Thanks to Joey
The doors of the hospital banged open as the trolley crashed through, a doctor and nurse running at each side of it. The whole place was in an uproar. Prowling by their side was James Joseph Ellison, Senior Sentinel Prime of Cascade; his eyes fixed on one person and one person only: his Guide, Blair Sandburg.
Blair's face was covered by an oxygen mask, his skin was unnaturally pale, and he was struggling to try and free himself from the restraints that held him down.
Simon Banks brought up the rear, turning, he blocked the other members of the Panther Clan that would have followed, allowing only Dr Harvey and her Guide to go through. The undercover mission had gone wrong almost tragically wrong, and it was up to him to pick up the pieces and find out just what had happened. All he knew was that he had received the emergency signal to come in and had rushed in to find Blair unconscious and two GDP guards on the floor. They looked as if a wild animal had savaged them; Jim Ellison knelt by his Guide, blood round his mouth, his fingers covered with gore, his eyes burning red. All Simon could do was back away, and wait for the Panther Clan to come and regain its own. Then and only then could he take control of the situation.
Jim Ellison was sat with his back to the headboard of the bed, and his Guide in his arms, Blair was breathing on his own without the mask, and his body had been flushed of the stripping drug that had brutally taken his empathic barriers down leaving him open. He had hung onto his sanity by his fingertips; only able to let go when his Sentinel had reclaimed him. His pale skin was badly bruised; they circled his wrists and marked his face and chest.
When Simon came through the door the ice-cold gaze of the Sentinel nailed him. The Sentinel was loosing himself in his Guide, in his scent, the texture of his skin and hair, petting him lightly soothing both of them with his touch.
"If I had become GDP instead of a cop, would that have made a difference Simon, could I have protected him better?". Simon shook his head, "Jim you couldn't have done more, and you might as well say if he had been GDP would life have been different. You can't second guess yourself now." Even as he said it Simon knew that nothing would stop the Sentinel from blaming himself.
As Jim buried his face against his Guide's shoulder and followed him into the bond, Simon's words burned through his mind, and echoed into Blair's. If he had been GDP, then slowly a picture formed.
A different future.
The car pulled up into the visitor parking lot at Cascade PD, instead of getting out the driver sat there, a smoldering cigarette between his fingers. He took a long pull at it and then opened the car door got out, and crushed it under foot. Another cigarette already lit, a chain smoker, the man headed for the elevator. He ignored the looks from the police officer , he was use to them. The elevator door opened on the floor designated for Major Crimes, he hesitated slightly then turned to the right and pushed open the door to the ball pen.
The newcomer didn't have to be an empath to feel the emotions of the people round them, their faces showed their emotions; there was disgust and open hostility and every stop in between.
Simon Banks was coming out of his office when he saw the newcomer. The big Captain hid his emotions better than most, but even so his tone was sharp as he ordered, "Commander in here."
The newcomer entered and took the seat he had been waved into, crushed out his cigarette, and settled in the chair.
Simon leaned back in his chair and for the first time got a good look at the GDP Commander. With the tip of his fingers he tapped the folder in front of him. "Give me a reason why I should allow you near him and why I shouldn't throw your ass out of here GDP or no GDP?"
"Because Captain, I might just be able to help him." A smile twitched the GDP Commanders lips, and his eyes flashed "I am the only game in town for Detective Ellison, and you know it"
"Then convince me, Commander Sandburg."
Blair Sandburg, reached for another cigarette, and lit it, only then did he seem to relax slightly. "Sentinel Detective James Ellison is a Dark Sentinel; the only know one in modern society. He needs a Guide otherwise he faces zone out, coma and death. I can stop him" Blair took a pull on the cigarette letting the smoke trickle from his mouth.
"I read your report Commander, and I am not happy about his association with you, why can't he wait for a clean Guide", Simon paused "that's what they call them isn't it? Clean Guides. Your leaking empathy even as we speak, you're wearing gloves to protect you from unsolicited touch. Commander your soiled; you have already bonded and been rejected. Why would you help Jim?"
"Wrong Captain, I wasn't rejected, my Sentinel died. I wont' start a bond with Detective Ellison; I will be a stopgap for him until a Clean Guide can be found". Blair paused, "I can keep him alive, I am rated a 10 and strong enough to protect him. Like I said Captain, I am the only game in town."
Simon got up, but when Blair went to follow he blocked him. "Believe me Sandburg; if your try to claim him as your own, I will make sure that the Correction Facility is the only thing you see for the next 20 years".
Sally Pearson, was looking through the window of Simon's office, the petite woman had been a close friend with the Captain for the last month, and a god send when dealing with the mystic world of the Sentinels.
"GDP Commander Sandburg put his Sentinel into hospital; she still is in a coma. He's what's called a projecting empath. Sandburg is officially classed as Dark Guide, one of only two to ever become known. The last one was over 50 years ago. Now that he's come on line, he has been classified. His power is phenomenal
"And his Sentinel".
"A woman called Alex Barnes. The GDP have thrown up a world of silence round the incident, and I couldn't get anything more from them, but it would have blown the GDP Guide program apart from what I understand".
0-0-0-0 Jim Ellison stood by a coffee machine, took a sip of the bitter brew, and winced; the coffee since he had come on line was almost undrinkable. But he still drank it. Henri was talking to the Sentinel when he noticed the older taller man suddenly freeze. For a moment he thought the Sentinel had zoned out, he had done so before. He reached out to help, and his hand dropped down as he caught a look at Jim's eyes. Far from being unfocused they seem to burn with an unholy light, the drink fell from his fingers and he turned quickly, in three long strides he was out of the room. With Henri in pursuit, the Sentinel was not responding as he called after him.
Blair ignored the no smoking sign, the Captain was about what he expected, and he had sat through enough of the "keep your filthy hands to yourself Guide" talks in his life to know them word for word.
The footsteps came up behind him fast, then it was as if he was mentally felled; his legs began to buckle. Blair managed to get a hand to the wall to stop him from falling. Then strong hands had him, he was slammed into the wall, and his world went black.
Henri tried to pull Jim off the smaller, younger man, only vaguely recognizing the uniform of the GDP. But the younger detective didn't stand a chance, he was put down, and the limp body of the GDP officer was dragged away.
Simon put the APB out on Detective Ellison, it stressed that he was to be kept under observation only, and no attempt was to be made to arrest him. Commander Dan Slater, was stood looking at the map, he shook his head. "Commander Sandburg is in no danger Simon, I don't think that Jim would kill him, but he is running on pure instinct. At the moment he is at his most dangerous." "Will he be bonded?" Simon sounded concerned.
"That is in the lap of the gods; Jim is a Dark Sentinel, and Sandburg a Dark Guide. Anything could happen."
Blair came round slowly; his head was resting against cold glass. He tried to lift his hands to his face and then panicked as he realized that they were bound. It took a few seconds for him to understand that his hands had been handcuffed together, and then a second pair cuffed him to the door handle of the car.
When he moved, pain exploded through his head, and he couldn't stop a groan of pain. A heavy hand landed on his shoulder, carefully his eyes tracked up the arm to the man driving, Blair recognized him from the photographs, James Joseph Ellison, the Dark Sentinel."
"Okay man you've had your fun, pull over and let the Guide go."
He was ignored; the only reply was a deep low-throated growl, which made the hairs on the back of his neck rise. Looking away from the Sentinel he realized that he was being driven out of the city, into the countryside, and towards the mountains. Being unable to escape, Blair settled back down, he would have to bide his time until he could see a way of escaping.
Simon had received two reports and in both cases they had lost Jim Ellison, but what concerned him was the report of the passenger being slumped over, Dan Slater might try to tell him that Jim wouldn't hurt the Guide, but he was beginning to worry that he might just do it.
The label "mountain cabin" was a little misleading, on the outside it looked like a typical hunting cabin, but inside it had been renovated to the point of luxury, only one road lead up to the cabin, and it gave a perfect view of the land round it. There was no other habitation, only trees and wild life. To the Dark Sentinel this was perfect, the isolation he sought for his Guide.
Blair was jolted awake by the car pulling to a halt. The Sentinel ignored his indignant snarl, and walked round to the passenger door, opening it so that when Blair was dragged out, he landed on his knees by the side of the vehicle. Jim Ellison undid one pair of cuffs then wrapping a hand round the other cuffs pulled Blair to his feet.
The GDP Commander smiled and projected to the Sentinel emotions of submission, just what the Dark Sentinel wanted. When he leaned in towards him Blair brought his knee up hard and fast, the Sentinel went down hard, hands clutching his groin. The Guide was half way down the drive way, when he heard a roar, he twisted round and the breath caught in his throat, the man was gone and what was now getting to his feet was something more than that. Blair spun round and ran for his life, as the second roar seemed to echo back from the trees at him. He had no idea of how far he was from a main road, all he knew was that he had to keep moving; at the same time his mind was spinning. Blair forced himself to think over what had happened. Jim Ellison had gone primal on him, the Dark Sentinel was in charge, and then something else had claimed him. In the second when Jim had roared at him he had seen a black panther; the creature had shimmered superimposing its self over the Dark Sentinel.
The loud crash to this left spun the GDP Commander round; he walked backward a couple of steps, nothing, then turned back and nearly walked straight into James Ellison. The Sentinel had somehow gotten in front of him. The only thing he could do was to throw up his hands to brace himself and take a step back. The man who stood in front of him might have had the body and face of James Joseph Ellison, but that was all, Spirit subdued the heart and soul of the man. The Spirit of the Panther.
Blair took one more step, and then kicked, it was perfectly timed, but Jim Ellison was too fast, he blocked and then stepped forward and hit out. Blair didn't have a chance to duck it:, he went down hard.
The next thing that he saw when he opened his eyes was the ground swaying under him; he was slung over a shoulder and being carried back by the Sentinel. "Fuck this." Blair snarled, fisting his hands he brought them down hard on the mans back, causing him to stumble to his knees, a second blow and the grip faulted, as his feet touched the ground, Blair threw himself forward only just having time to bring his hands up as he rolled away, then up on his feet, he staggered as the world tipped pushing back the nausea he tried to run. The roar of pain made him hesitate then added speed to his escape. That was inhuman, the Sentinel was beyond reason.
He had only made it off the track when a weight ploughed into him, he twisted but couldn't avoid the tree in front of him, with a sickening snap his arm broke, his scream of pain was cut off as his body went limp, and he never felt the earth as he crashed down.
The Sentinel for a heartbeat lay still, then slowly, got into a sitting position, reaching out a hand he ran it along the length of his Guide's body, searching for other injuries. Head tilted listened to the heart beat now slowing, and carefully rolled him onto his back, his hands moving on instinct over the smaller body, stopping on his left arm, the Sentinel frowned, as he felt the break, it was clean and would heal. But in the meantime he needed to get the Guide back to his territory, make him see that running was not the answer. If a Guide ran it was towards their Sentinel and their protection, not away from it. The alpha would always give protection to the beta; the Panther would always protect its mate.
Jim Ellison moved round the cabin, all the time his senses centered onto the smaller younger man, now that his Guide was back where he belonged the Dark Sentinel had pulled back slightly, allowing the man to make contact.
The slight gasp that heralded the Guide's return to the land of the living was enough to bring him across, in his hand he held the black ID wallet, and flipped it open for the tenth time in the last hour, looking down at the picture, then to the man on the bed. The same curly hair in the picture cut short, here long and tied to the back from his face, his eyes seemed in the picture to be alive, the smile open. Looking down he could remember only the burning fire of hatred and pain, fear. Something had happened to change this man into the one laid down in front of him.
Blair woke and pulled back colliding with the wall of the cabin, his hands had been freed of the cuff but were now secured with rope, allowing him more movement, even so he drew back as far as he could from the Sentinel as the older, larger man settled on the end of the bed. He could see the way he was swaying slightly towards him, a drift that he had no idea he was doing. The need to bond was radiating from him like a furnace. Unconscious of the action, Blair's hand rested on the patch under his shirt, the one that allowed the drug to enter his body and prevent bonding. His barriers were strong enough to stop an invasion of the Sentinel's mind, but if they crumbled. And they could under prolonged assault, the drug would prevent his body betraying him, and going into heat.
Blair shuddered, and pulled back as the Sentinel reached out to him, then he saw the cup, and smelt the coffee, and reluctantly accepted it. Refusal and the now placid Sentinel might become aggressive. He had been group mind raped once by a band of Juvenal Sentinels fresh from the academy their need to bond out stripping the controls they had learned. Blair remembered the multiple violations of his mind, as they had tried to link leaving him in a coma for six weeks. Then the other had come, the Dark Guide, and the person he had been had been swept away, never to return. Instead he was now stronger, but the innocence had been lost, and some times it was that which he mourned most.
So if this Dark Sentinel, Neanderthal throwback thought he was going to give himself up to him then he could think again. Once they got back to civilization he was going to have him neutered, no Sentinel was ever going to get away with kidnapping him.
Jim took a deep breath, "Look Sandburg," he saw the expression and added "Commander Sandburg, I don't know what happened back there, it was as if someone else had control. All I knew was" he struggled.
"That you had to have me". Blair kept his tone neutral.
Blair couldn't believe it, this Sentinel; the oldest he had ever met, actually colored up. The idea was already forming, with the patch; of which the Sentinel was ignorant he could promise the world and then escape.
The older man was looking at him carefully, he had no doubt registered the increase of his heartbeat, and he allowed a smile of reassurance.
"Your name Sentinel is Jim Ellison?"
"Your Captain, asked me to help you, I never thought it would lead to a bonding." Blair's voice dropped to the seductive tone of a Guide calling his Sentinel to him. Sure enough the Sentinel seemed unaware of the fact he had moved closer to him. The Guide took a deep mental breath, and reached out his gloved hands moving in a gentle stroke down the Sentinel's arm. Blair leaned in closer, so that his body was almost touching Jim's "free me James," the Sentinel reached for his hands then stopped. Shaking his head as if to clear it, and then pushed him away hard so that Blair sprawled on his back on the bed, a cry of pain as his broken arm register the violence of the movement.
The Sentinel was on top of him, his superior weight holding the Guide down, one hand holding the bound hands, as with the other he reached out and moved over the Guide's face. Blair twisted his head to try and avoid the touch, when a calloused thumb brushed over his lips he tried to bite at the hand, managing to sink his teeth into the side of the Sentinel's hand. The Sentinel pulled free, and sucked at the wound, blood seeped slowly from the puncture marks. Blair had flinched back expecting to be backhanded, but the Sentinel just looked down at him as if studying him carefully. His head tilted to one side, his sense cocooning the Guide; when he moved it was fast. Before Blair could react his hands were pulled above his head and tethered to the bed frame, a pillow moved to support his broken arm. Now the Sentinel could at leisure examine his prize.
Blair, his body immobilized by the weight pinning him down could do nothing as the Sentinel leaned forward and began to scent at this throat and hair. Hands moved over his struggling body, then they stopped over the patch, and the contented rumble became a full growl, and Blair saw the Sentinels features morph again with that of a panther, with a slash of his hand the jacket and shirt under it tore open, his skin untouched and the patch was pulled off and thrown across the room. Smelling the fear that was souring the Guide's scent, the Sentinel slowly began to pet and sooth him with reassuring rumbles low in his throat, and strong yet gentle touches across his stomach, side and chest, working their way to his shoulders and throat, and face. The Sentinel shifted his weight and started again this time working up from his thighs to stomach, all the time monitoring the scent of his Guide. Blair struggled harder as he felt the warmth start from the very pit of his stomach, following the caress of the Sentinel's hands it moved up his body, each time the Sentinel followed the path up his body the heat became more intense. Blair's breath began to come faster until he was almost panting for breath, the heat boiling up from his stomach, setting his body alight, the empathic pathways in his head began to throb, as molten lava burned through him, setting them alight.
Only now did the Sentinel smile his Guide was now in heat calling to him to be claimed, not by words he was now beyond those, but by his need, that rode him, like a fever. When he moved over his Guide this time, instead of struggling his Guide's body lifted off the bed trying to reach his touch. He soothed the hair back from a sweat damp face, nuzzling at his throat where the scent was thickest, and prepared to claim his Guide.
The GDP Commander came round struggling against the hands holding him. "Get the fuck off me" he snarled as he struck out with his mind. He heard a scream and then he was shaken hard. "Commander, stop it"
Blair managed to focus his eyes; a GDP paramedic was leant over him.
"Drugged and being taken to isolation sir". Bending he helped the commander into a sitting position, throwing a blanket around him, to keep him warm, the man was shivering so violently his teeth were chattering. The GDP paramedic, reached down and retrieved the Commanders jacket, and gave a soft whistle. It looked like a wild animal had clawed it off him. The Commander's chest and shoulder bore claw marks and teeth marks at his throat, already blackening. "I am Sergeant King, Sir; if you can lean on me I'll help you to the ambulance."
"Already moved sir." Gently he helped the Commander to his feet; the smaller man swayed into him, and almost fell barely holding it together as he was helped out of the cabin. What ever had happened in there Sergeant Burt King didn't want to know.
Dan Slater watched as Blair Sandburg was driven away. He pulled out his cell phone, and moved away from the others, this was one telephone call he didn't want to be overheard.
"No Sir, it appears that Sandburg resisted the bond by the look of it, but he was giving way when the police arrived and stopped it. The Calvary arrived too early for once." Slater trailed off, listened then closed the phone, when he walked back towards the car he looked troubled.
Correction Facility 68
Jim Ellison was prowling round the room, for a cell it was good, but it still had a door that opened one way and that made it a prison. Carefully he ran his hands over the wall, feeling the hum of the electric wires buried deep in the walls. It took him only 2 minutes to find the mikes and the surveillance cameras. With a disgusted look, he took in the room, knowing it for what it was, a bonding suite. Only the mat had restraints, to hold the Guide down in case they tried to run or perhaps the Sentinel if he was too far gone in the Fincham Syndrome to know what was good for him. Jim thought bitterly.
Looking down at the bonding mat he felt a black tide coming through his mind, blocking out all other thoughts, he closed his eyes as he felt a rushing in his ears, and when he looked up the Dark Sentinel was in charge. He moved his head getting the cricks out of his neck, his hand going to the bandage on his arm covering the wound caused by the tranquillizer gun. They had stopped him taking what was his. He would not fail again.
When he slid down to sit on the floor, the Dark Sentinel heard people coming, and stepped back to allow the man to take charge, his time would come.
Simon motioned for the door to be opened; he needed to see for himself that his friend was well.
Jim Ellison looked towards the doorway as they entered.
"Am I a prisoner or are you going to let me go? It was said with a touch of sarcasm.
"Jim you kidnapped a GDP Commander, you're lucky that Sandburg is not going to prefer charges, it would be within his right."
The Sentinel sneered, "You mean that he's got rights, when the other poor bastards have to be slaved" his distaste of the GDP poured out. Jim trailed off, and got to his feet. "If you're not charging me, I am leaving."
Simon blocked him, for the moment meeting the ice-cold blue eyes in a soul-searching look. He could see nothing of the other one, the Dark Sentinel, only Jim Ellison remained. Simon stepped back to allow him to pass
0-0-0-0-0-0 The Loft
The Dark Sentinel was back in charge again. The man was trying to deny the fact that he needed the Dark Guide, when any fool could see that Dark Guide needed Dark Sentinel, through time they were destined to meet, and bond. Only when fully Dark bonded would man, Dark Sentinel, and panther merge to become one.
The Sentinel moved to the balcony and leaned on the wall looking down towards the street a smile on his face, Simon had to be joking there was no way that he could miss seeing the car parked so the occupants could watch his apartment.
Tilting his head slightly he concentrated on the car, and the smile faded.
"Well Ellison's still here, have Sandburg brought in section 24, full protocol". The radio clicked off, a comment passed between the two men which sent Jim cold. When he turned back it was the Dark Sentinel that strode through the Loft and headed out.
0-0-0-0-0 The Warehouse District.
Blair stubbed out his third cigarette, then lit the next one, he was shaking, and pulled his blankets tighter round him. Laid out on front of him was a small zipped case, the syringe was empty; he had taken his second injection of the night. His gloved hand tightened on the mug in his hand. He had never felt so cold in his life, the drug should be kicking in any time now and he would have the blissful peace of shutting out all the emotions of the people round him.
Simon took the call, a car had been found outside of Jim Ellison's apartment, both men where unconscious, both GDP officers, and that was not by chance.
The first thing Blair felt was a burning behind his eyes that pushed back into his skull, it was as if every inch of his skin was on fire. He could feel the emotions of everyone around him, the hooker on the street, the children playing in the park, the angry housewife the…. His hands flew to his head, he tried to get to his feet, and fell to his knees, as the pain shot through his skull, and he dropped onto all fours, head hanging down. A heavy weight pressed down on him, he was unable to even lift his head up. All he could do was crawl; He managed to pull out the drawers of a cupboard, tipping the contents on the floor as he tried to find a second bottle of the empathy suppressant drug. But it was gone, around him the emotions intensified. Blair reached for the telephone, only able to snag the telephone cable, and bring it down on top of him, with a crash. He heard the dialing tone, and then it went dead suddenly. The front door was thrown open and the GDP guards came in, Blair tried to talk, but their emotions sent him spiraling down, he never felt himself being thrown onto his stomach, his arms cuffed behind his back, the voices washed over him.
Commander Dan Slater was pacing up and down, "I don't like this, Sandburg is one of us, to make him go through this is inhuman, he's…"
"He's a Guide," Samuel Child said levelly, "He has a destiny" then added with more emotion that was professional. "If any one else had pulled half the stunts that Sandburg has in his career, they would be doing hard time in the correction facility if not the Asylum. So Commander Sandburg should feel lucky that he is being given this chance."
"No buts, just arrange for him to be given to Sentinel Prime Mark Hudson."
"Sir, James Ellison has prior claim on him"
"Sandburg will not bond with him, and Mark Hudson is prepared to take him on then so be it." He paused, "Have Sandburg prepped and ready."
Jim Ellison was no computer wizard but he knew people that were. He placed the box of Danish down on the table near the older woman and smiled.
She looked up at him, "Okay Detective what do you want?" She smiled. "Not another lady caught your eye?" Dawn Connor grew serious when she saw the look on his face.
"It's a Commander Blair Jacob Sandburg, GDP, I need to know what's happened to him, he's dropped out of sight."
"GDP" she made the initials a question, Dawn was all too aware of the Detective's dislike of the organization. "And why would you be hunting a GDP Commander?" She was perhaps one of the only people that could get away with a question like that.
"He's a Guide"
"Oh" she turned back to the computer screen.
"Oh" Jim repeated, "that all you're going to say?"
"Not a lot to say, Detective, you're a Sentinel, he's a Guide, QED, Game set and match."
"Hummm" Dawn bit her lip, "now that is funny, Sandburg's file is blocked."
"Can you hack it?"
"Give me time", working quickly Dawn moved through the encryption on the GDP data base, then she paused, "who ever had flagged his file had it rigged so that the moment I access it, the file will start to delete, now I am not sure how much of it I can download, so you better be ready to read."
"His history I am not interested in, can you do straight to the end of the file?"
Dawn took a deep breath and clicked on the file name. The deletion took only seconds but Jim Ellison had what he needed the location of his Guide, and the anger started rolling through him as he read the name of the Sentinel who would try to claim his Guide.
When Dawn turned round to speak to him he was already gone.
The Correction facility was hidden in plain sight, on the surface a place of tranquility and learning, under ground a hell hole, where rogue Guides where given over to the not so tender mercies of the GDP trainers. Once a Guide was called rogue and beyond redemption it was up to the discretion of the supervisor as to what happened to them.
For Blair a slightest touch was a burning brand, he knew they'd given him a stripping agent, a drug that would crash his barriers, leaving him wide open. He was shivering in the cell; the heating had been put down. The cold air was sapping his strength. They wanted him to bond, and would break him to make him do what they wanted. The GDP commander turned his head; at the back of his mind he felt a vibration. It was becoming stronger, until it began to resonate through his whole body. He cradled his broken arm to his chest, and began to rock back and forward, the white wrap already dirt strained. With his other hand he picked away at it as he rocked, trying to hold onto his own sanity by his fingertips.
During the night only a handful of guards kept watch over their charges, and most of them preferred to do that by monitoring the banks of screens rather than walking the halls. This made entry to the site simple for a former black op ex Ranger. After all no one ever tried to break into the facility before.
Dressed all in black Jim made this way through the levels, his senses turned up as high as he could, searching for one heart beat, one scent that would bring him to his Guide.
Following an instinct from back to the time of the ancients the Dark Sentinel searched for his Guide. Jim paused outside of one of the room, he could hear nothing from it, but reached up and touched the door. His hand ghosting over it, a faint breeze showed the room was not air tight, and on that breeze he caught the scent of his Guide and the scent of another Sentinel preparing to bond. The Sentinel replaced the man, and when he smashed the door open it was the Dark Sentinel that tore into the room, with a roar of the Panther, a noise no human vocal cords could produce.
In that split second he saw his Guide pinned by the restraints on the floor, his body thrashing and bucking as he tried to dislodge the Sentinel who was running his hands over his body. Blair was screaming at him, the Guide language was made even the instinct driven Sentinel pause, the spirit worthy of a Dark Guide. The interloper Sentinel's patience had ended and he lashed out rocking Sandburg's head as he backhanded him. . . Mark Hudson spun round, but Jim was already on him. Hudson didn't stand a chance, he was caught; there was a crack and his body dropped to the floor.
Blair rolled onto his side, and was looking into the dead eyes of Mark Hudson, with a cry he tried to move away from the body. Only to have his eyes drawn back to James Ellison, the man was in Primal Rage, the most feared of the Sentinel states, his lips were pulled back over his teeth as he snarled. Then his head went back and he roared, it was the cry of victory and he was the prize.
The Dark Sentinel slid down onto his knees next to him, and reached a hand out, Blair flinched, the Sentinel growled, the restrains were torn out and the Sentinel wrapped one arm round him anchoring Blair to the much larger body, tucking him close. All the time making what Blair could only describe as a low cooing noise, as at the same time he snuffled against his head. Moving very slowly, he reached a scrapped hand up and rubbed the back of his fingers against the Sentinels face, feeling the arm tighten around him, the cooing became a steady purring. He could feel the Sentinel's emotions, but instead of battering him, they curled round him, supporting his raw pathways.
Blair slowly straightened his body out, trying to bite back the pain as the circulation returned to his limbs. The Sentinel ran his free hand over him, his touch first feather light, and then gradually getting firmer. Blair tried to push the hand away, but the Sentinel just growled and managed to pin his hands at this waist, firmly but at the same time mindful of his broken arm, even as he leaned down and nuzzled at Blair's hair and throat.
Unbonded Sentinel had found unbonded Guide, and had fought for him, and therefore had won ownership, his challengers lay dead at his feet. In the Primal Rage mode he had gone into Primal Protector.
The Sentinel stood up, bringing Blair with him, still holding the smaller body to him. Keeping him anchored with one arm, he slid off his jacket and then pulled it round his Guide. He nodded with satisfaction. "You're safe they can't hurt you, you're mine". The words were ground out. In the primal State Sentinels didn't usually talk, it was almost impossible as it was the most instinctive governing state; words had no meaning at this time. To arouse a Sentinel to this pitch was considered a death sentence to the person involved. No Sentinel would be held responsible for what they did; the GDP Blair knew had made a mistake, for the first time in the last two weeks he smiled. .
When the Sentinel manhandled him out into the corridor he found out how the drugs had shot his coordination to hell, but the Sentinel did not even hesitate, he just bent slightly catching Blair and throwing him over his shoulder.
Then he strode down the corridor carrying his prize. Blair had struggled briefly then resigned himself to the fact; he had time for being embarrassed later.
0-0-0-0-0 Lou McCord was a third year GDP cadet on placement at the Facility, he had seen the carnage in the cell and had fled to the nearest office, he had been about to call 911 when he realized that it was the GDP first above all things.
Larry Slater picked up the phone; at 57 he was the Senior Training Officer at the facility, "Slater," with a grunt he picked up the clock by the side of the bed. "Mister McCord," the sarcasm was wilting "Do you know what time it is Mister."
Then every thing was forgotten as he heard McCord's story. This anger could wait until later; at the moment he had a dead Sentinel Prime and a Sentinel, who just happened to be the rarest of all Sentinels a Dark Sentinel who had gone Primal. He slammed the phone down, and reached for his clothes.
"Larry." his wife Madison asked, "what's wrong?".
"Everything, call Daniel and tell him to get over to Facility 1, we have a Sentinel gone primal and tell him it's Ellison."
Madison was up straight away grabbing for her robe, she was GDP Administrator, and knew all about Ellison. If her husband was calling their son Daniel a GDP Commander into this, it was something very serious.
Commander Dan Slater arrived at the facility, and swore, great, it had to be Ellison. The man was like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. He had been pushed into extreme BP mode.
It was then he saw Ellison coming out of the building, tucked against him was the Guide, Slater carefully approached the Sentinel.
"Ellison, you have to give me the Guide, Commander Sandburg is not under any threat here."
The Sentinel snarled at him, looking primal. "Mine." He breathed the words into his Guide's ear, then bent lower to nuzzle his throat, Blair did the only thing he could do which was to lower his head and expose his neck, forcing his body to relax, as he became submissive to his Sentinel.
Dan moved closer only to be pinned by ice-cold blue eyes the moment he had made a move. The need to bond was riding the Sentinel like a fever, for the entire world he wanted to throw his Guide to the ground and bond. But he held back. When they bonded it would be in a secure place, away from all threats.
The Sentinel's anger was lashing round Blair, and when he looked up it was to see a face wreathed in anger, almost animalistic. But the hands on him were gentle and he was tucked under the Sentinel's chin. The man was growling; it was a low vibrating noise deep in his chest, but it was not aimed at him, it was aimed at the others. Carefully biting back the pain radiating through his body from the restraints he reached up, and touched the hard jaw, his barriers open, he pushed against the Sentinel's mind, it opened to his touch, he could feel the heat of it wrap round him it was ripe for bonding. Jim dipped his head to nuzzle against his Guide, as he felt the first tentative push of his Guide against his mind at his own will.
He felt the raw power coursing through Ellison, he was being held by a primal, a Dark Sentinel, only one of those had the power, and that power was at his command. If he rejected this man, they would try to force him to bond again, or he would disappear into one of their labs.
He managed to wrap a hand round the Sentinel's head, and pull it down. Blair's voice was only barely audible to the Sentinel "Sentinel claim your Guide." "Are you sure?" "Yes, claim me." The blue eyes of the Sentinel flared at that, and Blair knew that what he'd started he could not stop.
The GDP officers scattered, as Jim Ellison's one hand latched to his Guide, he pushed the others away as he headed for the nearest car, he had a bonding to complete, and only one place would do.
Even as Jim drove he kept looking across at his Guide. Blair's eyes were fixed on the road, suddenly he snapped , "Pull over!" Puzzled Jim did as he was asked. His Guide turned in his seat to look at him. "You got a $20?"
Silently Jim handed the money over, he tried to grab Blair as he got out, and strode into the convenience store. He came out minutes later and got back in, with a look at Jim he opened the window and lit up a cigarette, taking a deep pull on it, savoring the tobacco, as he leaned his head back. When the car still hadn't moved his rolled his head to one side to look at the Sentinel through the smoke, "Home James, and don't spare the horses." the laugh was bitter.
For a moment Jim just looked at him, the need to bond cooled, something was very wrong, and he needed to get to the bottom of it before he could take his Guide.
The Cabin was just as they had left it, Blair walked in rolling his eyes to the heaven when the Sentinel stopped him first to check it out. The GDP Commander just brushed past him, and into the room getting his bearings. Jim as watching him carefully, trying to work out what he was feeling. The Guide's scent, which had called him to him, kept changing; there were the moments of bliss for a Sentinel, when Blair's scent was charged with the pheromones of the bond, when the heat of it governed his mind and actions. But just as quickly it could change and sour into fear, and a musky edge would permeate it, drawing him into Blessed Protector mode. The only way for his to change was to bond.
"If you want a shower, I can put a plastic bag on that."
Blair tuned slowly, frowning, not sure he had heard right.
"Your plaster, keep it dry".
The younger man didn't reply just turned back and continued his scrutiny of the room; it was as if he was weighing the place, to see if it was worth him stopping. The thought of the Guide leaving was starting to send Jim back to a primal state. But he wouldn't take the Guide unwilling. Jim closed his eyes as the penny dropped, why his Guide wouldn't bond.
Slowly he closed the distance between them, put a hand on his shoulder, Blair tuned fast, catching the wrist, and twisting it down, Jim had to go down onto his knees to prevent his wrist being broken. He could counter the move, but it would mean hurting his Guide, and he couldn't do that.
"You don't touch me, Sentinel, understand?" Blair snarled, spitting the words as he increased his hold. Only then did he release his hold and step back, creating a distance between them. His emotions slashing at the kneeling man like knives, he was the only Dark Guide in existence, and he would not be pawed.
Taking a deep breath, Jim stood up, the emotions lashed him as if he was in the eye of a storm, biting back the pain, he grated out, "You're not getting rid of me that easily, Chief".
The mental pressure hesitated, a good sign.
Keeping his voice level, but dropping his barriers completely. Jim approached Blair, knowing that a Guide of his strength, and trained to strike empathically could do a lot of damage to him. But he wanted Blair to see he was open, that he was no threat that he only meant to help him.
He saw the expression in the light blue eyes, a world of pain, and he felt it, tearing through him, all he wanted to do was hold his Guide, cocoon him in his arms, to protect him. He carefully held out his hand, palm out. Blair reached out his fingertips brushed the hand of his Sentinel. Then he pulled back a look of horror on his face, and he rushed through into the other room.
Jim went to follow him then hesitated, he had felt the stirring of a bond in the younger man, but the stench of fear still hung in the air, something had freaked him out.
Sitting at the table sipping his coffee, Jim kept looking towards the door, then his eyes widened as he smelt blood, he never remembered flying through the door, and kicking open the bathroom door. Blair was huddled in the corner rocking slowly back and forward, blood dripping off his hand; the cast was cracked and broken.
Jim grabbed a towel, and wrapped it round his hand, then reached out and coaxed Blair to his feet, and escorted him, one arm round his Guide's waist, the other holding his arm up. Then pushed him gently onto the bed, and positioned his arm up, with a stern "don't move" he went and collected the first aid box.
The GDP Commander didn't struggled as the Sentinel eased his arm down, resting it on a pillow he had put it the younger man's lap. Carefully using his Sentinel sight he picked the glass out of the wounds. Then with a muttered apology felt along the broken arm, he could feel the break knitting together, but it would need support. Turning back he took out a roll of bright yellow material.
"Vet Wrap" Blair said, and tried to pull away.
"Quite struggling, you need it, and this stuff works just as well for humans as animals." Quickly he bound the arm into place. He watched as Blair examined it.
Only then did he lean back against the headrest and just look at the Sentinel. He reached for his cigarettes, only to have them taken away with a firm shake of the head.
Blair exhaled slowly, and looked up to the ceiling, hugging his arm closer.
"My Sentinel's name was Alexandra Barnes, she was a strong Sentinel, some said she was borderline Dark." a smile tugged unbidden at this lips as he heard the deep growl at the suggestion that he was claimed. Blair patted his arm; it was done without thought, a Guide instantly calming his Sentinel.
"At that time I hadn't gone on line as a Dark Guide, she broke in to my file and decided that I needed an emotional cascade to be forced into the Dark. So she …." His voice faltered, "She arranged for the mind rape, I was lecturing the students on bonding, when they attacked me, I was put into a coma, but came out, and POW, Dark Guide" It was said with a bitter laugh." The doctors said that I might never bond again; he tapped his forehead, "too much burned cable in there." He paused and reached for his cigarettes, Jim allowed him one, Blair was calm but his hand was shaking.
"You felt the connection didn't you," Jim put in gently.
"Yeah, but if I can't and you come on line.". Blair left it hanging in the air, then added, "You'd be a dead man."
"I am willing to risk it, Blair Jacob Sandburg, Commander in the Guide Corp, Dark Guide, join with me in the bond, one heart, one mind, one body." The words where said in a tone that was nearly incendiary as he reached out and took his hand, his thumb brushing over his Guide's knuckles.
Blair felt it ignite something deep inside his body, and then flared up into his mind. His voice was trembling, "James Joseph Ellison, Senior Sentinel Prime of Cascade, Dark Sentinel, I accept your bond, yours in mind, soul and body".
This time when Jim collected him close, Blair didn't struggle, he let the new bond wipe away the feelings of Sentinel violation of his mind, and accepted the true power of a Dark Sentinel, willingly joining that to the his power as a Dark Guide. Dark to Dark the only true bond.
Blair's eyes flew open; the young Guide was struggling to free himself from the arms holding him, until in a heartbeat he recognized his Sentinel and allowed himself to be pulled close.
He knew that Jim was never good putting words together especially to show his feelings, so he allowed the older man to show it in a way that made him comfortable in caring for him. Pulling him close, running soothing hands over his body. That had been too close; he had nearly died, lost in a sea of emotions, Jim had saved him through their empathic link, forcing a way in, and cocooning his mind bringing calm to chaos. Laying there Blair remembered the dream, calling it a dream was too easy a way of explaining it, that was a different path, one un-walked, but a destiny. One thing it proved to him, this world or the next, past present of future. Jim was his Sentinel, and what destiny brought together no man could break apart. Softly he breathed, "Sentinel claim your Guide" With a contented growl, the Sentinel rolled him over onto his back, and loomed over him. The connection between the two of them jumping like quick fire between them as then went deeper into the bond.
In another time and place, Commander Blair Sandburg was laid back on the narrow bed in a small cabin high in the Cascade Mountain; he was wrapped in a warm blanket, as he watched his Sentinel light the fire. As Jim straighten up, Blair patted the space near him, the Sentinel took his place an arm holding him close. The connection between the two of them flared and settled. Jim's hand stroked across his Guide's face, the low grade fever was loosing it's heat, as his body adjusted to the re-opened pathways that their bonding had opened so violently at the climax of the bond. Soon they would return to Cascade, and take their place, but one thing was sure life would never be the same again.
Two different times, but only one destiny.