A/N: Okay, just a little heads up for everyone: I am so sorry that this is not a true update, but I was re-reading this story and was absolutely appalled by all of my spelling mistakes and weird sentence structures. I've re-edited the chapters I've written so far and added a few more scenes here and there, nothing drastic so don't worry. I just felt that it could use some more love. Anyway dearies, thanks for all of the reviews and I hope you enjoy the story!
Author Note: I love the movie Pitch Black, watch it whenever I get the chance, but the ending always pisses me off. So I did what any other self-respecting writer would do: I created a FanFic. Hope you like it, and please be nice, this is my first fic. Reviews are always welcome!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything Riddick-related. If I did, I wouldn't have killed off Carolyn...obviously, right?
"Imam, she's losing a lot of blood!"
Jack pressed the cloth harder against the puncture wound in Fry's back. There had been other scrapes and cuts, but there were some bloody gashes now adorning her back, such as a grouping of three and a fourth one not too far away, along her hip towards her spine, and another group of three on her left shoulder with a puncture on the muscle between her shoulder and neck. The beast had literally had her in its claws. Thankfully none of these had been very deep and thus required less attention. Riddick was at the control's maneuvering the skiff into the Sol-Track shipping lanes, while Imam was with her in the back, attending to their fallen captain.
At one point, back on that hellish planet, Fry had begun heading back towards the skiff, finally listening to Imam's desperate plea. But the moment she heard Riddick yelling in pain, she ran off to find him. Imam had needed to hold Jack back, just to keep her from following the woman into the rain to rescue the convict. Fry had left Imam and Jack alone on that skiff, without a pilot, and no hope that their captain and their savior were going to make it back alright.
It had seemed like forever before Jack and Imam saw Riddick limping back towards them, covered in blood and carrying an unconscious Fry. Imam had rushed out to him as soon as his eyes had fallen on Riddick, quickly taking the woman out of the convict's arms and rushing her back to the safety of the light saturated skiff. Jack followed Imam soon after that, but first she'd needed to check on Riddick. He was upset, which was a given considering the state that their captain was currently in, but there was just something more to his expression. His brow was furrowed, and his shined eyes seemed far off and distant. For a second—a very split second that seemed more imagination than anything Jack had seen herself—the indomitable convict looked afraid. He was even muttering something under his breath, which didn't make any sense to Jack. And then all emotion was stripped from his face, his brow undisturbed and his eyes empty of everything but their unnatural shine. Riddick had grabbed her by the back of her shirt and shoved her towards the inside of the skiff.
The first thing that Jack sees as she enters is all of the blood. It seemed like there was a river of red making its way toward her and out of the skiff. Behind her, she noticed that Riddick had paused. Then with more force than he had before, he'd shoved Jack towards one of the seats along the hull of the ship, and quickly made his way around her and to the pilot's seat. Imam was across from her, at what looked like a collapsible table that pulled out form the hull just like the rest of the seats. The teacher's hands were busy as they secured Fry to the ship to withstand the pressure from take-off. Riddick's hands were just as busy at the controls and Jack watched as the skiff's doors closed with a resolute slam and hissed as the air-tight seal was employed.
Suddenly all of the lights switched off within the skiff, followed closely by the engine and terror overwhelmed the girl. She watched as Imam, who was strapped into his own seat and hands pressed to the captain's side to stem the flow of blood, slowly looked up at her with the same fear echoed in his eyes.
But in the end, their fear was unwarranted.
He just had to scare the fuck out of everybody, so he could blow off some steam and kill as many of those monsters as he could during takeoff.
All levity was pushed aside once they'd broken atmosphere, and Imam swiftly unstrapped himself to attend Fry, employing Jack to help staunch the wound as he looked for something to help the wounded woman.
It was frightening to see how much blood was pouring out of Fry, and Jack called to the Holy Man in abject fear for her captain's life.
Imam was making some sort of noise behind her. It sounded as if he was shifting through compartments in the hull, but there was no way Jack could see for sure, without inadvertently lightening the pressure on the gaping hole in Fry's back. He'd finally found whatever it was that he was looking for, because in the next moment he was at her side, a heavy-looking gray box in his hands.
"What's that?" She asked as the blood from Fry's wound began to soak through the makeshift bandage, even more. Imam didn't answer for a moment as he turned on a light above the makeshift examination table.
"This, my friend," Imam told her almost distractedly as he opened the foreboding box, "Is a med-kit. It's old, but it should do the job just fine." He sat the opened box down on the table, beside the prone Fry. Fry had been laid face down on the table, to order to get at all her wounds. But having her like this made Jack incredibly uncomfortable, and judging from Imam's expression, it made his just as uncomfortable as her. This allowed for the ugly, ragged puncture wound on her left side, to be easily accessible to the makeshift medics. Imam pulled on a pair of rubber gloves, carefully moving Jack's hands out of the way and set to work.
Imam began cleaning and trimming the ragged wound, hyper-aware of every move he made. Jack continued to pace behind him, only truly able to offer any help when he needed her to get something from the med-kit or required an extra set of hands. It seemed an eternity before Imam finished stitching the wound and covered it with a bandage from the kit. He even stitched up and bandaged the four lesser gashes on her shoulder and hip. While there was still blood covering her back, Jack was relieved that Fry's wounds were no longer gushing the same quantities of blood and that the woman wasn't in danger of dying at any given moment.
Now it was on to the harder task, Imam insisted, of convincing Riddick to get his wounds tended. Thankfully, Imam was the one to volunteer for that particular task. With the opened kit in hand, the man in question had approached the head of the small skiff as one might a feral animal—which in a way the man was.
"Riddick, we must also stitch up your wounds, now that Carolyn is out of danger," Riddick acted as if the Holy Man hadn't even spoken, though she may have imagined the slight twitch in the muscle of the convict's jaw at the mention of Fry's name. Riddick seemed to be focused on one thing and one thing only: finding someone to pick them up or they were all goners out in the vastness of space. Or at least that was what Jack thought, she never could figure out what was going on in the older man's head.
"I can take care of myself, Imam." Riddick's voice was strained with something Jack couldn't quite make out. His grip tightened on the controls. It was almost palpable; the unsaid words that he didn't take care of himself before and if it hadn't been for Fry, Riddick would be a goner by now. With the growing tension (coming primarily from Riddick's general direction,) Jack decided to try and at change the subject. She crawled her way up to the co-pilot's chair, lazily throwing her arms around the top half of the chair and faced Riddick.
"They'll have a lot of questions, whoever we run into. Could even be a merc ship." Well, this probably wasn't such a great conversational starter to try and calm him down, but it was still something they needed to think about. And plan for. "So what the hell do we tell them about you?"
"We'll tell 'em Riddick's dead, he died somewhere on that planet." He didn't look back towards either one of them when he'd said it, instead focusing on the stars ahead of him. Jack turned her attention back towards Imam, whose eyes were focused on Riddick's back. She saw the Holy man's face filled with what appeared to be pity and disappointment. Imam sighed, closing the lid to the kit, and sitting in the co-pilot's chair, that Jack quickly moved away from to accommodate her friend.
"With so much prayer to make up for, I scarcely know where to begin," Imam said to her with a broken look in his eyes and a dejected smile. He unfastened his string of prayer beads from around his wrist and sat there for a sad moment contemplating the task before him.
"I know where I'd start," Jack replied quietly, but in the silence of the skiff it seemed to echo around the cabin. She cast one last look in Riddick's direction before she headed back to sit with their wounded companion.
It was mostly silence after that. Jack continued to make sure that Fry was still breathing and continuously checking to see that her wounds hadn't opened up, just like Imam had told her to. Up front, the two older men sat almost as still as statues. Riddick, who only moved when he needed to adjust something on the controls, and Imam, shifting his attention from prayer bead to prayer bead.
After all the adrenaline, which had been pumping through her body since the crash, began to dissipate, Jack found that she was becoming more and more sleepy. Eventually, despite her important job of taking care of Fry, Jack could stand the call no longer and was soon sound asleep on the skiff floor, her head lying against Fry's uninjured shoulder.
It was not a peaceful sleep, nor quite as definite as a nightmare, but was unpleasant nonetheless. She was back in the cave, watching as Riddick rolled the stone in place and caged the three survivors in their rock tomb. Their flame had long ago run out, and unlike what really happened they did not find any bioluminescent bugs to light their way. They were alone; safe, but forgotten. And that's when the frightening truth occurred to her and the terror and heartache became suffocating.
He'd abandoned them.
Jack awoke with a start and found that the skiff had just finished docking with a Cargo ship, much like the Hunter-Gratzner.
While she had been out cold, the Cargo ship had picked the survivors up out of the Sol-tracks. Lucky for them, the ship was heading towards New Mecca. The two men had informed their rescuers (at least those of them that had been awakened from sleep) of their ship's passing through the tail of a stray comet and the crashing of the Hunter-Gratzner onto that hellhole of a planet. They told the crew of the monsters there and explained how those creatures were the ones who tore Fry's back to pieces. It was the edited version of course (no one needed to know about all the other drama that happened).
They told the crew how Richard B. Riddick died saving their asses.
She, Imam, and Riddick (who was going by the name Johns for now, which she wasn't too happy about) were all instructed to go get into some spare cryo-sleep chambers, while the crew took the still unconscious Fry to the infirmary. Jack wasn't too thrilled about that cryo-sleep order and her last experience with the space equipment. Jack could tell instantly that Imam was just as upset to have to go back into cryo-sleep. And Riddick was just plain pissed altogether.
It didn't matter how they felt though, New Mecca was still roughly 22 weeks out. Jack would be lying if she said she wasn't scared shitless to have to get back into one of those cryo-sleep chambers. What if something happened to this ship like what happened to the Hunter-Gratzner?
That was the thing about space travel: there was no guarantee. But as she watched the volatile Riddick and the peaceful Imam climb into cryo-chambers of their own, Jack knew she had to do it. Besides, after all that they had been through together, there was no way she would want to show weakness in front of these guys.
...Well at the very least, not in front of Riddick.
The next thing Jack was conscious of, was waking up out of cryo and being bombarded with the sounds of people unloading the ship.. They hadn't crashed! For a terrifying moment, Jack thought history has repeated itself. Jack offered up a silent thanks to whoever was up there watching out for them. They'd been through hell once; they didn't need to see it again anytime soon.
The cargo ship that they'd been on was aptly named the Titan. When Jack was finally able to see the thing from the outside, all she could do was gawk. The thing was twice the size of the Hunter-Gratzner, and apparently it had twice the Hunter's luck. In addition to the Titan's own cargo, the crew unloaded the survivor's skiff, even though it was pretty much a pointless piece of crap now.
Imam had gone to find a place for all of them to stay, while Jack and Riddick (who'd managed to swipe a pair of goggles from somewhere aboard the Titan) stayed with the skiff at the docks, as well as the still unconscious Fry. She looked healthier than she had before the Titan's medical staff had a look at her, which was a relief to Jack. Fry felt like an older sister to her and had it not been for the blonde woman in front of her, Jack knew she'd have been long dead. It didn't matter what she'd said when Fry and Riddick had come back for her and Imam. She knew that Riddick was fully prepared to leave without them. Fry had done something to the cold convict to make him go back out into the rain and monsters for them and for that Jack would be forever indebted to her captain.
While they waited for Imam's return, Jack's thoughts turned to more pressing matters, and from the tightening of his jaw, Jack could tell Riddick's had as well. It had been 22 weeks. Twenty-two weeks and Fry was still unconscious. Sure, she'd been in cryo-stasis, but the point remained. The guys in the infirmary had said that physically she was fine (with the exception of the wounds,) but for whatever reason she just wouldn't wake up and that all we could do was wait for her to awaken naturally.
Jack thought about asking Riddick what had happened out in the darkness and rain, but decided against it. When he'd gotten onto that ship his expression had been completely blank, as if he were far away. He'd been muttering something along the lines of, "Not for me," whatever the hell that meant. He'd kept even more to himself than he had before, if that was possible.
A few hours later, Imam came back with some papers, from the New Meccan officials. One of the papers stated that the four of them were to be given a place where they could stay, temporarily, until they went through the proper channels to find themselves decent housing. A bunch a bureaucrats, if you ask me, Jack thought sullenly. It didn't matter though, because they were all together. She'd run away from her last family, and through a twisted turn of events, she'd found a new one. Albeit, an odd one, but what family wasn't?
Apparently, another one of those papers was a map to their new (temporary) home. The three of them had left the docks and traveled in the direction indicated on the map. While Jack and Imam had to, at times, fight their way through crowds, Riddick merely walked and the people parted like the Red Sea Imam had told her about. It could have also been the fact that Riddick was also carrying an unconscious woman in his arms, but Jack knew what no one else wanted to admit. There was just something innate about Riddick that made others stare in fear and awe.
The immediate area around the place was actually livable, something that Jack hadn't really expected, but was thankful for nonetheless. But she still had an image to maintain. So, once they were inside the small apartment they were to share, instead of saying how she really felt, she said what they'd expect her to say.
"This place is a shithole," she told the two men.
Imam gave her a disapproving look while shaking his head from side to side. Riddick didn't even blink at her. In fact he hadn't even looked in her direction. Instead, he walked over to a couch/bed/thing (the place was furnished with the barest of necessities) and laid Fry down upon the dull yellow monstrosity. After she was settled, he stood there for a moment longer, just staring at her. Jack felt a sudden pang in her heart that reminded her strangely of her dream aboard the skiff. Eventually, though, Riddick left Fry's side and came back over to the other survivors, a solemn look on his face.
"Look, ya'll got a place to stay now, and I'm happy for you." Riddick had his arms crossed over his chest, staring at Imam and Jack, or at least she assumed he was staring at her from behind those tinted lenses based the fact that the hair on the back of her neck was standing up. "But you don't need me around here, to fuck everything up, so I'm gonna go enjoy my new found freedom and all that that entails." A sardonic smile flashed across his face, but unlike the other ones she'd seen, this one seemed to be forced.
"You're leaving us?" Jack asked him. All previous badass bravado gone and she was again the helpless little twelve year old girl. "But you can't, we're a family now..." She let the rest of that sentence drift off as she remembered the reason she'd been on the Hunter-Gratzner in the first place.
"Look kid, I'm not part of your little psycho fuck family. And besides," he said with a far more vicious grin, "Didn't you skip out on your last one?"
Jack could feel as tears began to well up in her eyes. It wasn't because of what he said—although she'll be the first to admit that it was a contributing factor—but because he was leaving. On that barren planet, Riddick had been someone they could depend on to watch out for them. As long as he was around, no one could hurt them. And now, he was leaving...
Her dream once again flashed through her mind's eye.
"What about Carolyn?" Imam asked the other man, pulling Jack away from her melancholy musings. Riddick's jaw flexed for a second, and then he was still, contemplative almost. Jack had almost forgotten! Quickly she wiped the tears from her eyes, with her already torn and dirty sleeve.
"That's right!" She interjected with a little more enthusiasm than appropriate given the subject matter, "You can't leave until Fry wakes up!" She sounded like a petulant child, even to her own ears, but she didn't care. Whatever works, right?
"This would also give you adequate time to prepare for your journey. Otherwise, people might find it suspicious, you leaving so quickly after arriving. And not to mention, with Carolyn in her current state..." He trailed off. It was obvious that he didn't need to say anything more; he'd gotten the reaction that he'd wanted. Riddick's stance relaxed, fractionally, but it'd relaxed nonetheless; a sure sign of defeat. Jack felt a grin of her own blossom on her face.
"Fine, I stay for a month. After that, even if she ain't woken up, I'm gone." Riddick left no more room for argument, and then promptly left the room, burrowing deeper into their temporary new home.
They'd eventually gotten a new and improved living space. And when Fry still hadn't woken up, Imam had set up a room specifically for her, to watch over her vitals and give their captain the proper care she deserved.
True to his word, Riddick left exactly a month later. Fry hadn't woken up yet and even though he'd deny it (and then probably stab you), Jack could tell that Riddick was torn between leaving and staying in order to be there for her. Because he may never admit it, but they were family and families look out for one another, at least that's what she's always heard.
If only he had stayed too. It was only four days after that Fry finally woke up from her coma.
Author's Note: Well, this is the beginning so far, and no the whole thing will not be from just Jack's perspective, it will shift depending on who is the best to tell that portion.
The review button, she calls to you...obey the call and review...pretty please?