An Eye for Vengeance
Diana DeRiggs

Men should never scorn women ... it's just not nice, and though nothing may come of it other than a broken heart, does he really want to be responsible for creating a potential man-eater monster? Many thanks to Carmen for being such a receptive beta reader and for the nifty title! Thank you to Wraith6 for very useful comments. Warning: This story contains explicit sex and violence. Is it based on some truth? Maybe ...


She knew she shouldn't have, but she found the young men in military drab consistently fun and very sexy. She simply couldn't help herself, she had a fondness bordering on fetish for men in uniform, any and all of them. Something about the cut and the demeanor made the men encased in them better than human. Even slimy jerks instantly became princes in a well-fitting jacket and decorations!

As daughter of a high government official, her father could command the handsome men of her choice to escort her to parties and events, and she took full advantage of this. The men would assume that the Director of Intelligence's daughter couldn't get another date, and they would come to their assignment reluctantly. So she enjoyed their gasps, their involuntary straightening, when she descended the grand stairs of the entrance hall in her family's Imperial City mansion. For she really was elegant, with a vast collection of designer and couture gowns. Her beauty was frequently lethal to those men.

She might let one or another of them fall in love with her, and might have played them for a while, like toys. Yes, she might have murmured back as he made love to her, I love you, I need you. The men would swear to leave the military for her; once that happened, she rapidly lost interest. The thrill, after all, was in the process, in the chase. There were always others, more handsome, more rugged, and yet to be conquered.

Raven-haired, pale-skinned, tall and slender with ice-blue eyes, young Ysanne Isard broke hearts without trying. She simply appealed to men. They tended to fall over themselves to please her, then wept into their beers at the military tapcaf when it became clear she had replaced them. They came to understand it was just the uniform; otherwise, they were just 'spare parts' -- cogs in the machine that fed her voracious appetite.

She saw Ensign Jaadi Stovii walking briskly down the corridor as she stepped out of her father's office. Something about his stride struck her, the ultra-military bearing, and the way he walked as if his trousers couldn't contain him. As usual when she felt such an urge, she did her research. She found he was from Naboo, a planet almost on the Outer Rim. It had been all but destroyed in the early days of the Empire's rise. Many of its young men were conscripted into the Imperial fighting forces; the ensign was the grandson of such a man, and he was proud of his family's short military tradition.

The thing that piqued her interest: Ysanne suspected Jaadi was really a member of the Emperor's Guards, the mysterious, highly trained, red-cloaked men who flanked Palpatine at all times. It was rumored that they would be rotated through the officer's ranks among stormtrooper platoons for a change of pace and to maintain their edge. The way he moved, the way he stood seemed to indicate this loudly to her. And she couldn't forget the way his gait suggested other endowments and abilities.

She wanted him, and asked her father to make the introduction and order. To her surprise, he reported he was due to be shipped out that very day, so she would have to choose someone else to accompany her to that weekend's social ball. She pouted and keened and begged the old man until he gave in and made a comlink call to one of the higher up military dispatchers. Director Isard sighed, knowing what favors he would have to reciprocate to placate his spoiled daughter. He accepted it was his own fault, but he couldn't find it in his heart to ever refuse her. Or perhaps he was simply too lazy to refuse her?

So Ensign Stovii reported to the Director's house precisely at 2005 the next night, standard Imperial City time. If he was perturbed by his change in orders, he didn't show it. He was superbly trained and would discharge his duty, no matter what it was. If his entire platoon had their orders changed too, he reasoned it was not his place to question why.

Ysanne was satisfied to see his eyes widen and a smile play over his lips when she came down the stairs. Though not a virgin, it had been a long while since Stovii had been with a woman, and he'd never been with one as gorgeous as her. He'd heard rumors that not only did she put out, but that she was a very hot piece, one of the best around. He wondered how a girl so young had come across so much experience.

They flirted and passed the time at the formal supper and dance, their eyes making promises of delights to come. They played and teased. He appeared outwardly as a perfect gentleman, except that he held her gaze for too long, and gripped her a bit lower and a bit tighter than was proper while they danced. She pressed against him, sighed becomingly, and had him on the dance floor all night, not giving him a chance to sit and chat with her. She enjoyed the mystery, but he was not in the least put off by her coquettish behavior.

She was a spoiled beauty, but he didn't mind. It would make her eventual enslavement to him all the more delicious.

Physically endowed beyond average, he didn't have to make much effort to have the lovely Ysanne purring. In fact, it seemed that once she'd danced close to him, before even catching sight of the prize, she was anxious and willing. She was looking forward to feeling the girth and length in the proper manner soon enough.

That first night, she could barely wrap her lips around the great mushroom-shaped head and had to resort to licking around and beneath it. She considered herself good at tongue work, and it distressed her to have to limit her repertoire of skills. He groaned appreciatively, but she knew she could have him babbling and screaming if she could show off her range of talent.

As young as the soldier was, he was still had nearly a decade on Ysanne, and possessed infinitely more control. He frustrated her attempts to make him reach his peak. When she was growing tired and he was feeling her teeth too often, he pushed her back and mounted her, splitting her nether lips smoothly and skillfully. It was her turn to gasp in amazement. He sexed her well, making her orgasm -- or not orgasm -- as he willed it.

She reached the following morning dreading his touch, yet craving it.

"You're good," she stated, quite frankly. He smiled, coming out of the refresher, and politely replied, "As are you."

There was an awkward silence. He was nearly done dressing. She drew the sheets around her nakedness and walked over to him. Wrapped around her, she made the sheets look elegant.

"I don't say this, normally. I don't want you to think I'm pathetic. I want to see you again," she asserted, "I don't want you to disappear."

He embraced her face and kissed her lightly on the forehead. He was now fully dressed. "I know."

It unnerved her that he hadn't answered her plea. "I mean it. I have to experience you again."

He pulled her dress off the floor, shook it out, and held it up to her. The sheet slipped off her as she released it and let him put the dress on her. She stood still as he slowly brushed her hair, sensuously fastening the pins back into a smoother, simpler coiffure than she had had the night before. He replaced her jewelry on her ears and around her throat, then smoothed the major wrinkles over her torso, aligning the seams of the dress properly. He held his arm out to her.

"Why won't you answer me?" It was plaintive, practically a plea.

He cocked his eyebrow, perhaps in surprise, perhaps something else, "I just did."

* * * * *

Director Isard noticed that his daughter had not come running to his office in several weeks to ask to be set up with the boys in the military. She had started her political and government service classes at school, which would have taken up her social time, but he couldn't imagine that being the source of her silence.

Then again, she didn't seem to lack for dances and events to attend, and she had continued to order gowns, shoes and jewelry to wear to them. It perplexed him. So he did what any father would do, who happened to be the Director of Intelligence ... he brought her in for questioning.

Ysanne did not squirm, but she wouldn't meet his eyes either, "I've been making my own arrangements, father. I've been having some repeat dates with the men you've acquired for me in the past."

The Director rubbed his eyes and let out a long breath, "You know, daughter, that I'd feel better knowing that you were dating men I've screened and set you up with. I'm your father! So don't patronize me; make an exception and tell me the truth."

The young girl sniffed. Oh, not tears! thought her father, watching them drip slowly down her face. "I am telling the truth! Why don't you ever believe me??" Her sniffles had turned into a loud wailing.

"Because I know young women tend to protect their errant men ... because I know you think you are terribly smart ... and mostly, because you've lied to me before, even though you know I'm Director of Intelligence." She sensed the disappointment and frustration in his voice more than heard it.

Ysanne wondered why her father was so concerned. It couldn't be over the prospect of her having sex; like all the other young debutantes, she had been officially deflowered the night before her coming out party by a man chosen and hired by her father. The virginal blood was smeared on a white satin ribbon; she had it pressed in an album, along with flowers and old fashioned hand-written best wishes from those attending the party.

Was he really so sensitive about being lied to? Well, that might be it after all. She stuck out her chin petulantly and defiantly. He was right, she had done those things in the past, but this time, she was telling the truth, and she resented him for not knowing the difference. Was her father really so easy to fool?

* * * * *

Ysanne walked with what she hoped was a sexy gait. Carrying the heavily laden basket, she did develop a swishy, swinging sort of step to compensate for the large mass at her hip. As for whether she looked sexy, the men in the dormitory couldn't keep their eyes off her. But they left her alone; they'd seen her enough with Jaadi to know not to come on to her.

He'd told her he liked when girls dressed trashy, playing at being hookers. She found the idea exciting, so she found some clothing she thought he'd like and was wearing it, along with high heels and archaic but sexy stockings. Her young, firm breasts wobbled becomingly and her garish makeup -- applied after leaving her house -- smudged in the humidity of Imperial City.

She put her basket down. It was filled with picnic fare -- she thought it might be nice to go out and picnic, perhaps make love in the open air. It was something she'd read about and thought it sounded romantic.

Of course, by then, Jaadi was in the habit of assessing what she expected, then doing the opposite. It seemed to keep her off balance, yet yearning for him and clamoring for his approval.

Thus, just before she could punch in the security code he'd given her, he opened the door and dragged her in by her hair.

She stumbled in, straining to drag the picnic basket in with her and trying to stay upright on the sexy but impractical shoes. He kept pulling and tugging and she ended up on her knees, skinning them and tearing the expensive antique stockings. He pulled her head against his crotch and dry humped her face until she managed to get her hands up to undo his trouser fastenings.

He suddenly whiplashed her head back and slapped her face so hard her skin snapped like a shot. Her eyes widened in shock, and she felt the stinging heat of tears forming in the back of her eyeballs. Before they could fall, he back handed her other cheek, taking her breath away. He repeated this, smearing her makeup, bruising her pretty face. It was turning him on. Especially when she orgasmed visibly. He hauled her onto the bed, still holding her by a fistful of her hair, and took her hard, like an animal.

Hours later, they lay in his narrow bed together in his small room in the lower officers' dormitory. Her face was cool from the picnic basket coldpacks he applied to her visage, to reduce the swelling. He had tenderly wiped the spoiled makeup from her face and admired her smooth skin. As Jaadi fed her pieces of fruit and sips of wine, he smiled at her and Ysanne shivered.

She was falling in love.

And she was sure he loved her, too.

* * * * *

Director Isard noticed his daughter had become very quiet, not even answering him at meals. She seemed absorbed in her own world. Despite her lack of response, he didn't miss the signs -- she positively glowed, the sign of a woman in love.

It couldn't last. He pitied the man who had incited this emotion in his only child.

* * * * *

He'd blindfolded her and had tied her limbs apart, spread-eagled. She was moaning as his oversized member thrust into her, then pulled out with a pop. He'd stop now and again and move up to her mouth to have her suckle him. When the pressure started building, he pulled out of her lips and let her tongue him, straining her neck and shoulders to reach him.

He was training Ysanne to concentrate all her efforts on his desire of the moment. So she barely felt another warm, hard penis enter her open labia. She froze, the screamed. Jaadi hushed her by pushing himself into her open mouth. He enjoyed seeing his platoonmates take turns servicing her. They partook of Ysanne's flexibility and energy till she couldn't scream anymore.

Later, showering together in the refresher, he tenderly scrubbed her body with his own hands, kissing her all over as he wiped and rinsed. She had felt violated, angry ... why had he let someone else join them? As she sobbed, he murmured into her ear how well she had done, she was his perfect lover, better than any other he'd had. He embraced her, and his touch, lubricated by saponified oils, slithered over her, causing her to orgasm, with the addition of just his words of praise.

She was very, very happy.

* * * * *

He slipped the bracelet over her hand, pressing the ends of the metal bauble together snugly over her wrist. He called her his beautiful slavegirl, his enchanting tigress. He was buried firmly and deeply in her at the time.

* * * * *

She came to his room wearing a very short skirt and no underclothes. Her shirt was tight and cut high, so the bottom of her swelling breasts peeked out, framing her firm, flat stomach. Ysanne admitted she enjoyed wearing the provocative clothing, making her lover's blood boil.

As she walked, she was oblivious to the turning heads. If she'd noticed, she would have been filled with confidence, but instead, she was filled with nervous uncertainty. It was bothering her that Jaadi had never said the words she longed to hear. He'd given her a symbolic bracelet, a sort of thick ring -- it was crudely made and ugly, but she wore it everywhere. He made sure she never took it off, for his strong fingers had molded it to her wrist for a tight fit. Surely, that meant he loved her!

She punched in the code to his door and staggered back ... he was there, as he'd arranged. But his head was between the upraised legs of Seca Kacde, her classmate at the girl's academy. For a moment she admired the other girl's long legs and blondness, before her heart dropped to her toes.

He hadn't performed that sexual act on her since the first night they'd met.

With a strength born of extreme jealous rage, Ysanne wrenched open the ends of the bracelet, bruising her arm and knuckles, and pitched it violently at Jaadi, clunking him squarely on the temple. Her jerked up and looked at her. He spread Seca's limbs further out and gestured to Ysanne, "Come here and take my place." He didn't even look annoyed.

She gasped. He'd planned this! She wanted to scream, but she hesitated, not running out as she knew she should have. She was filled with the need to please him -- she had to prove to him that she was better than Seca!

But her natural aversion to sex with her gender kicked in. "No! Please Jaadi! That's going too far, you know I won't!" She hated that she was whining.

In a move so swift she couldn't recall him making it, he dragged her onto the floor. With his other arm, he pulled the blonde down and shoved her head between Ysanne's legs, and whether she wanted to or not, the brunette was forced to orgasm, over and over.

She watched as he entered her rival, now on all fours, from behind. She could feel his thrusting translating through the other girl's body. It was as if he was making love to her through a filter, making sex a blunted experience. Why was he doing this to her? Didn't she do everything else he'd asked? Didn't he want to touch her directly??

She started to cry, humiliated at her enjoyment of the depraved act. Her clitoris and vulva were sore where the other girl was licking and biting her. Ysanne was losing him, she knew it. No! Please, don't let him leave me! I'll do anything ... Oh, no... I'm ... I'm so close ...

She dimly heard him scream out, felt his thrusting abate, heard the other girl's moaning with her own release. Then like so many other times, he presented himself to her face, and she licked him without question. She only wanted to please him. She let him push her face into Seca.

Ysanne was performing the very act she'd refused to do a few minutes before, and she was doing it with passion and enthusiasm. She was desperate to prove herself to Jaadi. She nearly shouted with joy when he rewarded her with his hard thrusting.

But why didn't he lick her, too??

* * * * *

For the next month, Jaadi treated his dark-haired lover very well. He accompanied her to the opera, the theater, and to formal balls. He made love to her tenderly and often. He romanced her and danced with her, and he never so much as looked at another woman. Perhaps it had all been just all a test, to see how far she would submit to him? To evaluate how much she loved him?

Despite his loving behavior, Ysanne noticed that he never said the words to her. He didn't even tell her he cared for her, or any other endearments that might indicate he was devoted to her. Neither had he gotten down between her legs and licked her. She was becoming skittish and scared; she took to following him, and hiding in the shrubs outside the soldiers' housing, hoping not to see Seca entering or leaving the building when Ysanne was supposed to be at home. She was obsessed with staring at his window, watching for telltale shadows and movement. Ysanne didn't trust him, but she needed him very, very badly.

Director Isard was uncharacteristically concerned for his daughter. She was never home anymore. He hated that he knew she was sneaking out and making a fool of herself, he knew that she was stalking one of the soldiers. Her classes were suffering, she was growing horrifyingly gaunt, dark circles pouched under her eyes, and he doubted she slept in her bed at all.

He threatened to ground her -- or worse, to send her to her mother. Mistress Isard was not a loving parent nor even a particularly attentive wife, but she was a no-nonsense one. He was quite lenient to his only child, but saw the virtue of some discipline for Ysanne.

In the end, father and daughter talked, and she promised to modify her behavior. The last thing she wanted was to be banished to the cold, strict house of her estranged mother. Anyway, it was easy to promise to stay at home, for Jaadi had told her that his unit would be off-planet on exercises for the next couple of weeks. She suspected he had lied to her.

Alas, he had. She tracked him to a seedy, cheap, mid-level motel. She peered through a spy hole drilled through the closet wall in the room next door. She tried to tell herself it wasn't him ... that it was merely someone who resembled him.

But ... the uncertainly was agonizing. What if is was, indeed, him? Or, what if this man was a doppelganger, and her lover was off-planet, as he'd told her? She had to make sure, she had to know. The vascillating doubt was killing her, and so she slowly punched in his comlink code. The noise next door stopped suddenly and she held her breath. When she heard his voice, silent tears flowed down her face and she struggled not to sob.

He laughed at her silence and she heard him put the comlink down on a hard surface. Then the moaning and groaning started again, more clearly now, since she could hear both through the spy hole and the comlink. She recognized Seca's little yelps, even heard him make loud, deliberate slurping noises with his mouth. He was obviously licking her genitalia, and she could imagine her body arching into his face as she hit her crest. The son of a bantha knows it's me! She heard him talking to Seca, saying the things Ysanne had longed to hear from him ... that he loved the blonde ... that's he'd never look at another ...

She ran the whole long distance home in the thunderstorm that poured buckets of water down from the distant sky. She deliberately avoided taxis and other people, sobbing hysterically, hoping the rain covered her tears and that no one could tell she was actually crying.

Her heart was breaking.

Through her tears, she swore no one would ever do this to her again. No one would ever hurt her so badly. She vowed she'd would never let anyone get close enough to her to play her like a doll.

She would, now and forever, be the one in complete control. It hurt too much to relinquish it to anyone else.

She could feel her heart growing hard, as she buried the pain.

By the time she'd reached home, she was a different person. Her father was relieved to see the change, even though she looked like a wet womprat determined to drown herself. It frightened him a little, but it was preferable to having her mooning around and sneaking out all the time.

* * * * *

She met his transport at the military docking station, on the day he was scheduled to be back in Imperial City. She wasn't going to, but she couldn't help herself. She wanted to know that he still loved her best, even if she planned to dump him.

She saw him march out with the rest of his platoon. He seemed to avoid making eye contact with her, though she thought she saw him glance in her direction. And when they broke muster on the parade ground, he disappeared quickly.

Ysanne was sure he'd seen her. There couldn't have been a mistake.

Despite her resolve and her promises to herself, she wept. This wasn't going to be so easy. She'd need some help.

* * * * *

Ysanne found herself at bedrock level, where the mirrors that reflected sunlight from the surface couldn't dispell the dank darkness. She drew her mantle around herself more tightly, to try and prevent the damp wind from flying up her clothing and chilling her.

She was lost for nearly an hour, not being able to decipher the address numbers. Fortunately, she had allowed plenty of time for her appointment, not wanting to upset Nadraeg.

The alien woman was purported to be a powerful witch. Despite the technology and modernism espoused by the Empire, many of its citizens and rulers were superstitious. It was said that many of the higher level bureaucrats had seers and supernatural practitioners on their personal staffs.

She had heard about Nadraeg because her species -- called Spiners for the long, ejectable quills on their backs -- was rapidly going extinct. Otherwise humanoid, the Empire liked to point to the Spiners as examples of creatures actually saved by Imperial intervention. Their home planet was in the blast zone of a supernova, and the occupants had to be relocated. However, they were not successful at breeding due to a the lack of some nutrients found in abundance on their former home planet. Spiners were the perfect Imperial promotable charity case -- the Empire had saved them, but they were dying out through no fault of the Empire.

Nadraeg was old and formidable, and it was said she could cast spells and control fates. Ysanne had heard from more than one source that the alien specialized in painful deaths, and could be relied upon completely for the desired results.

Perfect.

At last she had stooped through the short doorway and was sitting on the floor. She couldn't see it, but suspected it probably wasn't clean, and opted to keep her cloak on. It was chilly anyway.

The fur and quill covered old woman shuffled in. She peered closely as the young girl on her floor and snorted, "What's his name?"

Before Ysanne could answer, the woman said bluntly, "My services and my talent do not come cheaply. He will not return -- it is beyond my abilities to resurrect him or bring him back. This appointment is not about addressing a temporary anger."

The girl didn't hesitate, "How expensive?" She put her hand on her wallet.

Nadraeg waved her hand and placed it over Ysanne's face, and her quills bristled slightly. "Not money," she warned.

Ysanne was confused. If not money, then what?

The Spiner glared at Ysanne for long moments. The human girl sat with her back straight, trying to look back at the alien to discern what she meant. Nadraeg didn't blink. The creature's piercing stare was unsettling and young Ysanne fidgeted. She was afraid that her lack of ability to remain still would cause her to be dismissed from the witch's presence before the commission could be stated. But Nadraeg didn't move, still staring at Ysanne. Something was strange about that stare.

Then it occurred to her, that in fact, Nadraeg was blind!

But what could a blind alien witch want from her?

Nadraeg whispered, "Yours are the right size. I want the left one."

* * * * *

The housekeeper had signed the forms giving permission for Ysanne to go on a field trip with her civil science class. She'd be away for a fortnight on a tour of the Senate chambers and several of the senators. That meant she wouldn't have to worry about her father's prying and questioning when she disappeared for the five days the witch had said would be required to perform the spell and the surgery. Ysanne had spent the past month at home, checking in with with her father obsessively, till he was convinced that she had returned to her normal self.

It was getting easier and easier to lie to her father and to fool him into thinking what she wanted him to think.

Nadraeg had given her the name of an ocular surgeon, who would replace the live eye she would give to the witch as payment with a cybernetic implant. Unlike an older model prosthesis, this one used muscle contractions for power, so no bulky battery pack would be required. The samples he showed the young girl were petite and quiet; they could be fitted with magnification lenses as well, for enhanced distance and night vision. The only drawback was that he couldn't color the glowing red aperture. To do so would damage the delicate organic bio-materials. The surgeon would also transfer Ysanne's ice blue left eye to Nadraeg; he was preparing the alien for the transplantation even now, reopening her nerve endings and putting her into a sort of trance.

The Spiner had already started the spell, and she had promised Ysanne that she'd witness her unfaithful lover's degradation and torture. Time was short.

* * * * *

She floated in a thick, warm liquid. She hadn't known how she'd gotten there, but she knew she had to be here to see. Before her was an image of ships, each carrying a platoon of stormtroopers to a small, green planet. The mood inside the shuttles buzzed with nervous energy. The planet was Kashyyyk, homeworld for Wookiees, whom the Empire was now enslaving for heavy construction and labor jobs. They were treated particularly badly because they were intelligent and strong -- stronger than a dozen men, it was said. They possessed skills in operating and repairing machinery, despite their primitive habits and culture. They were very, very useful.

Because of their brute strength, Wookiees were confined to Kashyyyk, unless they were working in slave labor camps for the Empire. Basically, this ensured that the only Wookiees off-planet were slaves. The juvenile males and females traditionally possessed strong wanderlust, and were not taking well to being restricted from traveling the galaxy. There had been attacks on the miltary and pirate slaver garrisons, and several strike teams of crack stormtrooper units were assigned to quell the rebellions and to subjugate the hairy beasts, once and for all.

Despite the jitteriness, confidence was high. Several of the men laughed, talking about the many scalps and trophies they hoped to collect, as if they were bounty hunters. The beasts used primitive weapons and apparently possessed no tracking or surveillance equipment. Their planet was not even protected by shields, an omission that allowed the Empire to invade so easily in the first place. Despite the lectures and briefings that warned them not to underestimate the Wookiees, then men were frankly cocky.

The image before Ysanne focused on one particular shuttle. The men there had suited up and they awaited the signal to march out. Though they had landed and the shuttle ramp had lowered, the order seemed to have been delayed. The men, encased in claustrophobic body suits and armor, fidgeted silently. They were Imperial soldiers, impeccably trained, and they knew their orders.

Jaadi was on this shuttle, and Ysanne was now privvy to his thoughts and emotions. In particular, was trying hard not to be perturbed. The Emperor had personally ordered him to undergo a two-year stint as a stormtrooper. This was longer than the usual order. Normally, the Emperor's Guards underwent six-month long "rejuvenation" procedures, and were cycled through common platoons regularly, according to a set schedule. Jaadi had not known why he had been singled out; he was surprised the Emperor had even noticed him. The Guards never showed themselves to their master unless were clad in their imposing red uniforms. But the old man pointed directly at him and gave the order, in front of the assembled Guards.

He'd had plenty of time on the shuttle en route to Kashyyyk to think about the Emperor's orders. He'd been embittered, and had been trying not to face the prospect that he was a failure all this time.

He'd simply have to impress his master, prove that he was worthy, prove that the Emperor had been mistaken. Winning the competition to reach his position as a Guard hadn't been dumb luck.

Jaadi Stovii straightened imperceptibly as he resolved to quell the Wookiee rebellion all by himself if necessary. He wasn't interested in sharing credit; he'd push aside his platoon members in his quest for glory, if need be. He would be returned to his proper service soon enough, he we sure of it.

So when they at last moved out, Ensign Stovii was sniffing for blood. He needed to make the first kill. He'd stalk the Wookiees and have his way with them, just as he'd played the beautiful young daughter of the Director of Intelligence. She had been easy prey, and the Wookiees would be even easier. Funny, I can't remember .... did I ever know her name? Never mind, she'd been a useful distraction at the time.

It was the only time he thought of her. Ysanne still couldn't believe how much it hurt her to reveal yet another way Jaadi had been untrue to her.

The weakness the Emperor had perceived in Jaadi was real; the old man was right. Ensign Stovii was one of the first to be taken by the very organized band of rebellious beasts. Jaadi had always tended to fixate on a single goal, to the omission and exclusion of all else. He did it as a Guard, he did it with women. He would focus intensely, never seeing the little things that would trip him up. He was not complete enough for the Emperor to trust him.

So that's the problem, the ensign finally realized. I've learned ... I swear I'll do better!

Unfortunately, he was currently tied upside down from a stout tree limb, and not likely to ever return to any kind of service. He had watched the highly organized Wookiees build searing hot fires, roasting the butchered remains of several comrades. Some of the men had been stored in the trees for some future brutality, their legs and arms cracked like stale breadsticks to prevent them from leaving suddenly. Their throats had been skillfully slit and their vocal chords ripped out to prevent them from communicating with each other.

But he was the only one who had been flailed with broom-like devices made of narrow stick clusters till his skin separated from the underlying muscle. The connective tissue liquified from the stress and he felt the weight of his dermis dripping down his body toward his fingertips. The females had ringed his appendages and orifices with sharpened steels and stripped his skin off of him in long, thin pieces. He had tried not to scream as his wet muscle tissues became exposed to the air, tried not to become unconscious. I am not a coward! He nearly lost awareness when they cut his genitalia off of him. He was forced to watch as the Wookiee women passed his penis and gonads around, admiring its dimensions. He winced as the beasts attached his privates to a tree, hammered through with a stake, displayed like a gorey trophy. The men who had been draped over the limbs of trees watched him in horror, feeling suddenly lucky that they had only had their bones broken and their vocal cords snapped.

His vision was blurring and his ears were ringing. The Wookiees danced around him, letting rodents and insects land on his skinned flesh, causing agonizing and blinding pain. He was losing his mind. He heard chanting, over and over, not comprehending. The tall beasts were grunting and howling, words that sounded almost like Basic ... "Grrreee-ssyann ... Reeee-haannn ... Eeee-shaaannn ..."

A thought formed in his battered mind, The Director's daughter -- her name was Ysaane! He was delirious, Ysanne, help me ... I love you ... help me ...

Ysanne Isard watched, focused on Jaadi's torment. For the first time in many long weeks, she felt really good and truly pleased as the man screamed shrilly and begged pathetically. It was very satisfying to see these things beyond his control happening to him. The former Guard was getting what he deserved; and his friends were, too. After all, they had raped her when she was blindfolded. She hadn't known which ones had partaken of her body, so it was fair, in her mind, that all of them should pay for her loss of control in that situation.

She was fascinated that the Wookiee females were dropping the strips of her former lover's skin into the foaming water. Soup's on! she giggled.

She understood that Jaadi Stovii, once an Emperor's Royal Guard, was now being used as bait for Wookiee fodder.

I did this to you, Jaadi. It was me!

Stovii's head turned slowly, his crazed, wild eyes seemed to focus on her in horror.

The surgeon heard her laugh as he cut her living eyeball free from its socket.

* * * * *

Ysanne had driven a hard bargain, and Nadraeg, to her credit, fulfilled every part of the deal. In addition to punishing her errant lover and his platoon, Ysanne had insisted that the girl's academy field trip participants meet with an appropriate accident to explain her surgery.

So the transport carrying the girls from one venue to another had met with an accident. The ship had been showered by shrapnel from an exploding assassin 'droid charged with a detonation mine. The magnetically directed streams of traffic over Imperial City were graded, with the lower pathways for deliveries and general traffic, and higher ones for more exclusive traffic. The girls were coming from a senator's private chambers, so were quite high up over the surface. The terrorist-sponsored assassin 'droid had been taking the high-level pathway -- it was obviously meant for one of the senators. It was a tragic accident, and it supplied scandal to the holotabloids for weeks after.

Many of the girls on the port side of the transport suffered wounds throughout their young bodies. Fortunately, bacta treatments would help them heal without scarring; the girls were daughters from important houses and no expense was spared in repairing the damage, especially to their visages.

Ysanne woke up in a bacta tube, bobbing gently. She was convincingly startled. Her father had sent a servant to check on her and to make sure the processing had been done correctly. She was glad to have performed adequately so that the man would report back to the Director the authentic nature of Ysanne's injuries.

How had she gotten here? Wasn't she in a filthy, squalid room on the bedrock level? The last she recalled, Nadreag had been receiving the blue eye that had formerly belonged to Ysanne.

By the time she was lifted out of the healing goo, she recalled seeing what was left of Jaadi Stovii hanging upside down, screaming as he watched the Wookiees make a sort of stew from his skin. It disturbed her that she hadn't watched him definitively die. The last she recalled, his muscles were oozing blood and plasma, which were dripping and pooling on the forest floor beneath him. The gory mess was attracting vermin, who climbed the tree to suckle and gnaw at the source. He was almost completely covered by rodents and reptiles of various sorts, interested in an easy meal. She recalled the Wookiees preventing the bigger and more dangerous predators from reaching him, so he was left alive for a very long time. He was probably dead by now, but there would always be a lingering doubt ...

Oh, that's right, getting me here was part of the deal. She felt better now that she remembered.

Sloughing off the gooey liquid, she noticed many of the bacta tanks held girls with similar injuries, although all on the right side of their heads, in contrast to the left side of Ysanne's. They all had cybernetic implants to substitute for the missing eye or ear, some had brain packing that would have to be covered by skin grafts. Ysanne quickly formulated a story where she had been facing backwards to talk to someone when the bomb had hit. Who could she say she was talking to?

She feigned exhaustion and waited till the 'droids and human nurses had put her in bed and left her room. She quietly ran to the computer terminal and plugged in the datapad her father's servant had left with her. Even at this young age, she was showing proficiency in gathering illicit information, and the datapad had many illegal programs for her to use. She figured out the MedCenter's hierarchical data storage system and found what she was looking for fairly quickly. The names of her classmates were marked to show the nature of their injuries. There were connecting links to security reports on how the accident had come about.

Squinting, looking only through her human eye, she at last found the list of who had not survived. The cybernetic eye was working, but would have to be fine-tuned in the coming weeks of therapy, thus it was easier to use only the biological eye for now.

She had to stifle a shout of joy when she came upon the name Seca Kacde on the dead-on-arrival list.

She'd simply say she had been talking to Seca. Ysanne laughed again, as she imagined what they could possibly be talking about with her rival. Don't you love the sheer size of it? And how about when he licks you, do you get that shivering shudder when he vibrates his tongue fast over your clitoris? By the way, my dear, you taste divine! She admired Nadreag's thoroughness.

She couldn't help chortling. Oh, it feels good to be back in control. She'd never let it go, ever again.

Shortly before she moved away, Ysanne's mother had once told her that revenge is best served cold. She'd been referring to the deal she'd cut with her husband on leaving him -- she'd cited financial indiscretions, and wanted an amount equal to the hidden credits discovered in the Director's secret accounts. Ysanne recalled her mother sneering at her father, saying things like, An eye for an eye, my love and I'm just taking what's mine, nothing personal.

Ysanne now disagreed -- revenge didn't have to be cold. It could be a boiling hot soup pot or an exploding sky mine or a crime committed in hot, steaming blood. As she remembered the vision of Jaadi being abused by the beasts of Kashyyyk, she gleefully joked to herself, not exactly an eye for an eye, as she crawled back into the MedCenter bed.

Vengeance was the product -- hot and personal. Her eye was the price. What a bargain!


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