Not Just Another Pilot
Thank you to Shanon and Diana, who critiqued the work in progress and offered advice and encouragement.
This story takes place immediately after the evacuation of Hoth and marks the beginning of Hobbie's Saga ...
"Ms. Ponsed, Transports from the evacuation of Hoth are incoming. You're with me. We're doing triage."
The young nurse looked up from the chart she had been making notations on. "Yes Doctor." Alert signals were blaring throughout the ship as she followed the doctor toward the emergency receiving area of the giant medical frigate's landing bay where several two person teams were doing exactly the same thing.
Doctor Marran Telsan and Nia Ponsed were only two of the dozens of medical personnel who examined and treated hundreds of injured Rebel personnel over the next several hours. As they spoke with the less severely injured, they learned of the devastating battle and the brilliant and brave holding action of the pilots who had formed the rear guard that had allowed the bulk of the personnel from Hoth to make their escape.
At last they noticed that the flow of injured was beginning to abate. Suddenly a medtech called across the landing bay. "Doctor Telsan! Come here quick! This one's in a stasis box."
The doctor and nurse hurried over and Nia read the little information that had been entered on the stasis box's small datapadd. Nia was almost exhausted from the long hours she had put in treating all the injured, but as soon as she read the information about this pilot she found an untapped reservoir of strength within herself.
"He's a pilot. He was pulled from the burning wreck of his snowspeeder and put into the stasis box as soon as he was brought aboard the transport. They didn't think he could survive otherwise." She looked up from the padd. "He was brave enough to stay behind and give others a chance to escape. Can we help him? "
Doctor Telsan was equally exhausted, but he was giving everything he had to saving these brave warriors. "Yes, Ms. Ponsed. We'll try."
He had the medtechs move the stasis box into one of the treatment rooms and removed the pilot to the examining table. They all worked feverishly, first to hook him up to the monitors in order to assess his condition and then as quickly as they could, addressed his injuries. The external injuries, while extensive were not life threatening. The internal injuries were far more serious, but the pilot could not be moved for surgery until he was stabilized.
That was the problem. His heart was damaged and was fluttering in and out of sinous rhythm. Telsan concentrated on trying to stabilize the pilot's heart, but it was a losing battle. Finally, when electroshock failed to bring the heartbeat back and the pilot had been pumped full of as much medication as possible without result, Doctor Telsan looked across the table at Nia. She had been working at the same furious pace and was still trying CPR to get the heart working again. "I'm sorry, Ms. Ponsed. We have to call this one."
Nia looked up at Doctor Telsan with an expression he had never seen before. "No! He is not going to die!" She stopped doing the CPR but kept her hands on the pilot's chest. She closed her eyes in concentration, although she did not really understand why. She felt a strange warmth build inside her that she had never experienced before. Not knowing what else to do, she tried to direct the warmth from herself, through her hands and into the body of the pilot on the table before her, although her actions did not seem to be her own. Something else seemed to be guiding her.
For several moments nothing happened, but then the EKG began emitting a steady rhythmic sound indicating that that the heart was starting to function properly again. Then other monitors began indicating that the pilot's other internal injuries were repairing themselves. Doctor Telsan had already dismissed the medtechs so he was the only one who saw what Nia was doing. And he could scarcely believe his eyes.
However Nia Ponsed had managed it, she had brought this pilot back from the brink of death. It had taken a great deal of strength out of her and Telsan was barely able to get around the table to catch her before she collapsed. He put her into a chair in the corner of the room and returned to examine the pilot. He was still unconscious, which indicated that he probably still had a concussion and there were still cuts and contusions all over him, but the internal injuries that had almost killed him were gone.
Now that he was stable, Telsan took the time to confirm the pilot's identity by running a tissue sample against the records in the Medical Frigate's huge database and quickly came up with a match. Nia Ponsed had recovered enough to walk over to the terminal and Telsan turned to her, still somewhat stunned at what she had done. "What did you do, Ms. Ponsed?"
She was still a little dazed herself. "I don't know ..." She looked back at the pilot laying on the examining table. "I just knew I couldn't let him die." Then she turned back and asked, "Who is he ...?"
Telsan looked back at the screen. "He's not just another pilot, Ms. Ponsed. He is a member of Rogue Squadron, and it seems that they are the heroes of Hoth. His name is Derek Klivian."
Hobbie spent the next two days in a bacta tank, but was almost completely healed well before he was removed from the tank. Dr. Telsan decided to keep him in the Medcenter for observation for a couple more days because he was still trying to understand how Nia had done whatever she had done. By mutual agreement, they did not say anything to any other medical personnel because they were the only ones who had witnessed the unprecedented occurrence. Telsan continued to try to research Nia's healing gift, but came up with very little concrete information. They decided between themselves that she would only attempt to duplicate her healing efforts in the most desperate circumstances, and only when the two of them were alone with the patient.
In the meantime, Nia spent almost all of her off duty time in the bacta treatment unit. She felt herself drawn to this pilot whom she had been compelled to save. Even after he was moved to a regular room in the Medcenter, she still felt drawn to him.
His eyes were closed when she entered the room, but he opened them as she approached the bed. As his deep blue eyes met hers, whatever had drawn her to him became an instantaneous and unbreakable bond. From the look in his eyes, she could tell that he had felt the bond form as well.
She tried to maintain a professional detachment, but found that she could not. "How are you feeling, Mr. Klivian?" she asked trying to keep her voice from shaking.
Hobbie took a few moments to assess his condition before answering. "I ... remember ... crashing my snowspeeder and an instant of excrutiating pain before passing out. I should probably feel like I was stepped on by one of those Imp walkers we were fighting, but I don't. Why is that? What happened to me and how long have I been here?"
Telsan had instructed her not to say anything to him about what she had apparently done because neither of them had been able to come up with a rational explanation. So she told him what could be documented. "You've been in a bacta tank for two days. You respond very well to bacta so you've healed much more quickly than expected."
Hobbie looked at her, certain that there was something she was leaving out, but he could not bring himself to press her for details. He decided to change the subject. "Do you know how bad the casualties were?" He was anxious to find out if his friends had made it through the battle.
She looked down and he could see the sadness in her expression. "The casualties were very heavy." Then she looked back up to meet his eyes again. "But what your squadron did gave most of the people there at Hoth the chance to escape. You're being called the heroes of Hoth."
Hobbie swallowed hard. "How badly was the squadron hurt?" He desperately wanted to know if his friends were still alive.
She recognized his concern and smiled. "I'm not certain, but we have had several inquiries about you. From Captain Antilles and Tycho Celchu, and especially from Wes Janson."
Hobbie's eyes widened. "Captain Antilles? When did that happen? What happened to Luke?" He was relieved that Wedge, Tycho and Wes had made it, but wondered what could have happened to Luke. He was the squadron leader. He hoped that Luke was alright.
"I don't know what happened to Commander Skywalker, Mr. Klivian. There are all sorts of rumors flying around, but I'm sure your squadmates can fill you in."
"Oh. Right. Can I call them?"
"Yes." She handed him a comlink that had been on the table next to the bed. "Here you are. You can have visitors, but you still need to rest."
Her hand lingered on his a moment longer than necessary and Hobbie squeezed it gently. "Thank you."
"You're welcome Mr. Klivian," she smiled.
"Please, call me Derek?"
"You're welcome, Derek." She freed her hand from his. "I have to go now, but I'll come and see how you're doing a little later."
She turned and headed for the door, but turned back when he called. "Miss?"
When her intense green eyes met his, he felt a wave of warmth wash over him like nothing he had ever felt before in his life. "What's your name?" he managed to ask.
She smiled. "My name is Nia Ponsed." And she turned and left the room.
Outside the door, she leaned against the wall for a moment and closed her eyes. No, she thought to herself, he's not just another pilot.
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