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  1. ...and then the lights went out. SuCdr tr’Korjata, Dr. Pavilion, Dr. Sandero, Counselor Davis, Cptn Chirakis The subspace probe was like no other—neither the Breen, nor the latest alien presence. Ensign Jackson described it as a banging, like someone or something was trying to get out. Whatever it was was persistent, and attacked only in the area used by the first alien probe, directed at Aegis. Science sensors detected no life signs accompanying it. They detected nothing biological or metallic. “Only energy,” reported Science Officer Lawliet. “We can rotate the subspace grid frequencies,” Lawliet continued. “That should do the trick, if not delay whatever's out there.” And it seemed to help. The probing stopped. Completely. It that seemed strange. Then, even stranger, a mist appeared in space, not far from the station. The defense grid did not detect any danger, and to Commander Coleridge’s question, LtCdr Lawliet suggested we send a shuttle craft to investigate. An incoming comm chime echoed throughout Command and Control. "Lieutenant Jennifer Larson here, engineering. The station is experiencing erratic power drains. We will have to shut down the M/AM generators and go to fusion. What's your current status?" The comm scratched a bit, not a good sign. “Status is unusual, Lieutenant Larson,” Chirakis replied with a glance to Commander Coleridge. “There is an unidentifiable mist, or fog, outside the station. Do what you have to for station integrity. Can you identify the reason for power drains?” The audio crackled. "No, the dropping levels are randomly distributed over the entire grid. There's no risk to losing chamber containment, but as you know, shields are less than effective running off of the fusion backups." She paused. "I need a check of your backup status. I don't trust my readings." Jackson glanced across his board. “Backup is steady and ready,” he said into the comm. "Confirms my readings. I'm no SubCommander tr'Korjata, but I'll do my best to get this under control. Call us at the first sign of trouble. Larson out." Jackson relaxed, but only a little as he continued to stare at the mist on the viewscreen. Captain Chirakis made a mental note to post more experienced Starfleet personnel at OPS, no matter what the cost, then turned to OIC Commander Coleridge, ready to suggest the shuttlecraft, but the mist had vanished. And then the lights went out. “CnC to Engineering. Report.” "Larson here," as the channel quickly reopened. A rumbling of voices played behind her. "We have just lost all primary power generators simultaneously. The system should automatically switch to secondaries, but none of them are coming online either." A garbled sound burst interrupted her report. "Sorry, the wireless comm lines are being affected. Vital systems on specialized power systems have remained online in medical, shelters, main engineering, environmental, and CnC." The channel remained open, but she stopped speaking. “Do what you must to keep us alive, Lieutenant. And get the power restored in any way possible.” Chirakis turned to Jackson. “Inform Starfleet of our emergency.” “Informing Starfleet now….” Jackson’s voice trailed off. “It’s…. Hm. Well, ma’am, I sent the message, but we have limited range for external communications. I’m not sure they’ll get it.” “Can USS Toronto receive and relay?” “No idea, ma’am.” * * * * Lured by the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee, Amanda Davis exited her office and ran straight into a frantic Lieutenant Alison Crenshaw. Her face was flushed, she was breathing heavily through her clenched teeth, one hand braced against a table and the other clutching her very swollen abdomen. “Help,” she squeaked. “Please. It’s….” “The baby’s coming?” The young lieutenant bent forward to stifle a scream, and the hand that braced her upright took a death grip on Amanda’s arm. “Umhum…” came out, high-pitched, before a forced exhale of relief. “Mimi! Dacia! Kat!” Amanda hollered across sick bay, bracing herself to keep the lieutenant from falling over while she reached for a chair that would hopefully support the mother-to-be until help arrived. “Help! Come quickly!” There were a few shouts from not too far away, then Mimi arrived. “What is… oh…” Mimi started to say as she noticed Lt. Crenshaw doubled-over in pain from the contractions. “Alright, let’s get you into the Labor and Delivery suite.” Mimi told two nearby nurses to get the suite ready, as Mimi helped get Alison prepped. A tremendous groan, followed by a gasp, forced Alison to her knees before the nurses could get hold of her and a tremendous gush flooded the floor. “Doctor Pavilion,” said Amanda, her arm growing white in the lieutenant’s grip. “I think it’s coming right now. Did you say it is twins?” she said to both, trying to steady and encourage the young officer, who, at this point, needed a little more than encouragement. And just when she thought things could not get any worse, the lights went out. “Mimi?” echoed in the brief darkness before emergency power engaged. “Yes, it’s twins, but right now they’re ready,” Mimi replied. “What should I do, then? Stay here with her, or try to get her to delivery?” She he was losing the feeling in her arm. Lieutenant Crenshaw seemed to have relaxed a little, but she was approaching panic. “Is this her first?” “Yes, Amanda, the twins are her first delivery.” Mimi turns attention to Lieutenant Crenshaw, “Think you can get up and move to the delivery room?” Alison nodded vigorously, then mumbled, on the verge of tears, “I think so. It hurts… so… much. No one said it would be this….” She gave a gurgling groan. “Go as quickly as you can, but be careful, Lieutenant. Before another contraction.” Amanda looked to Mimi for further instructions, ready to help in any way possible. “Ok, on the count of three we’re going to lift the lieutenant up,” Mimi said to Amanda. “Alison, you let us do all the lifting, you just try and get your balance, alright.” “Okay,” she squeaked. Mimi moved one of her arms under one of Alison’s shoulders, nodding to Amanda to do the same, “One… two… three…” Mimi, along with Amanda’s help, lifted Lieutenant Crenshaw up to a standing position. “I think we’re now ready to hustle to the delivery room.” Dacia was in the medical lab performing experiments when she heard the commotion outside, after someone called her name. She helped Mimi and Amanda to the bio bed in the delivery room. Dacia asked how far apart the contractions were. “Thirty seconds? Cutting it close here, aren’t we?” asked Dacia before helping with the childbirth process. Luckily, with Dacia being a licensed pediatrician, none of this was new to her but it was still an exhausting process. A few minutes later, just as her excited but apprehensive husband entered delivery, they were presented with a healthy, rosy-cheeked boy who seemed ready to conquer the universe. A few minutes later came the twin, identical in every way, squirming and kicking like a tier-one athlete about to run a marathon. The exhilaration of childbirth hit them both at the same time. “Alie,” he breathed, his hand grasping hers. “They’re beautiful. Are you okay?” “I’m fine, Bill.” She turned, her smile ecstatic. “I’m fine.” Dacia checked both twins, cut and tied off the umbilical cords, cleaned up and weighed the two twins and recorded them in the computer’s database. “Congratulations” smiled Dacia. “You have two new healthy boys,” she said before handing them to the happy new parents. “Thought of their names yet?” she asked again, mainly to enter them into the records, but also a hint of curiosity. “We have a few, but haven’t been able to make up our minds,” replied LtCdr Bill Crenshaw as he watched Dacia work. “I’ll…. we’ll let you know when we do.”