Sherlock could feel the pain over their bond.
His master's body was enduring enough to kill a normal human, but not a Jedi, not yet. Though it would bring him to the edge of death, it would not send him over. Sherlock grit his teeth together, knowing his master was near to unconsciousness because he was no longer shielding his misery from his padawan. The boy had accelerated his land speeder to its fullest capacity, but still felt like his speed was lax.
It would take him at least a day or two to reach his master.
"Teacher," Sherlock mumbled tightly, "I'm coming."
He could physically see his own pain.
His vision was tinted white as another shot of pain whipped through his body with no mercy. Needles were buried in key points at his body, injecting a clear liquid that made him want to scream. He wanted to faint, his body yearned for darkness, but the I.V drip in his arm refused to let him dip into sweet unconsciousness. Damn their tortures. Damn anyone who was that clever with their torture.
It was a cruel game. Lestrade controlled when it ended, according to the queen anyway. He simply had to admit that the pain was too much, that his dehydrated, starving body was over stressed. If it didn't hurt to move Lestrade would have smirked, Mace always told him he was far too stubborn for his own good. They wouldn't kill him, or he would have surrendered instantly. Not out of fear for himself, but for Sherlock, the boy was still too young to be without him.
Though if Sherlock had his way, he would always be too young to be without his master.
"You are going to kill him," one of the guards was whispering fiercely to Lidia. "He is a Jedi, he will not succumb to this kind of torture."
"He will submit to me or die," the queen said softly. "Those are the only options."
"We will lose a prized pet because of your arrogance. There are whispers of the Sith reawakening, they would pay handsomely for a Jedi, tamed or no," the guard urged.
Blast it. If it was Moriarty they spoke of Lestrade was as good dead.
Patience, he scolded himself, he had to be patient.
With a dark sigh the queen raised a lazy hand to the med droid. The blasted bot whirled excitedly, eager for commands. Lidia sneered at him cruelly. "Release him."
The needles sprang from his skin swiftly, the restrains around his wrists and ankles opened with a small snap. The Jedi could have wept with relief, but instead grit his teeth together with a small grunt of pain. His body was too worn to move as he was circled, poked, prodded, and examined with little care.
"You bedside manner is horrid," Lestrade chuckled darkly.
Brown eyes met cat like green, the female grinned evilly. "I thought perhaps such treatments would curb you silver tongue."
Lestrade merely snorted with exhaustion. "I have been tortured before, it hardly phases me to be honest."
"And what does phase you?"
Lestrade would have shrugged, but nothing, save his mouth, seemed to be working correctly. "If you can figure it out, you shall be the first."
She smirked, "I shall delight in finding it. Take the Jedi to his quarters."
Lestrade was seized by his hair and arm while being pulled from the table. His legs could no longer support themselves, causing him to stumble to the floor. To his humiliation and anger the child was sitting in the corner, watching him with a mixture of curiosity and, thank the Force, horror. The guard grabbed him by the under arm and dragged him away from the table.
"Nitra will accompany you," the queen said as an afterthought. "She will stay with you for the reminder of your time here."
The young man winced sharply. "I take it I am not going anywhere worthy of a princess."
"No," the feline woman said coldly.
Lestrade was struggling to keep consciousness now that the vile medication was no longer in his arm. "Then why-?"
"Jedi are protectors of the innocent, are they not?" she mused. "What is more innocent than a child?"
"She's your daughter," Lestrade spat angrily.
"Yes. Learn to obey, and I will gladly take her back into my company."
Force, why did it have to be a child? Why did they drag a child into their games? Nitra wasn't even as old as Sherlock when the brat had come under Lestrade's guardianship. Worse still, Nitra seemed unaffected. As though she were used to being a pawn to her mother's will, Lestrade shook his head to clear the haze settling in his mind.
"You-you don't have to do this," Lestrade slurred as his mind slipped towards the darkness it had been craving. "Don't use a child…"
The young knight was gone before he could finish his thought.
"Mother," her daughter bowed.
Her child was brave and unafraid of following the unconscious Jedi into his cell. Lidia stroked her child's ears softly until she began to purr with content. Her guard stood a stone's throw away with the prisoner across his shoulders. She smiled warmly at her prize.
"He will yield, my sweet one," Lidia assured her child gently. "He is a kind soul, he will not want to keep you in misery long."
"Yes, Mother," Nitra said dutifully. "I will give him his antidote too, if you wish."
"No, sweet heart. I will administer it during one of his lessons, you must focus on seeming afraid. Make him think you are uncomfortable, or better yet in pain."
"I will tame him?" the child asked in awe, believing she was helping a greater cause.
"No, my love. You will only bring him closer to it. He will submit, but unwillingly if he believes you are harmed. Once I have his obedience, I will show him…how much he should like it," the feline queen licked her child's ears clean. "Now go. And remember what your role is."
It would take at least three days to get to Lestrade's location.
Mace sank into a deep trance, stretching out with the Force to find his companion. Gregory had spent so many years on Naboo that his Force signature was becoming unfamiliar. He had taken the boy, his padawan, to his home planet to be raised without judgmental glances. And the boy seemed to grow before his eyes. Mace would never forget the first time they had appeared before the council to observe Sherlock's growth. The boy had been fourteen and already come up to his master's shoulder, Greg seemed slightly disappointed by that.
In truth, perhaps he should have reached out to the child as Qui Gon had, been another "uncle" figure for the padawan to learn from. Mitsukuni would have appreciated that more than the stony silence he been given after taking the boy as his learner. He often wondered if Greg had forgiven him for being so cold.
When Gregory brought the boy back to temple, Mace had been sure to not approach him, to keep a respectable distance, and let Lestrade seek him out. Mitsukuni stopped looking for him after three years of raising the boy, and Mace was far too proud to pursue him himself.
Why he had been reached for instead of Qui Gon was a mystery to him, but as always Mace had dropped what he was doing at once to go rescue his pathetic excuse of a sudo brother.
Gregory's mind was in pain, his body ached with a need for nutrients, and his stubbornness was beginning to weaken.
Ah. A child.
They were attempting to break Gregory's will with the pain of a little one. That being the case it was clear the young knight's resolve would not last long. Greg's fondest for children would be his undoing.
As a young padawan, a young knight, before Sherlock had arrived, Gregory had no weakness. No master that would be captured and harmed, no one close enough to him to be used against him. At least that the younger man had let on. A padawan Hooper had always been able to control Gregory in a way unbefitting a Jedi. And when he needed something, or wanted help, he would submit himself to Mace's or Qui Gon's guiding hand.
And of course Master Yoda had been the lad's idol, but no one was foolish enough to attempt his capture.
Greg loved children and felt the overwhelming desire to protect them. It was as though he were attempting to make up for being unable to protect Sherlock. The younger Jedi would take a saber to the belly before he let anyone harm a child.
Mace urged his ship to move faster, however even at top speed he felt it was not enough.
"Mitsukuni," Mace mumbled tightly, "I'm coming."