Summary: AU. I never intended to write a sequel to my story 'Feral Sentinel' but Judy Seils asked a good question, “I wonder if there is a penalty for abusing your guide thus?” Thanks for the feedback Judy.
Rating for Feral Sentinel part 2: PG-13. A few bad words. No torture. No bonding. Comfort? Not really. (Feral Sentinel, the first part: Rating R, for adult situations.)
Disclaimer: All characters, places, and objects from The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. All stories are written with the love of the show in mind. No money is being made. All stories are property of the author.
“Ellison. My office.” It was the most restrained tone the detectives in the bullpen had ever heard from Captain Simon Banks. It was hard for Simon to manage even those few words after he saw the results of Ellison's acquisition of his new guide. 'Acquisition'. It didn't sound like a word out of a nightmare, but Simon's stomach roiled at the devastation standing across the room. A young man so totally broken he couldn't imagine what he could have been like before.
No. NO! Simon remembered that young man! That bright-eyed nervous young man at the University. The one with the long curly brown hair. He turned from the bullpen to enter his office. He stood staring past his desk out into the bright sunlight. His hands clenched in sickened fury.
Ellison stood from his desk, guide following silently and without need of direction at his heels. “Captain. I'm sorry I didn't immediately report for duty. I was anxious to get back to my cases to see what progress had been made.”
Simon's breaths were shallow, almost panting in his distress. He was having trouble grasping that Ellison seemed 'normal' in his reactions. Is the man a sociopath? How could a sentinel be a sociopath? This was as grossly abnormal as anything he had ever seen. He MUST be missing something. Simon tried for normalcy but his voice was still strained, “Perhaps you could introduce me to your guide. He will be working with you from now on. We need to get his personnel records taken care of, insurance, that sort of thing. Get him settled, with a desk, introduce him to the rest of Major Crimes.”
“Introduce? Captain, if you need guide to do anything, you just need to tell me. It won't be a problem. I've taken care of Records, and Insurance is through Social Services/Eminent Domain Compensation Allocations. There's nothing for you to worry about. Guide won't interact with anyone but it's sentinel. That's what the bonding and training reenforce. You'll see. Guide will function to the best of it's ability. I think you'll be pleased at the higher sense levels I've achieved since I acquired it. My solve rate should improve proportionally. I'm anxious to get back in the field,” Ellison explained patiently.
Simon hardly knew what to say, where to begin, his distress was so profound. “Right ... It's? Ellison, we can't call your guide ... 'it'. And I'm appalled that you do. Look at the man! I remember him from the University. What do you have to say for yourself Detective? What in God's name did ... you ... do ... ?”
Ellison snapped to attention. The unemotionality he displayed only confirmed to Simon that something had gone terribly wrong. “Captain Banks, Sir. I am reporting for duty. My acquisition of guide was according to the legal statutes of the United States Constitution. If you have any doubts about that you should consult with the City Solicitors. Do you have any more questions or orders, Sir?”
Simon shook with restrained fury. YES he had questions. There had better be some damn good answers, because this ... abomination ... could not continue. “I have an order Detective. It had better be followed, without delay. Take your guide to the hospital and get him treated. I will not allow you off desk duty until he is fit. Do you understand?”
“Sir, I would not have returned to work if guide was unfit. It is perfectly capable of performing it's duties.”
Simon was trying not to explode. “What is your guide's name Sentinel Detective Ellison?”
“Sir, Guide's name was Blair Sandburg, Sir.”
Was? What the hell is going on? “Then you WILL call your guide by his name, Detective. Do I make myself clear? Blair Sandburg ... will be treated like any other human being. Blair Sandburg ... is bonded to you. Blair Sandburg ... is your partner. You will show him proper respect. Now, get him to the hospital. Report his treatment schedule to me, today. IF he is free to leave the hospital with you today, your duty hours will be spent with him at your desk. Dismissed.” He grimly set about making a number of phone calls. No way is that SOB going to hide the kid away at his apartment. Simon was afraid to think what horrors Blair Sandburg had undergone, and what he might still have to face.
Ellison strode purposefully from the Captain's office, in full military mode. Being a sentinel with a bonded guide, sensewise he knew exactly where guide was at all times, and guide was in it's proper place as it had been trained. What had happened in the Captain's office confused him. He had acquired guide, trained it, and now was eager to put his enhanced abilities to the test for his city. What had gone wrong?
He put speculation aside as he drove to Cascade General. They had Sentinel/Guide Specialists on duty 24/7. He would follow the Captain's order but he didn't understand his attitude. Guide was perfectly capable of guiding. It was an empathic attribute. For that guide was eminently fit. Guide's rating was high and it's barriers strong. That's what had drawn Jim's attention to it in the first place. But the Captain's order would be followed. He'd let the Doctor/Specialist explain this to Captain Banks, then he could get back to work.
Sl. Det. Jim Ellison was still confused after Doctor Cummings led guide away. He told the sentinel, in quite forceful terms, that guide would be examined and cared for to the best of his ability.
He was even more confused when a contingent of three Sl. Detectives, with their Ge. Detective partners, arrived with Captain Banks and placed him under arrest. Sentinels and guides were all very agitated. The sentinels of course could sense the damaged guide, and so could their guides. What had caused a good cop, a talented sentinel, to go bad?
The Eminent Domain Amendment gave sentinels who worked in a public capacity certain rights, but it required 'compensation'. It had yet to be tested in the courts, with compensation being poorly defined. But the denial of human rights could not be abrogated by law. There was no adequate compensation for enslavement and torture. This was slavery in it's worst form, and was not to be tolerated.
Incacha smiled at the young man/child romping joyously with wolf in this safe place. <Blair, why are you here?>
Blair smiled brightly and laughed with delight as he ran. <I like to play with Wolfie. He's my friend. We play all the time.>
Incacha's smile faded. <Blair, why are you here?>
Blair pouted like a five year old. <Do I have to go now? Please 'Cacha, it's fun here. I can run and play all the time. The bad man hurt me. Please don't make me go away. Don't you want me to stay 'Cacha?> The last spoken with guileless blue eyes.
Incacha was firm. <You are not a child. Tell me Blair, why are you here?>
The innocence melted away as Blair looked quickly left, then right. His breaths came quick and panicked. <I'm afraid of Jaguar. He hurt me. He drove me away. I HAVE to stay here. Please don't send me back. He'll only hurt me again. Here, I'm whole. Please Incacha, grant me sanctuary!>
Incacha had only compassion for the young man. <This is not sanctuary. This is a place between. Your soul cannot reside here forever. You must choose.>
Dismay was plainly evident on the young man's expressive face. <Choose? You mean I must leave. I can't go back. It hurt. HE hurt me, the one who should have been my life companion. We are bonded but I can't choose him. I would choose anything but that.>
Incacha led a bruised and battered young wolf into the jungle. <You must see him as he sees himself. Then you must choose.>
Ellison was taken to be processed in his own precinct. He was led down the halls past a gauntlet of his fellow cops. Ellison couldn't understand their hostility. They didn't understand. Guide was his. His. And guide had run from him. That was wrong. Didn't they understand? Guide deserted it's sentinel. The sentinel had it's duties toward the tribe, but guide had it's duties toward it's sentinel.
Thrust into an isolated cell, he stood in defiance as they locked the door and retreated from his ice cold glare. He stood for some time, trying to send out his senses. He knew that guide was back at the hospital, but still his senses sought their anchor. They ranged farther than ever before, till the stark grayness of the cell faded to blue.
The jungle path split before him. <Enqueri. Why have you come?> The voice echoed lightly from the jungle.
He recognized this place from his disastrous last mission in Peru, and the voice of the Chopec Shaman that had aided him. But the question seemed nonsensical. Why else would he have come? <I have come for guide.>
The voice turned hard. <Enqueri. Why have you come?>
Ellison raged inwardly at the absurdity of the question and the delay in locating guide. He all but snarled his answer, <I have come for guide.>
Incacha appeared at the fork. <Enqueri. Why have you come?>
<Guide. It is mine. MINE. The bond was formed. It's life is mine.> declared the sentinel.
<'Guide'? .... 'It'? His life is his own. To share if he wishes with one who would be his life companion .... Enqueri. Why have you come?>
<To claim what is mine.> Ellison stated with adamance.
<You have not learned.> Incacha intoned sadly.
Confusion clouded his features as Ellison demanded, <Learned? What?>
Incacha's gaze was unyielding. <Enqueri, what do you fear?>
<I am not a coward. I fear nothing.> Ellison denied.
Incacha asked firmly, <Enqueri, what do you fear?>
<I was an Army Ranger. I fought the men who would have enslaved you in your own land. I'm a cop. I fear nothing Incacha.> Ellison defended his honor.
Incacha sank to the ground in a graceful move, never taking his eyes off Enqueri. He asked gently, <Enqueri, what do you fear?>
Enqueri raged within. <It ran from me. It's my companion. Without it I am nothing. I will disappear into the void. It is my companion, my life. It left me. Without control ... I fear madness.>
Incacha answered severely, <He. He ... is your guide.> Incacha felt great sorrow for them.
Ellison felt a warm furry head butt his hand. He jerked it back in surprise but the ageless blue eyes of a gray wolf held his own. He sank down on his knees before it. A raspy whisper of a howl was released into the stillness before it limped to Incacha's side. Incacha and the wolf faded into the blueness of the jungle.
But Ellison knew those eyes. Emptiness overwhelmed him and in his heart he recognized it for the emptiness of his bond. He was overcome with grief as he considered what he had tried to take by force, and what may now never be freely given.
Simon Banks sat with the heads of the local Sentinel Council and Guide Council and their respective guide and sentinel, to hear the prognosis from Dr. Cummings. The Doctor looked grim, but Simon hoped that was anger at what had happened to this guide and not a sign of a bad prognosis. No, he chastised himself, the guide's name is Blair Sandburg. He couldn't allow himself to depersonalize this young man. He'd suffered enough of that kind of treatment.
Simon had made a vow to himself to help if he could. He'd been proud that his whole department had come to him to offer whatever help was needed. Ellison was one of their own, and the fact that he had hurt his guide so grievously had horrified them. It made Blair Sandburg one of their own, to protect as his sentinel had failed to do.
Dr. Cummings shuffled his papers before starting, not knowing where to begin. “This is going to be a difficult case. I have Mr. Sandburg's records from school and I've interviewed a dozen people about his habits, his personality. Although I can't understand how or why this was done to him, I can try to heal him. Physically, there will be disabilities. His voice projection can be improved. Minor surgeries can help strengthen the larynx, but not completely heal it. Physical therapy, and more surgeries can help diminish the deformities in his hands and shoulders. The nutritional drinks were barely adequate, so he's lost a lot of weight, but at least that's one thing that can be corrected with time.”
Dr. Cummings stopped to consider his next words carefully, “His post traumatic stress disorder will be with him, probably forever, to some degree. We'll keep close watch for depresstion, acute stress reactions and anxiety states. He'll need a lot of support, emotionally, and I don't know where it will come from at this point. His family situation is unstable. No home. No father. He has a mother ... somewhere. We should do whatever we can to locate her.”
He continued solemnly, “I can't understand how this could have happened. It goes against all sentinel/guide knowledge. What now happens to the sentinel will have a great impact on the guide's recovery. Mr. Sandburg will need drugs to boost his empathic barriers if his sentinel can't bolster them. We need to examine the sentinel. There might be a unique sentinel sensitivity or an environmental factor that caused this response. Or a genetic aberration. Even a psychological breakdown. But to be honest, we may never know the exact cause. All we can do right now is treat the guide.” He looked to the heads of the Councils to see if they had an answer or a solution to this tragedy, but there were only unanswered questions, and a firm resolve to do right by Blair Sandburg.
The lawyers and the court system would have drawn the case through years of deliberations, but a petition was put forward. It came down to the Councils of Sentinels and Guides, for their determination. Only the guide spoke in the sentinel's defense. The muted, gravelly voice left the gathering hushed, waiting to hear what could well decide the sentinel's fate.
Blair Sandburg could finally look at his sentinel without cringing. He spoke to him now, as well as to the Councils. “I ran. It was something he could not tolerate. In fear of him, I believed running was the only defense I had. He's an alpha sentinel, a true throwback. None of you can truly judge him. You are not his peers. I believe now, that it was partly instinct and partly his own fears that were the root of this behavior.”
He clasped his own shaking hands tightly before him. His voice trembled as he continued, “He's as strong a sentinel as there has been in centuries. It would be a tragedy for his gifts to be wasted. And I, even with the empathic drugs, cannot live a truly productive life without him.”
He turned his attention fully on Ellison, “It's my belief that sometime in the future we could work together ... with supervision. I cannot agree to live as his companion, in his home, under his dominion. I ... will not be ... a slave. A possession. A tool. Not again. I will give him control of his senses but not of me. He will have his sanity, but not a life companion.” Ellison's sorrow was visible to all.
Blair Sandburg continued relentlessly, “He will be productive, as will I. But we will not be as one soul ... ever.”
Sentence had been pronounced.
Definition from WordWeb:
eminent domain - the right of the state to take private property for public use. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States requires that just compensation be made.