Prologue: The Orphanage.
Earth, London: July 1. 2361. Star date: 38498.5
It was dark. Rain thundered down on the streets below. Lightning cracked overhead. It was not the sort of weather anyone would wish to be caught in.
In an allay way in old London a transporter beam flashes. A young woman appears heavily pregnant. She looks up at the sky and sighs. The Weather Net had forecast this for London.
‘Damn!’ She thought. ‘Why did it have to be today of all days, that they decided to forecast storms. She hated storms. Always had done.
The woman gasped and gripped the wall next to her in pain. Then it was over. The pain disappeared as quickly as it had begun.
Another crack of lightning. The woman jumped in fright and then a tear rolled down her cheek, washed away by the rain.
‘No!’ She shouted into the empty alleyway, vigorously wiping at her eyes. ‘Come on keep it together. You have to do this. You have to do this for her. Remember?’
Still grasped onto the wall, she made her way out of the alley. Across the road from her was her destination, Erith Children’s Home.
She rang the bell on a pair of old fashioned oak doors. As she waited another contraction seemed to hit her out of nowhere.
Another peel of thunder. The door opened revealing a rather severe looking woman. This woman’s name was Miss Cranston.
‘Can I help –,’ Miss Cranston began to speak before noticing the other woman hunched at the door.
‘Oh my dear, come in!’ She ushered the stranger in. ‘Bernadette!’
‘Ahh!’ the woman cried.
Another woman with a kind face appeared out of what looked like an office.
‘ Yes, Miss Cranston? Oh dear. She pregnant?’
‘It appears so,’ Miss Cranston replied.
‘I’ll take her up to the delivery room then, by the sounds of it, it shouldn’t be too much longer.’ Bernadette said cheerfully. ‘ Come on, dear. Up we go.’
Bernadette and the woman entered the delivery room.
‘Up here on the bed, dear.’ Bernadette helped her onto a bio-bed. ‘I’m Bernadette. Now do you have a name?’
‘No!’ The woman gasped. ‘No names! Please! No names!’
‘Okay. If your sure,’ Bernadette said warily. Bernadette busied herself with a tricorder. It beeped and whirled before giving her an answer to the woman’s condition.
‘Looks like we are nearly ready.’
‘Ready? For what?’ the woman groaned, almost delirious with pain.
‘For us to see this kid, of course!’ Bernadette said cheerfully. The woman glared at her in reply.
‘It is really amazing that even in this day and age, best way to have children is always the most natural,’ Bernadette said, completely ignoring the glare.
‘Tell that to my vagina.’
Twenty minutes later, the woman’s groans disappeared and were replaced by the cries of a new-born baby.
The woman held the little girl in her arms. She could not take her eyes off of her.
‘You can keep her, you know,’ Bernadette said looking at the new Mum.
‘No. She needs a good home. A stabile home. I can’t give her that. Not at the moment.’
‘Then we’ll take care of her until we can find a family for her,’ Bernadette said, kindly. ‘ Do you have a name for her?’
The woman nodded.
‘Most of a name at least, Kiera Jane.’
‘Last name? For the birth certificate?’ Bernadette pressed.
‘No. No names.’
‘How about Doe then?’ Bernadette said. ‘I’ll put Jane Doe as your name if you would like?’
‘Thank you. Make sure she gets a good home, won’t you?’
‘I’ll try my best.’
‘What is her birthday?’
‘Little Kiera here, just made it inside the 1st of July.’
The next morning at 0900 sharp, the woman left Erith Children’s Home.
Her parting words to Kiera were:
‘I love you, never forget that I love you.’