Here we go. The finale. Hope it's worth the wait. I'm really sad about finishing this but I'm pleased that I actually have. I've never finished anything that I have written in my entire life!
Lots of thanks goes to everyone who has been reading this, you've been great and I hope that this final piece to the story fills things in a little bit for you. Hopefully it will warrant a re-reading now and again.
As to a sequel, I have no plans or ideas to start one just yet. But I'm not saying that I never will…I'll see what my brain cooks up.
Okay, without further ado this is the epilogue. Hope it doesn't disappoint but I'm happy with the way things have turned out.
So it was.
Butcher's Bay, the Multiverse's highest security prison, had been beaten again. It's weaknesses lain bare before the two silver-eyed killers.
The authorities denied that any escape had taken place, for fear that a second such embarrassment would cause the 'Bay's' closure and cost them their disreputable livelihoods. None of them could bare another shameful stint in the public's cruel eye and they had learned hard lessons from the first time that Richard B. Riddick had belittled their security, knocked it aside like it was a trivial matter.
Instead, the slam bosses concocted a cover story, announcing to the public in an emergency news broadcast, that the notorious serial killers Richard B. Riddick and Jack B. Badd, who had according to them had a grudge against each other, had fought it out deep in the belly of the prison where no one could prevent it. The wounds that they inflicted upon each other had been too great for any chance of survival and both had passed away, leaving the many universes free from their terrible reign, from the fear that gripped every heart at the mention of their names. And then they hoped and prayed to God that the two murderers would lie low, or if they did have to kill again, do it covertly…
The Multiverse had rejoiced in the false knowledge. Street parties were thrown, and the galaxies gave a great collective sigh of relief…and so had Riddick and Jack, cramped into their tiny prison transport skiff, in space so deep that no one besides themselves could hear their howls of exaltation at being pronounced dead. There was no more bounty on their heads. No more mercs riding their asses for a hell of a payday. They were as free as the universes thought themselves…
And so they had celebrated. In the only way that they could, in the only way that they knew how. The way that they so desperately needed, though it was a poor substitute for the true emotion that they had shared in their past…that they hoped to share again.
That was the beginning…
Through endless weeks of space travel, they barely touched save for the salacious fervour that consumed them almost every night, though they never kissed. For a kiss was filled with too much emotion for Jack to deal with. They did, however, speak. Neither had been very good at expressing themselves to others over the years and in the first few days they did nothing but argue as bitterly as they had in Butcher's Bay. They even came to blows a couple of times, though that only ended in another act of desperate lust…not that either particularly minded.
It took them three months to reach the nearest colonised world and dump their conspicuous means of transportation, trading it in for a run-down, two birth skiff named 'The Bawdy Mistress', a name that amused Riddick to no end and earned him a well aimed kick in the balls when he likened the name to Jack.
During the weeks they had spent cooped up in the prison skiff they had discussed Jack's past in depth, figuring that that was the root of the problem, was the key to bringing her feelings back out into the open. And so they agreed. They would hunt down and kill any man that had ever bought the services of Jack's fourteen year old body. She had always planned to do as such and had not spent her time in the 'Bay' idly. Instead she had catalogued the location of every single world that she had been taken to and slaved out.
From then on the pair moved from world-to-world, system-to-system as Jack methodically searched out every single man who had forced himself upon her, thinking her his property for the two hours that he had paid for.
Riddick had argued desperately that he should be the one to perform the killing, he wanted to kill them. Every single one as slowly and painfully as he could but Jack had refused. It was her fight. Not his. It was something she had to do alone.
The first man that she had killed left her so distraught at the memories of what he had done to her even as she had begged him not to, begged him to stop and help her escape. She sat amongst the carnage of her creating, having been blinded by a rage so deep and desperate that she had taken him apart with her bare hands, biting and scratching like a wild thing. She had sat amongst her destruction for so long that the night had waned, the new day had risen and died and in the darkness of the next night, Riddick had come for her, finding her caked in dry blood, only a single tear snaking a clean path down her crimson cheek.
That had been the beginning of the emotion, though it was just a single, silver drop of upset, and Riddick had simply taken her hand and held it. A small gesture though it was, and Jack had allowed it, even grasped his hand back slightly, taking the comfort that she needed until she could stand and they left, hands still firmly linked as if by magnetic impulses so strong.
The killing had continued and with each and every death, Jack felt a little more of her old self ebbing back into her heart. And as that happened, so too came the emotion. Building and building each time until she sat sobbing and clinging to Riddick desperately, inconsolably, when he arrived to retrieve her as he always did.
As more and more of Jack's heart began to feel again, the less they came together in acts of fiery passion, though not through lack of desire on either part. Sometimes they both still needed the release that their frantic joining brought, but as the number of her tormentors dwindled, so did Jack's lust, as it turned instead into more real emotions.
Their arguments also diminished greatly and small gestures such as the brushing of hands or a simple embrace, suddenly became a ritual.
Then, one day out of the blue entirely, Jack had taken it a step further. Placed a kiss, just a chaste pressing of her lips, to Riddick's cheek as she paid her long overdue debt to him. It was then that Riddick truly realised that 'His Jack' was back, though she still had a ruthlessness that prison had ingrained into her. And Jack realised that she was as deeply in love with the man who had saved her so many times as she had been before he left her…
3 years post Butcher's Bay.
The Aeries Cluster.
Planet Zenith Minor.
When she reached the hangar, their ship, 'the Bawdy mistress', was in complete darkness, allowing her to finally remove her goggles. She pushed the black tinted lenses up onto her head like an Alice-band, holding her long, wavy tresses back from her face.
Her shined view took in everything, saw everything in the darkness, though she knew he was there without the aid of her night-invading gaze. She smiled, rolling her eyes in slight exasperation as she neared, rummaging in her pocket for a spare cigarette.
"I told you to stay on the fucking ship." She growled, stopping before him where he sat waiting for her on a spare cargo crate.
"Me?" he replied with false incredulity, pointing at himself as an innocent look flashed over his face, hiding the smirk that she knew tugged at his lips. "I stayed! I ain't left this spot!" he defended and Jack rolled her eyes again.
"Like hell you did!" she retorted with raised eyebrows. "I saw you, you sneaky shitter!" she jabbed a finger into his chest to prove her point before touching the end of her cigarette to the burning end of his, the ashy kiss resulting in her smoke sparking to life. "Still worried I'm gonna do a bad job?" she queried with a chuckle, taking a breath of smoke and watching him do the same as he remained silent, his bright eyes intent on hers. "Did you check it, like you did with all the others? Just to make sure I didn't leave any evidence that could get your ass busted?"
"Shut up." He laughed, leaning back against the hull of their ship and tossing his cigarette stub to the ground. He grinned devilishly, hooking his fingers through the belt loops of her trousers and tugging so that she stood, legs resting against the metal crate he was sat on, between his knees. She arched an eyebrow at him but allowed a smile to grace her lips. "Just like to keep my eyes on that ass of yours, that's all. I worry about you."
Jack rolled her eyes a third time and flicked her half-smoked stub of a cigarette to join his on the hangar floor. "Well don't!" she growled, placing a hand on either of his knees. "I can look after my own ass!"
"Sure you can." He teased, his grin broadening. "Just like you did when I left you on your own last time."
Jack scowled, folding her arms in self-defence. "So Butcher's Bay is still a long-standing joke? You still find it funny?" she demanded with a hiss and Riddick laughed again, his hands travelling from her belt loops to rest on the smooth, exposed swell of her hips.
"Hilarious." He retorted, his large, callused thumbs making tiny circles on her bare skin in consolation.
"You're impossible!" she snarled as a shiver cork-screwed it's way down her spine, making the soft, downy, golden hairs of her lower back prickle and stand up.
"I try, I really do." he tormented, using one of Jack's own favourite sayings against her, triumph flickering over his face, dancing in his iridescent irises that reflected her own.
"You're fucking insufferable sometimes, you know?" she sighed sounding weary and Riddick relinquished his teasing grin, smoothing a large hand over her cheek in a rough caress.
"I only checked up after you'd done it." He said, changing the subject back to the bastard that she had just taken out. "I respect that the killing part is always private."
Jack's mercury eyes scrutinized him, her silver pupils darting over every inch of his face, finally returning to his eyes. Then she smiled, reluctantly at first, her pride still stinging a little from his joking, but then with more feeling.
"He was the last one, you know." She grinned, lacing her arms about his neck and shifting so that she straddled him, her knees and shins resting on the top of the metal crate and her booted feet hooked over the edge either side of his legs.
"I know." He responded, pulling her more tightly against his so that she had to shift again and wrap her legs about his waist, ankles crossed behind him. "You okay?" he queried raising his eyebrows in concern and moving so that her eyes that had shifted away from his face were forced to look back into his again.
"Yeah…" she replied, half-heartedly, rubbing gently at her stinging eyes. "It may sound strange, but I feel a bit down." She gave a slight chuckle at her self, scrubbing at her eyes a second time to prevent the tears that she felt welling there unbidden. "It's the end of an era. The end of a phase of my life…and even though I'm glad it's over, glad to be moving on, It's still a bit…" she shrugged and laughed at herself, unable to find the right words to explain how she felt.
"You're a weird one, Jack." Riddick sighed, shaking his head slightly and grinning at her when she scowled. He was supposed to be being sympathetic! "But I know what you mean."
Jack's frown softened and they lapsed into a comfortable silence for long minutes, subdued in their demeanour and thoughts. It was, indeed, the end of an era and Riddick understood the feeling of loss that Jack was experiencing. Something that had occupied her every living, breathing, waking moment and thought for so long, the desire to get even, to have justice exacted, that had kept her strong and alive all those years in Butcher's Bay had suddenly disappeared. Her quest fulfilled in one final, single act and the emptiness that she was feeling Riddick knew all too well…He had felt it after he had sealed Johns' fate back on that world…
Finally Riddick glanced back up at Jack, her eyes glazed over as she was lost in her thoughts. Her lips pursed together in deep contemplation and the barrenness that no doubt tugged in her chest. He smiled and tugged the goggles from her head, smoothing a hand through her beautiful, lengthening hair. She had been the one that had helped him to get over the loss of Johns, though Riddick had hated the man with a fierceness that he had never before felt for any of his victims. He hoped that he would be able to return Jack's gentle favour and ease her sense of loss the way that she had for him during those few months he had spent in New Mecca.
"So…" Jack said finally, her eyes clearing and focusing back onto Riddick's face, noticing the long, even strokes that his hands made through her hair and down her back. "Where are we going now?"
"Right now?" he queried with a voracious grin, leaning forwards and stealing nips and kisses at her neck and collar bones. He growled deep in his chest, the sound rumbling through Jack's entire body, making the tingle of excitement start in the pit of her stomach. "To bed."
Jack's growl of response was a mixture, somewhere between annoyance and pleasure. "You know what I meant, idiot!" she replied with a sharp intake of breath that only spurred him on. "Come on, Riddick!" she shoved him a little harder in the shoulder and he reluctantly pulled back, licking his lips to savour the taste of her skin and resting his hands palm down on the tops of her legs.
"Where do you want to go?" he asked with a frown of disappointment though he relented in his actions and Jack chuckled giving his clean shaven head a consoling rub. She sighed and her eyes wandered again to the hull directly behind Riddick's head as a sudden uncertainty traced it's way over her face.
"Come on, Jack, you can tell me if you wanna go somewhere. I got no where pressing I need to be…'cept with you."
Her fingers traced absentminded patterns on the back of his neck, almost making him shudder beneath her but instead he grinned and gave her a pretend cuff on her chin causing her to smile, though it was still filled with slight trepidation. Her eyes scanned his face again, staring deep into his pupils as if she could see the truth of his words in their silvery depths.
"I was thinking…" she began, removing a hand from around his neck to toy nervously with a strand of her hair. She glanced down, intent on watching as her finger curled and uncurled about that curl as if it were not her own, fascinated by it's movement almost. ""Maybe…maybe we could take a trip to Helion Prime? To New Mecca?" she paused, her incandescent orbs, that Riddick was finding increasingly easier to read with every passing day, flickering back up to his face to gage his reaction to her suggestion. What she saw was an impassive mask and her brows knit together in concern. "Please, Riddick. I want to know if they're safe. It's been eight years since I last saw them and I need to know that my sacrifice did at least a little good. For my own piece of mind." Riddick's reticence continued and he clamped his jaw together tightly, grinding his teeth into one another. Jack placed her right palm against his jaw, feeling the muscles working in austerity. "Please?" she begged again. "You don't even have to meet them again, if you don't want to. You can stay on the ship…"
"You know I don't stay very well." He mumbled in reply, not entirely thrilled with the prospect of meeting up with the man that had been supposed to protect Jack while he was away. The man who had failed miserably in that task. "I ain't gonna promise that I won't get angry though."
Jack's eyes widened with hope and from beneath the galvanized surface Riddick caught a glimmer of excitement, of untainted joy, and he knew that he was wrapped around her little finger.
"So? We can go?" she asked, holding her breath, barely able to force down her growing grin.
"Guess so…" Riddick replied and Jack hooted in delight, clamping her arms about his neck as if her life depended upon not letting go. "Jesus Christ, Jack! You tryin' to deafen me?" he growled, rubbing at his ringing ear with a wince and Jack swiftly relinquished her stranglehold on him and dismounted his knee and drawing a snarl of complaint from his lips. She moved towards the boarding ramp of 'The Bawdy Mistress' ignoring his protest entirely.
"Where are you going?" he demanded watching as she paused and turned to glimpse him over her shoulder. "I ain't going to Helion Prime right this minute!"
"Me?" Jack queried with an innocent tone, pointing to herself, much as Riddick had done upon her first words to him when she had entered the hangar. "Right now?" she raised her eyebrows, stifling a chuckle as Riddick nodded, and her grin turned fiendish. "To bed." She replied flippantly and mounted the ramp, disappearing into the pitch black innards of the skiff.
Riddick remained still for a split second before pushing up from his seat atop the cargo crate. He wasn't going to turn down an offer like that!
Thanks so much for all your comments, criticisms and all the time that you spent reading this for me! It's great to know that you liked my stuff and now I have a great feeling of closure. Jack and Riddick are in a good place, but with two mass murderers you know it can't stay like that for long. LOL! Any ideas that you have for where you would like to see a sequel go would be great. I'm considering it now but might give myself a little break for a while.