A/N: So I told myself I wouldn't write something for Terra Nova because I wasn't sure if it has that much of a future (I hope I'm wrong. I really do) left. But curse Maddy Shannon and Mark Reynolds and their damn near adorable romance. Blame it on them that this has been created. And if any of you know me, I love putting men in emotionally compromising situations, because it's nice to see the strong man break down ever once and a while over their girl. So, be warned, there is violence, blood, mild language, and intense (intense) situations of peril.
She's so gone
"Where have all the good men gone?"
If anything, Maddy Shannon is a survivor.
She survived 2149. Not well, admittedly. She still remembers what being invisible felt like. What walking through the halls of her school with no one knowing who she was. And she probably still carries scars from when she got sick. Damn rebreathers. But it's nothing that she can't learn from. And that what she's doing in Terra Nova. She's learning from her past and creating a whole new future for herself.
A future that is free of smog-filled skies and rebreathers.
And you know what?
Maddy can deal with anything Terra Nova wants to throw at her.
Because she's a survivor.
She thinks that's a pretty easy way to view her new life. To say that nothing is going to beat her and that she can and will become stronger. But she should have known it wasn't going to be easy.
Terra Nova was going to test her newfound determination. Sooner or later.
And one sunny Saturday afternoon, Maddy Shannon's newfound life goes straight to hell.
She is in the house playing checkers with Zoe when it happens. Her father is off following Taylor and Wash around doing 'security business'. Her mother is at the clinic, helping (to her father's immense dislike) Malcolm with research. And Josh? Well, he's probably getting into trouble with Skye somewhere OTG.
So really, Maddy has settled into her role of protective older sister rather forcefully. Don't get her wrong, she loves her little sister to death. But if she wanted to have a kid, she would have gone the rebellious/angry/spiteful teenage daughter rout. And she is far from that.
Still, it doesn't come without its perks. Mark Reynolds always knows where she is and seems to stop by on a regular basis to help with Zoe and keep her company.
Her smile at the thought of Mark is wiped from her face as a boom radiates from the distance. At first, she doesn't pay it much mind. Trees fall all the time in Terra Nova. It's the cost that comes with expansion.
"Maddy, it's your turn!" Zoe informs her rather anxiously. The youngest Shannon is on her way to winning and doesn't seem to like the fact that Maddy is stalling the inevitable.
Maddy rolls her eyes and moves one of her black board pieces absentmindedly. Which causes Zoe to squeal in delight as she quickly moves one of her red pieces to jump over Maddy's recent move.
Another boom sounds and this time Maddy looks up from the game.
Because it no longer sounds like tress falling.
"Maddy, you aren't even paying attention." Zoe complains.
"Be quiet for a second." Maddy replies, waving a hand and getting to her feet.
It is as if the rumble is coming from underground, but it's getting closer. And louder. And soon Maddy fully understands what is crashing towards them.
The explosions cause her body to lock up for a moment. She's not one who deals with fear easily. She tends to either jump or freeze, and today it looks like she's in the freezing type of mood.
Another explosion booms and the house rocks dangerously. Maddy can suddenly hear the screams and frantic cries from the Terra Novians outside and finally, after what seems like forever, her body responds. The hairs on the back of her neck stand on end just seconds before she grabs for her sister and pushes her to the floor.
Another explosion, this one seems to be right on top of them, knocks her off her feet and she lands hard on top of Zoe.
Then, everything seems to happen at once.
Sounds of twisting metal and snapping wood assaults her ears, but that is soon drowned out by a high pitched, constant tone. She can't hear anything because of the ringing in her ears. The something heavy crashes onto her back. Out of pure reflex and with all of her might Maddy forces her palms and knees into the floor and pushes upwards.
She will protect Zoe.
Even if it's the last thing she ever does.
After two more minutes of explosions, screams and falling debris, silence settles over Terra Nova.
With great effort, Maddy Shannon opens her eyes and looks down into the wide and frantic eyes of her younger sister. Who is, to her immense relief, unhurt. The two are almost completely shrouded in darkness, and Maddy can surmise, based on the crushing weight against her back, that they are buried under what was once their house. A stream of light cut's through the blackness as debris shifts and falls across Zoe's face.
Zoe licks her lips and blinks repeatedly, eyes adjusting. Slowly, she scans around them and offers a small, "Maddy? What's going on?"
Maddy's heart breaks. She hates seeing her sister like this. But when she tries to move to offer comfort, her limbs don't respond. They are heavy and stiff. Which makes sense because she's holding up what was once her house.
She's read about adrenaline and what it can do to someone in a dire situation, but never thought she'd actually have a personal experience. It kind of scares her. Don't get her wrong, she's thankful for the extra strength and focus, but she's scared because she doesn't know how long it'll last. And what terrifies her even more is what's going to happen when the adrenaline does run out. Because it will.
Slowly, she feels something hot and wet run down her face. The liquid hangs on her chin for a second before dropping to the ground next to Zoe's head.
It's dark red and thick.
And just like that, Maddy's mind snaps into clarity.
She tries to comfort her sister. But the words refuse to come. And instead, she releases a low, pained, choking gasp. She turns her head and coughs harshly, blood staining her lips. A groan sounds above them and Maddy freezes. She tastes salt and feels her stomach roll violently, but refuses to move. She's managed to create a kind of sort of protective space around them, but she doesn't know how sturdy it is.
It feels like she can't do anything but stare down at Zoe and offer comfort through her eyes. But that isn't enough for her little sister. Maddy watches as the curiosity in her sister's eyes turns to panic and the youngest Shannon starts to squirm under her.
Tears sting Maddy's eyes. Maybe one or two make their way down her cheeks, mixing with blood and dirt. "Zoe," she manages to croak out. Her sister freezes and looks up to her. "Zoe," she begins again, trying to force saliva instead of coppery blood down her aching throat. "Zoe, you have to stay calm. Can you do that for me?"
Zoe stares up at her for what seems like forever, eyes flicking back and forth with the cogs and wheels in her little head turning. But she nods none the less.
Maddy forces a smile. "That's my girl." She tries to lift her head and look around, but something heavy is resting across her shoulders and all she can manage is a quick glance before she has to drop her head. She doesn't try moving her legs; she can't feel anything besides her aching arms. It amazes her that such little effort can cause her to pant, but breathing is suddenly getting very, very difficult for her. She tries to take a deep breath, tries to calm her racing heart and get oxygen into her lungs, but something pushes against her left side when her stomach expands, and there is sudden, agonizing pain.
Her vision turns a sharp white for a second and her elbows nearly buckle. But through the agony her mind yells at her to hold strong. And she does. Because Zoe is under her and there is no way in hell she's giving up while her sister is still there.
"Maddy?" Zoe's voice is small and soft, like she's afraid that speaking to loud will shift the debris above them. "Are you okay?"
She honestly thinks about telling her little sister the truth. But that is a split second though that she squashes almost immediately. Maddy Shannon decides that in that moment, this situation is not hopeless. She swears to god, or whoever it is up there, that she is going to get her little sister out of this mess.
She's not going to just lay down and die because the situation is less than survivable. She's going to find a way out. And that is the Terra Nova Maddy Shannon. Not the 2149 Maddy Shannon. That Maddy would have died a long time ago.
Still, she avoids her sister's question. Because the more she thinks about it, the more the pain infests her mind. "Okay Zoe," she speaks quickly, because there's a dizziness that is eating away at the edges of her vision that is starting to scare her. "Can you see any way for you to get out? Start at where the light is. Is the hole big enough for you to get through?"
Zoe processes what she has asked and then looks towards the light, eyes squinting. She rolls to her left side and crawls past Maddy's left arm. The youngest Shannon pauses slightly and looks back to her sister. "Maddy," her voice is small. "There's blood on your arm."
Maddy forces yet another smile and tries to control the shaking of her arms. "Don't worry about me Zo, just tell me if you can get out."
Deep down Maddy knows Zoe doesn't believe her. Her little sister is smart enough to know when something's wrong. But Maddy also knows that Zoe will listen to her. Zoe knows now is not the time to argue.
Zoe crawls forward until Maddy can only see her feet without turning her head. After seconds of tense silence, Zoe says, "We can get out. There's room!"
Maddy lets out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding in. A small amount of blood runs over her lips, but she spits it out before Zoe can see. She hadn't missed the use of 'we' in her sister's sentence. And she now knows that she's going to have to convince Zoe to leave.
Suddenly there are small hands on either side of her face and she opens her eyes. She doesn't even remember closing them.
Zoe is staring at her, eyebrows slanted in five-year-old concern. "We can leave now." She says simply.
But it's not that simple.
Maddy shakes her head and tries to hold back tears. Because however strong she says she is, this is something that isn't easily done. Being alone is one of her most prominent fears. But now is not the time to let that fear rule her. If her sister has a chance to get out, then she'll be dammed if she hinders that escape.
"I need you to find Mom and Dad," she grinds out because the wave of pain that crashes through her threatens to steal her voice. "Find Mom and Dad," she says again. "Tell them what happened. Where I am. Do you think you can do that?"
Zoe looks from the hole, then back to Maddy, then back to the hole, then finally back to Maddy and shakes her head vigorously. Squeezing her eyes shut, she lets out a small, "No!" with the realization that she's going to have to leave her older sister behind.
"Zoe," Maddy pleads. "You have to do this. Be strong."
Zoe swallows and peaks one eye open. "But what about you?"
Maddy offers her last smile, but it barley reaches her eyes and turns into a grimace almost instantly. "I'll be fine." She lies. "Just as long as you get to Mom and Dad and tell them where I am." She swallows back the blood and locks eyes with her sister. "You're the only one that can do this Zoe."
They stare at each other for what seems like a lifetime, but then Zoe is wiping at her eyes with the back of her sleeve and nodding vigorously. She leans forward and wraps her small arms around Maddy's neck. Maddy tries not to move, but she's just so damn tired and emotionally wrecked that her left elbow caves with a sickening pop. Her side slams into something solid and sharp and a gasp escapes her mouth in a rush of air.
Zoe screams as the groaning of metal sounds above them and cowers under her, squeezing her eyes shut.
"Zoe!" Maddy grunts, right arm shaking with the strain of holding up the debris above them. "Go! Get out!"
Zoe, out of pure instinct and self preservation, begins to craw away.
The metal and wood above them groans and screeches and Maddy realizes that this is it. But if she can hold on for just a little bit longer, maybe Zoe can get out. "Zoe go!—Go!—Go!—Go!"
She focuses on the noises coming from her sister and it is only when they fade away that Maddy finally gives in. Her right arm collapses with a smaller pop and she sinks to the hard floor seconds before the debris above her follows. It is a small drop, but still painful all the same.
The shift of the metal has cut out the light and Maddy is once again shrouded in darkness.
And there is pain.
Dear God is there pain.
So much so that she is thrown into unconsciousness the moment she hits the floor. A deep and dark blackness that consumes her is a split second. But it doesn't last. No. That'd be too easy.
She fades in an out of consciousness, pain coursing through her body beyond description. There is a moment when she is cursed with crystal clear clarity. A moment (she laughs because it feels like an eternity) where she can feel everything.
There is something sharp and cold pressing against her left side. Probably some sort of metal beam by the feel of it. There is something else lying across her shoulders that is making it extremely difficult to breath.
But not being able to breathe is not a foreign feeling to her. She remembers a time (when was it, exactly?) when her rebreather hadn't filtered properly for god knows how long. She remembers falling unconscious into her mother's arms seconds after choking on her own blood. She remembers beeping and hospitals and far off voices with encouraging words.
And the helplessness that comes with being confined to a hospital bed.
But the one thing she remembers the most about that time in her life was her vow to never let it happen again. She said she'd never be helpless again, because she had survived the number one thing that killed people in 2149.
Remembering way back when feeds what little adrenaline she has left. And she is suddenly determined to get herself out of this. She tries to move an arm just to see if it's still attached, but the complete and utter agony that follows the movement sends her straight into darkness.
And she's out like a light.
Her heavy eyelids drag open and she is presented with darkness and the coppery taste of blood.
A thought drifts into her head like a dream, telling her that something terrible has happened. But it's like trying to catch smoke with her bare hands. She can't quite figure out what's going on.
She senses something amiss, a sudden ominous stirring deep within her bones. Pressure builds up around her chest as if she were sinking into cold, deep water, constricting her throat and making it difficult to breathe.
She lets out a gasp and the air is forced from her lungs in an explosive exhale, as if someone has planted a foot on her back and pressed down hard. Her following inhale is small and there's a rattling in her lungs that renews her fear and desperation.
She finds it quite ridiculous that her family flashes before her eyes. She never had believed in that old 21st century saying. But yet, apparently it's true. Maybe not so much as a physical brain reaction per se, but something linked to heightened emotions in the face of death.
Because she does not want to leave her family behind with the memory of what she could have been.
That would destroy them.
Her mother would collapse in upon herself. Maddy remembers her mother's desperation when she had gotten sick. One of the best trauma surgeons in Chicago and Elisabeth Shannon was unable to prevent her eldest daughter from the palmyra plasia illness.
And her father? Well, Jim Shannon would look at Zoe every day and see Maddy's eyes, because they both have their mothers' eyes. She hadn't spent much time with her father as of late, but she doesn't have to. They have a connection that only a father and a teenage daughter have. They have the trust. And the love. And the acceptance. They have an understanding of each other that only comes with the growing experiences from her teenage years. She can talk to her mother four hours at a time about the most ridiculous things, but she would definitely consider herself a Daddy's girl at heart.
Josh would handle things like their mother, because no matter how much he'd deny it, living with three women after their father was sent to jail had an effect on him. Not to say that he was feminine by any means, just that he was more...in touch with his emotions. And he would shut down completely. He doesn't act it, but he is extremely protective of her. Leaving Kara behind just about destroyed him. She knows he is loyal to the end, and Maddy dying would prove, yet again, that he was unable to protect someone he loved.
And then she thinks of Mark.
She thinks of his eyes. The gateways to his soul. And she smiles in the darkness because every time Mark smiles at her, his eyes sparkle like the clear blue sky and they honestly make her knees weak. It is love she sees. Maybe it's not the kind of love that her mother and father share, but it is love all the same. And it kills her that they will never get the chance to share something past adolescent longing.
She thinks of his smile and the way it had dragged her into him. That little sideways grin he flashes when he's amused. Like the first time she ever talked to him and rambled like an idiot. He didn't turn away from her. He grinned like he thought she was the most adorable thing he'd ever seen this side of the rift. And she knew that in that moment, he was the one she wanted.
She thinks of his goofball moments of being ridiculously polite (apologizing for pushing her up the tree after they went OTG) and his 18th century ideas of courtship. (Honestly, who asks father's permission anymore?)
She thinks about all of the time they spent together.
And about all of the time they won't get to spend together.
In the last few moments of consciousness that she feels slipping away from her, Maddy Shannon finds it quite ridiculous that even though she's strived to be an entirely different person in Terra Nova, she's still going to die alone.
A/N: So, what'd you think? Good? Okay? Or just plain horrible? Haha...but seriously...tell me what you think.