I've finished the second draft on Daughters of Earth and am knee-deep in editting. Hear's the latest installment of Teaser Tuesday. The previous teasers: chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 3. In chapter 4 we're back to April 25, 2067. Naomi (the prime minister's press secretary), just finished her press briefing and she had a rough go of it. In this scene, she, being 8 months pregnant, is having her monthly doctor's checkup in the hotel while Yasmin watches on. They're in Tehran for the big Monday Night Football match between Yasmin's Tel Aviv United and Persepolis Tehran.
Tech-note, the PAD (personal access device) is "the size of an antique hardcover book except being only five millimeters thick. The PAD can be rolled, twisted, folded in fours to act as an audiophone, and flattened into a sturdy touchscreen tablet for reading, writing—both typing and handwriting using a finger tip—websurfing, watching videos, or talking to someone via videophone."
And the holomitter is "a small, shiny black conical device that projects a true-life resolution holographic video display while also acting as a webcam."
Modern technology has allowed Naomi to always be under the care of her physician no matter where she traveled. Her doctor has her complete electronic medical record from birth to present which can be sent in seconds to any local hospital anywhere if necessary. Naomi also carries a small monitoring device which the doctor can use to periodically check her and the baby’s vitals. Finally, doctors can conduct routine exams virtually using the PAD and holomitter so that the patient and physician can be in different locations.
Naomi, in short-sleeved white blouse and slacks, stood in the middle of the rug facing the holomitter. The shutters had been closed again. Yasmin reclined in the pillowed settee along the side. She rested her back against one armrest and hung her legs over the other. Naomi called her doctor on the PAD and waited for her to answer.
Dr. Farah’s image appeared on the PAD.
“Good morning, Naomi,” she said cheerfully. She had a tawny complexion and a pretty, high cheekboned face framed by spiky, short black hair. “How are you feeling?”
“Good morning, Doctor,” Naomi said. Just seeing the jovial doctor raised her spirits. “I’m feeling good. Can’t wait for the day.”
“That’s good, and the day will be here soon enough. Are you ready for your monthly exam?”
“Yes. I’m already standing in front of the holomitter.”
“Excellent. We’ll start our weekly visits next week, so you’ll start to get sick of seeing me. How’s Yasmin doing?”
“She’s good. She’s here with me.”
“Hey, Doc,” Yasmin shouted.
“Oh, put me on the holomitter then,” Dr. Farah said and Naomi obliged. The doctor was a huge fan of Yasmin and Tel Aviv United. The holomitter flashed on and projected the doctor’s full size, slightly faded 3D image so it was as if she was in the room with them. “Are you going to win tonight?” she asked.
“Definitely,” Naomi said smugly.
“Good, you better.” She turned to Naomi. “I’ll hand you off to Dr. Kahana so she can do the quick exam. Okay?”
“Sure. I like Alyssa.”
“Great. Call me if you need anything. And, Go United!”
Dr. Kahana’s full size 3D image appeared. She was a petite, chestnut pixie haired woman with almond shaped eyes. “Hello, Naomi. Are you ready?” she asked and Naomi nodded. “Wonderful. Now let me start the exam.” The doctor motioned her hand and a virtual 16:9 screen appeared showing Naomi’s and the baby’s vital signs. Naomi and Yasmin saw everything the doctor saw.
“Everything is looking good,” the doctor said with a grin. “Temperature is good. Blood pressure is good. Respiratory rate is good. Heart rate is good. Let’s all hear that strong heart.”
With the flick of the doctor’s hand the loud pattering echoed in the room. Naomi’s eyes glazed. She glimpsed Yasmin and she smiled in return. Her eyes were moist as well.
The doctor turned off the sound. “Now let’s take a look at that little princess.” She motioned her hand and a 3D image of the fetus appeared floating in the air, five times the actual size. The fetus was head down, with arms crossed on her chest and ankles crossed on her buttocks. The doctor turned the image in the air. “Isn’t she beautiful?”
Naomi whimpered and covered her mouth with her hands. Tears rolled down her cheeks. She had never seen anything more beautiful. It’s been over a month since she last saw her. She was a big girl already, almost like an infant.
“Congratulations, that’s your daughter,” the doctor said.
“I told you she’ll be a footballer,” Yasmin said proudly, tears staining her cheeks.
Naomi laughed. “You maybe right. You think she’ll come early?”
“She might,” the doctor said. “She’s already considered full term right now. Let’s spin her around some more to get a better look.”
As the fetus turned in the air she uncrossed her ankles ever so quickly.
“What the hell was that?” Yasmin blurted and sat up.
The fetus, just as quick, re-crossed her ankles. Naomi wasn’t sure what she saw, but it surprised her nonetheless.