Neville's Guardian by Sharpe34

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Summer Year 1: End of Vacation - Part 5 - Going Home:

The hood was too tight around Dae's neck; plus the scent of toast and vomit was overpowering, making him wish they would have killed him rather than taken him captive. Walking out of his quarters, and into ranked blaster fire would have been preferable to letting the Sith Lords decree his fate. "Sorry, Kinjie. I hope that slave was worth it." He sighed softly to himself, now that his head was clearing he felt the pain. His face was shattered, hands shackled, ribs and spine kicked half-in. The overseers had taken their time in beating him half to death. He hurt all over, was shattered to a point he couldn't fight back, and on his neck... the cold telltale touch of a dampener/shock collar.

"He's come around, Lord Zash. Your orders?"

"Oh flark, Harkun. Figures that ass would be the one to have captured me," Dae thought darkly to himself.

"A moment, Harkun. Look at his aura; there's no fear... anxiety, yes, but no fear. Why is that? Isn't this the slave you set up as a foil for my sweet Fann?" Her voice was silky, sweet, and totally made Dae's nerves crawl. There was something so corrupt in it. How could people stand to hear her?

"Yes, Lord Zash. A disposable slave. I felt his natural talent at weapon skills would push Fann to his utmost. I never for one second thought he could possibly damage Fann to that extent." The overseer sounded angry, and frightened. That was a bad combination, not just for Dae, but for himself. Everyone knew of Lord Zash's... appetites. "Fann's cloned spine will be ready in a few days, and he'll be returned to you as soon as he's able to..."

"No. I no longer want him," Zash cut the overseer off. "This one shows much more promise. I'll take him instead."

Dae could hear the swish of her robes as she crossed the room and knelt down next to him. Her hands explored his body, finding the broken bones, and her powerful fingers pressed the ends together. Again and again she forced the bound man to cry out. The pain was excruciating. Devastating. Never ending. And he could hear her breathing become more rapid, her excitement climbing. Her hand unfastened the hood, but left it over his head, her warm fingers spidered up his face, stroking his left cheekbone, the swollen-shut eye.

"Listen to his heart, it's so strong, his aura, so bright! I must have this one. Kill Fann. I'm done with him." Her breathing was rapid, excited. Her fingers stroked the swollen orb of Dae's eye, then pushed into the closed lids. "Get that Cathar girl... the little one...chain them together. The slut from the pleasure pens no one can have without a fight." Her voice was so close to Dae's ear, her breath stank of death and corruption, even through the cinched hood.

"Listen to me, little slave, you're mine now. I shall be your teacher from here on. I know you took part in the murder of three acolytes on Academy grounds... that's a death sentence, but I'm going to save you. I can't touch the other one, Darth Barras has him off world already, but you... you're mine. I want you to tame this little Cathar bitch, and learn to fight like that Kinjie and his pet slave did."

She was nearly orgasmic in her excitement. Dae could feel her lust for power. The pain of her fingers inside his broken eye-socket was more than he could bear and he started screaming.

"I want a pair like Barras has, two fighting as one. The perfect bodyguards. You'll have six years to break that girl, or you both die. If she can't speak Basic and Sith, pilot a ship, or do navigation and mechanicals, you both die. If you kill her, you die as well. Well, of course if she kills you..." she laughed brightly. "Teach her quickly, I will be watching so closely... I' keeping an... eye... on you."

Her thumbnail swept through his optic nerve, severing Dae's left eye, even as he felt the screaming girl being chained to his waist.

"Clone the eye, Harkun," she said, tossing him the severed eye. She shuddered with the aftereffects of her pleasure. "I want them ready to fight in three days..."


His eye kept throbbing. And the humming in his ears was making his headache worse. Luckily Rika was stroking his brow, and that little comfort was all he needed. Silk. He was laying on Rika's lap, and she was wearing a silk dress.

Rika never wore loose clothes.

His eyes opened and the golden hand was withdrawn from just short of touching his nose. He felt the twin spikes slip out of his eye sockets, and the pain in his head abated slightly.

"Easy, Lord D'Ark. I have completed re-attaching your optic nerves, and the carbon nano-tubes re-enforcing your skull have been pushed back into place. The brain damage is repaired. Luckily Lady Yumiko saved your life. All I was required to do was a little nano-surgery."

Dae blinked his eyes a few times. The golden woman kneeling before him looked remarkably similar to Scorpio, but was obviously human, and not a droid.

"Before you ask, I am no longer Scorpio. Call me Circe. I feel it's a more fitting name. Your son had many similar injuries, and I elected to heal him first. I hope that decision meets with your approval."

"What..." his voice was ragged, and his throat was so sore. It felt as if he had been swallowing razor blades, rusty ones. "Where am I?"

Lady Yumiko's soft voice cut in. "You're on a charter flight. We've taken off from Chicago, on our way to New York. You've been asleep for about 18 hours." Her soft hands continued stroking his face, and he realized he was laying on her lap. She sighed softly. "You gave us quite a mess to clean up. Several actually. You've also uncovered one hell of a conspiracy." She chuckled ruefully.

"Allow me to start with the good news. I have arranged for the girl to be adopted by you, and your companion. The paper work will be ready for you once we reach New York. Circe will sign in Rika's place. So that is not a major issue. You will then proceed directly to England, after as minimal a stop as we can arrange. The matter of the wizard bodies in Houston has been handled, and in fact, you'll be receiving a reward and bonus for killing them." She chuckled softly, and shook her head ruefully. "Who would have guessed your murderous rampage would have solved so many kidnappings and murders."

She cupped his chin and forced him to look up, and into her eyes. "Our whole society owes you a debt for that, but unfortunately for you, we've drafted you into our little war."

She stroked his cheek and looked over his shoulder to the far side of the cabin where Neville was laying in a mirrored position on the dirty girl's lap. "Here comes the bad news. You're now my Ronin Hanta. That means, you're my hunter. Well, my country's hunter to be more exact." She shook her head and pointed to the third pair in the jet, Hendersen and Circe. "I'm afraid I know your secret now. Alien travelers from a parallel world. I supposed that does explain a great many things."

Her hands continued stroking his temples. "Amazing loyalty your companions have shown. I've had to open a detective agency in Dallas to house your Miss Lula, and assign five Yakuza wizards and... agents, to watch over her." She laughed softly. "It's not like I didn't have offices there to begin with, but having an ex-police sergeant as a member of my staff... well, you can see it may lead to problems in the long run." She shrugged, "but, she's smart, loyal to a fault, and working for you. So she's even better protected than she knows.

"So many strange things over the last three years are coming into focus. And that little jerk Gerome knew it all along." She laughed, her first genuine and happy one that Dae had heard since he woke up. "He must have used a Chrono-sync as well, but being so long-lived, he gave himself better messages than I would have dared to send to a past me." She smiled again. "Your cover story, as an agent for the government, has been in the works for years. Your teaching accreditation actually is on file, and you are owed two years and six months back pay as my Hunter. I filed you as one under the code name, "Darth Amadai", when it fell to me to provide the next hunter three years ago."

She laughed again. "Even after dealing with you for the past year, I never added two and two together and came up with an eccentric computer nerd as a sanctioned assassin. I apologize for so misjudging you." She raised a single index finger, kissed the tip and pressed it to the tip of Dae's nose. They looked into each others eyes and nodded slightly.

"I'm sorry I had to lie to you, Madame Yumiko..." Dae began.

She shook her head. "No Dae, it's Yumiko. Only Yumiko from now on. We need to have such a long talk, and we won't have time for it. Not today. I need to get back to Tokyo tonight, and you need to get home before Rika comes and kills us both." They paused and watched Neville pull out his guitar and start the power source up. He plucked at the strings for a few seconds. The girl who was comforting him laughed softly and lightly tapped her hands in time to the music Neville was playing.

"Your son is rather good. I thought he said he couldn't play anything when we met at the school a few months back?" Yumiko asked softly.

"He... he can't," Dae responded. His eyes shifted to Circe and she nodded, moving closer to the pair, leaving Hendersen napping in his chair.

"Before you say anything, Lord D'Ark, all I did was bypass some of the damaged areas of his brain. No re-wiring, just... increasing the blood flow to its natural state. A few of the major neural nodes were burned out, so I just... bypassed the damage to ease his constant pain. He should have full color vision now, taste, sense of smell, hearing and much better recall. He's as close to how he should be as I could make him without altering him." The android shook her head sadly. "What was done to him was criminal."

Dae stared at the golden woman. "Repayment for your rescue?"

Circe shook her head. "No, fixing your tinnitus, cranial damage, brain damage, optical nerve and deviated septum was repayment of that debt. Fixing the boy was merely... the right thing to do." She handed over a miniature data-cube. "My full report for the last two and a half years. When we reach New York, Hendersen and I shall start our hunt for the Death Born, and the star drive. Obviously there is no Castle Grayskull, or Erehwon. We shall be your mobile eyes in this war, as per our contract." She rose and went back to the sleeping agent and curled up against him.

"Something tells me, you have as much experience with palace intrigue as I do. Even so, be careful in New York. I can not help you too openly there. You may be my Hunter, but you're not to be... MY... Hunter." She looked at him meaningfully.

"I understand. It's another game we must play." He looked at his shredded clothes and sighed. "I really miss my armor."

Yumiko laughed once more. "I have a feeling, you're going to love what I have waiting for you."

Coming soon, Year 2 - Chapter 1: Friends and Relatives.