posted on 8-Aug-2002 6:44:45 PM by Flora
TITLE: Strength over Fear
AUTHOR: Flora
E-MAIL: flora_hope⊕hotmail.com
DISCLAIMER: I own just the fun of writing this and of cause all the feedback ;-)
CATEGORY: AU Max/Liz + gang
RATING: PG-13 and definitely R later maybe even NC-17
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel are Jedi Knights. When a routine mission goes wrong, leaving Max severely wounded and Isabel missing, events are set in motion that will force Max to confront an old nemesis and a part of himself he buried long ago.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is my very first fic and my not being from an English-speaking country makes everything even more difficult. So don't be too mad at me for any linguistic mistakes. Ok, whoever is still here:-), on with the show!





Prologue

He looked out through the transparisteel windows, watching as the stars outside transformed from straight lines back to little dotes as the ship fell out of hyperspace. Reaching out into the force he let out a deep sigh. Not even the steady flow of the force that he had learned to draw his energy from since he was a little initiate could chase away the uneasiness that he was feeling. He berated himself for his lacking ability to see past his anxieties. His master would have sternly disapproved.

"Max"

Startled he turned around just to direct his view back to the space outside upon seeing the hooded figure standing in the doorway. He hadn't even felt her coming, just more evidence for his unbalanced state of mind.

He felt a comforting hand on his shoulder and turned his head to look at her. There was worry evident in her eyes and he flashed her a small reassuring smile.

Slowly she drew the hood of her long dark brown Jedi robe back to reveal short golden hair, still growing out of the Padawan cut.

"Max what is it? I can feel you are distracted."

"I have a bad feeling about this, Isabel."

"The mission?"

"I don' t now ... maybe. I can¡'t really place it that is the problem. I know that my thoughts should stay on the mission were they belong, but I cannot shake the feeling that something big is going to happen."

Isabel closed her eyes for a moment, reaching out to the steady stream that was the force flowing around them connecting them to the universe.

"Mhhm" Isabel said, eyes still closed "I can feel change, something is drawing near. But the force is always in motion, hard to say whether the changes are for the better or the worse." She opened her eyes to look at him. "It depends on your point of view, I guess."

"What do you think about the mission?"

"It is pretty much routine, though you should never underestimate what could lie beneath the surface. I did not feel anything suspicious but it will do no harm to be cautious."

Isabel had a better connection to the unifying force, the aspect that bound past, presence and future together and intervened events and lives to the great pattern of time. She could cope better with situations like that. He was more into the living force, the aspect that filled the moment and created life. That was part of why these feelings disturbed him so much.

He sighed deeply. He had a mission to concentrate on and it would do him no good to be distracted. Pulling his own hood up over his head he turned away from the window consciously pushing his uneasiness to the back of his mind. Later he would examine these feelings further but now was neither the time nor the place to do it.

Isabel pulled her hood up again and gave his shoulder a last comforting squeeze before turning to leave.

"Lets go."

Little did Max know that very soon the reason for his feelings would catch up with them, whether they were prepared or not.

tbc

What do think, shall I continue?

[ edited 6 time(s), last at 14-Aug-2002 5:45:42 PM ]
posted on 9-Aug-2002 6:51:24 PM by Flora
Hey!

I can't tell you how excited I'm over your feedback, as I said this is may first fic and it feels great *big*. As to your question CEO, I set the story in the timeframe of Episode 1. It is an interesting time, when evil is already spreading but there is still some order left. Though it will be set in the Old Republic I will weave in some elements from the other films as well.

TITLE: Strength over Fear
AUTHOR: Flora
E-MAIL: flora_hope⊕hotmail.com
DISCLAIMER: I own just the fun of writing this and of cause all the feedback ;-)
CATEGORY: AU Max/Liz + gang
RATING: PG-13 and definitely R later maybe even NC-17
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is my very first fic and my not being from an English-speaking country makes everything even more difficult. So don’t be too mad at me for any linguistic mistakes. Ok, whoever is still here, on with the show!*wink*





Part 1

Liz adjusted the small lamp she had brought with her and leant back down. Armed with a magnifying glass she continued to take samples of alga that had to be scratched from the rocks.

Ilary was not a life furthering planet. The surface was of jacked rock and there was a strong wind constantly blowing, keeping the temperature low. The atmosphere of the planet was thin, not that it would immediately choke you but it wasn’t to pleasant to stay on the surface for too long. The people lived in climate-controlled glass domes that were linked together by underground hallways.

But despite the hostile natural environment there was some life native to this big rock in space. Admittedly not very much, Liz thought while straining to see anything at all in the shadows that were cast from everywhere. In small caves like the one she currently occupied low plant live and insects had found a hiding place.

She rubbed a hand over her weary eyes and decided that she had enough samples for now. Sealing the last test tube she placed it with all the others and started to secure her equipment safely on her hover cart.

The way to the doom that accommodated the Royal Nubian Research Centre wasn’t to long. A more remotely place had been chosen for the centre to insure a more effective and undisturbed ability to work for its employees.

If she got going now, she may even return before Maria realized she was gone. Maria had been her personal lab assistant for a few years now. She was a great help and Liz could rely on her to conduct the testes, she asked for, thoroughly. But more than a good colleague, Maria was a loyal friend, something hard to find in these times now.

She did not like it when Liz went outside on her own. There was a possible danger to it and Liz knew that. Should anything happen to her, there would be nobody to hear her cries for help, the wind drowned out every sound. But she was careful and she could better do this on her own. Maria was great but a little to talk active for Liz to really concentrate on this kind of work when she came along.

Liz put her gloves on and drew her coat more firmly around her as she headed for the cave’s entrance. Immediately she was hit by cold air and the buzzing noise of the storm. Carefully she manoeuvred the cart trough the opening.

She was on the verge of rounding one of the large rock pillars that were scattered all over the landscape, when movement caught her eye. Wanting to ask whether her assistance was needed she took a step forward and froze. Upon a closer look she could make out two man wearing thick coats like she did and a third one clothed only in only a thin tunic. The first two were dragging the third man behind them. From his slammed state you could tell that he was probably unconscious.

Liz ducked back behind the pillar and peeked around its corner. She was worried about the man in the tunic, he had to be chilled to the bones, but the other two didn’t look to friendly. Being alone and unarmed there was little that she could do except watch and wait.

*

“That is far enough.”

His companion looked at him not sure if he should agree with it.

“There is no way he will survive in his condition. Leave him here. It is a much better revenge for your arm, don’t you think” The man yelled again against the roaring storm.

The other one flexed his hand. He could still feel the wound where their prisoner had burned him upon his capture. It still hurt, yes, a quick death would be too good for the bastard, let him feel the chill invading his every limb, let him be slowly robbed of his warmth, let him suffer. He nodded his head, yes.

The two men let go of their prisoner and he slumped to the ground unable to support his own weight. They turned and strode away.

The man that was left to die rolled into a foetal position and shivered. There was no strength left in his broken body and even the force seemed out of reach now. He would die here in the middle of nowhere. There is no death there is the force. The Jedi code was right, but his knowledge did nothing to banish the loneliness from his heard. If he became one with the force now, he had no chance to free his sister but at least the ache in his heard would stop.

His constant fight against himself would end here. He closed his eyes never to open them again.

*

Liz had watched from her hiding place as the two men seemed to talk and then as if on reaching an agreement they dropped the limb figure they had dragged along between them. The body slumped to the ground. At first Liz had thought him unconscious but now dawned on her that he could as likely be dead already and the other two were just disposing of his body. She shuttered and it had nothing to do with the wind.

The two men had walked away and she was no longer able to spot them on the horizon. Liz moved around the pillar and in the direction off the figure left to die. If he wasn’t already dead, she would have to hurry to save whoever he was. The tunic she had seen him wear would not hold the cold from penetrating his body. Under these circumstances it had nearly the same effect as being naked.

She sank down beside him to feel for a pulse. It was weak, but still there. A sigh of relieve escaped her lips. But as she took in his whole appearance her hand flew to her mouth in shock and her eyes went wide. The beige tunic and trousers, the travel boots, the utility belt that was still around his waist, to other people he may have appeared to be a simple average man like his clothing intended to, but to her it was a dead give away. He was a Jedi.

Memories of another man in the same attire surfaced in her mind, but she pushed them away, now was not the time for the past.

She lowered the hover cart to the ground and started to slowly heave him on top. He moaned and his eye lids fluttered but he did not wake up. He must be severely injured, she thought to herself. She did not want to cause him any additional pain but in order to save him, she had to move him.

Powering the hover cart up again, she started her journey. The research dome was located in a small valley about 30 minutes away and normally the way would not pose a problem however now, half an hour could be too long for her precious cargo.

“Oh, force”, she prayed, “let us reach the dome on time!”

*

Max had the strangest feeling of being moved. He winced in pain. Trying to open his eyes he realized that even this small task required more energy than he could muster. So all he got was a fuzzy image of a young woman with dark brown hair and the most beautiful chocolate-brown eyes that he had ever seen in his live.

He wondered if the force sent angels to fetch the ones ready to join with it, when his mind slipped away into unconsciousness again.

*

They had been moving for about 15 minutes and already covert over two third of the way, when Liz noticed the body on the cart start to tremble uncontrollably.

“No!”

“I’m not going to lose you, not like a lost him!”

Liz pulled the coat from around her shoulders and covered the man up with it as good as possible, seeing as he was considerably taller than she was. The trembling subsided, but he was still to pale to stop worrying. His white face stood in sharp contrast to his tousled raven-black hair. Her lips pressed into a thin line from both determination and cold. She would last the rest of the way without her coat and she refused to let him slip trough her fingers. His death was not an option.

Another seven minutes later they reached the dome entrance that connected to her personal lab. Keying in the door code with numb fingers, she hoped that they had made it on time. The door hissed open and closed again right after they had stepped trough. Liz collapsed on the floor letting the warmth take the cold sting away.

Maria came hurrying in her direction.

“Elizabeth Parker, where have you been, how often have I told you not to … Oh sith!”

Maria kneeled down beside her friend, just now realizing that she had not come alone.

“Liz, who is he? What happened?”

Liz had still trouble to control her shallow breathing.

“Prepare a bacta tank. NOW!”

tbc


If you are not familiar with the star wars universe and have questions, don't hesitate to asked. I will be happy to answer them

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 10-Aug-2002 5:59:25 PM ]
posted on 10-Aug-2002 6:02:55 PM by Flora
HI!

Cool that there are actually people out there reading my fic.*big*
I Have decided to put a picture up with every new part. They may not show exactly what I write but they emphasize the situation. I'm working on the next part, until then enjoy the images.*wink*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-Aug-2002 5:46:12 PM ]
posted on 13-Aug-2002 8:49:02 PM by Flora
TITLE: Strength over Fear
AUTHOR: Flora
E-MAIL: flora_hope⊕hotmail.com
DISCLAIMER: I own just the fun of writing this and of cause all the feedback ;-)
CATEGORY: AU Max/Liz + gang
RATING: PG-13 and definitely R later maybe even NC-17
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is my very first fic and my not being from an English-speaking country makes everything even more difficult. So don’t be too mad at me for any linguistic mistakes. Ok, whoever is still here, on with the show!
*wink*



Part 2

Liz rubbed a hand over her face. She was exhausted, more than that, tiered to her every bone. She closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against the cool surface of the bacta tank. Inside the seemingly lifeless form of a young man could be seen, floating in the misty depths of bacta gel and connected to a multitude of machines.

Liz took a step back and sighed. Upon her return to the safety of the research doom a duel of wills had started.

* Flashback *

“Prepare a bacta tank. NOW!”

“Liz, are you ok? My goodness, you are freezing!”

“Marie please, I’m fine but he is not as lucky, we have to hurry!” Liz panted out, still trying to control her breathing. Frustration sipped into her voice at Maria’s lack of action.

“But you …”

“Maria no! Please, I will be with you in a minute. Hurry!”

Maria hesitated only a moment, worrying about her friend’s condition but a quick glance at the stranger’s limb body set her into motion and she hurried away.

Liz flatted her palms against the wall she was leaning and pushed herself back up. It had been colder than she anticipated with the sun already set and the wind picking up. She had been without her coat for not longer than 10 minutes but it had been enough to make her believe she was stuck into an ice bath. As she now pushed the hover cart towards the lab’s infirmary, she fought to avert her gaze from the body lying on top of it.

For if she looked at him, she would see the bruises that were scattered all over his face, the pale sick colour of his cheeks and his bluish lips and her thoughts would wander to the coldness outside and the fact that he had been without protection for much longer. Her head would conclude that there was a very real possibility that he may not make it and she could not let that happen so she forged ahead on shaking legs.

The infirmary door’s made a hissing noise as she stepped trough, seeing Maria busying herself with preparations. The tank was already half filled with bacta; ready to host whoever needed the fluid’s live preserving effect.

Maria brought a stretcher and together they moved him on it. Seeing his seize and the fact that he was a dead weight, the process wasn’t very graceful but he didn’t moan or move or gave any other indication that he had felt it and it worried Liz.

She lifted her coat from his body and gasped. His beige-brown tunic was over and over stained with dark patches where blood had obviously oozed out of his wounds. With trembling hands and very careful she removed all his clothes except for the underpants. Every newly revealed part of his body added to the sick feeling in her stomach.

The bruises on his face had just been the tip of the ice berg. His back was nearly completely open and deep wounds covered his arms and legs. On his chest scorch marks could be seen where he had been severely burned. She could feel rage rising inside of her for she new what had caused the black marks and it made her physically ill that people could be so cruel.

They connected him to machines that would monitor his condition and lowered him into the tank.

Liz sighed deeply and sank onto a nearby lab chair. Now it was his turn, she couldn’t do anymore.

Maria had been quite until now, focused on their patient’s treatment and more than a little shocked at what had happened. She had helped to undress and hook him up to all of those machines. Growing up on Corillia kind of numbed you to scenes of injustice. You learned to look away and to use your elbows but she had never seen somebody in such a bad condition, hell, she had seen dead people look healthier.

“Liz, what were you doing out there?” Her voice seemed tiered, as if she had long ago given up on Liz ever listening to her advice.

“I was collecting samples.” Gaze fixed on the tank, she answered in a small voice.

“Samples? Wow, so you found a place on this forsaken rock that housed a life form we didn’t know about already and so nearby that you could walk there? Sith, Liz the whole team combed through the area for months, the lab is set up and we are going to head home for Naboo in a few days.”

Liz looked at her friend and cocked a sarcastic eyebrow at her but kept quiet.
“No no, young lady, don’t you look at me like this. You now perfectly well what I’m talking about. It was your job to oversee the setting up of this new exobiological research centre. The guys here are perfectly capable to take it on their own from here. You don’t have to bury them under tons of samples.”

Liz opened her mouth to contradict but Maria silenced her with a wink of her hand.

“Don’t you try to deny it! I’m sure you didn’t take that hover cart to transport unconscious young men into your lab.”

Liz averted her gaze to hide a small smile.

“Well, I didn’t think so. The heavy rocks that are piling up in the basement are enough to build a nice home from.”

“You could say my being there was the will of the force.” Liz gave out a dry chuckle.

Maria sighed anew and kneeled down beside her friend. Naboo was nothing like Corilla, compared to her birth planet Liz’s was a happy fairy tale world and while she wouldn’t call Liz naive the girl sometimes lacked a sense for possible dangers.

“I’m just trying to look out for you.”

“Maria, I’m an adult, I can look after myself. There is no danger out there, there is nobody even out there.”

“Yea,” Maria said sarcastic and looked at the bacta tank. “That much is evident”

“No, Maria, you can’t compare this. That is something different. He was left there to die; I saw two men just dumb him like he was trash. I … I couldn’t leave him. It’s different” Liz felt her throat constrict.

“Different how? Liz, I now you are too gentle a soul to leave someone to die but what if those men had come after you? Additionally, you don’t now him, he could be a murderer and these men brought him to justice, or a rapist or …”

“He is a Jedi.”

Maria, who had started to babble, stopped and looked at Liz in shock.

“What? How do you know?”

“His cloth, the boots, the belt, it is Jedi standard equipment and” Liz eyes turned bright and she had to force her voice to stay steady. “The burn marks on his chest, they are lightsaber burns. They… they tortured him with his own weapon. They did that to him, too.”

“Liz, I’m… “

She wanted to tell her friend how sorry she was for the reminder of her loss but a shrill noise made her jump to her feed. Liz shot out of her chair and to the control station. The display monitoring his heart rate showed a flat line.
“No, force no! Maria, insert the electrodes into the tank, hurry.”

This couldn’t be happening; the bakta should prevent something like that from happening.

“Maria!”

“Ready!”

Liz pushed the button and the man’s body jumped from the electric charge. A look at the display showed no change. She charged the shock higher and pushed the button again, nothing, a third time, nothing. Sweat collected on her forehead when on her forth attempt she finally received a steady heartbeat.

She laughed and a tear of relieve rolled down her cheek but soon it became sorrow that was wetting her face as Maria embraced her and held her tight. Liz was professional from head to toe and there were only very few occasions on which she let her pain get the best of her, but Maria knew it was nearly always related to him.

Liz pulled away and sniffled softly.

“Thank you. It is just, seeing the Jedi in this condition; it feels like it is happening all over again and …”

“Shhh, I understand. Why don’t you rest for a while? He is not going to run away and you could use a little sleep.”

“Maria, I can’t leave him right now. Please, I need some time to think.”

She couldn’t sleep now and even when she would manage to drift asleep, the nightmares would come to haunt her.

Maria stuffed her hands in her lab coat pockets and gave a reassuring smile.

“Sure, just know that you can always wake me, if you need me, ok?”

“Ok.”

“Ok”

Liz watched Maria’s retreating figure and once again let her gaze drift to the broken form of a young man who had awakened demons in her, that she had thought long banished.


She had won this first round of the duel of wills, for now her will to keep him with her had been stronger than his to leave but soon he should claim his revenge.

tbc

Ok, this part sucked a little, but I had to get some background info trough. The next part will be hopefully more interesting for we partly get to know what happend to Max and Isabel after we left them in the beginning.

Have fun

*big*
posted on 14-Aug-2002 4:53:22 PM by Flora
Hi !

Thanks for your replys otherwise I wouldn't even know if somebody read this. Bakta is something really common in the star wars univers roswelllover. It can heal nearly every damage in body tissue. The supstance is half alive and be applied as gel or in sever cases the person is lowered in a full tank of it. At the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back Luke is in such a tank to heal the damage from the intense cold and the Wampa Icemonster.

Look forward to the next part coming soon!

Bye

Flora