A/N: Seeing as "Trouble in Paradise" has been concluded, I have decided to bring forth a brand new story to replace it! This series is going to be told through the eyes of Maddy's ancestors, as she quickly discovers she wasn't the first of her lineage to find true love at a young age. Of course, I wouldn't dream of depriving you of the usual Mark/Maddy fluffiness, so there will be tons of it interspersed throughout the historic narratives. I hope you like this idea, it's radically different from everything else written on this site, as it's partially OC but not really…Please, please, please leave a review because the early chapters' success is crucial to this story's continuation. I've also got a number of oneshots in the works.
THE CAST FOR THIS EPISODE:
Mark Reynolds as Markus
Maddy Shannon as Madera
Elisabeth Shannon as Madera's mother
Zoe Shannon as Madera's sister
Nathaniel Taylor as The General
Alicia Washington as The General's Wife
SETTING: starts in Terra Nova and moves to Ancient Rome
"Mom!" Maddy called as she gathered her notebooks and crammed them into her shoulder-bag. "I'm going to the Eye!"
"Alright, dear," her mom replied. "Be careful!"
"Okay!" Maddy stepped out into the crisp, morning air, shutting the door behind her. She took a deep breath, savoring the scent of spring. She was going to do some research into her genealogy today. She had been longing to research her family's past for a while and the Eye afforded the perfect opportunity to read the historical records and find out anything interesting about her predecessors from the Earth they left behind. She bumped into Mark as she came off the steps.
"Where are you off to in such a hurry?" he asked, a bright smile tweaking his features.
"The Eye," she told him. "Doing some research," she opened the flap of her bag so he could see the notebooks. "Want to come?"
He shook his head. "I wish I could, but I'm on patrol. But I'll come with you some other time, okay?"
She nodded and they exchanged a quick kiss before pressing on in opposite directions. Maddy knocked lightly on the door to ensure no one else was present. Finding the room empty, she shut and locked the door and seated herself on the padded chair, pulling out her notebook as she activated the device's search system.
"Search 'Shannon Family Tree,'" she commanded, and was greeted by a multitude of images overwhelming the screen. Her eyes scanned over several before finally finding her own family's genealogy. She had the computer bring up the page and was stunned at the many faces all interwoven within the chart. The most recent entries were those of herself, Josh, and Zoe, followed one link up by her parents, and before that, on either side, were her grandparents. "Find oldest entry," she commanded, and the computer zoomed upwards until settling on the very first branch in its liquid memory core. Maddy frowned as she read the names: Markus Rellus and Madera. There was no last name attached to the woman. They lived in the Roman Empire, apparently.
"Bring up 'Madera'" she requested, and the computer acknowledged. Maddy was startled to find the image of a beautiful, young woman, painted into a fresco. She looked genuinely thrilled as she stood next to the image of a striking young man dressed in the garb of a Roman soldier. Madera looked to have been a noble-born woman based on her clothing, but then Maddy realized something—she had no last name. She began to read about Madera's past and came to a startling realization. She was a slave!
Maddy ran a search on the slave who had been one of her earliest ancestors. The search quickly yielded some first-hand diaries written by Madera. Maddy immediately knew there was something atypical about this slave—why was she dressed like a noblewoman? Why did she appear to be married to a soldier? And why was she literate? She began to read the writings of her ancestor.
My name is Madera. I have no other name than this. I was born to a family in the Middle East and we lived in relative prosperity until the arrival of the Romans. We were made captives—myself, my mother, and my sister—we were destined to be slaves. My father and brother were likely slaughtered in the massacres. I sit here now, in this strange and foreign marketplace, awaiting the auctioneer to sell me off like cattle. I must hide the fact that I am educated. I keep this record so that others may one day read my plight, and the plight of those like me. I keep this record to inspire change…
Maddy became engrossed as she read further, the images in the diary slowly coming to life in her head.
Madera trembled in fear as the auctioneer sold off the young woman ahead of her in line. She heard the heavyset man make another announcement.
"Next, an exotic beauty from lands in the Middle East. She is known only as Madera. She is stunning, her hair ebony and her skin a pleasing shade of tan…"
Madera cowered as the slave handlers came to retrieve her. She looked at her mother through tearful eyes, wanting desperately to embrace her one last time, for fear she would never see her again, but the chains kept her from moving.
"Go, Madera. Be strong, be brave," her mother urged her. "Your sister and I will be fine. They will not separate us." Madera nodded as she was led off.
The spectators cheered as the girl stood in chains before them, eyes cast downward. Men began calling out prices that they were willing to pay for her. Soon, the bidding ended, and Madera became the property of the highest bidder—an older man with graying hair and a beard. He was also dressed in the garb of a soldier and, from the way the auctioneer addressed him, Madera gathered that he was a General in the Roman army.
"You'll make a good addition to my servant staff," the General told her, his voice gruff but not altogether unkind. "My wife could do with another attendant." Madera was slightly surprised by this. From what the other slaves had told her, she was almost certainly destined for her new master's bed chambers. She was grateful that she would only be tending to his wife…
Maddy's watch buzzed, startling her from her reverie. She glanced around and found herself in the Eye, no longer in Ancient Rome, watching a fearful Madera being lead off to her new "employment." Glancing down at the watch, she realized that her reservation in the Eye was up, and that she would have to leave. Quickly, she downloaded the remaining diary entries onto her Plex, slipped her notebooks back into her bag, and exited the room.
"Mark!" she cried as she spotted him coming toward her, no longer in his full uniform.
"Hey!" he ran over to greet her. "So, did you learn anything interesting in the Eye?"
"Lots," Maddy responded, bringing up the diary entries on her Plex. "This is the diary of one of my oldest ancestors. She was a slave in the Roman Empire."
Mark's eyes widened with curiosity. "And she kept a diary? I'm no history expert but weren't the slaves illiterate?"
"Mostly," the girl replied. "But she was from the Middle East. They tended to have been well-educated. But here's the interesting thing…" she showed him the fresco of Madera and the mysterious soldier Markus Rellus. "That's her in the fresco. But she's dressed like a noblewoman and she's apparently married to this soldier Markus Rellus."
Mark looked confused. "But…she was a slave…"
"Exactly," Maddy pointed for emphasis. "I haven't finished reading the diaries yet but I'd love to find out how she was able to marry a soldier. Want to help?"
"Sorry," Mark replied regretfully, "but I'm actually on my way for some training seminars. Can I take a rain check?"
Maddy gave him a teasing pout. "Alright, I guess, but you owe me big time!"
"You can have anything you want from me," Mark told her, smiling.
"I may just take you up on that offer, soldier. Now go! You'll be late, and then Commander Taylor might kill you." She hugged him goodbye and then gave him a playful shove.
Maddy hurried through her chores for the evening, eager to open up the diaries and continue her research into her family's past. What was Madera's background prior to her life as a slave? Who was the enigmatic Markus Rellus? Why was she allowed to marry him?
A/N: There's your "teaser" for this story, I suppose. Don't worry, all the questions will be answered BUT only if you guys care to have them answered. Leave me a review and tell me what you like/dislike about the direction and tell me whether or not I should bother continuing. Thanks!