure." said Bill. "We'll ..." The screen went blank.

"Bill? Tony? What happened?" Maya's voice rose a little more with each word.

"Alpha to eagle three. Come in, eagle three." said John. "Maya, what happened?"

Maya punched keys at her console. "I don't know. Appearently, all systems on eagle three have just stopped."


"It looks that way. Their engines stopped, their communications. Everything's failed." Maya paused. "Alpha to eagle three! Tony, Bill! Come in eagle three!" Her panic started to show. John placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Sure." said Bill. "We'll just run in..." Before he finished his sentence, The cockpit went completely dark, every system shut down, and the eagle came to a dead stop.

"What's going on?" said Tony as he tried flipping various switches in the cockpit. "Why did everything shut down?"

"Try a comlock." Bill suggested.

"Eagle three to Alpha. Come in Alpha." Tony spoke into the useless comlock. "Eagle three to Alpha. Come in Alpha. All I can get is static."

"Well, first things first. Let's make sure we've got enough life support." Bill used the comlock's staticky screen's dim light to lead him to emergency lights and flashlights.

They checked their air supply and heat and tried various switches and buttons.

"What could have possibly happened?" Tony asked. "How could everything have failed, not just one or two things?"

"I just thought of something." said Bill. He opened a compartment and took out a portable stereo. He switched it on and saw that it ran, then he inserted a disk which he knew had played earlier. Now, only static came from the disk. "Alan and I brought this along for some music on a flight. It's some guitar music that Paul Morrow recorded. Now, there's nothing coming from it. And this stereo has no links to any of the eagle's systems."

"So what do you think the problem is?"

"De-magnatised. Appearently we passed through a magnetic field and it wiped out any electronically stored information contained in the eagle."

"What about the magnetetic barrier? That's supposed to keep that from happening."

"Obviously, it didn't work. These eagles keep getting older, you know."

"So now, in order to get going again, we'll have to re-wire all the systems to by-pass the computer." Tony noted.

"That's the way it looks."

"Are we going to have time? Can we do it while we still have life support?"

"We won't know until we do it. I guess we better get started."

Maya tried to relax in her quarters while John tried to think of what went wrong and how they could reach Tony and Bill. Suddenly, she was hit with a raging hunger and raced to the cafeteria. She filled her tray and sat at a table. When she was nearly through eating, Alan came in with a tray and sat across from her.

"So, are you and the baby doing okay?"

"I guess as good as I can expect. I can't stop worrying about Tony."

"Well, we're not going to give up on him. I was worried you might not have an appetite, but that doesn't look like a problem."

"That's what I would think, too. But I was so starving. I almost felt like some kind of force was driving me to eat."

"Just be sure to take care of yourself and the baby, okay."

"I will." She finished her meal and started towards the cafeteria's exit. "Thanks for joining me. I'll see you later." She said to Alan.

Maya barely got out the door of the cafeteria, and she suddenly felt the same, driving hunger again. She felt like she had to eat again, immediately. She went back into the cafeteria and filled another tray. She found Alan, still sitting at the same table and sat in her same spot.

"Haven't I seen you before?" Alan asked.

Maya began shoveling food in her mouth. "I just felt so hungry again. I couldn't come back fast enough."

"Maya, I know you're eating for two, but my God!"

Maya kept biting and chewing. She looked at Alan, "Are you going to finish that?" then she harpooned his remaining lasagna with her fork and shoved it in her mouth.

"I guess I'm not going to now." He answered.

They both finished and left the cafeteria together. As they walked down the corridor, Maya suddenly stopped. She balanced herself against the wall and held her head.

"Maya, is something wrong?" Alan asked. She fainted. He caught her and eased her to the floor, then ran to the comm post.

"Medical Center." Dr. Spencer's face appeared on the screen.

"I need a medical crew. Maya's collapsed."

Maya was taken to Medical Center and and immediately placed on moniters.

"Her vital signs and the baby's are okay, but her brain wave pattern is showing a near comatose state." Helena noted.

"Do you know what could be causing it?" asked Dr. Spencer.

"I have no idea. We just have to keep running tests. Did Alan say that anything out of the ordinary happened before she was brought in?"

"All he said was that she was eating like a wolf in the cafeteria."

"Well, it's not likely, but she could be reacting to something she ate. We should test some food samples from the cafeteria. There may be some kind of contaminate or allergen."

Pete Garforth launched an eagle and started in the direction that eagle three had gone.

"Now, Pete, as soon as anything looks like it could go wrong, I want you to turn around and come back." John ordered. "I don't want to take any chances."

Pete inched the eagle along its path, keeping his eyes on the monitors and watching for any hazards. "I'm getting a strong magnetic reading. I'm getting an idea of what may have happened to Tony and Bill." Before his sentence finished, his screen went to static. he immediately headed back to the base.

John and Alan were in Command Center when Pete Garforth returned.

"So what do you think happened out there?" John asked.

"It looks like it's a magnetic field that's so powerful, the barriers can't hold up against it. It must have wiped out everything electronically stored in eagle three and left it dead in space." Pete answered.

"That was getting to be my guess." John added. "You can see, as we get closer, our screens are getting a lot more static and our surveilence is getting a lot of interference."

"Will it effect Alpha the way it did eagle three?" asked Alan.

"That may be. We might get lucky, though. We could pass it without going through it, and the damage will be minimal." answered John. "We could sure use Maya right now. Have you heard how she's doing?"

"Just that she's unconscious and non-responsive." said Alan.

Maya remained in a near comatose state in Medical Center as Helena and Dr. Edmund Spencer studied the monitors.

"Her's and the baby's vitals are still normal, except Maya's brain activity is still down." Edmund explained. "There is one change, though. She's showing some very slight uterine contractions, barely detectable."

"See that?" Helena pointed out on the monitor. "They're still very mild, but they're gradually getting a little stronger."

"It looks like it's warming up to go into labor."

"This whole ordeal may be the Psychon way of preparing for birth."

Maya remained unconcious throughout the night. Then, Dr. Spencer did his hourly check on her monitor.

"Helena, her brain activity is increasing. I think she's coming to." Dr. Spencer pointed out.

Helena leaned over Maya and grasped her hand. "Maya, can you hear me? Maya?"

Maya's eyes fluttered open. She looked around with an empty expression. "I was leaving the cafeteria. What's going on?"

"You've been unconscious for the past 24 hours." Helena told her.

"Where's Tony? Did they find Tony and Bill?"

"Not yet, but they're getting closer. They're not giving up."

Suddenly, Maya winced in pain. She groaned as she tightly squeezed Helena's hand. Helena placed her hand on Maya's swollen stomach.

"Maya, you've gone into labor. You're having a contraction. Tell me when it stops and when the next one starts. We need to time how far apart they are." Helena explained.

After a considerable amount of time, Maya still groaned from the pain and gave no indication that it stopped.

"Maya, has the contraction stopped at all?" Helena asked.

Maya breathed heavily and cried out. She eeked, "No." and shook her head.

Helena felt around on Maya's abdomen as she and Edmund studied the monitor.

Helena turned to Edmund. "This is different from anything I've ever seen. The contractions are starting at the top and working their way down, then starting all over again. Before the last muscles stop contracting, other ones start."

"That's got to be excruciating." Edmund noted.

"Extremely." Helena answered. "I sure hope she doesn't have to go through that very long."

Sahn sat at Maya's bedside and held her hand. Maya's contractions were incessant, but varied in intensity. She was suddenly hit with an especially strong one. She cried out and squeezed Sahn's hand until her knuckles turned white. Sahn doubled over from the pain in her hand, using all her strength to keep from screaming.

Helena stepped inside the curtain and looked at the monitor. "Maya, your vital signs and the baby's are looking pretty good yet. I've got a pain killer that I know you can tolerate and it's safe to give pregnant humans. It probably won't be highly effective, but it may take a little bit of the edge off your pain. Want me to go ahead with it?"

"Okay." Maya eeked, sweating and breathing heavily.

"I'll have to stop giving it to you as soon as I see any problems with vital signs, though." Helena explained. Maya nodded. Helena administered the pain killer through an I.V.

Sahn returned to duty, leaving Medical Center with an ice pack on her hand. Alan took over at Maya's bedside. She laid on her side, facing away from Alan. She held onto his left hand over her shoulder as he massaged her back with his right. Helena stepped inside the curtain.

"Have you heard anything about Tony? Did they find Tony and Bill?" Maya managed to squeak the words out past her pain and heavy breathing.

"Not yet." Helena answered, "But John thinks he knows what happened and he's confident that they're okay. Now, Maya, I need to check for dilation and see if there are any changes."

"Wait. Don't make me see that." Alan quickly stood up and headed to the other side of the curtain.

"Don't worry, Alan. I wasn't going to."

Maya raised her knees so Helena could examine her. "There's still no dilation and your water hasn't broken, but the vital signs are still good. We'll just have to keep waiting until something changes." Maya rolled back over on her side as Helena re-covered her with the sheet. "You can come back now, Alan."

Alan returned to Maya's side and Helena approached Dr. Spencer.

"Should we think about doing a cesearean?" asked Ed. "Her labor's been going strong for six hours now, and there hasn't been any changes."

"I hate to see her go through this, but her vital signs and the baby's are still good. If we do a cesearean, we could cause complications. We shouldn't do one unless we see some serious problems with the vitals."

"Okay, Bill. I just need that needle-nose pliars to tighten this up." Tony reached out and Bill handed him the pliars. "That should take care of that last thruster and we can be on our way." He replaced the panel in the cockpit. "Do you really think we'll still be able to bomb that cluster and have enough fuel to get back?"

"We've got more than enough to make it back to Alpha, but we'll cut it close to running out if we get to the cluster." Bill answered.

"But if we know John, he'll know how much we left with and he'll have a re-fueling eagle meet us on the way back. I'd say let's do what we came out here to do."

"You're right. We don't want this all to be for nothing." Bill paused. "Have you been thinking about Maya?"

"I never stopped thinking about her." Tony answered.

"Are you worried that anything could have happened while we were gone?"

"Somewhat. But I know Maya wouldn't have let me out of her sight if she thought anything could happen. At least we know the baby's in pretty good shape. It's a little small yet, so it could be a couple more weeks before it's here."

"That makes a difference. Still, let's hurry up and take care of that cluster and go home."

"Amen!" Tony added.

Shermeen and Eddie Collins were now at Maya's side. Shermeen held Maya's hand and blotted her forehead as Eddie spooned ice chips into her mouth. The contractions varied in strength, but remained constant. Maya bore through the milder ones, and wimpered, moaned, and even screamed as they became more intense.

"We still don't know what to expect." Dr. Spencer explained to Shermeen. "As we've explained to her, she's been in labor like this for 14 hours now, and she still hasn't dilated or broken her water."

"Is there anything you can do?" Shermeen asked.

"Well, her and the baby's vital signs have been very good. We're afraid we may cause complications if we do a cesearean or try to rush the delivery. We're staying on our toes, so we've prepped her for either an emergency cesearean or a normal birth."

Dr. Spencer left Maya's curtain enclosure and approached Helena.

"So, there's still no word on Tony and Bill?" He asked Helena.

"Still no news. I sure hate to have Maya worry about Tony while she's going through this. This has to be the most agonizing labor I've seen anyone go through."

"I almost feel like doing a cesearean just to get it all over with. It's hard to see her in so much pain, especially when she doesn't have Tony here for her."

"I'm beginning to agree with you. We can warn her about the risks of doing a cesearean and leave it up to her." Helena explained.

Suddenly, Helena and Edmund ran over to Maya within the split second that they heard her scream, "This is it! It's coming!"

Maya sat up, parted her legs, and pushed until her face turned a deep purple. Within seconds, her birth canal steadily opened. A fluid-filled bubble emerged, then burst, shooting the baby girl into Dr. Spencer's chest. He barely caught the slippery mass before it hit the floor. Blood and birthing fluid spattered everywhere. Edmund cut the cord and handed the infant to Helena. She weighed and cleaned the tiny, five-pound baby; revealing pairs of pointed auburn stripes on her face, chest, abdomen, and hips, exactly like her Psychon mother's. She did not, however, inherit her mother's wart-like eyebrows. The hair growth pattern on her crown was distinctively Tony's. Then, Helena wrapped her in a blanket and handed her to her mother. Maya smiled as tears dropped from her weary eyes.

"You did it, Maya!" said Shermeen as she stroked her finger along the baby's cheek. "She's really beautiful!"

"Maya, you did great." said Eddie. "Do you have a name picked out?"

"Yes. Antonia."

"That's lovely." said Shermeen.

"We're still getting a lot of interference, but we may be getting enough data from the scanners to find where the magnetic field is." Sahn explained to John in Command Center. She pointed out on the screen. "Here is our location and here is the magnetic field."

"This looks reassuring." John pointed to the screen. "It looks like that field is going to sideswipe our left hemisphere without getting too close to the base. We may see some damage, but it should be minimal."

"What's this? Look!" Sahn pointed out. "An explosion at the meteor cluster. Tony and Bill must have made it!"

"That's great! Do they have enough fuel to get back? How long have they been gone?"

"A little over forty hours." Sahn answered

"That's cutting things close. We better get a refueling eagle out there for them."

Helena worked on medical files at her desk when she noticed Antonia vigorously nursing at Maya's breast. "She's got a hearty appetite."

"That she does." Maya smiled faintly and rested her head back on the pillow on her inclined bed.

Sahn summoned from Command Center. Helena approached the comm post. "This is Medical Center."

"Helena, we have found eagle three on its way back. It's past the magnetic field." Sahn informed. "We haven't been able to establish communication, but our scanners show normal life signs, so Tony and Bill must be okay."

"That's wonderful! Did you hear that, Maya?"

"Yes, I heard!" Maya grinned.

"Alan is on his way out to meet them with a re-fueling eagle." said Sahn, "Does Maya want him to tell Tony the news, or would she rather tell him herself?"

"I want to tell him." Maya smiled as Antonia continued to feast.

Nearly every Alphan crowded to the eagle hangar's entrance, waiting for Tony, Bill and Alan to come through the door. Everyone cheered when the door opened to the three smiling pilots. Throughout the flight, Alan felt like he was going to burst from holding back the news of Antonia Verdeschi's arrival. The anticipation of Tony's look when Maya would tell him kept him from spilling. Tony and Bill were met with hugs and pats on the back. Tony had just started to notice that most of the attention was focused on him and he looked for Maya. John approached him with a hug.

"It's sure good to have you back." said John.

"Where's Maya?" Tony asked.

"Over here." The crowd parted like the proverbial Red Sea. John led him through with his arm around him. "We'd like to have you meet someone."

Suddenly, in front of Tony was Maya, sitting in a wheelchair, holding Antonia.

"Maya! Oh my god!" Tony breathed in a loud gasp. He stood speechless.

"Meet your daughter, Tony." Maya beamed.

He knelt down to Maya's side and hugged her. She handed him Antonia.

"She's so beautiful!" Tony gazed at the tiny infant. She wiggled her head until it nestled in the crook of his elbow. "My god! And I wasn't here! Are you okay?"

"Much better than I was several hours ago." Maya answered.

"Well, you did a great job. She's just a little miracle."

Antonia gurgled. Maya said, "I think she's saying 'Welcome home.'"

The crowd of Alphans cheered and applauded.

Copyright (c) 2000. Reprinted with permission.
Space:1999 is (c) 1976 by Carlton International Media.
All stories are the property of their respective authors.

Database last modified in 2018.

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