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A Newborn Promise

The calendar on the wall next to the door had the current date on. It was April sixteenth, twenty one eighty six. The hospital doors bashed open. Several nurses pushed a bed on wheels. A young woman of no more than nineteen years was lying on the bed. She had blonde hair and blue eyes. A hospital gown covered her athletic body. Her face was contorted with pain. The woman was yelling and crying. Her stomach was round and bulged with a hand on the surface.

The doctor leading them along spoke, “The contractions are becoming shorter. The baby will be born soon. Nurse-”

“Yes, doctor,” One of the nurses responded preparing the woman on the bed.

The doctor walked to the woman’s side. He spoke, “This is your last chance, Ms. Walsh. Is there anyone-”

The woman growled grabbing the doctor on the shirt. Her arm muscles bulged as she screamed, “There is no one! Get ’er ow,” she cried painfully placing her hand on her bulged stomach.

The other nurse on the other side of the bed held her wrist and monitored her rhythm. The woman was going through the birthing cycle. She cried while attempting to breathe with each contraction.

As her legs were propped up, the other nurse was looking for the baby. She responded looking up, “I see the baby’s head-”

Nine months ago - 07/03/2185

1960’s music played in the background of the bar. The blonde haired woman walked around the bar casually carrying the serving tray on her hand while wearing the faded tight shredded jean shorts and the plaid crop top tied short sleeved shirt. Her body was athletic. She was at her peak form showing her arm and leg muscles. Her hair was braided and tight into a straight ponytail down to the bottom of her neck. It was medium sized. She smiled going to a table and served the drinks to several men.

Placing the last cup down, one of the guys with the gray sports cap and a figure of a bodybuilder spoke, “We’re ready, Kait.” Unshaven facial hair was on his face.

On the server’s name-tag was the name Kaitilyn. Kait smiled. She responded taking out the stylus from between her ear and the tablet from her apron pocket, “What will you guys have then?”

A heavy necklace hung around his neck and a pair of sunglasses was atop his cap. He pointed out his mates speaking in a Welsh accent, “We’ll have three specials and he’ll have the Mariana plate.”

Kait looked at the other guy. He was built like a pro fighter. She nodded and cheerfully responded, “Good choice! I’ll be right back with your food.”

As she turned to leave, the same guy eyed her butt and moved over to slap it. The other guys on the table reacted with some hooting and laughter. Kait made a startled noise and turned to face the guy who slapped her butt. Giving him a stare down, she showed her forefinger and responded, “That’s off limits. Do that again and you’ll lose more than a hand.”

His guy friends laughed at him as Kait turned to walk away. As she approached a group of her friends who were servers, they traded some gossip and tips they earned. They placed the orders for the chef and dispersed to serve while they waited for the orders to be ready.

Present time - 04/16/2186

Kait yelled with exertion pushing her newborn out. Both the doctor and the nurses encouraged her as the nurse put her hand back in to look for the baby. The other nurse timed her contractions.

The nurse responded caressing the newborn’s head, “She’s coming out. Ms. Walsh, you have a healthy baby girl. She looks like a strong one, like her mother.”

Kait watched with sadness as the nurse wrapped the baby in a shawl. She weighed the newborn first before handing her gently to the doctor. She whispered something to him and he took the newborn gently as he transferred her to her mother’s waiting arms. He spoke, “Here is your newborn. She has a healthy weight of seventeen pounds and thirteen ounces.

Kait responded accepting her newborn, sadness still ringing in her tone, “Thank you.”

The baby cooed. The woman stroked her head speaking softly while trying to smile, “Hey there.”

The child looked to be bigger than the average newborn girl. She was heavy in her mother’s arms. The doctor inquired, “You have a name for her yet?”

“Umm,” Kait looked at the doctor for a brief moment. Shaking her head, she spoke, “No.”

The doctor replied, “I see. The father?”

Kait focused her attention to the child and gulped. She responded sadly while stroking the baby soft skin, “He is unaware. I haven’t told him.”

Nine months ago - 07/03/2185

Back at the table, the three guys to tease their friend. The one with the glasses spoke with his Australian accent, “Hey Taylor. You should ask her out.”

Taylor looked up and exclaimed with protest offering his hands. He looked well built like a fighter compared to his friends. Two of them were taller and more like a seasoned bodybuilder. The one with the glasses had neither, but he was athletic and smaller.

Taylor’s other friend with the gray hat poked him on the shoulder and called him on, “Yeah Dylan, you should go! You touched her, you marked her. I dare, no we dare you to have sex with her for one night!”

They laughed calling him on. Dylan blushed. Exhaling a sigh, he gave in speaking with an Australian accent, “Alright, alright mates I’m going if it will shut y’all up!”

Taylor stood and walked toward Kait. Reaching in his pocket, he pulled out a card and read it over. Keeping his eyes on her, he spoke, “Hey.”

Kait turned as Dylan touched her hips and pulled her close. Taking the paper, he casually placed it on the counter and he grinned offering her a wink. Kait turned to read the card. It said, ‘My friends are here. Give me a quick slap on the face, but not too hard.’

Kait looked at him and smirked, but covered it with a scoff and slapped him hard on the face. Dylan stumbled back. Nursing his bruised cheek and ego, he muttered, “Ow.”

Turning around, saw his friends still laughing and cheering him on. Turning back to Kait, he whispered beyond her heated stare, “I said not too hard. That was almost a punch.”

Kait crossed her arms and scowled at him. As she turned away, Dylan grabbed her arm. He spoke pulling her back, “Hey! What do you say? You and me together for one night!”

While he pulled her, Kait quickly took one of the knives from the table and hid it under her wrist. When she got close to him, she aimed the knife at Dylan’s trachea. With a scowl and a venomous tone, she spat, “You will let me go or you will be speaking gibberish for the rest of your life.”

Dylan gasped silently. Letting her go, he recoiled with horror whispering, “Hey, I thought we had a plan!

Kaitilyn scowled at him. A slight humorous smile followed by a wink passed only for a brief second as she turned away to place the knife back to its spot. Dylan sighed shrugging his shoulders. He knew she was playing hard to get.

One of the bartenders shouted from the counter. He recoiled as he listened to the bartender, “Hey! You bring no trouble to her, you hear? Go back to your table! Get some manners. Damn mid-lander kids with preferred status, I swear.”

Dylan gulped offering his open palms to the guy and backed up apologetically. He spoke in a lowered Australian accent, “Hey, sorry. I’m going back to my seat, okay mate?”

Turning around, he blushed placing his hands in his pockets and sulked back to his mates. His mates laughed at him and were having the time of their lives.

Present time - 04/16/2186

Kaitilyn gave her newborn her attention. The newborn was asleep in her arms. She tried to be happy for her but she felt sad.

The doctor came around to her side. She looked up for a brief moment to acknowledge him. He inquired, “You should have your family to come. They would be happy to see you.”

Kait shook her head replying, “I don’t want them here. They shouldn’t be here because if they were, they won’t be happy. It goes against the current law. If they found out, she would be forced into the system.”

The doctor spoke, “Aren’t you happy she’s born? Even if the child was conceived without the agreement of both parties, don’t the parents and the father deserve to know?”

The newborn aroused making a sound. Kait gently lowered the flap and started breastfeeding her. Looking at the doctor, she replied, “My family won’t let me keep her. She will have to go into the system. I don’t want that to happen but I also know that I can’t take care of her either. I am a grounder. Grounders aren’t supposed to have children without the approval of the senate. We are overpopulated as it is.”

Still sad in her expression, Kait watched her baby. The doctor inquired concerned for her, “So, what do you want to do?”

Kait hesitated for a few moments watching her baby breastfeed. Stroking her head, she spoke looking at the doctor, “Contact the father. Dylan Taylor. He has preferred status and I trust him. His phone number should be with my personal stuff, but doctor, I don’t want him to know I’m here. I don’t want to have to explain myself to him.”

He nodded and responded touching her arm, “Understood.”

Nine Months ago - 07/03/2185
finished his meal on the table with his friends. The server returned. Dylan looked up at her with a mischievous expression. Kait ignored him focusing on the other men. She inquired, “How was the food?”

The guys nodded agreeing. One of them responded, “Really good. Lots of tips. Compliments to the chef!”

Kait smiled touching her heart and bowed responding, “Thank you! Would you like desert?”

They nodded. She took out her tablet again and jotted down their order. Dylan watched her. When she was done, Dylan grabbed her arm as she looked at him annoyed. He responded, “Hey look, I’m sorry okay. You didn’t deserve that. Give me a chance. I’ll make it up to you. Please?”

Kait stared at him and looked at his hand holding her arm. He let go offering his open palm. She had a look into his eyes. It was genuine. With a sigh, she took out her pen from her apron and took a napkin. Writing down something, she folded it and tucked it into Dylan’s shirt pocket. Without a glance, she turned and walked away.

Dylan blushed taking the napkin out and read it. His three friends were cheering him on. The one with the glasses inquired, “Hey, what did that say? Come on, tell us!”

Dylan cracked a smile. He folded the napkin and tucked it into his pocket. He replied, “No. It’s private.”

“Aww, come on!” the one with the cap shouted in the Welsh accent, but Dylan shrugged responding, “But at least I’ll be sleeping with her, mates. That’s the plan.”

They cheered him on. The same one with the cap boasted, “You devil! You’ll be sleeping with a grounder, and a hot grounder that’s for sure! Take notes, boys. You’re not just talking to a mid lander. You’re talking to a pro!”

Dylan nodded as he spoke getting up, “Excuse me, mates. I need to use the utilities.”

They hooted at him chanting his name. Dylan blushed as he found a crowd in the middle of the room and lost himself into it. The note she wrote said, ‘VIP suite. Ten minutes.’ He went looking for her.

Present time- 04/16/2186
watched her newborn girl with sadness. She cried softly stroking the baby’s head and kissed her on the forehead. She muttered, “Forgive me, please.”

Tears streaked down her face as she gently got up. Carefully to not wake up her sleeping newborn, she placed her into the small, padded crib. Moving a strand of hair that fell from her ponytail, Kait bent down to kiss her on the forehead. She sniffed and cried softly as she stroked her baby soft skin.

Kait turned away and shuffled her way out of her room in her hospital gown. Outside of the room were several nurses and patients. She found a group and disappeared into it. Moments later, the same doctor walked from the opposite direction of the hallway carrying the phone. He looked happy as he walked into the room and spoke, “Good news, Ms. Walsh. Mr. Tay-”

The doctor stopped himself looking around. Kaitilyn was no longer in the room. From the crib, the baby started crying for her mother. Turning around in the doorway, he shouted, “Nurse! Come in here!”

A nurse came in and checked on the baby. The doctor inquired, “Did you see Ms. Walsh somewhere?”

The nurse shook her head and caressing the newborn with care. She soothed her by letting her rest on her shoulder and bounced a little before speaking, “No, doctor. I didn’t see her leave. Shall I put up a notice?”

The doctor sighed putting his hands in his pocket and shook his head, “Don’t bother. The father is coming. Let’s take care of her till he sees her. The mother is gone. She won’t be coming back for her.”

Nine months ago - 07/03/2185
door of the VIP suite crashed open as both Kaitilyn and Dylan ran in. They embraced with hands touching each other’s backs and faces. They were engrossed with each other. Dylan had his hand behind her neck as he kissed her. With his other hand, he fumbled for the knob and closed the door.

Putting his hand around her waist, he pulled her around and pushed her against the door as she moaned. They unlocked their mouths as Dylan kissed down her neck causing her to moan louder and shaking. They were getting hotter by the minute and aroused.

Kait moaned closing her eyes and pushed against his chest. She inquired, “Wait, should we do this?”

Dylan bit her skin gently as she moaned. He moved his head over to her face and responded, “What do you mean? No one’s watching. And I skipped on the birth control pills. Let’s have sex.”

Kait looked at him with a grin and cooed, “You rascal. I didn’t take mines this morning either.”

Touching his face, she kissed him. Dylan groaned with pain. She noticed withdrawing her hand and inquired, “You okay?”

Dylan scoffed with a retort, “I would be if you didn’t punch me.”

Kait scoffed with annoyance, “I didn’t punch you, you baby. I just slapped you. Pro fighter, my arse. At least I slapped some senses into that slim brain of yours!”

Holding her hips, Dylan responded angrily, “Hey! Same diff. And we should have done this sooner if you had gone with the plan. The plan was for me to take you to my mates and brag about how I have a hot grounder on my lap. You agreed to it, remember? Punching me wasn’t part of the plan.”

Keeping her strong arms around his shoulder, she stared at him as she responded with a smirk, “Yeah. Think of it as a lesson. I’m not some toy for you to fondle with. Anyways, my plan was better so I upgraded it to playing hard to get.”

Dylan responded arguing, “What’s wrong with my plan?”

Kait giggled rolling her eyes up and shrugged, “Nothing. I just thought if I play hard to get, it’ll take you places no one has gone before. Besides, your friends reacted much better didn’t they? Have I accelerated your status among your peers?”

Dylan scoffed. He grinned responding, “Well, I do admit, I was so out there.”

Kait rolled her eyes at his comment. She spoke grabbing his face and kissing him, “Shut up, Dylan.”

Lifting her with his strength, Dylan backed several steps as Kait wrapped her legs around his waist. Embraced and kissing each other, he turned and grabbed her sides. Pulling her out of his embrace, he tossed her onto the bed harshly and spat, “No, you shut up!”

Kait grunted staring back at him with amusement. She watched him remove his shirt revealing his tattoos, muscles and his eight packs. She growled aroused by him and beckoned him forward with her finger. She undid her own clothing as Dylan took a huge step toward the bed and knelt on it with one knee.

She grabbed his body and pulled him toward her under her own strength as they embraced on the bed kissing and moaning in the VIP Suite made for two. They went under the covers as Kait moved to the top of Dylan. Undoing her braid, she moaned arching her back as Dylan caressed her arms and kissed her chest. Grabbing his neck, she kissed his mouth as her hair fell across her neck.

Present time - 04/16/2186
walked across the hallway under the guidance of the doctor. He spoke, “What is it, doctor? You said it was an emergency over the phone, but I didn’t quite get the reason.”

The doctor led him into the room. The nurse was holding a baby girl in her arms. Dylan looked confused as the doctor explained, “This might come to a shock to you, but we need to get down to it. You have a daughter, Mr. Taylor.”

Dylan looked at the doctor with a confused grunt and laughed it off, “You must be joking, Doctor. I don’t have a daughter.”

The doctor sighed showing him toward a chair, “You may want to sit down for this.”

Annoyed, Dylan brushed him off and snapped, “I’m not sitting down for anything. I don’t have a daughter. If this is a prank of some kind, I’m not laughing.”

The doctor touched his arm and responded looking into his eyes, “This is not a prank, Mr. Taylor. This is very real and serious.”

Dylan looked at the doctor’s expression and waited for the punch line that never came. He became serious and inquired, “Shit. How?”

The doctor sighed and spoke giving him a name, “Do you know Kaitilyn Walsh.”

Dylan thought for a moment and shook his head responding, “Briefly, but-” he paused as it hit him. Clutching his stomach, he backed into the chair and muttered, “Oh, I think I’m going to be sick.”

The doctor watched him sit down. Turning to the nurse, he beckoned her to approach with the newborn. Dylan spoke, “I’m sorry. Im sure you expected some other reaction, but this is a lot.”

The doctor joined him as he sat down beside him. He responded, “It’s okay. Take your time.”

Dylan nodded. He hesitated as he sat and think.

Eight Months ago - 08/03/2185
was over the toilet. She threw up while holding her hair back. She groaned holding the edge of the seat. Taking the towel, she wiped her mouth. She felt weak. Grabbing the counter, she hoisted herself up. Taking the pregnancy test, she looked over it again for the second time.

On her face was a concerned expression. She was at a petrified state. Seeing that it was positive, she groaned and tossed it into the trash. Taking the other test, she ripped the package and tested herself again. Closing the cover of her toilet, she sat down and closed her eyes while placing her hand on her forehead. She felt sweat beading down.

The test beeped after a few seconds. Kait hesitated. She didn’t want to see the results. Slowly, she opened her eyes and looked at the monitor of the test. It was positive for the third time she tested herself. Feeling sick in her stomach again, she rammed the test on the counter and opened the toilet seat to throw up.

A few months later, it was fall. Kaitilyn walked among the cheering crowd. Touching her stomach, she felt the bulging size as it grew two more inches in size. She was in the event to honor a pro fighter who won his bout. Hoping to see him, she wanted to break the new to him. It had been four months of no contact.

Kait looked up as the crowd cheered. Dylan walked among the crowd with his fists up high and pumping his muscles. He was yelling and getting down signing autographs or taking pictures with his fans. Walking along the crowd, a kid bumped into him for an autograph. Bending down, he took the card and signed it. Looking up, he thought he saw someone he recognized in the crowd. Pushing some people aside, he looked. The crowd cheered for their favorite pro fighter.

Shaking his head, Dylan thought it nothing as he focused his attention and energy to his adoring fans. Kaitilyn disappeared from the crowd. She escaped with tears streaming down her face. She was scared and had no idea what to say.

Present time - 04/16/2186
groaned rubbing his head and covered his face with his hands. He spoke, “That explains why she hasn’t talked to me in a little over eight months. Thought it was something I said or did.”

He froze in his movements and removed his hands from his face as he exclaimed, “Kait! Where is she? She’s still here is she?”

He shook his head and responded, “No, Mr. Taylor. She left.”

Dylan sighed, “She did? Wow. I understand that, yeah. It’s a lot of pressure. I don’t blame her.”

The doctor responded trying to figure out his state of mind, “For her being too young or a grounder?”

Dylan looked at him and shook his head responding, “Neither. Look, she’s trying, but I know her even if it was brief. She won’t be able to support her either. I now know why she had you contact me. I am in a much better position to help our child. She needs me.”

The doctor nodded and inquired, “Would you like to hold her?”

“Yeah,” Dylan responded as the nurse went close to him and handed him the baby. The newborn cooed as Dylan offered his arms and accepted her. She was wide awake and staring at him curiously with her unusual amber colored eyes. Dylan smiled offering his forefinger to the baby’s face.

She cooed grabbing her father’s finger and sucked on it. Dylan smiled and replied, “Yeah, I can do this.”

As Dylan carefully caressed and bounced the baby gently, the doctor spoke, “Do you have experience?”

As the baby sucked on his finger, she went to sleep. Dylan responded looking at the doctor, “Yeah. Sort of. My baby sister. She’s only a few years short of me. Look, I took care of her baby son three years ago when she was on active duty and had no one to look after him. So I have a little, but I can do this. Call her. I know she’s at her meeting right now, but tell her it’s a medical emergency. Say that I’m in the hospital and it’s a baby emergency. She’ll understand.”

The doctor nodded and directed his nurse to do this. The nurse left. Dylan watched his baby girl as he smiled responding, “Hello there, Hayley.”

“Hayley?” The doctor wondered.

Dylan looked at him and smiled. He offered a short laugh, “Yeah. Unless Kait named her?”

He shook his head responding, “No, she didn’t. I assumed she didn’t want to name her.”

Dylan nodded replying, “That makes sense. Why name her? Unless you plan to raise her yourself. No, because of our status in this society, Hayley would be in a better place in society if someone like me gives her a name. Otherwise, an unnamed child placed into the system would be lost forever. No, doctor, I am still her best bet.”

The doctor responded, “Understood.”

The nurse entered the room carrying a tablet for the doctor. The doctor looked up. Refocusing his attention to his daughter, he whispered with his finger in her mouth, “You’ll be okay, won’t you Hayley?”

The doctor thanked the nurse as he looked over the tablet. His expression was grim. Turning to Dylan, he responded, “Maybe not, Mr. Taylor.”

“What?” Dylan wondered as he looked at him.

He exhaled a sigh and spoke looking over Hayley’s results on the tablet, “It might not be serious, but it looks like Hayley has a medical condition. She was born slightly overweight so I had her results looked over. It looks like she has something called a Myostatin Mutation. Myostatin is a growth differentiation factor 8. This kind of mutation overproduces the skeletal muscles causing her to have double muscles. It’s very rare among humans and she’s one of several cases to have popped up over the years since the first case over two hundred years ago. She will be fine, but if it’s left untreated or under improper care, it will cause problems over the road for her.”

Dylan nodded responding, “I’ve heard of it. My grandfather has it on my mom’s side and my father has it as well. It’s genetic, right?”

The doctor spoke nodding, “Right. It’s a muscular dystrophy. Fortunately, through our genetics study of it, we can help detect the problem early and fix it so that she could lead a normal life.”

Dylan studied his eyes and sensed something else he hasn’t said yet, so he inquired, “But?”

“But,” the doctor exhaled a sigh and scratched his nose, “It’s a very expensive procedure. It requires the approval of both parents, if both parents were either mid landers or elites and signed by the senate to approve the procedure. Something I’m sure you don’t want right now. Another way is to push it through some backdoor operation that requires illegal money and some really good contacts if you can manage.”

Dylan thought for a second and shook his head. He exhaled, “I can’t do either. It’s career suicide even for me. They would rip the baby from my hands and take everything from me. I would become an Undesirable in a flat second. Isn’t there another option?”

The doctor nodded and responded, “Well, there is a procedure we can try that’s less expensive. It’s still experimental but with a high rate of success. It would only require daily visits to the medical room to monitor her. I would have to give her booster shots to maintain the amount of healthy Myostatin genes in her muscles. She will still have her extra muscles, but this shot will ensure her immunity to any problems for her down the road. The only thing I require from you is to make sure she goes through a healthy lifestyle and continue to maintain her body. That means regular workouts for her and healthy meals. No junk food or bad carbonated drinks.”

Dylan nodded replying, “I got it. Thank you.”

The doctor paused for a bit letting him focus on his daughter. He inquired, “Do you need a moment alone with your daughter?”

“If you don’t mind. Thanks mate,” he responded watching the doctor to leave. Looking at his daughter, he smiled watching her sleep. Bending down to kiss her on the forehead, he spoke, “Don’t worry, Hayley. We’ll figure something out, yeah? We will. It’ll be a long, hard road for us but we’ll get there.”

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