Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day Five-Thirty-Nine: Lucky Number Three

Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit.

Libby's in labour.

The day started out ominous, I gotta admit. With Libby stuck in a mostly-broken hammock for several weeks, we've all been forced to soldier on without her technical genius constantly watching over our shoulder. The Dauphine's been okay thus far… but, well, somebody must've missed something, because it broke down this morning. A dozen cogs popped loose while it was in motion, and the whole thing skidded to a halt. Crushed a small cliff in the process.

The hiccup got Libby in a tizzy. She immediately demanded that she be escorted to the trouble spot to scope out the damage and direct repairs. We managed to get her there, with five strong arms holding the massive woman aloft, but… well… I guess something snapped partway, because suddenly Ed's arm was sopping wet. He was so surprised that he dropped her leg, and the rest of the preggers convoy gave way shortly thereafter, dumping Libby on the floor.

"My gods!" the poet cried, stripping away his tunic in disgust. "My word! My lands and my deeds! /  The baby, the baby, the wet nurse it needs!"

I was going to ask what the hell he was on about, but then Libby began to groan and shift, and people started to freak out, and, well, I puzzled out the problem rather quickly. The break in the Dauphine forgotten, we carried Libby to a worktable, got her a ton of pillows and blankets, and called in the wet nurse. Thus began labour.

When Libby was pregnant with Eve, I missed out on the birthing process completely. When Libby was pregnant with Grayson, I was shoved out of the way by a surly witch. Nevertheless, I got the impression that giving birth doesn't take that long. An hour, tops. 

Sooo… why is Libby still groaning and crying and ranting and raving almost seven hours after her water broke?

It's been a gruelling slog. I've barely left her side since it began, and there's been a steady stream of well-wishers moving in and out of Engineering to see how Libby's faring. We lucked out and plunked Libby on a table near Queen Daena's elevator, so she's been within arm's reach at all times. She's been an incredible comfort to Libby.

Libby. My wife. She's… well, she's not doing so hot. She's in an incredible amount of pain. She keeps saying that it's not the same, it's not the same, and more than once I've heard her mutter that it's gonna have to burst out of her stomach. She's not been willing to discuss the baby with me at any great length since becoming pregnant, but she's obviously been harbouring many of the same concerns as I. She's just too fucking tough to express 'em to me.

She did express one thing, though. One thing, when the wet nurse was away getting fresh towels and Daena briefly playing lookout on Command deck. One thing that haunts and horrifies me.

"Dragomir," she said, pulling me close, "this… ungh… this ain't normal. You know it ain't. I know it ain't. Everybody… knows, it's not fuckin' natural. Yeah?"

I've tried hard not to express my fears too much to Libby. Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure my curt nod betrayed me.

She nodded back. "S… so… I want you to… to promise me somethin'."

I swallowed.

A few tears welled up in Libby's eyes. She's had plenty since labour began, but these were born sadness, not pain. "If… if I have… another monster… if this thing isn't… and if I… if I die…"

"You're not gonna -"

"Shut up," she urged me, clamping a gloved hand over my mouth. "Just shut up. If… if monster…"

I shivered. I hate using that word about my children. Even Grayson.

She bit her lip so hard that a small bead of blood ran down to her chin. "If… if it's a monster… and I die… you kill it. You fucking… you fucking kill it… before it does something horrible."

I blanched. I stopped breathing for close to a minute.

"Kill it," she urged, the tears flowing ever stronger. "I don't… don't wanna see… this curse… we share… hurtin' anybody else…"

That said, Libby pushed me away and concentrated on her breathing. I don't know that it'll help, since the baby hasn't really moved in the last three hours, but… whatever works for her.

Kill it. Libby wants me to kill my newborn baby. If it's not normal. And the chances are excellent that it won't be normal. I don't think it's gonna be in the same league as Eve or Grayson, but… normal… no. Not happening.


Labour continues. Most activity on the Dauphine has ceased. Everybody's too interested in the birth to attend to their duties. I'm too busy to force 'em back to work.


If you die… if you fucking die, me and that baby are gonna crawl down to hell to save you. Personally.