I’ve always been so careful about contraception. I can’t believe this has happened.

“Now lie back and put your feet in the stirrups… Great. The dialators can be a bit uncomfortable, but the local should be kicking in properly now… Let me know if you can feel this?”

I’ve been a starship systems bioengineer for nearly 15 years. I’ve been caring for the CPUs, adjusting the environments, engineering the interfaces… But I never thought I’d be involved in this end of it.

“Okay…you may feel some pressure here…and a slight sucking sensation… Try to relax…”

I never thought it possible, but the sedative works and I start drifting off. The next thing I know, the nurse is shaking me gently by the shoulder.

“You’re all done, Ye Anh… I’m giving you another five minutes, then we’ll move you into recovery. You’ll have some cramping and bleeding – let us know when the pad needs changing.”

She walks back and calls to another medtech by the door.

“I’ve got an artificial womb unit to go down to Central Support, Ntumb’e – can you take over while I send down for genotype analysis and notify biomod?”

I watch her type my office address into her pad as she heads out.